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Undeclared brain tissue found in sausages and terrine

Veterinary authorities found pork and calf brain tissue in six per cent of imported sausage and paté which had not been adequately labelled

(Keystone)

As fears of mad cow disease remain high, the Federal Veterinary office has said it will double the number of tests on imported meat after discovering that products have been inadequately labelled.

In its latest control, the authorities discovered that six per cent of sausage and paté samples contained brain tissue that had not been indicated on the packaging.

Heinz Müller, spokesman for the veterinary office, said that seven out of 132 samples showed traces of pork brain tissue, while one of the samples contained brain matter from calves.

However, Müller pointed out that no traces of brain tissue from cows had been found in the paté and sausages.

Scientists say that the spinal cord and brain tissue of cows can carry the brain-wasting disease Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease. There is strong evidence that the disease can be passed on to humans.

Switzerland banned the use of animal brain matter in 1990, although countries such as Germany only followed suit in October.

It is legal in Switzerland to use calf and pork brain tissue in sausages and paté, but manufacturers have to declare such substances on the packaging.

swissinfo with agencies

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