With many unknowns remaining regarding "mad cow disease," a committee of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended increased restrictions on blood donations from people who have been in Europe and might possibly have become infected with the mysterious disease.
In a 10 to 7 vote on June 28, the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (TSEAC) recommended that the FDA defer blood donations from people who have lived in any European country—except the United Kingdom (UK)—for a total of 5 years or more since 1980. Also, TSEAC recommended deferral for any recipient of a blood transfusion in the UK since 1980. This new recommendation is in addition to current FDA guidelines prohibiting blood donations from those who lived in the UK for 6 months or more between 1980 and 1996.
Mitka M. FDA Wants More Restrictions on Donated Blood. JAMA. 2001;286(4):408. doi:10.1001/jama.286.4.408-JMN0725-3-1