Colm Kelleher, the author of Brain Trust: The Hidden Connection Between Mad Cow Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease is a fascinating book that covers a lot of ground quickly. It connects many dots about deadly prion diseases.
One pathway that he doesn’t mention is sewage sludge (also known as biosolids), which exposes livestock, wildlife and humans to the largest prion pathway in the world. Beef and dairy cattle are raised on land contaminated with infectious waste. The infectious prions also contaminate water supplies from that point to downstream reservoirs, including creeks, ponds, rivers, lakes and oceans.
Rendering plants, which yearly process over 1 million downer cows – the ones most likely to have with prion disease – can result in infected feeds and infected waste streams. Industrial meat packing vats of hamburger, each containing meat from 50 to 100 animals from multiple states and two to four countries may also promote contamination and infection.
In order to understand the threat, one must understand the dynamics of this neurological disease. Alzheimer’s disease, for example, is a member of an aggressive family of neurodegenerative diseases known as Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is “transmissible.”
TSEs are caused by a deadly protein called a prion (PREE-on). As such, TSEs also are referred to as prion disease. The critical factor is that prions are unstoppable. The pathogen spreads through the bodily fluids and cell tissue of its victims. Blood, saliva, mucus, milk, urine and feces carry deadly prions from victims. All tissue is infectious just because of the contact with the contaminated blood.
Dr. Stanley Prusiner, an American neuroscientist from the University of California at San Francisco, earned a Nobel Prize in 1997 for discovering and characterizing deadly prions and prion disease. President Obama awarded Prusiner the National Medal of Science in 2010 to recognize the importance of his research. According to Prusiner, TSEs all are on the same disease spectrum, which is more accurately described as prion disease. He claims that all TSEs are caused by prions.
Prions are unstoppable and the pathogen spreads through the bodily fluids and cell tissue of its victims. Prions shed from humans are the most deadly mutation. They demand more respect than radiation. Infected surgical instruments, for example, are impossible to sterilize and hospitals throw them away. Prions are in the blood, saliva, urine, feces, mucus, and bodily tissue of its victims. Many factors are contributing to the epidemic. Prions are now the X factor. Industry and government are not accounting for them or regulating them. They are ignoring the threat completely, which violates the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 in the United States. Other nations also are ignoring laws developed to protect food, air and water.
A new study published in the journal Nature renews concern about the transmissibility of Alzheimer’s disease between people. A second study by the same scientist in early 2016 adds to the stack of evidence.
It’s highly probable that livestock and wildlife are contracting TSEs from humans via sewage sludge, also known as biosolids. Consuming milk and meat from infected animals brings the disease back into the human food chain. In other words, we’re recycling Alzheimer’s disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease because of the mismanagement of infectious waste.