Mahidol University will be keeping a low profile over the oncoming months, having inadvertently caused mass consumer panic and international threats of banning beef imports. Researchers at the Bangkok institute set the ball rolling with a press release on 9 February that wrongly told of two Thais being diagnosed with BSE.

Immediately, beef sales slumped and Malaysia threatened to ban beef imports from Thailand.

The release was however supposed to have reported that the two patients were believed to be suffering from vCJD, a human disease similar to BSE. The university has been criticised by the Beef Cattle Farmers’ Association and the Department of Livestock.