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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Checks For Mad Cow Disease Inadequate

Russia's checks for beef tainted with mad cow disease are inadequate, a top Agriculture Ministry official said Monday, according to Itar-Tass.

Nikolai Yaremenko, the ministry's senior veterinary official, said the fact that Russia so far has registered no cases of the disease could reflect only that the testing regime is insufficient, the report said.

Itar-Tass said that according to the ministry only 400 samples a year are obtained from cattle to test them for the presence of bovine spongiform encephelopathy, or mad cow disease, which has been linked to a similar brain-wasting disease in humans.

Russia has banned imports of beef from Britain, where mad cow disease is believed to have originated and from three states in Germany where the disease has been registered.

However, the head of the National Consumer Advocacy Fund, Alexander Kalinin, said that recent raids on markets in Moscow showed that 60 percent of the beef sold there "came from nobody knows where," Itar-Tass said.