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Monday, October 24, 2005 

Mad Cows - Mad Humans?

"Flesh was never the best food; but its use is now doubly objectionable, since disease in animals is so rapidly increasing. Those who use flesh foods little know what they are eating. Often if they could see the animals when living and know the quality of the meat they eat, they would turn from it with loathing. People are continually eating flesh that is filled with tuberculous and cancerous germs. Tuberculosis, cancer, and other fatal diseases are thus communicated"
[Ministry of Healing, p. 313].

This was written by Ellen G. White more than a century ago. Although still have to find articles about Tuberculosis and cancer being transmitted by eating meat, let's focus on the last part: "... and other fatal diseases are thus being communicated."

In the mid1980s , 180,000 cattle were killed by a disease diagnosed in 1986 as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) [A brief history of Mad Cow Disease]. The cause of BSE is not certain. Early theories proposed that it was caused by feeding meat and bone meal (MBM), which was made from sheep carcasses which suffered from scrapie and incorporated in cattle feed. Later inquiries failed to prove this connection and suggested that BSE probably originated from a novel source early in the 1970s, possibly a cow or other animal that developed disease as a consequence of a gene mutation and recycled itself within other cattle [The BSE Inquiry].

There were suspicions that the disease could be transmitted to humans and as a precaution European authories destroyed 5 million potentially infected cattle.

In 1996, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), a rare and fatal human neurodegenerative condition was described. Like the classic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), it was characterized by spongy degeneration of the brain. However...

"In contrast to the traditional forms of CJD, vCJD has affected younger patients (average age 29 years, as opposed to 65 years), has a relatively longer duration of illness (median of 14 months as opposed to 4.5 months) and is strongly linked to exposure, probably through food, to a TSE of cattle called Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).

The most likely route of exposure was through bovine-based food, although infectivity is mainly found in the brain and spinal cord of clinically ill animals over two years of age." [WHO: Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease]

The signs & symptoms of the disease:

"Early in the illness, patients usually experience psychiatric symptoms, which most commonly take the form of depression or, less often, a schizophrenia-like psychosis. Unusual sensory symptoms, such as "stickiness" of the skin, have been experienced by half of the cases early in the illness. Neurological signs, including unsteadiness, difficulty walking and involuntary movements, develop as the illness progresses and, by the time of death, patients become completely immobile and mute." [WHO: Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease]

Although there still is no definite conclusion, many governments are not willing to take the risk. Maybe Ellen White's advice makes sense.

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