WHO calls summit

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The Independent Online
The World Health Organisation responded to international fears about mad cow disease by calling an emergency meeting of scientists to determine the risk to humans from infected beef, writes Liz Hunt.

The experts will meet "within weeks" in the Netherlands, the WHO said yesterday, claiming that the British crisis has global implications.

Dr Rolaf Van Leeuwen, of WHO's European Centre for Environment and Health, said: "WHO is very concerned about the possibility of a link between cows infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and the new cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD). This might be a problem for the UK in the first instance but other countries which import British beef are also involved."

But in Geneva WHO scientists said they saw no scientific justification for slapping import bans on British beef.