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The Associated Press reports this morning that a man in his early twenties, who has never received or donated blood and who has lived his entire life in Ireland, has contracted the fatal Crutzfeld-Jakob Disease, which is the human variation of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), better known as mad cow disease.

The government believes that the man caught the disease from meat purchased in Ireland, though the belief is that it must have been imported beef as opposed to the domestic variety, since the nation has had strict controls on domestic beef for more than a decade.

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern urged consumers not to be worried about the safety of Irish beef.
KC's View:
It just goes to show that you can’t be too careful, too vigilant in dealing with mad cow disease. Here you have a country that, at least from all appearances, that has done all the right things in dealing with the disease, and they still get a case of Crutzfeld-Jakob.

Even as governments lobby to take down beef trade barriers, and the US government defends its testing policies, we have to wonder if enough is being done to deal with this problem.

If we wait until the US gets a case – or cases - of Crutzfeld-Jakob, it may be too late to reassure the consuming public. At least, that’s our concern.