Letter: Primates in peril

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Germans have done their homework on mad cow disease (BSE) and they recognise our Ministry of Agriculture's 'MAFF speak' for what it is. Thus 'there is no scientific evidence that BSE can afflict humans' lacks the short word 'yet': the incubation period of the human spongiform disease is about 20 years and nobody will know until the year 2000 or so whether UK citizens have been infected.

What is causing anxiety in German medical and scientific circles is the fact that the original disease in sheep has been easily transmitted to many mammals, including apes. Homo sapiens is just another ape.

Yours faithfully,


Dornoch, Sutherland