Brazil ag ministry denies Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease related to beef consumption

The investigation into the cause is ongoing
calendar icon 12 November 2021
clock icon 1 minute read

Brazil's agriculture ministry said an ongoing investigation of suspected cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are not related to the consumption of beef or beef byproducts, Reuters reports.

Brazil's Agriculture Ministry said that two cases reported on Thursday of a neurodegenerative disorder in patients in Rio de Janeiro state were not related to beef consumption. Federal biomedical institute Fiocruz is investigating the possibility of Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis.

On 4 September, Brazil confirmed two cases of "atypical" BSE in animals, triggering a suspension of beef exports to China under a standing bilateral agreement.

At the time, Brazil's Agriculture Ministry stressed that the two cases identified in meat plants in the states of Mato Grosso and Minas Gerais had generated spontaneously and were not related to contaminated feed, as in classic BSE.

On Thursday, municipal health authorities in the city of Rio said federal biomedical institute Fiocruz had flagged two cases of "prion disease," which can occur spontaneously in elderly patients or by eating contaminated beef in younger populations.

The new cases could further delay a Chinese decision on lifting the Brazilian beef ban.

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