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Univ. of Saskatchewan professor discusses copper and BSE

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Well-known member
Feb 11, 2005
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Home on the Range, Alberta
Here is the full article as it appeared in the Western Producer on May 27, 2004. This was ten days after Mark Purdey lectured at the university (May 18/04), during his Western Canada Lecture Tour.

Dr. Steve Reid mentions "Research has already identified molecules that will halt the binding process". Is he referring to Dr. Naoko Iwanami of the National Center for Neurology and Psychiatry of Japan. She has applied for a patent on copper chlorophyllin sodium - to inhibit prion formation. She also identified iron chlorophyllin sodium as a prion inhibitor.

Here is what Dr. Reid said,

The Western Producer article/interview with Dr. Steve Reid, a chemistry professor at U of S, (date May 27, 2004): (full article) by Karen Morrison, Saskatoon newsroom.

Saskatchewan farmers shouldn't look for a pill to cure copper deficiency in cattle but instead learn what's preventing their livestock from using what they are eating.

Steve Reid, a chemistry professor at the University of Saskatchewan, had doubts that simply adding copper to animals' diets would increase their copper levels. He began studies to investigate the animals' inability to absorb the organic trance metal into the blood stream.

"These cows are not lacking in their diets, but are not in a position to use it", he said. "The solution is not more copper".

Reid said copper deficiency is a problem in parts of Saskatchewan and in countries around the world. It occurs in cows because of significant levels of sulfur, common in Saskatchewan ground water, and trace levels of molybdenum in soils that can accumulate to significant levels in forages.

When these combine in the cow's rumen, thiomolybdates can form and bind up the copper, making it unavailable to the animal and leading to a copper deficiency.

The research, supported by the Agriculture Development Fund, will make use of the new synchrotron at the U of S beginning this summer and other state-of-the-art technology.

Reid hopes to offer farmers simple and cheap dietary recommendations to curb or correct copper deficiency.

Research has already identified molecules that will halt the binding process, said Reid.

Although not a widely held theory, copper deficiency is blamed for BSE-related diseases by British environmental scientist Mark Purdey, who is on a speaking tour in Canada.

It is also believed to be more prevalent in Alberta districts containing sour gas wells. Reid said copper deficiency causes the same symptoms as deficiencies from trace minerals, such as fetal abnormalities, decreased milk and lameness.

"A copper deficient animal is a sick animal", he said. "Would an animal who is already sick be more susceptible to BSE? Maybe."

I'm getting the feeling that researchers know alot more about BSE than they are telling us. I guess they are busy patenting their discoveries first, before they inform the public.

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