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From: TSS (
Subject: Re: mad cow
Date: August 28, 2004 at 2:39 pm PST

In Reply to: mad cow posted by Ron on August 27, 2004 at 5:56 pm:

Scientific Steering Committee
In its opinion on possible links between BSE and Organophosphates adopted on 25-26 June
1998 and in its opinion on Hypotheses on the origin and transmission of BSE adopted on 29-
30 November 2001 the SSC concluded that there is no scientific evidence in support of the
hypothesis of an OP origin of BSE.
The issue of organophosphate poisoning has not been dealt with by the SSC so far. The
concerns expressed in the enquiries cover mainly intoxication by occupational exposure of
shepherds and farmers to OPs upon use against ecto-parasites, especially in sheep dipping and
treatment of cattle against Warble Fly infestation. Risks from residues are addressed to a
lesser extend.
In early 2003, a large number of additional enquiries on the issue have been addressed to
European Commission’s Health and Consumer Directorate General. Four of these with
substantial enclosures were by one person. Most of them are addressing both issues: chronic
organophosphate (OP) poisoning and the origin of BSE.
Information provided with the enquiries
In addition to numerous newspaper and magazine articles the enclosures to the enquiries
provide the Material Safety Data Sheet on diazinon, the OHSA Occupational Safety and
Health Guideline for Tetraethylpyrophosphate (TEPP), an US agency Hazardous Substances
Fact Sheet on crufomate, company safety information sheets, some correspondence with UK
authorities including their activities to improve safe use of these chemicals. The information
regarding claimed OP chronic poisoning of cases presented does not provide evidence, neither
for OPs being the cause for diseases nor for their exclusion (i.e., “very low” bloodcholinesterase
levels, provided without data or comparison with the normal distribution of
values; successful treatment of a patient for OP clearance without giving any OP data). It
C:\WINNT\Temporary Internet Files\SSC_Last_OP_Final.doc 2
seems however, that due to insufficient, non-prudent use of the safety requirements undue
exposures of shepherds and farmers have occurred.
There is no additional information on the claimed involvement of OPs in the origin of BSE.
This applies for both, the hypotheses on the direct effect of OPs as well as on their
hypothetical role for Cu-deficiency to be involved in the origin of BSE (Cu binding of prion
protein is known). New publications are mentioned in one enquiry but they have not yet been
provided. In an Internet search no recent scientifically valid publications were traceable. The
SSC had been informed that research would be launched on this hypothesis, but no
information has been provided so far on its status or on results.
a) As regards the involvement of organophosphates in the origin of BSE, no new scientific
information providing evidence or supporting the hypothesis by valid data became
available after the adoption of the last opinion of the SSC on this issue. Consequently
there is no reason for modifying the existing opinions.
b) Regarding the possibility of OP poisoning, the European legislation for registration of
plant protection products and veterinary medicines – addressed in the enquiries – provide
the basis for safe use of registered compounds and their formulations. Regarding the
alleged intoxication cases reported and OP exposure it must be concluded that safety
measures may not have been strictly followed.
Brown, D.R., Qin, K., Herms, J.W., Madlung, A., Manson, J., Strome, R., Fraser, P.E., Kruck, T., von
Bohlen, A., Schulz- Schaeffer, W., Giese, A., Westaway, D. and Kretzschmar, H. (1997) The Cellular
Prion Protein Binds Copper In Vivo, Nature, 390, 684-7.
Purdey, M. (2000) Ecosystems Supporting Clusters of Sporadic TSEs Demonstrate Excesses of the Radical-
Generating Divalent Cation Manganese and Deficiencies of Antioxidant Co-Factors Cu, Se, Fe, Zn Medical
Hypotheses, 54, 278-306.
Scientific Steering Committee, 1998. Opinion on possible links between BSE and Organophosphates. Adopted
on 25-26 June 1998
Scientific Steering Committee, 2001. Opinion on Hypotheses on the origin and transmission of BSE. Adopted
on 29-30 November 2001.

transmission studies do not lie, amplification and transmission!!!

1: J Infect Dis 1980 Aug;142(2):205-8

Oral transmission of kuru, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and scrapie to
nonhuman primates.

Gibbs CJ Jr, Amyx HL, Bacote A, Masters CL, Gajdusek DC.

Kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease of humans and scrapie disease of
sheep and goats were transmitted to squirrel monkeys (Saimiri
sciureus) that were exposed to the infectious agents only by their
nonforced consumption of known infectious tissues. The asymptomatic
incubation period in the one monkey exposed to the virus of kuru was
36 months; that in the two monkeys exposed to the virus of
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease was 23 and 27 months, respectively; and
that in the two monkeys exposed to the virus of scrapie was 25 and
32 months, respectively. Careful physical examination of the buccal
cavities of all of the monkeys failed to reveal signs or oral
lesions. One additional monkey similarly exposed to kuru has
remained asymptomatic during the 39 months that it has been under

PMID: 6997404


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