Coroner links CJD death to eating infected meat

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The Independent Online
The Government came under renewed pressure to open a public inquiry into the risks posed to humans by "mad cow" disease, after a coroner linked a 19-year-old trainee chef's death to having eaten BSE-infected food.

Recording a verdict of misadventure on Matthew Parker, of Doncaster, who died of the new variant of the incurable brain disorder Creutzfeldt- Jakob disease (CJD) in March, deputy coroner Fred Curtis said that on the balance of probabilities the medical evidence showed a link between the teenager's infection with CJD and the consumption of BSE-infected food. He was said to have had an appetite for burgers pies and sausages.

The solicitor to the Parker family, David Brody, said after the verdict: "The link with BSE has been accepted by the coroner and we are pleased with that. We have suggested to the Government that a public inquiry is what is needed now."

Yesterday was the second time that a UK coroner has blamed a CJD death on BSE. Last October, a Belfast coroner linked the two diseases in the death of Maurice Callaghan, 30, whose wife told the inquest that he had eaten red meat two or three times a week. There have been 21 recorded cases of new variant CJD in the UK since it was first identified in 1995.

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