Australian's have overreacted to the threat of BSE, claims Newcastle University economics lecturer John Fisher. He added that moves such as banning blood donors pose a far greater threat to humans than mad cow disease. Many high profile steps have been taken to ensure the European beef crisis does not reach Australia. Imports of beef and beef products have been banned from 30 European countries, and if people have spent over 6 months in the UK between 1980 and 1996 they are not allowed to give blood.