Human remains in cattle feed may have caused mad cow disease

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Human remains in cattle feed may have caused mad cow disease

OK, this is gross, not only feeding animals to herbivores, but feeding them the remains of PEOPLE.

The world just took another step closer to insanity.
(more on the site)

The mad cow disease epidemic could have been caused by the feeding of material containing human remains to cattle, a scientist claimed yesterday.

Alan Colchester, a professor of neurology at the University of Kent, said the most likely origin of BSE and the subsequent deaths from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease was the import from the Indian subcontinent of bone meal containing infected human remains.

Since the first case of BSE was reported in Britain in 1986, the original cause has remained unknown.

The most widely favoured candidate has been the transmission of sheep scrapie, a fatal degenerative disease that affects the nerve system, to cattle through feed.

The spontaneous mutation of a prion, a small protein found in the brain cell membrane, to create a new form of bovine transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) has also been suggested.

Writing in this week's issue of the Lancet, Prof Colchester said neither of these theories had been proved and that he had amassed substantial circumstantial evidence to support his new hypothesis that BSE originated from an earlier human form of the disease.

He said:
... Quote:
The existing theories of the origin of BSE all have significant weaknesses, and so we set out to look for something more plausible, which I think we have found.

We propose, that human TSE-contaminated material was the cause of BSE, that this was transmitted orally via animal feed and that the infective material originated in the Indian subcontinent.

Further investigations are needed into the sources of animal by-products used in animal feed manufacture, and into the transmittability of human TSEs to cattle.

Britain imported substantial quantities of whole bones, crushed bones and carcass parts for use in the manufacture of fertilisers and animal feed during the 1960s and 1970s, with about half coming from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.

Media and eyewitness reports have described human remains being sold to processing mills along with animal material.

The BSE epidemic peaked in 1992 in Britain with a total of more than 180,000 cases recorded. Variant CJD, the human form of BSE, has killed about 150 people since the first case was recorded in 1995.

Prof Colchester questioned why BSE did not appear earlier given that scrapie has been endemic in Britain for at least 200 years, and that material from sheep has been fed to cattle for at least 70 years.

He also noted that all published attempts to transmit scrapie experimentally to cattle by the oral route had failed.
By netchicken: posted on 3-9-2005

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