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Patients who eat meat could be banned from receiving the safest blood supplies to halt the spread of the human form of mad cow disease.
Only vegetarians and children under the age of 16 who need transfusions would get imported blood, which is thought to be free of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), under proposals by Government advisers.
The suggestion by the Government's advisory committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (Sabto) comes amid growing concern that contaminated blood from UK donors could lead to a second wave of infection.
Minutes of Sabto meetings held last year reveal experts are considering limiting the 'risk reduction option' to those least likely to have been exposed to BSE in the Nineties, if the measures 'could not be applied to all recipients on grounds of feasibility or cost-effectiveness'.
The blood would be sourced from countries where there has not been an outbreak to reduce the risk of supplies being infected.
However, there is no guarantee that imported blood is free of vCJD because there is no screening test.
The proposals have angered campaigners, who say everyone should be guaranteed safe blood.
Gill Turner, national co-ordinator of the CJD Support Network, said: 'I have concerns about the segmentation of clean blood.
'There's never any proof that someone is completely free from exposure to vCJD. People should not be discriminated against.'
Of the 2.5million transfusions in British hospitals every year, up to 438 may expose patients to the disease, according to official Government estimates.