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BSE: risk, science and governance$
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Patrick van Zwanenberg and Erik Millstone

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198525813

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198525813.001.0001

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A new cattle disease

A new cattle disease

(p.71) Chapter 4 A new cattle disease
BSE: risk, science and governance

Patrick van Zwanenberg

Erik Millstone

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the initial emergence of BSE as a novel veterinary disease in the UK, and the process by which it came to be acknowledged officially. The initial response from MAFF to the emergence of BSE, involving first secrecy and then reassurances that were not based on sound science. The political and scientific conditions under which expert scientific advice was initially recruited are outlined, emphasizing how the severe limitations of scientific knowledge about risks to human health and the policy dilemmas this raised, complicated the tensions between MAFF and the Department of Health (DoH).

Keywords:   new disease, veterinary pathology, secrecy, human health risks, policy responses, expert advice, Department of Health

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