BSE and CJD
lenin at dircon.co.uk
Mon Mar 25 17:35:28 EST 1996
In article <4iptm2$1d0 at clus2.ulcc.ac.uk>, dcurtis at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk says...
>So, who's got an opinion on the relationship between CJD and BSE?
>Till today, the mainstream British scientific opinion has been that
>there could possibly be a relationship but on balance one couldn't say
>one way or the other. The British Medical Journal recently published a
>number of opinions and it was clear there was no consensus, nor a
>basis for one. However suddenly today we hear that ten cases of CJD
>were "probably" related to BSE. If there can be an aetiological
>relationship then that's pretty important - one scientist was
>presenting the view that these would be cases from right the start of
>the BSE epidemic, when very few cows were infected. He said there
>could be as many as a million cases, which I suppose is theoretically
>possible but sounds pretty unlikely to me. Are we seeing the start of
>a major epidemic (pandemic?)? The AIDS of the next millenium?
Did you see any articles in the British press of Sunday 24 March ? I read
the Observer article. Amongst its contentious claims was one that
scientists had been pressured or forced to drop BSE research or prevented
from joining prestigious teams by the Ministry of Agriculture, fisheries
& Foods. One such scientist has painted a worst-case scenario of 500,000
(half a million) cases per year in 10 years from now.
Also it alleges that the 'legally enforced' practice of cutting out the
brain and spinal column of cattle in abattoirs is extremely haphazard,
given that it is done with high-speed hand saws, which cause debris to
fly at random; and that the saws are not sterilised at all from one
carcase to the next.
Further, it lists the range of everyday products in which there are beef
offal residues, including gelatine (from bones), tallow (in candles &
The upshot of this (I suppose) is that even if the muscle tissue cannot
itself carry the infective agent, then usual slaughtering practices mean
that infection may still be introducedf into such tissue.
lenin at dircon.co.uk
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