British Brain Rot in Cattle--Worse than AIDS? 
Author Message
 British Brain Rot in Cattle--Worse than AIDS?

I don't know how widely known this material is, but since I was able to get
it in electronic form, I decided to post it.  These folks were on top of the
AIDS crisis very early, they published about it in February, 1983, BSE
might be even worse.  I can pass email comments back to the author.

From the September, 1989 issue of CRYONICS, published by the Alcor Life
Extension Foundation; 12327 Doherty St.; Riverside, CA 92503: Tel: (714)
736-1703.  Copyright 1989 by Alcor Life Extension Foundation.  May be
distributed in any form provided copyright information is retained.  This
file is approximately 12K long.  

           *                        *                        *  

                               _BSE AND YOU_  
                               by Mike Darwin  

     It started when I was in Britain.  To understand it, you have to
understand the British Press.  To understand the British Press you have
only  to think back to grade school about how and why dirty little scandals
and  rumors propagate through a schoolyard full of children. (I should point
out  that this kind of thing happens in the U.S.; it even happened to Alcor
with  the Dora Kent case, but it just isn't the same as in the U.K.  There it
has  been been raised to a high art and major national pastime).  

     The scandal of the moment was the problem with the eggs.  It seems
one  Member of Parliament by the name of Edwina Curry (promptly
rechristened  *Eggwina* by the British Press) alleged in public that
British eggs were  contaminated with *Salmonella* and that all of Britain
was in danger of  death by dysentery.  The egg scandal grabbed national
attention.   Unfortunately, it was more hype than help.  However,
concurrent with the egg  scandal, another little food-related problem
began to be discussed.  This  one was more serious.  Potentially a lot more

_Mad Cow Disease_  

     It seems cows all over the U.K. were going mad.  Dreadfully, horribly
mad, as their brains were literally turned into a mass of spongy debris.  
The cause of this catastrophe was not unknown: it was Bovine Spongiform
Encephalitis (BSE), which is like Creuzfeld-Jacob disease (CJD), and kuru
(the so-called {*filter*} disease), and the infection called scrapie in sheep.  
We don't know much about these diseases, but what we know isn't good.
They  are slow viruses, so named because the time from infection to the
the time  of onset of the disease can be a decade or even two.  Even calling
these  diseases viruses may be wrong since every attempt to isolate
nucleic acid  (RNA or DNA) molecules, the normal basis of heredity that
contains  programming instructions for making cell (and virus) structures,
has failed.    

     Whatever it is, the infectious agents responsible for scrapie, kuru,  and
now BSE are tough customers; they can withstand standard autoclaving,
freeze-drying, and filtration through 0.1 micron filters (normally 0.2
micron filters are used to sterilize pharmaceuticals such as IV fluids)!  
Consider this; CJD has been transmitted to a chimpanzee from the brain of
a  CJD victim which had been stored at room temperature in
formaldehyde/{*filter*}  solution for seven months (D.C. Gajdusek, et al, *N.
Engl. J. Med.*, *294*,  553, (1976))!  

     The most serious problem about these diseases, however, is that they
may have wide interspecies transmissibility.  And they may even be the
same  disease with differences in presentation being related only to
interspecies  variability.  Scrapie's clinical presentation closely
resembles that of kuru  and it has been suggested that they are in fact the
same disease (W.J.  Hadlow, *Lancet*, *1959 II*, 289, (1959).  Regardless
of whether CJD, kuru,  and scrapie are all really the same disease, *it is
clear that BSE and  scrapie are the same thing*.  And that it is especially
worrisome because  scrapie has been transmitted to a wide variety of
animals other than sheep:  goats, mice, rats, *and, most worrisome, five
species of monkeys* (C.J.  Gibbs and D.C. Gajdusek, *Nature* *236*, 73,
(1972))!  It passes to ewes  from lambs, possibly as a result of
transplacental infection (E.E.  Manuelidis, *Science*, *190*, 571, (1975))
and it can be transmitted to  sheep simply by having them graze in
pastures previously occupied by  infected animals!  

_An Old Enemy_    

         BSE, CJD, kuru and the other slow-virus neurological diseases are
invariably fatal, killing by wholesale destruction of the cerebral cortex
and related central nervous system structures.  A cryonicist entering
suspension secondary to kuru or CJD would likely need a lot of
re-education  on the reanimation end -- starting with the basics -- like
who he was!  In  the case of kuru and scrapie the first symptoms seem to
be cerebellar and  cause motor abnormalities.  In kuru, the first clinical
signs are usually a  shivering-like tremor that progresses to complete
paralysis, dementia, and  death in less than one year.  In CJD the dementia
comes first and the  disease is often mistaken for Alzheimer's.  In all of
these diseases there  is never any remission or pause in progression of the
disease, and they are  *always* fatal.  

     In short, these are not diseases you want to get, cryonicist or not.   So
how did the cows of Britain get it and how can *you* avoid getting it?  
The former is easy to answer, the latter is not.  

     The cows got it by being fed sheep.  Yes, that's right, *sheep*.  In
order to save money, some feed manufacturers began grinding up bone,
connective tissue, and other organ meats which consumers consider
undesirable and adding them to cattle feed (sheep's {*filter*} is also "recycled"
in this way), pet food, pig feed, and chicken feed!  People who raised
concerns about spreading BSE to cows were told that their speculations
were  "remote and theoretical."  This was unconscionable since over 20
years ago  it had been established that mink encepalopathy was a result of
feeding  scrapie-infected sheep meat to mink!   So much for armchair
theorists.   Right now according to the London *Times* (May 19, 1989),
cows in more than  3000 herds have been afflicted with BSE and over 150
cows a week are being  destroyed.  Neuropathologist Dr. Helen Grant of
Charing Cross Hospital in  London (interviewed in the *Times*) says that
the only logical approach in  dealing with the disease is "to assume that
every beef animal is incubating  the disease".    

     No one knows *for sure* whether BSE will be transmissible to humans,
but the indications are strongly that it will.  It has been known for
sometime that people who eat sheep's brains or eyes have a 30- to 40-fold
greater incidence of CJD (D.C. Gajdusek, *Science* *197*, 943, (1977)).
The  histological appearance of CJD, scrapie, and BSE are close: in other
words,  they cause very similar kinds of pathology in all three hosts.  BSE
has  definitely resulted from feeding infected cattle scrapie-infected
sheep  tissue, scrapie is known to have been transmitted to a variety of
primates  by feeding infected brain tissue, and the resultant disease in
these animals  is indistinguishable from experimentally produced CJD in
these species.  


     As an aside, it is probably worth mentioning that there is another
apparently significant risk of CJD: neurosurgery.  A disturbingly large
number of people who have had neurosurgical procedures go on to develop
CJD  (W.B. Mathews, *J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatry*, *38*, 210, (1975))
suggesting that the cause of CJD in these cases was not the underlying
neurological disease, but rather contamination with CJD during the
procedure!  One particularly sad and well documented case was the
development of CJD in two young patients who were recipients of
implanted  electrodes sterilized with formalin/{*filter*} after they had been
used on a  patient with CJD.    

_What It Means_  

     Where does all this leave British, and for that matter, American
cryonicists?  Well as an ovo-lacto-vegetarian I can say "I told you so."  
But I would have to sheepishly(?) add that no one knows for sure that CJD
cannot be transmitted by *dairy products*.  I do not know what cattle
feeding practices are like in the United States, but a call to the Ralston
Purina service center yielded the information that Purina "does not now
and  has never used meat or animal by products in their cattle feed".  The
spokeswoman was also kind enough to read me a complete list of
ingredients  in their cow chow (all safely vegetarian).    

     Of course, some of the beef that enters the U.S.">food chain is from the
U.K., as are some processed products.  But this probably constitutes only a
small fraction of beef consumed by Americans.  In England the situation is
downright scary.  Britishers (and Americans) unfortunately do end up
eating  a lot more cow *brains and eyes* than they think.  Those little
white,  gelatinous flecks in your *breakfast sausage* are very likely what
remains  of the brains of some cow.  And brains aren't used just in
sausages, they  are also used in hot dogs and some luncheon meats!  

     Avoiding meat products and perhaps dairy products from herds that
have  been fed contaminated feed would be one way to eliminate the risk
of  infection (if you're not, in fact, already infected).  In Britain, this may
be a difficult thing to do (short of becoming a vegetarian).  

     There is some speculation that Alzheimer's disease may be caused by a
similar slow "virus" (although repeated attempts at achieving
transmission  to animal hosts have failed) and that life-long vegetarians
do not get the  disease!  It is well established that vegetarians live
approximately seven  years longer than meat eaters with comparable
"other risk" profiles (such as  smoking and {*filter*} intake) and that they
suffer dramatically less  autoimmune and degenerative diseases

read more »

Fri, 19 Mar 1993 05:45:00 GMT
 British Brain Rot in Cattle--Worse than AIDS?

[informative article about an epidemic of Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis (BSE)
 in the UK, relationship between BSE and the sheep disease scrapie, possible
 links to human diseases like Creuzfeld-Jacob disease (CJD) and kuru, warning
 to stay away from products which contain brain and other CNS tissue lest
 they be contaminated]

The warnings about avoiding the products brought something which I learned
over the summer to mind.  A friend's wife who works for a major cosmetic firm
(I can name names, but this probably pertains to most of the cosmetic
industry) says that one of the major ingredients in make-up is SHEEP'S {*filter*}!
She says the purpose is that the sheep's {*filter*} is very similar to human {*filter*}
and so by including it in the make-up, the skin is more likely to accept
the make-up.  (This woman was as disgusted about this as anyone, but she
has to work somewhere).  This is probably prevalent in the cosmetic industry.
Of course, the ingredient label has this ingredient listed in a disguised form,
lest make-up users be disgusted (I have often read the ingredient "hydrolyzed
animal protein" on shampoo bottles and other things and wondered what the
heck it was).  

So you may need to avoid make-up as well as certain">food products.


p.s.  This woman also said that ideally the highest quality make-up would
      be made with HUMAN {*filter*}, which of course is more readily absorbed
      than the sheep's {*filter*}.  Anyone want to open a beauty {*filter*} bank? :^)

disclaimer:  i am an undergraduate math student who doesn't have an advanced
      knowledge of medicine.  also, i can't verify what i stated above beyond
      that the woman is very truthful.  so please, flames on low :^)

matt krizowsky                                                   y?  y !
math student, UNC-Wilmington, Wilmington, NC 28403                    0

Fri, 19 Mar 1993 17:27:00 GMT
 British Brain Rot in Cattle--Worse than AIDS?

Fri, 19 Jun 1992 00:00:00 GMT
 British Brain Rot in Cattle--Worse than AIDS?
[Article on the use of sheep's {*filter*} in cosmetics]

Almost all cosmetic creams from the K-Mart special to Ponds
to Gucci contain basicly the same ingredients; mineral oil,
beeswax, borax, steric acid, glycerin, lanolin, water and perfumes.
In order to command higher prices, some firms will add
"{*filter*}" items, (Ie sheeps {*filter*}), avacado, papaya and other
goodies.  *Most* of which do nothing for skin care and
except for a very few of the basics, not a lot is actually
absorbed into the skin much past a few of the very top
layers, but just sits on top of the dermus until wipped or
washed away.

The use of {*filter*} in cosmetics would be a wasted effort,
unless it were fresh and even then it would not penetrate
the skin.  Dried or processed {*filter*} would pose no threat,
nor would any animal product, unless ingested. (yech!)  I
can't think of any "bugs" that would survive the processing
involved in deriving the final product.

> lest make-up users be disgusted (I have often read the ingredient "hydrolyzed
> animal protein" on shampoo bottles and other things and wondered what the
> heck it was).  

More than likley nothing more than rendered animal fats and/or
lanolin.  (fats + bases) = soap.

> So you may need to avoid make-up as well as certain">food products.

Sorta a drastic step, considering the overall non-lethalness
of cosmetics as a whole.  Not including possible alergic
reactions to the chemicals.

Here  is a "recipes" for those that may be inclined to
want to play with the basic type of cosmetics.  All
ingredients should be FDA approved for topical use.
Check your local library for more formulas.

1/2 cup mineral oil
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon grated beeswax
2/3 of 1/4 teaspoon borax
1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon distilled water
1 teaspoon your favorite perfume (optional)

Measure the oil and beeswax into a medium sized, heat proof
container. Place in a pan, filled with ~1 inch of water.
Bring water to a boil, reduce heat and stir until the
beeswax has melted.  In another container, mix the water and
borax.  Heat the solution until it just comes to a boil.
Slowly add the borax solution into the hot oil, beating with
a wisk until the temperature drops to 140 F.  Add perfume
and continue to beat until fluffy.  Let cool and put in a
container.  Makes ~8 ounces.


AIDS INFORMATION EXCHANGE BBS      (214) 247-2367/247-5609
               "Education is the best weapon"

Fri, 19 Mar 1993 02:54:00 GMT
 [ 4 post ] 

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