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U.S. military to stop buying British beef

March 22, 1996
Web posted at: 10:30 p.m. EST

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Defense Department has notified its European commands that it will change the way it buys beef for American soldiers in the wake of the scare over "mad cow disease" in British cattle, the Pentagon said.

Troops stationed in Italy, Great Britain, and many other European countries have been eating the British beef for years now, but the new scare over possible infection has the military mobilizing to change that.

It is unclear how many U.S. service members may have been exposed to the potential hazard, but the military is making arrangements to replace the British beef now sold in selected commissaries with a "suitable non-British product," according to a release from the Defense Department's Defense Commissary Agency.

The suspect beef will stay on the shelves with a warning.

The switch is expected to take 14 days to complete.

The commanding officer of U.S. forces in Aviano, Italy, has ordered the meat removed immediately from commissaries there.

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