A law passed in Germany yesterday has meant that pharmaceuticals may no longer use ingredients deemed at risk of carrying BSE. This essentially means the industry cannot use spinal cords, brains or mechanically separated meat from cattle.

Continuing uncertainties about mad cow disease and how it is transmitted promoted the law, according to health minister Ulla Schmidt. She continued to explain that the law aimed to remove all risk of BSE, and its associated human brain wasting disease vCJD, from consumers.

Nearly fifty cases of BSE have now been discovered in Germany, with the latest case confirmed in the southwestern region of the Rhineland-Palatinate area.