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BSE test chosen by Canadian Food Inspection Agency


Montreal, QC – January 15, 2004 – Pharmaceuticals and diagnostics company, Roche Diagnostics, says it has entered into an agreement with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to supply and support testing of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) at designated federal laboratories.

Its BSE test was developed by the Swiss company Prionics and has been distributed by Roche Diagnostics since February 2001.

Roche says the test is considered by many animal health authorities internationally to be the most accurate rapid-test procedure for BSE in the world. To date, more than 18 million cattle samples worldwide have been tested using this technology with no false positive results recorded. Prionics’ test system is suitable for detecting BSE in both cattle that are processed for consumption as well as “downer” cows.

A breakthrough of the test is that its performance is not impeded when partly or fully degraded tissue samples are used as typically occurring in surveillance programs focusing on downer cattle. For this reason, BSE-free countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Chile have adopted the technology for their surveillance programs in agreement with guidelines of the World Organization for Animal Health.

“We are proud that the CFIA chose Roche Diagnostics as their preferred partner for BSE testing,” says Pascal Mittermaier, president of Roche Diagnostics in Canada.. “With the service team and infrastructure that Roche Diagnostics has in place, we will be able to support Canada in its need to monitor its beef supply and maintain the confidence of consumers.”