French Court Launches Investigation into Mad Cow Deaths

Published December 22nd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

A Paris court opened an investigation Friday to determine whether British, French and European Union officials should face charges for failing to take steps to contain BSE or mad cow disease, a justice official said. 

The preliminary inquiry -- the first of its kind since BSE broke out in France in 1991 -- stems from a lawsuit filed on November 17 by the families of two French victims of the brain-wasting human version of BSE, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). 

The families accused unnamed "agents" of Britain, France and the EU of "poisoning, involuntary homicide and injury, and endangering life" for allowing BSE -- Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy -- to spread from Britain between 1986 and 1996 -- PARIS (AFP)  




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