BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy), or Mad Cow Disease, and its human form, nvCJD (New Variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease), are incurable brain
disorders. Holes appear in victims' brains, then they become demented and die. The diseases are not caused by a virus or a bacterium, but by a
mysterious type of twisted protein, known as a "prion". The prion can propagate itself by causing other proteins to twist into the same shape.
Prions can be passed on by eating the flesh of another animal, and are resistant to cooking and digestion.
A theory about how prions are formed suggests that organophosphate pesticides could be partly to blame. Two people have already died defending this
theory, apparently at the hands of professional assassins working either for the British government or the chemical industry. So the theory needs to
be taken seriously.
BSE first appeared in the UK in 1985. Since then, the disease has affected half of the cow herds in the country. New Variant CJD also first appeared
in the UK, ten years later: to date, around 90 people have died from it. Both BSE and CDJ are beginning to spread throughout the rest of Europe;
today, 30 European countries have had exports of their cattle banned. The diseases have the potential to destroy the entire European cattle industry,
and kill thousands of people. The death toll from nvCJD is increasing by 35% per year, and the disease has a gestation period of twenty years. Some
projections suggest that hundreds of thousands of people could eventually die from it.
Given the huge amount at stake, one might expect that any credible theory would be welcomed. Yet Mark Purdey, a British farmer from Somerset, has
suffered constant harassment and has had to support his research from his own pocket. Purdey has a theory which might explain the mystery of why BSE
and new variant nvCJD started in the UK, and why they are so much more serious there. However, since he went public with his ideas, some rather
unfortunate things have happened:
I really don't know enough about chemistry to comment on this, is there anyone here who does and confirm or deny this guys theory?
If it does turn out to be true then once again it is the government who are responsible for this, and actually FORCING farmers to use these chemicals
is very strange if they knew they were dangerous.
Could it be a way to cut down on the population? Are there any other reasons?
[Edited on 4-1-2004 by John Nada]