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Anonymous

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Heres an article I found about a new book on the market--


Sarah Statz
nonfiction
Brain Trust: The Hidden Connection Between Mad Cow and Misdiagnosed Alzheimer's Disease
Do you enjoy a nice big steak? Juicy hamburgers? Enjoy them while you can. If even half of Colm Kelleher’s Brain Trust: The Hidden Connection Between Mad Cow and Misdiagnosed Alzheimer’s Disease is true, the writing’s on the wall for our lives as carnivores.

Kelleher opens with descriptions of cattle mutilations in Washington state (undertaken, in his theory, to hide evidence of Mad Cow disease), but then backtracks swiftly to provide a history of the disease’s pathology and discovery. Otherwise known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and caused by infectious proteins known as prions that turn organs like the brain into spongy useless blobs, it was not first discovered in cows but in humans.

When medical researcher D. Carleton Gajdusek first visited Papua New Guinea in 1957, he found hundreds of Fore tribespeople dying from a mysterious disease they called kuru. Eventually he prepared a traveling exhibit on the disease, which was seen by an American pathologist who thought it might be related to his own work with sheep that had died from a disease called scrapie. From there and over the course of decades, scientists would eventually find a host of similarly related diseases across species and continents: kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, scrapie in sheep, BSE in cows, Chronic Wasting Disease in deer and elk, and transmissible mink encephalopathy in mink.

Confused? Yeah, I’m not sure of all the details myself, but I do get the main points: these diseases are always fatal. They are caused by prions, which can live in the ground or animal bodies for years. And, as Kelleher explains in brisk and concise chapters, they can be transmitted from one species to another, through various food sources, and can take years to cause the debilitating symptoms for which they are famous.

For the historical detail alone, this is an important and readable book on the subject. Kelleher’s true genius, however, is in his ability to speculate, convincingly, that the 8,902 percent increase in deaths from Alzheimer’s Disease over the past twenty-four years can be attributed to this infectious agent’s presence in the human food chain. As if that weren’t disturbing enough, Kelleher also relates how one of the early pioneers in the field, the highly respected Gajdusek, simply carried vials of different strains of scrapie and kuru from Great Britain into the United States, disregarding USDA rules. From 1963 through 1970 he and other researchers injected a wide variety of animals with those materials at their laboratory in the middle of a wildlife refuge in Patuxent, Maryland. Just picture it: hundreds of animals, some as small as mice, all infected and housed together in converted barns/labs in the middle of a heavily animal-populated refuge. Look no further, Kelleher suggests, for the origin of this family of diseases on the North American continent.

Reader reviews at Amazon.com focus on the book’s unpleasant revelations about the mammalian food chain, and many reviewers state their intentions to eat only “organic” meat as a result of reading it. Myself, I think they’re missing the point. Perhaps I’m just vindictive, but does anyone else think that Gajdusek, who won the Nobel Prize in 1976, should lose it as punishment for walking dangerous and largely misunderstood infectious agents around the globe? For that matter, what kind of punishment can we plan for all the government agency bureaucrats and politicians who not only tried to cover up incidences of the diseases, but also kept trying to export animal food containing contaminated blood and brain matter, to other countries?

Kelleher, a biochemist, does end his book with a note of optimism regarding our chances of containing this epidemic. Although comparisons will inevitably be drawn between this work and Eric Schlosser’s huge bestseller, Fast Food Nation, I think this book is too subtly horrifying, even with that optimism, to do as well commercially. Schlosser’s self-righteous reporter’s voice often struck me as almost unnecessarily hysterical, whereas Kelleher’s descriptive scientist’s voice and calm recitation of lax experimental methods and petty bureaucratic squabbles is extremely unsettling in its understatement.

It’s a good book. It’s a scary book, and it will undoubtedly be disdained by many for its conspiracy theories regarding cattle mutilations and Alzheimer’s Disease, but ultimately, whether it scares you out of eating meat or not, it should at least cure you of any trust you may still place in the scientific and governmental establishment.
Brain Trust: The Hidden Connection Between Mad Cow and Misdiagnosed Alzheimer’s Disease by Colm A. Kelleher
Paraview Pocket Books
ISBN: 0743499352
312 pages
 

Jason

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Oldtimer said:
As if that weren’t disturbing enough, Kelleher also relates how one of the early pioneers in the field, the highly respected Gajdusek, simply carried vials of different strains of scrapie and kuru from Great Britain into the United States, disregarding USDA rules. From 1963 through 1970 he and other researchers injected a wide variety of animals with those materials at their laboratory in the middle of a wildlife refuge in Patuxent, Maryland. Just picture it: hundreds of animals, some as small as mice, all infected and housed together in converted barns/labs in the middle of a heavily animal-populated refuge. Look no further, Kelleher suggests, for the origin of this family of diseases on the North American continent.

If this is really true, why didn't CWD and BSE first occur in Maryland?

How would CWD pop up in the rockies thousands of miles from Maryland with no direct connection?

The book is sensationalism at its best.
 

Maple Leaf Angus

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OT- you do fit right in with a bunch of fearmongers that we all know as r-calf.
What kind of person is it that lives on lies and horror stories?
 
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Anonymous

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Maple Leaf Angus said:
OT- you do fit right in with a bunch of fearmongers that we all know as r-calf.
What kind of person is it that lives on lies and horror stories?

Maple Leaf- I knew some Canadian would come back with that-- Did I write the book? Did I say I endorsed the book? Did I say I even believed the content of the book? I posted it for information purposes so that people know that it is out there...I agree it looks like a sensationalist publication, where someone is going to make a buck from the BSE situation--but that doesn' t mean people won't read it.......

I come to this site first and go to many other websites and talk lines to pick up info on the updated news, changing issues, and opinions of others....I've talked with others that are here for the same reason...Thousands of sources are better than one...

I read everything - whether I agree with it or not---Only way you see the other side of an issue so you can make a truly informed decision...I read a post the other day where someone had cancelled some Ag publications because they didn't agree with their view...Now to me that is stupid...I read all of them so you can see the picture from both sides--Haven't found one that isn't biased one way or the other in at least some way...And remember 90% of this whole situation right now is based on someones theory or opinion-- whether it is the health safety issue or the economic impact of the border....One science theory against the other- one beancounter vs the other.......
 

Maple Leaf Angus

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OT - "...a truly informed decision...", did I read you right? What a statement coming from OT! Hahaha!

Welllllll, keep on reading OT. There might be hope for you.
 

Farm Girl

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Hello:
I wrote the review of Kelleher's "Brain Trust" and would like to first, commend Oldtimer for reading everything as a way to understand the issues, and secondly, clarify some issues regarding the book itself in light of my personal background.

I am the daughter of a Wisconsin dairy farmer, and no one loves good beef more than me - we used to eat pieces raw, like beef tartar, when we butchered, if you can believe that! Likewise, I am particularly sensitive to issues of poor media coverage, primarily because my parents phone me up every time there's a new article saying that milk, butter, or meat aren't good for you.

I'm sorry to lurk on your site, particularly as I am not a "serious cattle producer." However, I would like to say that Kelleher's book, while it did include sensationalistic aspects, was not nearly as threatening to the cattle industry itself as you might suppose it to be, and he was particularly optimistic about the chances of containing and beating the threat of BSE. As cattle producers, I would hope you all would be interested in talking about this issue and conquering it, rather than denying that it is an issue.

I'll be really unhappy if I have to stop eating beef! So thanks for your time and your product.
Wisconsin Farm Girl


I read everything - whether I agree with it or not---Only way you see the other side of an issue so you can make a truly informed decision...I read a post the other day where someone had cancelled some Ag publications because they didn't agree with their view...Now to me that is stupid...I read all of them so you can see the picture from both sides--Haven't found one that isn't biased one way or the other in at least some way...And remember 90% of this whole situation right now is based on someones theory or opinion-- whether it is the health safety issue or the economic impact of the border....One science theory against the other- one beancounter vs the other.......[/quote]
 

Maple Leaf Angus

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Farm Girl- first of all, would you happen to be a sister to "Farm Boy" from "Princess Bride?" :wink:

And, to the matter of qualification for posting here - well, I think this board would be lacking balance if there was no representation from those not in the cattle business.

As to the issue of reading both sides of an issue, my recent college experience (and I'm almost 50!!!) has shown me what happens if one only reads that with which one is comfortable- it does little for grades or broadening the mind. Education in any form or place, is about expanding perspective and understanding.

What I find annoying is when people will use material they would normally eschew for the purpose of defending their dubious and misguided position.
 

Farm Girl

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Inconceivable! You keep using that word...I do not think it means what you think it means. :wink:

I agree wholeheartedly that expanding perspective is important. That is why I really wanted to defend the necessity of reading a book like "Brain Trust"...if anything, I think it might give readers a greater sympathy for the scope of the problem facing the beef industry, especially in comparison to the scientific establishment and their rather lax and petty methods (including their fighting over who got to name the infectious "prions").

People looking to defend dubious positions will always be able to find material. People reading on all sides of an issue will know better than to fall for it.

Thanks.

Maple Leaf Angus said:
Farm Girl- first of all, would you happen to be a sister to "Farm Boy" from "Princess Bride?" :wink:

What I find annoying is when people will use material they would normally eschew for the purpose of defending their dubious and misguided position.
 

Maple Leaf Angus

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Farm Girl- That was both cute and intelligent!

I can get too testy too quickly with dissenting opinions, hence my sharp words to OT. My Mother's words to me about patience, many years ago, didn't seem to stick!
 
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Anonymous

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Farm Girl: "People looking to defend dubious positions will always be able to find material. People reading on all sides of an issue will know better than to fall for it."

Brilliant statement!

Although I know it was not your intent, you have defined R-CALF in that quote better than any I could have found.


~SH~
 

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