Spongiform Brain

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Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) belongs to a group of progressive degenerative neurological diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs).

TSE diseases are characterized by long incubation periods ranging from several months to several years. There are no visible signs of the disease during the incubation period. In 2008, the FDA published a regulation banning tissues with the highest risk of transporting the causative agent of BSE in animal feed. These high-risk bovine materials are the spongiform brain and spinal cord of cattle from 30 months of age.

The 2008 rule also prohibits the use of whole cadavers that have not been studied and transferred for human consumption, unless the animals are less than 30 months old or the brain and spinal cord have been removed. To protect against bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as “mad cow disease”, cosmetics must not be produced, processed or contain banned bovine materials. These materials include specific hazardous material, material from unqualified farm animals, material from previous and uninspected farm animals, or mechanically separated beef.

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