Distrubing Item on Mad Cow Disease

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Item from today's (8/4/00) paper:

"Mad cow disease increases:

London - The number of people contracting the human form of mad cow disease has increased by about 23% a year in Britain since 1994, new research has found.

The findings, published this week in The Lancet medical journal, are part of scientists' efforts to determine the scope of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a fatal brain-wasting disease.

It could lay dormant for 20 years without being detected.

The disease, which experts think comes from eating beef contaminated with the cattle ailment bovine spongiform enceptalopathy, can only be confirmed by examining the brains of victims after they have died."

For other items, apparently scientists really don't know how it is spread. I am becoming far more conservative on this subject.

-- Ken Scharabok (scharabo@aol.com), August 04, 2000


You see.. this is why I keep telling every one to quit eating meat. Thank God I'm a vegetarian.

-- Soni Pitts (thomkilroy@hotmail.com), August 04, 2000.

There are some other theories on how this disease starts and spreads - - I'm not knowledgable enough to discuss them, but am not giving up on eating meat yet! There are a certain number of cases of this type of disease that occur naturally in any animal population, as well as in the human population -- cases have even occurred in vegetarians. There are evidently some cases occurring in the wild deer and elk populations in a couple of states. So it doesn't necessarily come from eating meat. (At least, I've never heard of deer and elk eating meat!) Some of the theories include certain dietary deficiencies -- I believe magnesium was one. And I've seen some research indicating that certain diet changes can help people with alzheimers, and possibly even prevent it -- alzheimer's has some similarities to these TSE's/BSE's that are called mad cow disease, scrapie, Creutxfeldt-Jacob Disease, kuru, and so on. If anybody is interested, I will try to find the references. I do not think that it is wise to feed ground-up carcasses of animals that were presumably slaughtered because they were sick or ancient back to healthy animals just to increase their protein intake. Seems like a lot of things could be spread that way, even if they wouldn't normally be infectious. But in this country it is illegal to include most meat products in animal feed. If you have a real worry, try to raise your own meat, or buy it from someone that you know what they feed their animals.

-- Kathleen Sanderson (stonycft@worldpath.net), August 04, 2000.

Various species of animals seem to have their own form of mad cow disease. Scientists just didn't think it could be transmitted between species. However, I have read, in some areas of Kentucky they eat squirrel brains. There is a much higher incidence of this type of disease in that area. Apparently the disease is only in the brain and spinal cord. What Britian did was to install an inspection system which, at least, tries to ensure all of the spinal cord is cut out before the carcass is split in half.

They are talking about perhaps up to a 20-year incubation period for this. Longer than AIDS. As someone noted on a previous post, the world is so mobile an epidemic at remote point A could spread to the U.S. within a very, very short period of time. Personally, I have been in New Zealand, Pango Pango, San Francisco, Dallas and Dayton, OH within a 24-hour period.

I still haven't sworn off beef. I just treat it as a treat every now and then. Man, oh man, ain't nothing like a bloody steak with lightly cooked onions and taters on the side.

-- Ken S. (scharabo@aol.com), August 04, 2000.

I have heard that BSE in deer and elk comes from their getting into commercial feedlots and eating rations for the cattle there. I'm sorry that I don't remember the source of that tidbit. Not too comforting to us hunters though.

-- marilyn (rainbow@ktis.net), August 04, 2000.

You veggie people aren't so safe. Folks are getting just as sick from the store bought fruits/veggies. Most of our foods come from out of the country where the pesticides that are banned in the U.S. are used over there. Many physicians have also told me that they're putting meat back into their patient's diets due to the unhealthiness of those folks. Due to our construction, the human is not an herbivore; we are omnivores!

-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), August 05, 2000.

Soni, I'm with you. It's a given that anyone anywhere can find "documentation" to support their food choices. I am an herbivore

-- Cathy Horn (hrnofplnty@webtv.net), August 05, 2000.

Soni, I'm with you. It's a given that anyone anywhere can find "documentation" to support their food choices. I am an herbivore. I've done extensive research on the subject; that's my job, and I have very strong feelings about this. I don't get involved in the threads pertaining to politics and/or religion, but I have STRONG opinions about the link between diet and disease. A person who calls himself vegetarian and then makes poor food choices (ie. french fries, twinkies, spaghettios) can not expect glowing health. Everyhing we put in our mouths either adds noureshment or does not. Very simple. If you fuel your body with crap, you'll feel it. I believe we were meant to eat low on the food chain, with little or no processing. Eating whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables is cheap and easy, and locating organicly grown is no longer difficult. Yes, I wash everything I eat, whether I grow it or purchase it. That's just common sense. Kathleen and I disagree on protien consumption, and that's O.K. We need to do what's right for us as individuals. If you offered me eggs from your chicken, and I knew she was happy, healthy and well cared for, I would accept them and eat them and not feel as though I were harming my body. I would never eat eggs from the supermarket. I have a healthy fear of EVERYTHING that comes from the supermarket. I don't eat this way so I will live to be one hundred, but I believe that my risk of heart diesease, cancer and diabetes as lower as a result of not eating meat. One of the most important reasons for my desire to be a homesteader is to have more control over my food. Yes, this mad cow stuff is scary. I read that they think a man contracted it from years of using bonemeal on his roses. "Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." - Albert Einstein

-- Cathy Horn (hrnofplnty@webtv.net), August 05, 2000.

OOPS! Sorry for that accidental double post.

-- Cathy Horn (hrnofplnty@webtv.net), August 05, 2000.

Ken, Where in the world is Carmen Pango Pango? I thought I was pretty good with geography...but I can't find it in my atlas either. Are we talking about the Phillipines maybe? Seems like a likely stop in the route you mentioned. John

-- John in S. IN (jsmengel@hotmail.com), August 05, 2000.

Oops, try Pago Pago.

-- Ken S. (scharabo@aol.com), August 05, 2000.

Mad Cow (BSE), scrapie, kuru and other similar illnesses are caused by prions. Prions are less 'alive' than are viruses (see recent Scientific American articles on this).

Kuru was caused by the practice of eating one's dead relatives' brains after they died (mostly in New Guinea). This transmitted the disease from one person to another. When the practice was stopped, the problem stopped.

You can't kill prions with cooking...

-- Karen Isaacson (karen@terraceweb.com), August 06, 2000.

Appearently you can't kill them, period, at least that's the impression that I got from the show I saw on it. They said that they tried acid, extreme (really extreme) heat and cold, etc. etc. and it did nothing. Nada. This is sorta a protein-like thingy, with no RNA or DNA as far as reproducing goes. It seems to "reproduce" by encouraging okay bits of the brain to become not okay, but the process is unclear, to me anyway. I agree that we are what we eat and I try to grow a lot of it. Speaking of living to 100, Dr. Walford has some ideas about that involving what you eat. His book, "The 120 Year Diet" provides food for thought. (Couldn't resist.) Being a veggie seems safe enough for me, but I hadn't heard about the bone meal. Well, I don't like using animal products for other purposes than eating, either, so that's as good an excuse as any.

-- Soni (thomkilroy@hotmail.com), August 09, 2000.

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