There are more than 800 medicines on the world market that could carry CJD, the human form of Mad Cow Disease.
In Britain, companies were given until March 1st to prove that their products were free from the disease. But the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) has admitted that there are still around 860 medicines that have not yet been cleared. Clive Everf of the CJD Support Network, said, ?I find it deeply worrying that the drug companies have so far failed to provide this information.?
A spokeswoman for the MCA said, ?The government will consider what action should be taken to ensure that these products comply with these important safety guidelines.?
Many drugs are made using animal materials like cattle serum. In the U.S., buyers should be especially wary of products sold in health food stores, which are not subject to FDA regulation. Calcium supplements can be made of ground-up bone meal and any product that claims to boost brain function could be made of powdered animal brains.
Last fall, the British government withdrew an oral polio vaccine after it became clear it had been developed from serum which could possibly have been infected with BSE. The government?s Chief Medical Officer Liam Donaldson said the risks were ?incalculably small,? but it was removed from use anyway.
Frances Hall, whose son Peter died from CJD in 1996, said, ?The risk may be small but any amount of danger is too much if it is your family that?s affected. It seems we are playing Russian roulette.?
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