FDA lifts all “Mad Cow” disease referrals

A change in eligibility welcomes new and former blood donors

The Armed Services Blood Program is now welcoming blood donors who were previously deferred due to certain time spent, or blood transfusions received, in the UK, France or Ireland.

Previously, the FDA recommended deferring blood donors with potential risk of transmitting variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, commonly referred to as “mad cow” disease. In an announcement May 24, the FDA recommended lifting these last remaining geographic-based vCJD restrictions.

Following years of study, the FDA determined that these previously deferred individuals do not pose a significant risk and recommended allowing them to donate blood.

In 2020, the FDA lifted the vCJD deferral recommendation for all other countries.

These welcomed changes will allow nearly all U.S. and NATO service members, retirees, family members and local nationals to donate at ASBP blood drives on military installations throughout Europe. Blood donated to the ASBP makes an immediate impact on U.S. and NATO service members, families, retirees, and veterans in need worldwide… saving lives on and off the battlefield.

The ASBP has one blood donor center in Europe, located at Landstuhl. This team conducts weekly blood drives on local military installations, with annual blood drives at other locations throughout Europe.

Find ASBP blood drives in Europe and make appointments at www.militarydonor.com, search by Sponsor Code: Europe.

Contact: Armed Services Blood Bank Center – Europe, DSN 314-590-5885, Commercial +49 06371-9464-5885, www.facebook.com/ASBPeurope, usarmy.donateblood-europe@mail.mil.


The Armed Services Blood Program is the official blood program of the U.S. military and is tasked with a mission to provide quality blood products and support to military healthcare operations worldwide. As a joint operation within the Defense Health Agency, the ASBP collects, processes, stores, transports and distributes blood products whenever and wherever needed to warfighters and families in need. The ASBP is one of four organizations that ensure the United States has a safe blood supply. If you are not located near a local ASBP blood donor center, please donate to your local blood center.