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New 'mad cow' link to humans and livestock

August 29, 2000 Web posted at: 7:14 AM EDT (1114 GMT)

LONDON -- Seemingly healthy people and other animals could be silent carriers of "mad cow disease" and its human equivalent, new research has reported.

Research by British scientists found new evidence of a "sub-clinical" form of the disease -- officially known as BSE -- in mice which were infected but presented no symptoms.

The discovery could mean that key experiments into how easily BSE can move from cattle to infect people and other animals need to be reviewed.

Pigs, poultry and sheep could carry the sort of risk long associated with cows according to the laboratory research on mice and hamsters.

"Although they may not show any signs of disease, no matter how long they live, they could still harbour high levels of the infectious agent and therefore pose a risk," Professor John Collinge, who led the research team, said.

The disease, that slowly wastes the brains of its victims, is called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans and scrapie in sheep.

Collinge said measures to protect people against BSE were adequate but the implications should be thought through.

"We should re-think how we measure species barriers in the laboratory. We should not assume that just because one species appears resistant to a strain ... they do not silently carry the infection," he said.

He added that the research also raised the possibility that apparently healthy cattle could harbour, but never show signs of, BSE.

The British government welcomed the research but said it had no plans to widen public health controls as a result.

"The measures we have in place address the possibility of transmission to humans and other animals," a spokesman for the Agriculture ministry said.

Public debate The government's scientific advisers will examine the new findings at a meeting on September 29.

Britain has reported more than 178,500 cases of BSE in cows and 70 people have died from CJD infection. Nine people in the UK are reported to be still alive suffering from the disease.

There have been two human deaths in France and one in Ireland.

The disease has led to a broad public debate about food safety and led to questions about how the government juggles consumer and farmer interests.

The British government has imposed a range of controls including a bar on older cattle being fed to people and a ban on cow and sheep remains being fed to livestock that ends up as meat for human consumption.

A range of new measures were also introduced to prevent the disease being transmitted via surgical instruments used in hospital or dental procedures.

Veterinary adviser to the British Meat and Livestock Commission, Tim Miles, said a sub-clinical form of the disease had been known about for some time which is why such stringent procedures were implemented.

"Any disease that we're seeing is a reflection of historical exposure. The public are completely protected through the current procedures," he said. The National Beef Association -- whose members were hard hit by BSE -- said the disease was now on the wane and that there was no need to pursue such "obscure areas" of research.

But the Human BSE Foundation, which represents victims' families, welcomed it as another piece in the "mad cow" jigsaw.

"The more we know about this disease the better," it said.

"It's a very worrying development that other species may be carrying this new hidden form of BSE and obviously poses yet another threat to human health."

The Agriculture ministry said it was confident the new research would not harm the public's confidence in eating meat.

"The public's confidence in British livestock is very high," the spokesman said. "In fact confidence in British beef is now higher, consumption levels are higher, than before the BSE issue."

-- K (, August 29, 2000


One of my dearest friends just died of this horrible disease two months ago. The US CDC keeps cases absolutely quiet. They try to pretend CJD is not linked to Mad Cow Disease, but that's simply not true (as the above article says). I've read the history of this disease and there is no doubt in my mind my friend got it from meat. The bad news is, he never left the USA and he ate tons of fast food hamburgers. So, all signs point to the fact he got it here in the US eating at a common eating establishment. Furthermore, the doctor that diagnosed him said one of the most common mis-diagnosis is "early alzheimers". How many people seem to be getting that? This doctor went on to convince Tom's wife that there was virtually no research done on this disease and that he needed "Tom's" brain badly for research. This was BS, like I said, there has been lots of research done by doctors with i-n-t-e-g-r-i-t-y who have been supressed. (I just didn't have the heart to tell Tom's wife as she was convinced they were helping humanity with the donation) Just read "Deadly Feasts by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Richard Rhodes. It'll make you stop and think.

Money talks. It took England years to admit they had a nasty dormant disease killing their cattle and getting into the food chain. They just couldn't bring themselves to deprive the meat industry of the moo-la. an effort to stop the disease, they came up with the stupid idea of insisting farmers who recognized signs of Mad Cow in their cattle report the disease, and turn there cattle (the whole herd) over to the govt. for a price of .15 on the dollar. In other words, they could go broke. The net result was that farmers, upon the slightest first sign of the disease, (like a cow that stumbles) immediately sold their herds to market to get full price. Therefore, much meat entered the human and animal food chain that was tainted. Now there is a disease that lies dormant in the body for sometimes decades before it emerges turning the brain into a sponge...a very undignified way to go. Another fine job done by our governments and their corporate friends.

-- meg davis (, August 29, 2000.


I am sorry about your friend.

It's interesting that the doctor wanted his brain. That takes away any chance of someone else getting access to it later. Maybe in 100 years someone will finally start to really uncover the truth about this. This all started with man messing with the natural order of things by feeding ground-up sheep protein to cattle, which are vegetarians.

-- K (, August 30, 2000.

Right on! This disease is always linked to cannibalism. It started in New Guinea with people eating people. It's been observed in Cattle which are fed the ground up crap from slaughter houses and in sheep and mink, which have also been fed these kinds of diets. There are virtually no animals in the world that eat their on species. The lion, a master carnivore will die first. Yet, man has seen fit to feed the ground entrails, and slaughter house crap mixed with a little grain and pelletized to cattle...making cows eat cows. Chicken shit is also a yummy component that has been added to the diet of our future hamburgers. Some genius discovered that when Chickens process food, they still leave half the nutrients in it, never mind all the anti-biotics and hormones and drugs they are fed. If you add a little flavoring and some grain, turn it into a pellet, the cow doesn't know the difference. Thanks guys, but if I ever get the urge to eat shit, I'll have mine straight up.

It's un-natural and we've paid a pretty price for such greed.

-- meg davis (, August 30, 2000.

Of course vegetarians only have to worry
about pesticides, defoliants, herbicides,
preservatives, irradiation, sludge fertilizer,
bio-engineered crops and mad jalapeqos.

-- spider (, August 30, 2000.


-- meg davis (, August 31, 2000.

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