Follow Ups | Post Followup | Back to Discussion Board | VegSource
See spam or
inappropriate posts?
Please let us know.

From: TSS (
Subject: Re: TSE (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2004
Date: September 11, 2004 at 7:00 pm PST

In Reply to: TSE (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 posted by TSS on September 9, 2004 at 7:32 am:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: TSE (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2004
Date: Sat, 11 Sep 2004 15:45:31 -0500
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
References: <>

##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################

Greetings list members,

I thought these comments were most disturbing;

> Progress has consistently been hindered by what I can only describe as
> wild goose chases. Government departments should not control basic
> scientific research, especially when it is in the vanguard of scientific
> progress. Perhaps it would be better if they were to admit that they did
> not know the answers and make a point of finding a scientist who does,
> or at least has the expertise to do so.

WE HAVE the same problem in the USA ;



What has happened in USDA goes beyond a process of capture intended to
restrict competition.
Thanks to its political influence, Big Agribusiness has been able to
pack USDA with appointees who
have a background of working in the industry, lobbying for it, or
performing research or other functions
on its behalf. These appointees have helped to implement policies that
undermine the regulatory
mission of USDA in favor of the bottom-line interests of agribusiness.
In other words, public
health and livelihoods are at stake.
To see that agribusiness has packed USDA with its apparent
representatives, one has only to look
at the biographies on the Department’s website of its roughly 45 top
officials, including the Secretary,
Deputy Secretary, Under Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries, Deputy Under
Secretaries, Deputy
Assistant Secretaries and heads of key offices. Many of the biographies
cite previous work with
agribusiness companies and their trade associations, lobbying firms and
research arms, including university
research centers bankrolled by the food industry. Additional research
makes clear that there
are approximately as many industry people among the appointees as there
are career civil servants.
Here are some examples of appointees with past industry ties (unless
otherwise noted, the source for
each affiliation is the individual’s biography on the USDA website):


HARVARD STUDY bought and paid for by your local cattle dealer
(USDA paid Harvard $800,000 for study) there 'gold standard' study
they use as the bible of all BSE studies.

original Risk Assessmen November 26, 2001)

SUPPRESSED PEER review of Harvard study October 31, 2002

Report of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Foreign Animal and
Poultry Diseases

Measures Relating to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
in the United States

February 13, 2004

Concerns Regarding Differing Opinions on Risk

The Subcommittee made many additional recommendations. However, the
Committee cannot adequately resolve the differing BSE risk assessment
presented by the Subcommittee as compared to the assessment by Harvard
University. A major discrepancy exists with the Subcommittee’s
conclusions that BSE continues to circulate, or even amplify, in the US
and North America, when compared with the Harvard risk assessment. The
Committee must have this issue of risk resolved prior to completing its
recommendations to the Secretary. It is imperative that the Secretary
has the best available science and more precise risk assessments in
order to make appropriate regulatory decisions.

Recommendations by the Committee

· Prior to implementing regulatory changes in addition to what USDA
and FDA have already announced, the Committee recommends that
representatives of Harvard University be asked to review the
Subcommittee Report and its findings (Harvard and the Subcommittee
should communicate directly and come to consensus if possible) in light
of the risk model they have previously developed and report back to the
Secretary and this Committee;
· Immediately develop and implement an enhanced national surveillance
program for BSE to increase testing of high risk animals (cattle showing
symptoms of central nervous system disease, non-ambulatory cattle, and
cattle that die on farms); this action will further the scientific
evaluation of risk for BSE in the U.S. and North America;
· Concurrent with an enhanced surveillance for BSE, a comprehensive
system must be implemented to facilitate adequate pathways for dead and
non-ambulatory cattle to allow for collection of samples, and for
proper, safe disposal of carcasses; this must be done to ensure
protection of public health, animal health and the environment; such as
system will require expending federal resources to assist with costs for
sampling, transport and safe disposal;



2 February 2004

Subject: INTERNATIONAL BSE/TSE EXPERT SAYS "We believe that the
infection in North America took place at least 10 years
Date: February 5, 2004 at 9:18 am PST

Mad cow has home on U.S. ranges

International experts say the disease is "indigenous" to North America, and
it will take drastic measures to stop its spread.

Kihm said he thought that infection of the North American herd had begun
before the disease was diagnosed extensively in Britain and linked to
human deaths but that it only recently had spread to detectable levels
in Canada and the United States.

"We believe that the infection in North America took place at least 10
years ago," Kihm said. "You need one cycle before you have a few animals
positive, and you don't see them in the first cycle. You need a second
or a third."

The findings were presented to a USDA subcommittee appointed by Veneman.
Some members expressed frustration.

[PDF] GAO-02-183: Mad Cow Disease: Improvements in the Animal Feed Ban

Summary of the Scientific Report

The European Food Safety Authority and its Scientific Expert Working
Group on the Assessment of the Geographical Bovine Spongiform
Encephalopathy (BSE) Risk (GBR) were asked by the European Commission
(EC) to provide an up-to-date scientific report on the GBR in the United
States of America, i.e. the likelihood of the presence of one or more
cattle being infected with BSE, pre-clinically as well as clinically, in
USA. This scientific report addresses the GBR of USA as assessed in 2004
based on data covering the period 1980-2003.

The BSE agent was probably imported into USA and could have reached
domestic cattle in the middle of the eighties. These cattle imported in
the mid eighties could have been rendered in the late eighties and
therefore led to an internal challenge in the early nineties. It is
possible that imported meat and bone meal (MBM) into the USA reached
domestic cattle and leads to an internal challenge in the early nineties.

A processing risk developed in the late 80s/early 90s when cattle
imports from BSE risk countries were slaughtered or died and were
processed (partly) into feed, together with some imports of MBM. This
risk continued to exist, and grew significantly in the mid 90s when
domestic cattle, infected by imported MBM, reached processing. Given the
low stability of the system, the risk increased over the years with
continued imports of cattle and MBM from BSE risk countries.

EFSA concludes that the current GBR level of USA is III, i.e. it is
likely but not confirmed that domestic cattle are (clinically or
pre-clinically) infected with the BSE-agent. As long as there are no
significant changes in rendering or feeding, the stability remains
extremely/very unstable. Thus, the probability of cattle to be
(pre-clinically or clinically) infected with the BSE-agent persistently


Dave Louthan - Killed the Mad Cow

Senator Michael Machado from California

''USDA does not know what's going on''.

''USDA is protecting the industry''.

''SHOULD the state of California step in''

Stanley Prusiner

''nobody has ever ask us to comment''

''they don't want us to comment''

''they never ask''

i tried to see Venemon, after Candian cow was discovered with BSE.
went to see lyle. after talking with him... absolute ignorance... then
thought i should see Venemon... it was clear his entire policy was to
get cattle boneless beef prods across the border... nothing else
mattered... his aids confirmed this... 5 times i tried to see Venemon,
never worked... eventually met with carl rove the political... he is the
one that arranged meeting with Venemon... just trying to give you a sense
of the distance... healh public safety... was never contacted... yes i
believe that prions are bad to eat and you can die from them...END

Dr. Stan bashing Ann Veneman - 3 minutes

Recall Authority and Mad Cow Disease: Is the Current System Good for

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Choose a RealPlayer video --->
Selected excerpts:

Opening Statement by Senator Michael Machado


July 13, 2004

IG Audit Finds Multiple Flaws in Mad Cow Surveillance Plan
Rep. Waxman raises questions about the effectiveness and credibility of
USDA's response to mad cow disease, citing an audit by the USDA
Inspector General that finds systemic deficiencies in the Department's
surveillance plan and new evidence that USDA misled the public in the
wake of the detection of an infected cow in Washington State.

- Letter to USDA

IG Draft Audit

May 13, 2004

Failure To Test Staggering Cow May Reflect Wider Problems
Rep. Waxman raises concerns that the recent failure of USDA to test an
impaired cow for BSE may not be an isolated incident, citing the failure
of USDA to monitor whether cows condemned for central nervous system
symptoms are actually tested for mad cow disease.

- Letter to USDA



No mad cow results for nearly 500 cows

By Steve Mitchell
United Press International
Published 8/11/2004 11:23 AM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture failed
to test for mad cow disease or collect the correct portion of the brain
on nearly 500 suspect cows over the past two years -- including some in
categories considered most likely to be infected -- according to agency
records obtained by United Press International.

The testing problems mean it may never be known with certainty whether
these animals were infected with the deadly disease. Department
officials said these animals were not included in the agency's final
tally of mad cow tests, but the records, obtained by UPI under the
Freedom of Information Act, indicate at least some of them were counted...



Steve Mitchell is UPI's Medical Correspondent. E-mail
Copyright © 2001-2004 United Press International

EFSA Scientific Report on the Assessment of the Geographical BSE-Risk
(GBR) of the United States of America (USA)

Adopted July 2004 (Question N° EFSA-Q-2003-083)

[20 August 2004]

From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr. []
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2003 1:03 PM
Cc:;; BSE-L
Subject: Docket No. 2003N-0312 Animal Feed Safety System [TSS SUBMISSION
TO DOCKET 2003N-0312]

Greetings FDA,


PLUS, if the USA continues to flagrantly ignore the _documented_ science
to date about the known TSEs in the USA (let alone the undocumented TSEs
in cattle), it is my opinion, every other Country that is dealing with
BSE/TSE should boycott the USA and demand that the SSC reclassify the
USA BSE GBR II risk assessment to BSE/TSE GBR III 'IMMEDIATELY'. for the
SSC to _flounder_ any longer on this issue, should also be regarded with
great suspicion as well. NOT to leave out the OIE and it's terribly
flawed system of disease surveillance. the OIE should make a move on CWD
in the USA, and make a risk assessment on this as a threat to human
health. the OIE should also change the mathematical formula for testing
of disease. this (in my opinion and others) is terribly flawed as well.
to think that a sample survey of 400 or so cattle in a population of 100
million, to think this will find anything, especially after seeing how
many TSE tests it took Italy and other Countries to find 1 case of BSE
(1 million rapid TSE test in less than 2 years, to find 102 BSE cases),
should be proof enough to make drastic changes of this system. the OIE
criteria for BSE Country classification and it's interpretation is very
problematic. a text that is suppose to give guidelines, but is not
understandable, cannot be considered satisfactory. the OIE told me 2
years ago that they were concerned with CWD, but said any changes might
take years. well, two years have come and gone, and no change in
relations with CWD as a human health risk. if we wait for politics and
science to finally make this connection, we very well may die before any
or changes are made. this is not acceptable. we must take the politics
and the industry out of any final decisions of the Scientific community.
this has been the problem from day one with this environmental man made
death sentence. some of you may think i am exaggerating, but you only
have to see it once, you only have to watch a loved one die from this
one time, and you will never forget, OR forgive...yes, i am still very
angry... but the transmission studies DO NOT lie, only the politicians
and the industry do... and they are still lying to this day...TSS

Terry S. Singeltary Sr. P.O. BOX 42 Bacliff, TEXAS USA

Terry S. Singeltary Sr. wrote:

> ######## Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
> #########
> TSE (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2004
> 9.17 p.m.
> Baroness Byford rose to move, That an humble Address be presented to Her
> Majesty praying that the regulations, laid before the House on 18 June,
> be annulled (S.I. 2004/1518) [15th Report from the Merits Committee].
> The noble Baroness said: My Lords, the regulations will have a great
> impact on farmers who breed sheep or keep goats. Concerns have been
> expressed to me over the scientific certainty, or lack of it, on which
> the regulations are based.
> In its response to Defra's consultation on the implementation of the new
> EU-wide controls on scrapie- affected farms, the National Sheep
> Association has stated:
> "The National Sheep Association welcomes the opportunity to
> respond to the [Defra] consultation on the implementation of
> EU-wide controls on scrapie-affected farms".
> The NSA is the leading specialist representative organisation for the
> United Kingdom sheep sector. Its members come from those involved with
> every pedigree sheep bred in this country; indeed, from all the sheep
> breed societies. As the pedigree sector has been the one most affected
> by the various regulations concerned with the eradication of scrapie so
> far, we feel that this makes the NSA response particularly significant
> in the development of the resulting policy. This is in addition to a
> majority of members of the commercial sheep sector. We can therefore say
> with
> 8 Sept 2004 : Column 669
> confidence that our views are truly representative of the entire UK
> sheep sector. I am sure that the Minister will wish to congratulate the
> NSA on the work it has done to date in the eradication of scrapie.
> The NSA appreciates the fact that Defra is consulting on how best to
> implement the new EU regulation and not the regulation itself. However,
> it feels that it is important to reiterate that it has grave concerns
> over the EU regulation that Defra is being obliged to implement. The NSA
> feels that it is an ill-conceived regulation, in general, with measures
> and provisions that are draconian in nature and totally disproportionate
> to the scale of the issue to be dealt with.
> Indeed, the regulation is best described by the commonly used phrase
> "bad law" and, as such, it runs the risk of being regarded as a step too
> far by the many sectors of the sheep industry that may be affected by
> its introduction, as outlined in the consultation. The National Sheep
> Association feels particularly strongly about the measures proposed
> under the restrictions section. The proposals as outlined are very
> severe and, for some businesses which are reliant on the sale of store
> and breeding sheep, it may be that their imposition will result in the
> collapse of such businesses. In addition, the proposals could seriously
> affect the asset value of a farm should the farmer wish to sell his
> property while under restriction.
> However, as previously stated, the National Sheep Association
> appreciates that Defra is obliged to implement the regulation given that
> it has been agreed within the EU and, as such, cannot legally be
> ignored. On this point, the NSA will be constructive in its response, as
> I am sure the Minister will acknowledge that it has been in the past.
> But this is set against the backdrop of its concerns over the regulation
> itself.
> With this in mind, it is worth mentioning that it is not strictly
> correct for Defra to sayas it does in the letter sent out with the
> consultation documentthat key industry representatives are content with
> the proposals. As the NSA, for one, most definitely is not, I ask the
> Minister to comment on who Defra is referring to as "key industry
> representatives" if they do not include the National Sheep Association.
> When the Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee looked at the
> regulations it raised two specific points, on which it wrote to Margaret
> Beckett, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural
> Affairs. Under the heading "Adequacy of measures proposed", paragraph 2
> of the letter states:
> "While the committee accepted the need to ensure implementation of
> European requirements, we were concerned to establish whether the
> Regulations and the controls introduced by them are an adequate
> response to the scale of the problem, given that scrapie has
> occurred for so many years and so widely in sheep in this country.
> We would be grateful if you could comment on your assessment of
> the scale of the occurrence of scrapie in sheep in this country,
> and on how quickly and effectively the approach being followed in
> the Regulations will succeed in eliminating the risks posed by
> scrapie".
> 8 Sept 2004 : Column 670
> The letter then goes on to refer to one or two other matters that I
> should like to highlight. It pointed out that the RIA of 17 June stated
> that 20 responses were received to Defra's consultation on the partial
> RIA and that,
> "most thought that Option 2 as set out in the RIA was the best
> approach; and that a number of concerns were raised about the EU
> regulation which DEFRA continued to pursue with the European
> Commission".
> The letter continues:
> "In addition, your Department provided us with a copy of DEFRA's
> summary of responses to the consultation exercise. We were struck
> by the difference in tone, if not the substance, of that summary
> from the statement in the RIA".
> The summary referred to a universal feeling that the regulation is
> draconian and disproportionate in its effect compared with the risk with
> which it deals. It acknowledges that the science on which it is based is
> questioned. It states that,
> "the introduction of the compulsory [scheme] is resented".
> The chairman of the committee said that it felt that the RIA statement
> on the consultation responses appeared to understate significantly the
> strength of concern among respondents.
> I shall not read the rest of the letter, but it is important that your
> Lordships are aware of the serious concerns felt in the farming
> community.
> In her response, Margaret Beckett stated that they realised that most
> scrapie cases are not reported so that the scale of the problem is
> significantly larger than the 230 cases confirmed in sheep in England in
> 2003. If this is the case, how many flocks does the department estimate
> to be infected, or is this still a totally unknown number?
> In 1999, SEAC recommended the introduction of a breeding programme to
> eradicate scrapie from the sheep population in view of the theoretical
> possibility that sheep could have contracted BSE which was being masked
> by scrapie. How many projects have begun since 1999 to prove this
> theoretical possibility, how much has that cost to date and, more
> importantly, has any evidence been established to confirm this possible
> theory?
> Will the Minister accept that the longer this theoretical possibility
> continues to be unproven, it is reasonable to conclude that a link is
> not established. In that case, should we really be approving a
> regulation which has measures and provisions that are draconian in
> nature and disproportionate?
> This morning the Prime Minister again reinforced his Government's
> commitment to legislating on the basis of scientific proof. But these
> regulations are based on scientific uncertainty. Can the Minister
> explain the discrepancy? Furthermore, when the regulations were
> considered at drafting stage, were these issues raised, and did Her
> Majesty's Government agree with the drafting?
> I understand that over the past few years, Defra has carried out a large
> survey of sheep testing. This year, for the first time, the number of
> animals tested has decreased from 60,000 a year to 10,000. Can the
> Minister tell me why?
> 8 Sept 2004 : Column 671
> Does the Minister recognise the success of the voluntary scheme
> established under the voluntary scrapie flocks scheme, which has more
> than 100 applications already? Does she care that these restrictive
> regulations may well result in a fall in the number of scrapie cases
> reported? I understand that the Government will monitor the situation
> closely and if they find that reporting decreases significantly, they
> will take it up with the European Commission. Over what time period will
> that monitoring take place? What response do the Government expect from
> the commission?
> I raise these concerns because this will be very costly for the
> Government. I noticed that in yesterday's Hansard, a Written Answer in
> response to my noble friend Lord Marlesford showed that bovine TB has
> cost the taxpayer some £38 million this year alone. These are huge
> figures and we need to be very sure of our ground when we are committing
> ourselves to additional costs. At the moment, we have no idea what the
> costs might be. What is the estimated cost of slaughter and how much
> will the implementation, controls and monitoring cost? Is the true cost
> proportional to the risk when one considers that the Government refuse
> to ban smoking? That is not a light, throwaway question. It puts into
> context the whole question of this regulation. I beg to move.
> Moved, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty praying that
> the regulations, laid before the House on 18 June, be annulled (S.I.
> 2004/1518) [15th Report from the Merits Committee].(Baroness Byford.)
> The Countess of Mar: My Lords, I am very sorry that the noble Lord, Lord
> Whitty, is not able to be with us tonight and I hope that we shall soon
> hear him in good voice before the House. I am sure that I carry the
> wishes of other noble Lords when I say that.
> I am sure that the Minister and other noble Lords taking part in this
> debate will recall my objections to the TSE (England) Regulations 2002,
> which we debated in May 2002. They will not be surprised that I am very
> grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Byford, for allowing me to return
> to the fray this evening. I declare my interest as the wife of a sheep
> and goat farmer. As well as being a goat cheese-maker, I take an active
> part in our livestock management.
> I was astonished to read in the regulations that goats are to be dealt
> with far more harshly than sheep. In the Explanatory Memorandum is the
> statement:
> "Goats are also susceptible to scrapie and scientific advice is
> that goat herds would also pose a public health risk if BSE were
> to be found in sheep".
> May I ask the Minister exactly what is the scientific evidence upon
> which this scientific advice is based? Who is providing the scientific
> advice upon which these statements are made? Poor old goatswith no
> specific genotypes and little information available, it seems easier to
> kill them all. What an odd approach. Was it dreamt up because scrapie is
> so much rarer in goats than sheep, so slaughter should eliminate the
> 8 Sept 2004 : Column 672
> disease, or was it that, because it is so rare, the possibility that a
> whole herd would have to be despatched is remote? I would hope that it
> is the latter.
> It has already been noted that the incidence of scrapie in the sheep
> flock is probably under-reported. I suspect that this is simply because
> it is accepted that sheep out on the moors and hills die from a number
> of causes. Their carcasses are often eaten by foxes and other scavengers
> before the shepherd finds them. It is the nature of modern shepherding
> that the flocks are not constantly watched over. Such is the
> relationship of most of the goat keepers that I know with their animals
> that a vet would be called to attend any really sick animal. Three
> reported cases in eight years is likely to be an accurate reflection of
> the incidence in the national goat herd. It would also appear to
> indicate that the goat to goat transmission rate is low. If this is the
> case, what on earth would be achieved by slaughtering the whole herd?
> Although I recognise that the Minister will say that this amendment to
> the 2002 regulations is to provide,
> "powers for the enforcement of EU legislation introducing controls
> on farms that have had a confirmed case of scrapie",
> it still seems extraordinary that all the plans and regulations relating
> to TSEs and particularly to scrapie are based upon an hypothesis that
> has become an assumption that it is a rogue isoform of PrP that causes
> TSEs.
> Humans have lived with scrapie for at least 250 years and there has been
> no evidence that scrapie has ever been transmitted to humans, although I
> accept that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. The
> conclusion that a single strain of the agent which causes BSE is more
> easily transmissible between species than previously known strains and
> may therefore be present in sheep still remains unsupported by critical
> scientific evidence.
> I will repeat my concerns that, by requiring the slaughter of sheep of
> particular genotypes we will be depleting the gene pool in our sheep
> flock. We may well be laying the animals open to epidemics of TSEs other
> than those of which we have current knowledge, or, worse still, to some
> other highly infectious diseases to which the national flock is at
> present resistant. Why are not the sensible measures already in force
> sufficient? We are already required to minimise the routine spread of
> these not particularly infectious agents.
> I note that the Explanatory Memorandum to this regulation frequently
> uses the terms "TSE resistant" and "resistant genotypes". Unless and
> until there is an adequately comprehensive list of the TSE strains
> tested and it can be shown that they can survive passage between
> animals, these terms are not appropriate. When the real molecular nature
> of the agent that causes TSEs is known, it may be possible to employ
> these terms.
> Should we not be dealing with facts rather than the assumptions? I may
> be criticised for suggesting that we fly in the face of the
> precautionary principle in this instance, when I have fought long and
> hard for it to be exercised in the case of exposure of humans to toxic
> 8 Sept 2004 : Column 673
> chemicals. I would respond by saying that there is a clear correlation
> between, for example, organophosphate exposure and ill health, while
> there is not one between naturally occurring BSE in sheep and goats and
> variant CJD in humans. I would argue that there is a place for
> proportionality.
> The statement that TSEs are caused by a so-called "rogue protein"a
> misshapen version of a host protein known as PrPhas never been proven.
> The infective PrP has never been synthesised de novo. There is, I
> understand, substantial evidence to show that this protein becomes
> misshapen by infection, rather than that it is the cause of the
> infection, with the causal molecule not proven. That means that the
> majority of the current laboratory work is uncertain in its direct
> relevance to the infective nature of TSEs.
> There has been very little research to establish the reason why BSE was
> able to infect some humans across the species barrier from cattle. We
> need to know whether the pressure was exerted by the massive scale of
> the human exposure to infected beef products during the BSE epidemic or
> whether the cattle strain of BSE, dose for dose, is more easily
> transmitted to humans than current strains of scrapie or other TSEs. If
> the former is the case, the risk is well controlled. It is only if the
> latter is correct that the rigorous precautionary principles now being
> implemented are needed, as there is a much more serious risk when there
> is no species barrier, such as in human blood transfusion. May I ask the
> Minister whether it is the Government's intention that such research
> should be conducted? If she says no, then I would suggest that we should
> leave our sheep and goats to get on with their lives and save the
> taxpayer a small fortune.
> I note that the Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1915/2003 requires
> thorough cleaning and disinfection of all animal housing on the premises
> following destocking and before restocking. In view of the fact that we
> know that total destruction of the infected material in a hospital
> setting is almost impossible, will the Minister please tell the House
> how effective disinfection of rambling farm buildings will be achieved?
> What about grazing land upon which infected animals may have defecated
> or left foetal remains? What advice has she received on these matters?
> It really is time that we seriously questioned the quality of scientific
> advice that Ministers are receiving. I have said this from time to time
> over a great many years. We are repeatedly told that the scientific
> committees are independent. Experience has taught me that it might be
> true that they are independent of government but, I would suggest, they
> are not independent of Whitehall or some of the other organisations with
> whom the mandarins have close association. Too often, busy experts from
> fields unconnected with the subject under consideration have been
> expected to make recommendations which are outside their competence. It
> is not their fault; they do their best within their limitations.
> Unfortunately, I believe that this system has led to an intellectual
> corruption of science.
> 8 Sept 2004 : Column 674
> TSE, and particularly BSE, research has been corrupted by the publicity
> that has been generated, first by those dreadful pictures of Daisy the
> cow, and then the discovery that humans could suffer from a similar
> awful disease. Instead of going to the centres of existing knowledgeto
> the people who had some understanding of the subject after working for
> years on scrapiethe MAFF and Defra career civil servants, through the
> funding agencies and the advisory committees, diverted research funding
> to organisations that subsequently proved their incompetence very
> publicly.
> Progress has consistently been hindered by what I can only describe as
> wild goose chases. Government departments should not control basic
> scientific research, especially when it is in the vanguard of scientific
> progress. Perhaps it would be better if they were to admit that they did
> not know the answers and make a point of finding a scientist who does,
> or at least has the expertise to do so.
> Will the Minister kindly tell the House what means are used to test the
> competence of the expert advice that Ministers receive? May I suggest,
> as it seems unlikely that anyone in government will take an executive
> decision to review the quality of scientific advice offered to all
> Ministers, that there should be a committee set up to discuss the
> matter? Defra is very good at setting up committees and discussing
> matters. It does not get anywhere but it does discuss them.
> At the risk of being boringly repetitive the facts are that there is no
> historical evidence of BSE in sheep. There is no current evidence of BSE
> in sheep. If sheep ever were infected from eating feed contaminated by
> BSE-infected meat and bone meal taken out of the food chain before any
> current commercial sheep were born, the possibility of ever finding BSE
> in sheep must surely be diminishing rather than increasing. What are we
> doing implementing this regulation?
>> Humans have lived with scrapie for at least 250 years and there has
>> been no evidence that scrapie has ever been transmitted to humans,
>> although I accept that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
>> The conclusion that a single strain of the agent which causes BSE is
>> more easily transmissible between species than previously known
>> strains and may therefore be present in sheep still remains
>> unsupported by critical scientific evidence.
> Adaptation of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy agent to primates
> and comparison with Creutzfeldt- Jakob disease: Implications for
> human health
> THE findings from Corinne Ida Lasmézas*, [dagger] , Jean-Guy Fournier*,
> Virginie Nouvel*,
> Hermann Boe*, Domíníque Marcé*, François Lamoury*, Nicolas Kopp [Dagger
> ] , Jean-Jacques Hauw§, James Ironside¶, Moira Bruce [||] , Dominique
> Dormont*, and Jean-Philippe Deslys* et al, that The agent responsible
> for French iatrogenic growth hormone-linked CJD taken as a control is
> very different from vCJD but is similar to that found in one case of
> sporadic CJD and one _sheep scrapie isolate_;
> ISSUED 13/05/1999
> CWD to CJD in humans (why not?), as easy as BSE/Scrapie;
> The EMBO Journal, Vol. 19, No. 17 pp. 4425-4430, 2000
> © European Molecular Biology Organization
> Evidence of a molecular barrier limiting
> susceptibility of humans, cattle and sheep to
> chronic wasting disease
> G.J. Raymond1, A. Bossers2, L.D. Raymond1, K.I. O?Rourke3,
> L.E. McHolland4, P.K. Bryant III4, M.W. Miller5, E.S. Williams6, M.
> Smits2
> and B. Caughey1,7
> 1NIAID/NIH Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Hamilton, MT 59840,
> 3USDA/ARS/ADRU, Pullman, WA 99164-7030, 4USDA/ARS/ABADRL,
> Laramie, WY 82071, 5Colorado Division of Wildlife, Wildlife Research
> Center, Fort Collins, CO 80526-2097, 6Department of Veterinary Sciences,
> University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82070, USA and 2ID-Lelystad,
> Institute for Animal Science and Health, Lelystad, The Netherlands
> 7Corresponding author e-mail: Received June 7, 2000;
> revised July 3, 2000; accepted July 5, 2000.
> Abstract
> Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible
> spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) of deer and elk,
> and little is known about its transmissibility to other
> species. An important factor controlling
> interspecies TSE susceptibility is prion protein (PrP)
> homology between the source and recipient
> species/genotypes. Furthermore, the efficiency with which
> the protease-resistant PrP (PrP-res) of one
> species induces the in vitro conversion of the normal PrP
> (PrP-sen) of another species to the
> protease-resistant state correlates with the cross-species
> transmissibility of TSE agents. Here we
> show that the CWD-associated PrP-res (PrPCWD) of cervids
> readily induces the conversion of recombinant cervid PrP-sen
> molecules to the protease-resistant state in accordance
> with the known transmissibility of CWD between cervids. In contrast,
> PrPCWD-induced conversions of human and bovine PrP-sen were
> much less efficient, and conversion of ovine PrP-sen was
> intermediate. These results demonstrate a barrier at the
> molecular level that should limit the susceptibility of these non-cervid
> species to CWD.
> snip...
> Clearly, it is premature to draw firm conclusions about CWD
> passing naturally into humans, cattle and sheep, but the present
> results suggest that CWD transmissions to humans would be as
> limited by PrP incompatibility as transmissions of BSE or sheep
> scrapie to humans. Although there is no evidence that sheep
> scrapie has affected humans, it is likely that BSE has caused variant
> CJD in 74 people (definite and probable variant CJD cases to
> date according to the UK CJD Surveillance Unit). Given the
> presumably large number of people exposed to BSE infectivity,
> the susceptibility of humans may still be very low compared with
> cattle, which would be consistent with the relatively inefficient
> conversion of human PrP-sen by PrPBSE. Nonetheless, since
> humans have apparently been infected by BSE, it would seem prudent
> to take reasonable measures to limit exposure of humans
> (as well as sheep and cattle) to CWD infectivity as has been
> recommended for other animal TSEs.
> snip...
> Scrapie to Humans USA?
> Transmission of prion diseases by blood transfusion
> Nora Hunter,1 James Foster,1 Angela Chong,1 Sandra McCutcheon,2 David
> Parnham,1 Samantha Eaton,1 Calum MacKenzie1 and Fiona Houston2
> Also, at paragraph 17, it is noted that BSE had transmitted to the NPU
> negative line sheep (please not that as at January 1996, only one of six
> challenged sheep was clinically affected after oral challenge, four
> others have since died, and one remains alive. Following intracerebral
> challenge, three out of six were clinically affected, two confirmed only
> on pathology, while one was negative.)
> 4. Meeting 16, on 26/1/94 - the update on research (16/5) confirmed that
> BSE had been transmitted to sheep, and that there was clinical evidence
> of transmission to mice from the spleen of the affected sheep.
> snip...
> Personal $ Confidential -- Addressee only TO ALL MEMBERS OF SEAC
> a) Summary of transmission studies. b) Update
> The only circumstance in which infection with the natural isolate
> produces an higher incidence of disease compared to BSE, is in
> intracerebrally (and possibly orally) challenged ''positive'' line
> sheep. Notwithstanding the possibility of indigenous natural scrapie in
> some of these sheep, there are still sufficient numbers of transmission
> cases with PrP genotypes which preclude the natural disease developing
> i.e. those typed as VA136/RR154/QR171.
> As an extension to this study, it has been possible to recover BSE by
> passage in mice from brain and spleen taken from ''negative'' line sheep
> infected with BSAE by ic and oral challenge (Foster and others 1996).
> The close similarity of incubation periods and pathology from the
> passage of these tissues in mice to those seen in direct BSE
> transmission studies from cattle to mice suggests that passaging BSE in
> sheep does not alter its bilogical properties (Bruce and others 1994).
> IN FACT, because it has been possible to isolate BSE infectivity from
> ovine spleens, when this proved impossible from the spleens of naturally
> infected BSE cows (Fraser and Foster 1993), experimentally-induced BSE
> in sheep appears to behave more like the natural disease of
> scrapie.Whether this putative similarity to natural scrapie extends to
> the possibility of maternal transmission of experimentally-induced BSE
> in sheep, has till to be elucidated...
> we have found a link between BSE and CH1641, a C-group of scrapie.
> Disease susceptibility of sheep to these isolates is associated with
> different PrP genotypes compared to SSBP/1 scrapie...
> Transmission of BSE in sheep, goats and mice.
> snip...
> BSE has been transmitted in two lines of genetically selected sheep
> (differeing in their susceptibilities to the SSBP/1 source of scrapie),
> and to goats by intracerebral injection AND BY ORAL DOSING.
> snip...
> Also, intermediate passage of BSE in sheep or goats did not alter these
> primary transmission properties. Hamsters were susceptible to BSE only
> after intervening passage through mice...
> Perceptions of unconventional slow virus in the USA
> 3. Prof. A Robertson gave a brief account of BSE. The US approach was to
> accord it a very low profile indeed. Dr. A Thiermann showed the picture
> in the ''Independent'' with cattle being incinerated and thought this
> was a fantical incident to be avoided in the USA AT ALL COSTS. BSE was
> not reported in the USA...........(some good data on CWD)
> > avoided in the USA AT ALL COSTS
> and indeed they have and it continues today...TSS
> 1: Cent Eur J Public Health 2003 Mar;11(1):19-22
> Analysis of unusual accumulation of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease cases
> in Orava and Liptov regions (northern Slovak focus) 1983-2000.
> Mad'ar R, Maslenova D, Ranostajova K, Straka S, Baska T.
> Institute of Epidemiology, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius
> University, Sklabinska 26, Martin, 037 53 Slovakia.
> While familial cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are extremely rare
> all over the world, 3 familial clusters were observed between
> 1983-2000 in a relatively small area situated in the North of
> Slovakia. Prevalence of CJD in this area exceeded the overall
> prevalence in Slovakia more than 8 times. The majority of CJD
> patients admitted consuming sheep brain. Most patients lived in
> small secluded villages with rather common familial intermarriage.
> CJD affected both sexes equally. All patients were prior to the
> disease mentally normal individuals. Shortly after the onset of CJD
> their mental status deteriorated remarkably with an average survival
> rate of 3.6 months.
> PMID: 12690798
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 1: Eur J Epidemiol 1991 Sep;7(5):520-3
> "Clusters" of CJD in Slovakia: the first laboratory evidence of scrapie.
> Mitrova E, Huncaga S, Hocman G, Nyitrayova O, Tatara M.
> Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine, Bratislava.
> Epidemic-like occurrence of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease was observed in
> 1987 in Slovakia (Orava). Search for the cause of CJD focus indicated a
> coincidence of genetic and environmental risks in clustering patients.
> Since Spongiform Encephalopathies might be transmitted orally, (Bovine
> Spongiform Encephalopathy), the possibility of zoonotic source of CJD
> cases in Orava was also considered. A deficient knowledge about the
> occurrence of scrapie in Slovakia stimulated an examination of sheep
> with signs of CNS disorders in two flocks of Valasky breed in Orava. In
> one flock, neurohistopathological examination revealed in sheep brains
> lesions characteristic for scrapie. Frozen brain tissue of these animals
> were used for the detection of scrapie associated fibrils. They were
> found in 2 animals from the same flock. This is the first laboratory
> confirmation of scrapie in Czecho-Slovakia. The possible epidemiological
> and economical implications are emphasized.
> TSE in Sheep Contingency Planning Assessment of Risk due to BSE
> Infectivity from Disposal of Sheep A report for DEFRA November 2001
> #########
> ##########

################# #################

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup

E-mail: (optional)


Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL: