Letter: Making mischief with Africa

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The Independent Online
Sir: Typical. Attempts are being made yet again to link Africa with a disease which first appeared outside the continent (report, 1 August).

I disagree with your claim that the origins of BSE may be found in herds of the African plains. Curiously enough you never demonstrated that the African animals in question actually had the disease; only that they can catch it. Therefore your conclusion that the origin of BSE may lie in the import of meat and bonemeal from South Africa, Namibia and Botswana between 1970 and 1980 remains questionable.

We await publication of detailed statistics of the number of people suffering from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the African countries in question. Until that and other evidence are collected, associating Africa with BSE would seem at best mischievous.



The African Foundation

London E5