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wildest theory I have heard so far

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Feb 13, 2005
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Feeding human remains to cows may have triggered BSE outbreak, scientists say (HEALTH-Origins-of-BSE)
The Canadian Press Sep 01 18:51 EST


TORONTO (CP) _ A leading medical journal has published a disturbing theory on the origins of mad cow disease, suggesting it may have developed because human remains from the Indian subcontinent were mixed into cattle feed in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s.

The authors say the practice may still be taking place elsewhere, adding it is important to discover whether other countries are importing animal byproducts contaminated with human remains that are destined for feed mills.

Canada's leading expert on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies _ as mad cow and its sister diseases are called _ says the unsettling hypothesis may be accurate.

``All I can say at this point is it's plausible. It's not out to lunch,'' Dr. Neil Cashman said Thursday from Vancouver, where he teaches in the department of neurology at the University of British Columbia.

``But it's also not clear whether this hypothesis is true or even if this hypothesis can be tested.''

A Canadian government spokesperson said there is no evidence animal byproducts containing human remains would have found their way to this country.

``We know that we never imported bovine material _ meat and bone meal _ from that part of the world (the Indian subcontinent),'' said Alain Charette, media relations officer with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. ``We don't have trade channels open with them because of the animal diseases they have.''

Charette said the agency checked import records dating back to 1980 _ the earliest available _ looking to see if meat and bone meal was imported from Britain. ``We have no indication it ever came in the country. The only country we trade with on meat and bone meal is the United States.''

It had previously been thought that the brain-wasting mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, passed to cattle through remains of sheep infected with scrapie _ the sheep equivalent of BSE _ that were added to cattle feed.

The once widely held theory continued that humans who ate infected beef developed a human form of BSE. It became known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or vCJD, to differentiate it from the classic human forms of the disease, which can occur sporadically or run in families.

But a team of British authors suggests a reverse scenario: the remains of humans infected with classic CJD were fed to cattle, which became ill with a bovine version of the human disease. The remains of those cattle would have been rendered and mixed into new batches of feed, infecting more animals. Eventually a new version of the disease passed back into humans and was dubbed vCJD.

The first case of BSE was identified in 1986 in Britain. The first human case of vCJD was diagnosed in 1995, also in that country. Britain has borne the brunt of the vCJD epidemic, with more than 150 human cases.

Authors Alan Colchester, from the institute of medicine at the University of Kent, and Nancy Colchester, from the college of medicine and veterinary medicine at the University of Edinburgh, admitted their hypothesis is based on a compilation of circumstantial evidence.

``We do not claim that our theory is proved, but it unquestionably warrants further investigation,'' they wrote. (Alan Colchester, the designated spokesman for the team, was not immediately available for comment Thursday.)

They disputed the scrapie theory by noting that scrapie prions _ the highly infectious misfolded proteins that cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies _ would have been in the cattle feed chain for decades before BSE arose.

Scrapie has been endemic in Britain for more than 200 years and sheep remains have been fed to cattle there for at least 70 years.

As well, cattle which are experimentally infected with scrapie develop a disease, but it is markedly distinct from BSE. Cashman agreed that for these reasons, many authorities have retreated from the scrapie theory.

The Colchesters noted that hundreds of thousands of tonnes of mammalian remains _ whole and crushed bones and carcass parts _ were imported to Britain for use in fertilizer and animal feed during the 1960s and '70s. Nearly 50 per cent was from the countries of the Indian subcontinent.

``In India and Pakistan, gathering large bones and carcasses from the land and from rivers has long been an important local trade for peasants,'' they pointed out.

``Collectors encounter considerable quantities of human as well as animal remains as a result of religious customs.''

Hindu doctrine instructs that bodies should be cremated and the remains deposited in a river, preferably the legendary Ganges. But because of the cost of a full cremation, many corpses are partially burned, then deposited in a river.

``It stands to reason that somebody scavenging material _ animal material _ from the Ganges or the banks of the Ganges occasionally, accidentally or deliberately, would include human remains in their collections,'' Cashman said.

``In general, they're animal carcasses. But human remains find their way into these rendering batches.''

He believes the authors are justified in their concern that the practice of using human remains in animal feed may be ongoing.

``It's prohibited but it's likely it still occurs.''

The authors of the paper noted that in 2004 a group of volunteers working to reduce pollution in the Ganges retrieved 60 human corpses from its waters in two days over a 10-kilometre stretch of the river.

Based on standard rates of CJD infection _ about one person in 10,000, Cashman said _ the authors speculate that a portion of the human remains that made their way into animal feed in Britain would have contained prion-laden tissue.

``This is also not crazy. It's also plausible,'' Cashman said.

Two neurologists from India's National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bangalore challenged the hypothesis in a commentary which accompanied the article, arguing that it's not clear that prions would retain their infectivity in putrified human remains.

Susarla Shankar and P. Satishchandra also argued that any infectious material would have been heavily diluted, first by the other remains, then by the other ingredients of the animal feed.

``Scientists must proceed cautiously when hypothesizing about a disease that has such wide geographic, cultural and religious implications,'' they warned.

``Facts to support or refute their hypothesis now need to be gathered with urgency and great care.''

But Cashman wondered if there was any way to prove or disprove the theory, noting it might require feeding infected human brain material to cattle _ an experiment the public might not tolerate.

``That is the experiment from hell,'' he said.

``Can you imagine what kind of public response there would be if you or I started an experiment where we were feeding human brains to cattle? It's like Frankenstein.''
Check back at some of Dr. Randkinstiens posts. I said it could have bin human remains a while back! :shock: :p :shock:
rkaiser said:
Check back at some of Dr. Randkinstiens posts. I said it could have bin human remains a while back! :shock: :p :shock:

Is this pronounced "RandkinSTEEN" or "RandkinSTINE"? That's funny Randy :lol: :lol: :lol:

You couldn't have proposed the human remains thing Randy because of the "Feed Transmission" question. :wink: :wink: :???:
reader (the Second) said:
As one of the Indian scientists said -- then why is there no epidemic of BSE in India?

What is the percentage of the population of India that eats beef? Pardon my lacking education in geography/religion, but isn't India one of the nations where cattle are worshipped and not eaten? Doesn't it then seem strange that their bones, let alone those of people, would be ground up to be fed to other cattle?

Mike -
You couldn't have proposed the human remains thing Randy because of the "Feed Transmission" question.

Ya wull, that was when we were talkin about cows eatin cows. Cows eatin humans, not that't a different matter. Had a bull try to eat me jist this morning. How many of your cows would like to take a bite out of you Mike, if they knew what you had planned for them?

I think I would switch my position on transmission if this reverse story were true. Just think how many cowboys would pack it in if they found out it's all about cows actually turning into human eaters.
Randy, had a bull that wished to steam roll me, while I was on the quad, yesterday. We tricked him by moaning like another bull in the other pen; then put the dog on him.

As for the article above, it appears as though the old theory is starting to fall out of favour, or should I say flavour!

I spoke with Dr. Claudio Soto on Rutherfords talk show a couple days ago. To bad I wasn't prepared for the chat. Soto's protein cyclical (PMCA) amplification (BSE/CJD) blood test is using sonication (sound waves) to create crystals - makes the rogue metals form crystals and keep their shape. The healthy portions of prions (building blocks) with metals attached - that metal being copper - do not form crystals that hold their shape. PrPres reverts quickly to PrPC.

It sure seems like Mark Purdey had this part right. Now R2, how do we get this tested in the lab using live animals, different metals, sonic booms, and various other sound frequencies?

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