Thirteen French laboratories are soon to screen 20,000 cows a week as part of a testing programme designed to uncover the extent of BSE and restore consumer confidence, flagging since meat potentially infected with BSE found its way to supermarket shelves last October. Concern is running high as many scientists believe there is a link between BSE and the fatal human disease vCJD, and the 153 infected cattle recorded in France during 2000 were five times the number found in 1999.