More Mismanagement of Deadly Mad Cow Disease

Prion Pathogen Highly Contagious

After eight years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reopened the comment period for its rule on what cow parts may be used in human products Monday because research completed since the interim rule was published has revealed traces of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and deadly prions in parts of the intestine currently allowed in human food and drugs.

mad cow disease

Since there is no way to ever sterilize the production line once infected with prions, just one infected animal part will contaminate the production line forever. Food, cosmetics, gel caps, lotions and other products could kill you and your family. Even our water supplies have been compromised due to prion mismanagement, including sewage mismanagement.

The report is alarming. Again, it shows that regulators are protecting the public health with blind faith, ignorance and incompetence. We must demand that deadly prions be regulated based on proven safety as opposed to one of a proven risk (ie. dead people). It took them eight years of status quo to raise this flag and countless products have been contaminated in the interim. As a result, we can only guess how many families have been exposed to this deadly and incurable prion disease. This is reckless, negligent and unforgivable. It’s criminal. It’s bioterrorism.

In 2005, FDA issued its interim final rule, “Use of Materials Derived From Cattle in Human Food and Cosmetics,” which stated that a cow’s small intestine was safe for use in human products as long as the portion called the distal ileum had been removed. At the time, the distal ileum was known to be a potential reservoir for BSE, also known as mad cow disease, but other parts of the small intestine were considered safe.

mad cow disease and prions

Since that time, studies have found low levels of BSE in other parts of the cow’s intestine, including the proximal ileum, jejunum, ileocecal junction, and colon, prompting concerns that perhaps the U.S. Department of Agriculture (which regulates meat safety) and FDA should also prohibit these parts from use in human foods and cosmetics. Of course, they should be kept out of rendering facilities, where they can be recycled back into products and animal feed (including pet food). In fact, we should demand answers about where the risky parts, such as the distal ileum, spinal cords, eyes, tonsils, and other specified risk material (SRM) are going now.

“The infectivity levels reported in these studies were much lower than the infectivity levels that were previously demonstrated in the distal ileum,” notes FDA. (It only takes one prion to kill you, so, I’m not feeling any safer despite this disclaimer.)

In light of these findings, FDA has reopened the comment period on its 2005 interim final rule in order to hear from anyone who has information on the topic. These are questions that should have been asked long ago.

When the FDA announced the reopened comment period, it stated that it believes that the trace levels of infectivity found in these other parts of the intestine don’t pose a risk of human exposure to BSE in the United States. That’s nonsense. Prions migrate, mutate and multiply. They can’t be stopped. So to say that the levels of infectivity are low further demonstrates the FDA’s and USDA’s incompetence or willingness to tolerate and unleash risks to the public.

“We want to hear from other people,” says Sebastian Cianci, spokesperson for FDA. “From what we’re seeing, we’ve concluded that there wouldn’t be a measurable reduction of risk from removing other parts. However, we want other people to weigh in before a final determination is made.”

In reaching its conclusion, FDA says it also considered a recent opinion from the European Union Food Safety Authority on the risk of BSE from parts of the small intestine other than the distal ileum. Why aren’t they actively seeking and sharing this information on a global basis? The bad news is that other prion risks remain unchecked and or mismanaged. The pathways to prion contamination in food, water, products and our healthcare systems are numerous.

A look at the opinion handed down from EFSA’s Panel on Biological Hazards shows that the group was unable to draw a conclusion about the safety of other parts of a cow’s intestine. Bullshit. It’s time to put all of the facts on the table and keep all risks off of our dinner table and out of our homes and hands. prions have been classified as a “select agent” by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Research is tightly controlled and extremely limited. Why are the USDA and FDA conducting chemistry experiments with them in our food, water, cosmetics and other products? What gives them the right to turn every human on the planet into a guinea pig? Any person or agency that violates the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Prevention Act of 2002 is, by definition, a terrorist.

“Due to limitations in the data currently available, an accurate quantification of the amount of infectivity in the intestinal parts other than ileum of Classical BSE infected cattle at different stages of the incubation period cannot be provided,” says the panel in its conclusion. Unfortunately, given the dangers of prions, it only takes one to multiply into millions. It only takes one prion to kill you. Quantification of this dynamic is very simple math.

The reopened comment period has been posted in the Federal Register. You can access it  here. Comments can be submitted by clicking the “Submit a Formal Comment” button.

Thanks to Gretchen Goetz and Food Safety News for their contribution to this article.

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Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease and the prion disease epidemic is an area of special expertise. Please contact Gary Chandler to join our coalition for reform

Another Case Of Mad Cow Disease In U.S.

Mad Cow Disease Exposes Prion Mismanagement

The random testing system for BSE (mad cow disease) caught another dairy cow last year in Central California. The good news is that the meat was kept from the food supply. The question is whether or not humans consumed her milk? Or that of other animals that never exhibited clinical signs of the disease, but were carriers of deadly prions–as officials claim happened in Brazil recently.

mad cow disease

What also isn’t addressed is the fact that prions have been found in the saliva of cattle. We must assume that prions are in urine, feces, blood and milk at the very least. Therefore, how much land, water, equipment and livestock does a prion carrier contaminate among the path to its demise? Why did they reopen the dairy where the cow with BSE came from?

The soil, pens, water tanks, and milk stalls were all likely exposed to prions, which can’t be sterilized. Why are we still marketing beef tongue? Why do we allow untested livestock to roam public lands, where they can expose wildlife to prions and visa versa. Why do we render untested animals and use the byproducts in pet food, lotions, gel caps and other products that are potential prion pathways? Why are we sending hunters into CWD zones to kill and consume sick deer, elk, and moose? Are they informed of the prion dangers to their homes and families when animals subsequently test positive (weeks later if tested at all)? Why are we killing wolves in states such as Wisconsin, Wyoming and Minnesota and others that have chronic wasting disease among wildlife? Wolves can help limit the spread of deadly prions by taking down sick animals as soon as they become weakened by the disease.

What are we doing to protect our blood supplies and dental equipment? Shouldn’t we start treating Alzheimer’s disease like a prion disease and put up the appropriate safeguards in our homes, hospital and communities?

Alzheimer's disease prevention

Given the amount of people with Alzheimer’s disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), we undoubtedly have contaminated our sewage systems with deadly prions (again, prions are in urine, feces, blood, milk and other bodily fluids–ask a surgeon or a coroner). Therefore, why are we recycling waste water and disease via water and biosolids? Prions cannot be neutralized or removed from sewage. Spreading them on golf courses, parks and crops is not a great idea.

land application sewage sludge

The prion peril is real. We can’t afford to mismanage this issue or misinform stakeholders.  Unlike radiation, prions do not have a half life. They grow exponentially and they seem to mutate along the way. There is not a cure for prion disease in any species. Since so much is still unknown, we must assume that all mammals are ravaged by prions in a similar manner. Therefore, we can’t afford to duplicate studies among all species before we alter policies, procedures and overall safeguards accordingly for the sake of better prion management and containment. It’s better to error on the safe side of prion management, if we are to error at all. The following video is an interesting punctuation point.

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Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease and the prion disease epidemic is an area of special expertise. Please contact Gary Chandler to join our coalition for reform

Mad Cows Have Deadly Prions In Saliva

Saliva, Bodily Fluids Can Transmit BSE Agent

Deadly proteins responsible for mad cow disease have been discovered in the saliva of cows infected as part of an experiment. The finding might pave the way for a simple test for BSE before the symptoms are apparent. The result from a team led by Yuichi Murayama at the National Institute of Animal Health in Tsukuba, Japan, also suggests, not for the first time, that saliva may be one way some prion diseases can spread. This group of diseases includes scrapie, chronic wasting disease and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), the human form of mad cow disease.

However, all available evidence suggests this method of transmission is highly unlikely. So far, the team stress there is no epidemiological evidence that saliva, milk, blood or spinal fluid from BSE-infected animals is infectious. Likewise, there is no evidence that these fluids are not infectious.

mad cow disease

“Data from sheep with scrapie and deer with chronic wasting disease suggest the infectivity levels are likely to be very low,” says Neil Mabbott of the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, UK, who investigates infectious disease.

At present, diagnosing BSE is only possible by examining brain tissue after death, when the prions are visible as plaques. To find out if the disease could be detected in live animals, the Japanese team deliberately infected three cows. Then every four months, they screened samples of the cows’ saliva using PMC, or protein misfolding cyclic amplification, which ramps up tiny amounts of prion to measurable levels.

In one cow, they detected prions two months before typical symptoms of mad cow disease would be expected to emerge. In the other two, prions were detectable just as the first symptoms began to appear. Read More>

public relations firm and public affairs firm Denver and Phoenix

Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease and the prion disease epidemic is an area of special expertise. Please contact Gary Chandler to join our coalition for reform

Five New Zealanders Die Of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

 Meat Inspector Dies From Rare Brain Disease

A meat inspector and keen hunter was killed by a rare brain disease linked to the human form of mad cow disease. John Andrews, 63, of Napier is one of five New Zealanders confirmed to have died of the sporadic form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) this year.

CJD New Zealand

His widow, Lyn, is now speaking out about the mysterious disease that saw Mr Andrews go from thinking he had an ear infection in April, to suffering stroke-like, brain-wasting symptoms. He died in June.

CJD is a rare, unexplained brain disease that rapidly and severely affects the brain, has no cure and is eventually fatal.

It is a different form of the disease variant CJD that struck Britain in the 1990s through probable human consumption of meat contaminated with bovine spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) – known as mad cow disease.

The doctor who runs New Zealand’s register of CJD cases believes Mr Andrews’ career and cause of death are purely coincidental, but a “point of interest” nonetheless.

land application sewage sludge

Mrs Andrews said her husband went on antibiotics for a suspected ear infection when he felt “something was going on in his head”. He then forgot his bank pin number, and could not hold a pen.

He developed drunk-sounding speech, suffered seizures and within weeks could not swallow, eat or talk.

“He was a real solid hunting, fishing man. He was just so well, and then boom.

“People should think about it when someone suffers from depression or what looks like early stages of dementia.”

She commended Hawke’s Bay Hospital staff, but even they were “baffled” by his symptoms, she said.

Read More>