Farmed Fish And Prion Disease

Aquaculture Capable Of Spreading Neurodegenerative Disease From Infected Food

Fish provides omega-3 fatty acids which may potentially help prevent dementia like Alzheimer’s disease or relieve symptoms of the disease. But some researchers show concerned about the safety of farmed fish because the fish may acquire infectious prions from cows with mad cow disease or bovine spongiform encephalopathy and humans who eat the infected fish may contract human version of mad cow disease called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

farmed fish and prion disease

Robert P. Friedland of Department of Neurology, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY, USA and colleagues published a report in Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease to express the concern.

Fish consumption is widely recommended because it is believed that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in fish may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease (the most common dementia). The American Hear Association recommends two servings of fish per week.

The researchers said in their report “We are concerned that consumption of farmed fish may provide a means of transmission of infectious prions from cows with bovine spongiform encephalopathy to humans, causing variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease.”

In addition to fish, milk from animals with brain wasting disease can carry infectious prions, meaning that drinking tainted milk or dairy products may get consumers human version mad cow disease. Milk has never been tested for prions before taken to the market.

Some observers suggest that prions can cause a variety of brain diseases including dementia like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s. (source:

P.S. What the story above fails to explain is that farmed fish in many countries are fed slaughterhouse waste, which carries the risk of prion disease being dumped into pens of farmed fish in rivers, lakes, and oceans. What happens when portions of that waste spread into open waters and are consumed by wild fish, whales, and bottom feeders?

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Providing public affairs, issue management and public relations strategies, Crossbow Communications is based in Denver, Colorado with offices in Phoenix, Arizona and New York City. The company has global capabilities and prion disease is one of the firm’s specialties.¬†

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