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The Mind of James Donahue

Meat Eaters Beware!














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Mad Cow Disease
Is Spreading Worldwide


The rampant fear generated by the Sept. 11 attacks, the mailed anthrax mystery and media-hyped threat of biological and chemical warfare have temporarily masked the real and looming threat of
Mad Cow Disease.

This insidious killer of both man and beast has not gone away. In fact, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) has been found in livestock in various European countries, Japan and South America. It has become such a problem among the wild herds of elk and deer in the United States that the Colorado Department of Agriculture is in the process of destroying an estimated 1,450 ranch-raised elk near Lakewood. The animals were exposed to the brain wrecking maverick protein believed to cause this disease.

The news reports are careful not to link the affliction in the wild animals, known as chronic wasting disease, with either Mad Cow Disease in cattle or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. In fact, a new
Harvard University report has attempted to prove that CJD and Mad Cow Disease are not related, and American "experts" are going to great lengths to assure hunters that there is no danger from eating contaminated game.

You are a fool if you believe it.

A report in a medical journal published in 2000 said CJD in humans, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, scapies in sheep, and wasting disease in deer and other wild animals, are all linked to the same source. This is found to be radical proteins called
prions. When ingested, prions get into the system and eventually begin destroying brain cells. It is theorized that they cause normal proteins in the brain tissue to change and be like the mutated protein. After enough of these abnormal proteins accumulate, they start killing brain cells. The process can take months and sometimes years. In humans the unset of the disease is thought to sometimes take up to 30 years, but it can also develop within a much shorter time.

The disease gets its technical name, spongiform encephalopathy, because autopsies show that victim's brains are left full of holes and look very much like a sponge.

Because the body has no natural defense mechanisms against the radical protein, the only way to diagnose this disease is by conducting an autopsy after the victim dies. Once you have this prion in your system, there is no cure.

Prions are not living organisms, like viruses or bacteria, so they cannot be killed. Extreme heat from thorough cooking, extensive freezing, radiation and even exposure to bleach and other harsh chemicals will not remove the danger.

The protein is believed passed from one animal to another, animal to human, or human to human through feeding on infected meat or through blood transfusion. To date there is no laboratory test that determines if the blood is infected. Consequently, blood transfusions may be another way the deadly prions are moving from one unsuspecting host to another.

The disease is appearing in livestock all over the world. Yet people are still happily feeding on meat and meat products, content with promises by the United States government and the beef industry that the food is not infected. Hunters are still filling the forests this time of the year, eager to bag their deer, elk or other carcass to supplement the winter food supply.

The meat industry, the stocking of wild game and issuance of hunting and fishing licenses is such a big business in the United States, authorities are going to great lengths to protect it. Even though Mad Cow Disease is clearly present in the United States, and the elk and deer have obviously contracted this killer prion by visiting western farm feedlots and eating contaminated cattle feed laced with ground animal parts, all information about this problem is guardedly worded.

For example, the Secretary of Agriculture issued an emergency declaration on Sept. 26. It warned that wild deer and elk in at least 15 Western and Midwestern states are infected by chronic wasting disease (CWD). The declaration warned hunters to be careful in handling the meat and to report any odd behavior observed in the animals.

"Although there is currently no evidence that CWD is linked to disease in humans, or in domestic animals other than deer and elk, a theoretical risk of such a link exists," the statement said.

It also warned that "BSE's human form, known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), has killed more than 80 people in the United Kingdom and two in Spain. There is no known cure for this deadly disease, or for any of the other diseases caused by TSE's that affect humans or animals."

Under the circumstances, knowing that a lot of money is involved in the meat industry, do we as consumers dare to trust our government's assurances that the meat is safe? It is especially troublesome to me when I see a warning like this inserted within official public statements.

It is my belief that anyone still eating meat is probably already infected.

Death by CJD is a terrible way to go. The first symptoms are forgetfulness, much like Alzheimer's Disease. Then the victim suffers from various forms of insanity, primarily severe schizophrenia, followed by death. The process can be slow.

Several cases of CJD have been reported this year in various parts of the United States, although this fact has not received much public attention. That autopsies are rarely done on the many people who die of Alzheimer's Disease makes me suspicious that some may really be victims of Mad Cow Disease. The only way to know for sure is to look at the brain tissue and see if it is full of sponge-like holes.

Remember that it takes from three to 30 years for the symptoms to appear in humans.
 
I suspect a lot of people are walking around with these deadly prions in their system. It is like a ticking time bomb. For them, quick destruction by bio-terrorism or nuclear attack in this ugly war might be a blessing in disguise.
















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