Sunday, January 15, 2017

US lifts French beef MAD COW BSE import embargo, France says… LOL!

US lifts French beef MAD COW BSE import embargo, France says… LOL!

January 14, 2017

US lifts French beef import embargo, France says

US authorities have lifted an embargo on French beef imports after 19 years, the French agriculture ministry said Friday.

France is the fourth EU country to have its beef re-admitted to the US market after a 1998 ban imposed because of fears over bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease.

The others are Ireland, Lithuania and the Netherlands.

The EU Commission welcomed the move, calling it "excellent news for French producers". It was also an illustration that efforts to eradicate BSE in the EU had borne fruit, it said in a statement.

The French ministry warned, however, that administrative hurdles meant it could take time for beef exports to the US to resume.

"We are pleased with this first step, but this doesn't mean that exports will start tomorrow," the ministry said.

>>> US lifts French beef import embargo, France says The EU Commission welcomed the move, calling it "excellent news for French producers". It was also an illustration that efforts to eradicate BSE in the EU had borne fruit, it said in a statement. <<< 


FRANCE stopped testing for mad cow disease because of an unusual outbreak of atypical MAD COW DISEASE.


Thursday, March 24, 2016 


MONDAY, MAY 2, 2016 

France Confirms Case of Classical Mad Cow Disease BSE

BSE identified in France

*** France stops BSE testing for Mad Cow Disease

***atypical spontaneous BSE in France LOL***


***Moreover, sporadic disease has never been observed in breeding colonies or primate research laboratories, most notably among hundreds of animals over several decades of study at the National Institutes of Health25, and in nearly twenty older animals continuously housed in our own facility.***

FRANCE STOPS TESTING FOR MAD COW DISEASE BSE, and here’s why, to many spontaneous events of mad cow disease $$$

spontaneous atypical BSE ???

if that's the case, then France is having one hell of an epidemic of atypical BSE, probably why they stopped testing for BSE, problem solved $$$

As of December 2011, around 60 atypical BSE cases have currently been reported in 13 countries, *** with over one third in France.

so 20 cases of atypical BSE in France, compared to the remaining 40 cases in the remaining 12 Countries, divided by the remaining 12 Countries, about 3+ cases per country, besides Frances 20 cases. you cannot explain this away with any spontaneous BSe. ...TSS

If you Compare France to other Countries with atypical BSE, in my opinion, you cannot explain this with ‘spontaneous’.

Table 1: Number of Atypical BSE cases reported by EU Member States in the period 2001–2014 by country and by type (L- and H-BSE) (extracted from EU BSE databases on 1 July 2014). By 2015, these data might be more comprehensive following a request from the European Commission to Member States for re-testing and retrospective classification of all positive bovine isolates in the EU in the years 2003–2009

BSE type

Country 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013(a) 2014(a) Total

H-BSE Austria 1 1

France(b) 1 2 3 1 2 2 2 2 15

Germany 1 1 2

Ireland 1 1 2 1 5

The Netherlands 1 1

Poland 1 1 2

Portugal 1 1

Spain 1 1 2

Sweden 1 1

United Kingdom 1 1 1 1 1 5

Total 2 3 3 1 1 2 2 2 4 4 5 1 4 1 35

L-BSE Austria 1 1 2

Denmark 1 1

*** France(b) 1 1 1 1 2 1 3 2 1 1 14

Germany 1 1 2

Italy 1 1 1 1 1 5

The Netherlands 1 1 1 3

Poland 1 2 2 1 2 1 2 1 12

Spain 2 2

United Kingdom 1 1 1 1 4

Total 0 5 3 4 3 3 6 3 3 4 3 6 1 1 45

Total Atypical cases (H + L)

2 8 6 5 4 5 8 5 7 8 8 7 5 2 80

(a): Data for 2013-2014 are incomplete and may not include all cases/countries reported.

(b): France has performed extensive retrospective testing to classify BSE cases, which is probably the explanation for the higher number of Atypical BSE cases reported in this country.

The number of Atypical BSE cases detected in countries that have already identified them seems to be similar from year to year. In France, a retrospective study of all TSE-positive cattle identified through the compulsory EU surveillance between 2001 and 2007 indicated that the prevalence of H-BSE and L-BSE was 0.35 and 0.41 cases per million adult cattle tested, respectively, which increased to 1.9 and 1.7 cases per million, respectively, in tested animals over eight years old (Biacabe et al., 2008). No comprehensive study on the prevalence of Atypical BSE cases has yet been carried out in other EU Member States. All cases of Atypical BSE reported in the EU BSE databases have been identified by active surveillance testing (59 % in fallen stock, 38 % in healthy slaughtered cattle and 4 % in emergency slaughtered cattle). Cases were reported in animals over eight years of age, with the exception of two cases (one H-BSE and one L-BSE) detected in Spain in 2011/2012. One additional case of H-BSE was detected in Switzerland in 2012 in a cow born in Germany in 2005 (Guldimann et al., 2012).

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Additional BSE TSE prion testing detects pathologic lesion in unusual brain location and PrPsc by PMCA only, how many cases have we missed?

***however in 1 C-type challenged animal, Prion 2015 Poster Abstracts S67 PrPsc was not detected using rapid tests for BSE.

***Subsequent testing resulted in the detection of pathologic lesion in unusual brain location and PrPsc detection by PMCA only.

*** IBNC Tauopathy or TSE Prion disease, it appears, no one is sure ***

Posted by Terry S. Singeltary Sr. on 03 Jul 2015 at 16:53 GMT

*** Singeltary reply ; Molecular, Biochemical and Genetic Characteristics of BSE in Canada Singeltary reply ;

*** It also suggests a similar cause or source for atypical BSE in these countries. ***

Discussion: The C, L and H type BSE cases in Canada exhibit molecular characteristics similar to those described for classical and atypical BSE cases from Europe and Japan.

*** This supports the theory that the importation of BSE contaminated feedstuff is the source of C-type BSE in Canada.

*** It also suggests a similar cause or source for atypical BSE in these countries. ***

see page 176 of 201 pages...tss

Evidence That Transmissible Mink Encephalopathy Results from Feeding Infected Cattle

Over the next 8-10 weeks, approximately 40% of all the adult mink on the farm died from TME.


The rancher was a ''dead stock'' feeder using mostly (>95%) downer or dead dairy cattle...

***our findings suggest that possible transmission risk of H-type BSE to sheep and human. Bioassay will be required to determine whether the PMCA products are infectious to these animals.

P.86: Estimating the risk of transmission of BSE and scrapie to ruminants and humans by protein misfolding cyclic amplification

Morikazu Imamura, Naoko Tabeta, Yoshifumi Iwamaru, and Yuichi Murayama

National Institute of Animal Health; Tsukuba, Japan

To assess the risk of the transmission of ruminant prions to ruminants and humans at the molecular level, we investigated the ability of abnormal prion protein (PrPSc) of typical and atypical BSEs (L-type and H-type) and typical scrapie to convert normal prion protein (PrPC) from bovine, ovine, and human to proteinase K-resistant PrPSc-like form (PrPres) using serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA).

Six rounds of serial PMCA was performed using 10% brain homogenates from transgenic mice expressing bovine, ovine or human PrPC in combination with PrPSc seed from typical and atypical BSE- or typical scrapie-infected brain homogenates from native host species. In the conventional PMCA, the conversion of PrPC to PrPres was observed only when the species of PrPC source and PrPSc seed matched. However, in the PMCA with supplements (digitonin, synthetic polyA and heparin), both bovine and ovine PrPC were converted by PrPSc from all tested prion strains. On the other hand, human PrPC was converted by PrPSc from typical and H-type BSE in this PMCA condition.

Although these results were not compatible with the previous reports describing the lack of transmissibility of H-type BSE to ovine and human transgenic mice, our findings suggest that possible transmission risk of H-type BSE to sheep and human. Bioassay will be required to determine whether the PMCA products are infectious to these animals.

P.170: Potential detection of oral transmission of H type atypical BSE in cattle using in vitro conversion

***P.170: Potential detection of oral transmission of H type atypical BSE in cattle using in vitro conversion

Sandor Dudas, John G Gray, Renee Clark, and Stefanie Czub Canadian Food Inspection Agency; Lethbridge, AB Canada

Keywords: Atypical BSE, oral transmission, RT-QuIC

The detection of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) has had a significant negative impact on the cattle industry worldwide. In response, governments took actions to prevent transmission and additional threats to animal health and food safety. While these measures seem to be effective for controlling classical BSE, the more recently discovered atypical BSE has presented a new challenge. To generate data for risk assessment and control measures, we have challenged cattle orally with atypical BSE to determine transmissibility and mis-folded prion (PrPSc) tissue distribution. Upon presentation of clinical symptoms, animals were euthanized and tested for characteristic histopathological changes as well as PrPSc deposition.

The H-type challenged animal displayed vacuolation exclusively in rostral brain areas but the L-type challenged animal showed no evidence thereof. To our surprise, neither of the animals euthanized, which were displaying clinical signs indicative of BSE, showed conclusive mis-folded prion accumulation in the brain or gut using standard molecular or immunohistochemical assays. To confirm presence or absence of prion infectivity, we employed an optimized real-time quaking induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assay developed at the Rocky Mountain Laboratory, Hamilton, USA.

Detection of PrPSc was unsuccessful for brain samples tests from the orally inoculated L type animal using the RT-QuIC. It is possible that these negative results were related to the tissue sampling locations or that type specific optimization is needed to detect PrPSc in this animal. We were however able to consistently detect the presence of mis-folded prions in the brain of the H-type inoculated animal. Considering the negative and inconclusive results with other PrPSc detection methods, positive results using the optimized RT-QuIC suggests the method is extremely sensitive for H-type BSE detection. This may be evidence of the first successful oral transmission of H type atypical BSE in cattle and additional investigation of samples from these animals are ongoing.

Evidence That Transmissible Mink Encephalopathy Results from Feeding Infected Cattle

Over the next 8-10 weeks, approximately 40% of all the adult mink on the farm died from TME.


The rancher was a ''dead stock'' feeder using mostly (>95%) downer or dead dairy cattle...

In Confidence - Perceptions of unconventional slow virus diseases of animals in the USA - APRIL-MAY 1989 - G A H Wells

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 fanatical incident to be avoided in the US at all costs. ...

The occurrence of CWD must be viewed against the contest of the locations in which it occurred. It was an incidental and unwelcome complication of the respective wildlife research programmes. Despite it’s subsequent recognition as a new disease of cervids, therefore justifying direct investigation, no specific research funding was forthcoming. The USDA veiwed it as a wildlife problem and consequently not their province! 26.

*** Spraker suggested an interesting explanation for the occurrence of CWD. The deer pens at the Foot Hills Campus were built some 30-40 years ago by a Dr. Bob Davis. At or abut that time, allegedly, some scrapie work was conducted at this site. When deer were introduced to the pens they occupied ground that had previously been occupied by sheep.


***Moreover, sporadic disease has never been observed in breeding colonies or primate research laboratories, most notably among hundreds of animals over several decades of study at the National Institutes of Health25, and in nearly twenty older animals continuously housed in our own facility.***

Primate Biol., 3, 47–50, 2016 doi:10.5194/pb-3-47-2016 © Author(s) 2016. CC

Attribution 3.0 License.


Walter Bodemer German Primate Center, Kellnerweg 4, 37077 Göttingen, Germany Correspondence to: Walter Bodemer (

Received: 15 June 2016 – Revised: 24 August 2016 – Accepted: 30 August 2016 – Published: 7 September 2016

3 Conclusion

Most importantly, early signs of an altered circadian rhythm, sleep–wake cycle, and activity and body temperature were recorded in prion-infected animals. This experimental approach would have never been feasible in studies with human CJD cases. After 4–6 years animals developed clinical symptoms highly similar to those typical for CJD. Clinicians confirmed how close the animal model and the human disease matched. Non-neuronal tissue like cardiac muscle and peripheral blood with abnormal, disease-related prion protein were detected in rhesus monkey tissues. 

Molecular changes in RNA from repetitive Alu and BC200 DNA elements were identified and found to be targets of epigenetic editing mechanisms active in prion disease. To conclude, our results with the rhesus monkey model for prion disease proved to be a valid model and increased our knowledge of pathogenic processes that are distinctive to prion disease.


O.05: Transmission of prions to primates after extended silent incubation periods: Implications for BSE and scrapie risk assessment in human populations

 Emmanuel Comoy, Jacqueline Mikol, Valerie Durand, Sophie Luccantoni, Evelyne Correia, Nathalie Lescoutra, Capucine Dehen, and Jean-Philippe Deslys Atomic Energy Commission; Fontenay-aux-Roses, France

 Prion diseases (PD) are the unique neurodegenerative proteinopathies reputed to be transmissible under field conditions since decades. The transmission of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) to humans evidenced that an animal PD might be zoonotic under appropriate conditions. Contrarily, in the absence of obvious (epidemiological or experimental) elements supporting a transmission or genetic predispositions, PD, like the other proteinopathies, are reputed to occur spontaneously (atpical animal prion strains, sporadic CJD summing 80% of human prion cases). Non-human primate models provided the first evidences supporting the transmissibiity of human prion strains and the zoonotic potential of BSE. Among them, cynomolgus macaques brought major information for BSE risk assessment for human health (Chen, 2014), according to their phylogenetic proximity to humans and extended lifetime. We used this model to assess the zoonotic potential of other animal PD from bovine, ovine and cervid origins even after very long silent incubation periods.

 *** We recently observed the direct transmission of a natural classical scrapie isolate to macaque after a 10-year silent incubation period,

 ***with features similar to some reported for human cases of sporadic CJD, albeit requiring fourfold long incubation than BSE. Scrapie, as recently evoked in humanized mice (Cassard, 2014),

 ***is the third potentially zoonotic PD (with BSE and L-type BSE),

 ***thus questioning the origin of human sporadic cases. We will present an updated panorama of our different transmission studies and discuss the implications of such extended incubation periods on risk assessment of animal PD for human health.


***thus questioning the origin of human sporadic cases***

 ***our findings suggest that possible transmission risk of H-type BSE to sheep and human. Bioassay will be required to determine whether the PMCA products are infectious to these animals. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016


Saturday, April 23, 2016

 SCRAPIE WS-01: Prion diseases in animals and zoonotic potential 2016

 Prion. 10:S15-S21. 2016 ISSN: 1933-6896 printl 1933-690X online

Taylor & Francis

Prion 2016 Animal Prion Disease Workshop Abstracts

WS-01: Prion diseases in animals and zoonotic potential

Juan Maria Torres a, Olivier Andreoletti b, J uan-Carlos Espinosa a. Vincent Beringue c. Patricia Aguilar a,

Natalia Fernandez-Borges a. and Alba Marin-Moreno a

"Centro de Investigacion en Sanidad Animal ( CISA-INIA ). Valdeolmos, Madrid. Spain; b UMR INRA -ENVT 1225 Interactions Holes Agents Pathogenes. ENVT. Toulouse. France: "UR892. Virologie lmmunologie MolécuIaires, Jouy-en-Josas. France

 Dietary exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) contaminated bovine tissues is considered as the origin of variant Creutzfeldt Jakob (vCJD) disease in human. To date, BSE agent is the only recognized zoonotic prion. Despite the variety of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE) agents that have been circulating for centuries in farmed ruminants there is no apparent epidemiological link between exposure to ruminant products and the occurrence of other form of TSE in human like sporadic Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (sCJD). However, the zoonotic potential of the diversity of circulating TSE agents has never been systematically assessed. The major issue in experimental assessment of TSEs zoonotic potential lies in the modeling of the ‘species barrier‘, the biological phenomenon that limits TSE agents’ propagation from a species to another. In the last decade, mice genetically engineered to express normal forms of the human prion protein has proved essential in studying human prions pathogenesis and modeling the capacity of TSEs to cross the human species barrier.

 To assess the zoonotic potential of prions circulating in farmed ruminants, we study their transmission ability in transgenic mice expressing human PrPC (HuPrP-Tg). Two lines of mice expressing different forms of the human PrPC (129Met or 129Val) are used to determine the role of the Met129Val dimorphism in susceptibility/resistance to the different agents.

These transmission experiments confirm the ability of BSE prions to propagate in 129M- HuPrP-Tg mice and demonstrate that Met129 homozygotes may be susceptible to BSE in sheep or goat to a greater degree than the BSE agent in cattle and that these agents can convey molecular properties and neuropathological indistinguishable from vCJD. However homozygous 129V mice are resistant to all tested BSE derived prions independently of the originating species suggesting a higher transmission barrier for 129V-PrP variant.

 Transmission data also revealed that several scrapie prions propagate in HuPrP-Tg mice with ef?ciency comparable to that of cattle BSE. While the ef?ciency of transmission at primary passage was low, subsequent passages resulted in a highly virulent prion disease in both Met129 and Val129 mice. Transmission of the different scrapie isolates in these mice leads to the emergence of prion strain phenotypes that showed similar characteristics to those displayed by MM1 or VV2 sCJD prion. These results demonstrate that scrapie prions have a zoonotic potential and raise new questions about the possible link between animal and human prions. 

why do we not want to do TSE transmission studies on chimpanzees $

5. A positive result from a chimpanzee challenged severly would likely create alarm in some circles even if the result could not be interpreted for man. I have a view that all these agents could be transmitted provided a large enough dose by appropriate routes was given and the animals kept long enough. Until the mechanisms of the species barrier are more clearly understood it might be best to retain that hypothesis.



Title: Transmission of scrapie prions to primate after an extended silent incubation period)          

*** In complement to the recent demonstration that humanized mice are susceptible to scrapie, we report here the first observation of direct transmission of a natural classical scrapie isolate to a macaque after a 10-year incubation period. Neuropathologic examination revealed all of the features of a prion disease: spongiform change, neuronal loss, and accumulation of PrPres throughout the CNS.

 *** This observation strengthens the questioning of the harmlessness of scrapie to humans, at a time when protective measures for human and animal health are being dismantled and reduced as c-BSE is considered controlled and being eradicated.

 *** Our results underscore the importance of precautionary and protective measures and the necessity for long-term experimental transmission studies to assess the zoonotic potential of other animal prion strains.

SCRAPIE WS-01: Prion diseases in animals and zoonotic potential 2016

Prion. 10:S15-S21. 2016 ISSN: 1933-6896 printl 1933-690X online

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Transmissible mink encephalopathy - review of the etiology

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Phenotypic Similarity of Transmissible Mink Encephalopathy in Cattle and L-type Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy in a Mouse Model

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Transmissible Mink Encephalopathy TME

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Transmissibility of BSE-L and Cattle-Adapted TME Prion Strain to Cynomolgus Macaque

"BSE-L in North America may have existed for decades"

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Former Ag Secretary Ann Veneman talks women in agriculture and we talk mad cow disease USDA and what really happened

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Protocol for further laboratory investigations into the distribution of infectivity of Atypical BSE SCIENTIFIC REPORT OF EFSA

*** Monday, January 09, 2017 ***

*** Oral Transmission of L-Type Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Agent among Cattle ***

CDC Volume 23, Number 2—February 2017

Consumption of L-BSE–contaminated feed may pose a risk for oral transmission of the disease agent to cattle.


10,000,000 POUNDS REASON Products manufactured from bulk feed containing blood meal that was cross contaminated with prohibited meat and bone meal and the labeling did not bear cautionary BSE statement.


Date: March 21, 2007 at 2:27 pm PST


Bulk cattle feed made with recalled Darling's 85% Blood Meal, Flash Dried, Recall # V-024-2007 CODE Cattle feed delivered between 01/12/2007 and 01/26/2007 RECALLING FIRM/MANUFACTURER Pfeiffer, Arno, Inc, Greenbush,
WI. by conversation on February 5, 2007.

Firm initiated recall is ongoing.

REASON Blood meal used to make cattle feed was recalled because it was cross- contaminated with prohibited bovine meat and bone meal that had been manufactured on common equipment and labeling did not bear cautionary BSE statement.




CODE The firm does not utilize a code - only shipping documentation with commodity and weights identified.

RECALLING FIRM/MANUFACTURER Rangen, Inc, Buhl, ID, by letters on February 13 and 14, 2007.

Firm initiated recall is complete.

REASON Products manufactured from bulk feed containing blood meal that was cross contaminated with prohibited meat and bone meal and the labeling did not bear cautionary BSE statement.



Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Sunday, December 15, 2013


Tuesday, September 06, 2016

A comparison of classical and H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy associated with E211K prion protein polymorphism in wild type and EK211 cattle following intracranial inoculation

Saturday, July 23, 2016


Sunday, June 14, 2015 

Larry’s Custom Meats Inc. Recalls Beef Tongue Products That May Contain Specified Risk Materials BSE TSE Prion

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy BSE TSE Prion UPDATE JULY 2016

Monday, June 20, 2016

Specified Risk Materials SRMs BSE TSE Prion Program

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

USDA APHIS National Scrapie TSE Prion Eradication Program April 2016 Monthly Report Prion 2016 Tokyo Update

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


Thursday, December 08, 2016

USDA APHIS National Scrapie Eradication Program October 2016 Monthly Report Fiscal Year 2017 atypical NOR-98 Scrapie

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Concurrence with OIE Risk Designations for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy [Docket No. APHIS-2015-0055]

BILLING CODE: 3410-34-P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Long live the OIE, or time to close the doors on a failed entity?

Long live the OIE, or time to close the doors on a failed entity?


(Adopted by the International Committee of the OIE on 23 May 2006)

11. Information published by the OIE is derived from appropriate declarations made by the official Veterinary Services of Member Countries. The OIE is not responsible for inaccurate publication of country disease status based on inaccurate information or changes in epidemiological status or other significant events that were not promptly reported to the Central Bureau,

snip...see ;

Sunday, October 18, 2015

World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Institut Pasteur Cooperating on animal disease and zoonosis research

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Annual report of the Scientific Network on BSE-TSE 2015 EFSA-Q-2015-00738 10 December 2015

From: TSS (

Subject: FRANCE reveals new mad cow tally and it' NOT good...

Date: December 5, 2000 at 12:52 pm PST

Tuesday, 5 December, 2000, 11:32 GMT France reveals new mad cow tally

The BSE crisis is hitting more and more farmers France has revealed that four new cases of mad cow disease have been detected, taking the year's total to more than four times the 1999 figure.

Officials at the agriculture ministry said 125 cows suffering from the disease had now been found on farms across France since January.

Two new cases of the human form of the disease, vCJD, were also disclosed by health officials in the UK, taking the number to 87.

The news came a day after European agriculture ministers agreed tough new measures aimed at restoring public confidence in beef in Europe.

After a nine-hour meeting, the ministers banned all cattle over 30 months old from entering the food chain, unless individually tested and proved free of BSE.

That means the slaughter of thousands of cattle until adequate BSE tests are introduced next year.

The ministers also approved a six-month ban on all meat and bonemeal in animal feed.

Some BSE-free Scandinavian countries say that is over the top.

The Finnish delegation said the ban was unjustified on scientific and moral grounds.

But German Agriculture Minister Karl-Heinz Funke said the ban was too short.


"It's not enough that the EU ban on meat-based feeds will initially last for six months," Mr Funke told WDR 2 radio.

Due to take effect in January, the ban does not include fishmeal used in pig and poultry feed, officials say.

The ban on cattle over 30 months old entering the food chain means that cattle can continue to be traded as usual, but once slaughtered the carcasses must be tested for BSE and cleared as fit for human consumption.

Failure will mean the carcasses being sent for incineration.


The cost of testing will be split between national authorities and Brussels, with the Commission picking up 70% of the bill.

The new scheme also involves extending the list of "specified risk materials" currently banned from human consumption - the brains, spinal cords and spleens of cattle - to include the whole intestine.

The ban, expected to cost $1.7bn, was approved by all 15 ministers.

The emergency Brussels meeting was in the wake of panic in France and Germany where BSE is on the increase.

National governments will get no EU help to pay for the recall and destruction of the meat and bonemeal in circulation.

November 21, 2000

A Mad Cow Is Just the Half of It


ARIS — The rage and dismay seizing France since tons of beef potentially infected with mad cow disease were found to have been sold in some supermarkets seems both warranted and excessive, like most public and political matters that involve national beliefs and betrayals of good faith.

What the French have learned is indeed alarming: that many thousands of tons of bone meal — the repulsive feed made of ground-up animals — from possibly infected English cattle were imported into France for more than two years after France embargoed British beef. It was fed to French chickens, pigs and fish, and often, to French cows. Three cases of the new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob's disease, the human form of mad cow disease, have been found in France; around 100 infected cows and a small percentage of seemingly healthy animals have tested positive.

France has several articles of faith that are being profoundly shaken, and it is this threat to comfortable assumptions, perhaps more than the disease itself, that is fueling the indignation in France.

One such assumption is that this sort of thing can be controlled. France, like many other European countries, thought that a ban on English beef would prevent the dreaded, if uncommon, disease from slipping into the country. This might have worked, were it not for mistakes and failings of various usual kinds — greed, lax enforcement, inability on the part of farmers to believe it could happen. To find out that the system was allowing an agent of transmission to be sold here and fed to French cattle — not to mention to other animals — has caused understandable panic, compounded by anger at officials and almost reflex French Anglophobia.

To date, a French person has a much greater chance of dying of smoking, that widely tolerated health threat, than of this exotic and rare disease. But things to do with nourishment have a central hold on any national psyche, and this is especially so in France, where food has a national identity and a focal place in the culture. The idea of French cuisine is based on sentimental ideas of French agriculture, fresh local produce, fine ingredients and so on.

The French also believe firmly that they are protected by a vigilant government. Certainly the government tends to protect the French state of mind. Maps of Europe after Chernobyl, depicting radiation levels in all adjacent countries, showed fallout miraculously stopping at the French border. In the current crisis, the French are shocked to find that French incompetence as much as English perfidy is to blame, and this has compounded the understandable fury with chagrin.

Since the discovery of the disease in France, indignation has swirled around all public officials. Beef has been withdrawn from the menus of schools and day care centers, while confusion about the science still reigns. For instance, many in France have not distinguished between "contaminated" and "genetically modified," foodstuffs, with one paper predicting darkly that the English, already feeding their animals with soybeans from America, are only substituting plague for cholera, implying the French should not make the same mistake.

Do we dare eat beef? the French are asking. People who have long followed French food production have remarked that this should serve as a wake-up call to a nation that is rapidly losing its tradition of excellent local products to factory farming and freeze-dried imports. Meantime, the Nouvel Observateur assessment about beef is: only from a "boucher serieux," a serious butcher who knows where the meat came from. But how many people have access to a serious butcher, even in France? At the very least it must now be clear to the French that in stopping the spread of this contaminant, pride and tradition do not suffice.

Diane Johnson is author, most recently, of "Le Mariage."

From: TSS (

Subject: Re: FRANCE reveals new mad cow tally and it' NOT good...

Date: December 5, 2000 at 12:58 pm PST

In Reply to: FRANCE reveals new mad cow tally and it' NOT good... posted by TSS on December 5, 2000 at 12:52 pm:

December 5, 2000

Europe Takes Toughest Steps to Fight Mad Cow Disease


ARIS, Dec. 4 — Moving to calm growing fears over mad cow disease, the European Union today voted its most drastic measures yet to try to control the spread of the fatal illness.

In a special emergency session, the union's agricultural ministers voted to ban the use of feed laced with animal products, not just for cattle but for all farm animals, for at least six months.

In addition, all cattle over the age of 30 months are to be removed from the food chain unless they can be tested to make sure they are disease free. As testing capacity is limited, this is likely to mean that two million head of cattle in the union's 15 member countries will be slaughtered.

Both measures are expected to be costly. Union officials estimate that the feed ban — intended to prevent cattle from eating, even accidentally, infected animal parts that can transmit the disease — will cost nearly $4 billion a year. The removal of older cattle from the food chain will cost another $800 million, officials said. Evidence of mad cow disease has never been found in young cattle.

"The crisis we have to come to grips with is an unusual one," said Franz Fischler, the European Union's agricultural minister, after emerging from the nine-hour meeting. "It needs unusual measures."

The measures come as most European countries have been struggling with a growing panic among consumers about the safety of beef. Wholesalers in several countries have reported a drop in sales of nearly 50 percent in the last few weeks.

The recent panic began in France, where the number of reported cases of mad cow has increased dramatically this year, in part due to increased testing. Last year, France counted 31 cases. This year, it already has more than 110.

But the panic soon spread throughout Europe — especially when Germany and Spain, which had never reported cases, said two weeks ago that they too had diseased cows.

Since then, health and agriculture officials have been scrambling to reassure consumers that everything is being done to protect them. Several countries have announced new measures of their own, including increased testing and new bans on beef from France. These bans are to be reviewed by the union's scientific steering committee to decide whether they are appropriate.

The European Union action tonight was devised to offer a Europe- wide approach to the problems. In many ways, it mirrors the actions that Britain took years ago to combat its own epidemic. Britain has recorded more than 170,000 cases of mad cow, far more than any other European country.

Much about mad cow disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, remains a mystery. But scientists believe that cattle originally contracted the disease by eating feed made with tissue from sheep infected with a related neurological ailment, scrapie. Experts believe that the fatal disease it is caused by aberrant proteins called infectious prions, which leave the brain with spongelike holes.

More than 80 people have died in Britain and two in France from the fatal human equivalent, new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, which has been linked to the infected beef. The incubation period is believed to be up to 25 years, and so health officials have warned that the toll may rise sharply.

European Union officials said tonight that the ban on animal parts in feed won easy approval from a majority of members, though some countries objected. Officials said Finland, for instance, did not want to apply the ban because it did not yet have any cases of the disease.

Much of the cost involved in banning the animal parts in the feed will be for storing and incinerating the three million tons of ground up bones and intestinal parts that are a natural waste product of Europe's meat industry and that have until now been used to enhance animal feed.

Some of the feed is used as fuel in cement factories, and there is some hope that more will be used for that purpose. But much of it may simply have to be destroyed.

Animal parts have been fed to cows and other farm animals as a source of protein since World War II. Banning them is likely to have have serious trade implications for the European Union as farmers will now have to find a way to replace it. One alternative would be to buy soy meal from the United States. But the ministers voted at the last minute to exclude fish meal from the ban, meaning farmers will still be able to feed those products to pigs and chickens, deflecting some of the potential need to import soy.

From: TSS (

Subject: FRANCE--BSE/CJD 'The Madness Spreads'

Date: November 10, 2000 at 2:11 pm PST

France To Ban Sweetbreads In Anti-Mad Cow Effort Ag Minister Criticizes Farm Union's Cattle Withdrawal Plan

PARIS, Nov. 10 (Associated Press) -- France plans to ban sweetbreads for a one-year period as a precautionary measure to fight the possible human consequences of mad cow disease, Agricultural Ministry officials said Friday.

The ban is to take effect shortly, said the ministry's special research mission for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease.

The decision is based on advice from France's food safety agency, but does not mean that consumers who have recently eaten the popular product -- made from the cow's thymus gland -- should fear, said the mission.

It concerns cows born after May 1, 1999. Thymuses of cows born before that date were banned earlier. Cow intestines were banned last month.

The move came amid growing fears that mad cow disease could endanger France's beef-eaters with the human form of the brain-wasting ailment.

Scientists have linked made cow disease to a variant strand of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Two people in France are known to have died from the malady -- compared to 81 people in Britain where the beef scare exploded in 1996.

Officials of France's leftist government have warned against what they call a psychosis among the French that has led to numerous towns banning beef from school cafeteria menus.

On Friday, Nantes University Hospital Center made known it was withdrawing beef from its maternity and pediatric units, RTL radio reported.

Agriculture Minister Jean Glavany criticized, in an interview published Friday, a plan by France's largest farmers' union to withdraw from the market cows born before July 1996. He said it has "no rational foundation" in the fight against mad cow disease and serves only to feed the psychosis.

"If it were a public health measure, I would absolutely support it," Glavany was quoted as saying in the daily Liberation. "But it's nothing of the sort."

The farmers' union known as the FNSEA said Tuesday it planned to withdraw from the market older cows, born before France imposed strict measures on cattle feed in July 1996 when mad cow disease became a palpable fear among Europeans because of its spread in Britain.

Glavany conceded that France's leftist coalition government had underestimated how a rising number of mad cow cases in France would effect public opinion.

More than 90 cases of mad cow disease have been detected in France this year, compared to 31 last year.

However, Glavany said the increase is due to special detection tests being carried out.

Beef prices have plunged at meat markets around France, and one slaughter house in Quimper, in the eastern Finistere region, which lost 65 percent of its business within a few days, may close its doors next week, France-Info radio reported.

French Beef Sales Plunge Amid Mad Cow Scare

PARIS, Nov. 10 (Xinhua News Agency) -- Sales of beef plunged by 42 percent on Thursday compared with the previous Thursdays in the food wholesale market of Rungi near Paris, which is Europe's largest, according to officials of cattle and food sale unions.

This is the second consecutive day for beef salers to suffer large losses, as the sales of beef fell by 41 percent on Wednesday amid a mad cow disease scare in the country and elsewhere in Europe.

The crisis mainly resulted from a halt by several European countries to buy French beef.

Poland, Hungary and Spain have suspended importing beef from France, while Russia has decreased its purchase.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Diagnosis of Human Prion Disease Using Real-Time Quaking-Induced Conversion Testing of Olfactory Mucosa and Cerebrospinal Fluid Samples

*** Transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease to a chimpanzee by electrodes contaminated during neurosurgery ***

Gibbs CJ Jr, Asher DM, Kobrine A, Amyx HL, Sulima MP, Gajdusek DC. Laboratory of Central Nervous System Studies, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.

Stereotactic multicontact electrodes used to probe the cerebral cortex of a middle aged woman with progressive dementia were previously implicated in the accidental transmission of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) to two younger patients. The diagnoses of CJD have been confirmed for all three cases. More than two years after their last use in humans, after three cleanings and repeated sterilisation in ethanol and formaldehyde vapour, the electrodes were implanted in the cortex of a chimpanzee. Eighteen months later the animal became ill with CJD. This finding serves to re-emphasise the potential danger posed by reuse of instruments contaminated with the agents of spongiform encephalopathies, even after scrupulous attempts to clean them.

Diagnosis and Reporting of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Singeltary, Sr et al. JAMA.2001; 285: 733-734. Vol. 285 No. 6, February 14, 2001 JAMA

Diagnosis and Reporting of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

To the Editor: In their Research Letter, Dr Gibbons and colleagues1 reported that the annual US death rate due to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) has been stable since 1985. These estimates, however, are based only on reported cases, and do not include misdiagnosed or preclinical cases. It seems to me that misdiagnosis alone would drastically change these figures. An unknown number of persons with a diagnosis of Alzheimer disease in fact may have CJD, although only a small number of these patients receive the postmortem examination necessary to make this diagnosis. Furthermore, only a few states have made CJD reportable. Human and animal transmissible spongiform encephalopathies should be reportable nationwide and internationally.

Terry S. Singeltary, Sr Bacliff, Tex

1. Gibbons RV, Holman RC, Belay ED, Schonberger LB. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the United States: 1979-1998. JAMA. 2000;284:2322-2323.

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.

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