Theory: Mad cow from human remains

Sep 02, 2005

Two British researchers have a theory mad cow disease might have been transmitted via importation of bone meal contaminated by human remains.

Alan Colchester of the University of Kent, Canterbury and his daughter, Nancy, a veterinary medicine specialist at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, suggest the Hindu funeral practice of partially cremated bodies cast into the Ganges, only to be scavenged and recycled, led to contamination in India of animal bone meal, the Times of London reported Friday.

Some of the people may have died of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease vCJD in India, and if so, bone meal contaminated with vCJD could have entered the animal food chain in Britain.

The contaminated animal meal might have caused the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as mad cow disease, in cattle, which was then transferred to people as vCJD, the human equivalent of BSE.

The study, published in the Lancet, said evidence is circumstantial, but the theory was strong enough to justify further research, according to the authors.

Two Indian Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease experts said even if human waste contaminated exported bone meal, the dilution would have been too enormous.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Richard III's makeshift grave opens to public

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

The reptile database

Jan 09, 2014

Experts predict that 2014 will be a big year for reptiles. Reptiles, which include snakes, lizards, turtles, crocodiles, tuataras and amphisbaenians, are projected to become the most diverse vertebrate group ...

Mussels inspire innovative new adhesive for surgery

Jan 09, 2013

(Phys.org)—Mussels can be a mouthwatering meal, but the chemistry that lets mussels stick to underwater surfaces may also provide a highly adhesive wound closure and more effective healing from surgery.

Insects dine out on wild feast

Nov 07, 2011

Watching a dead animal rot may not sound like everyone’s idea of fun but for insect expert Sarah Beynon it can provide a feast of information.

Marketers target kids with tech

Sep 13, 2011

Isabella Sweet doesn't wear a target on her chest. But kid marketers covet this 9-year-old as if she does. Perhaps it's because she's a techie.

Recommended for you

Affirmative action elicits bias in pro-equality Caucasians

Jul 25, 2014

New research from Simon Fraser University's Beedie School of Business indicates that bias towards the effects of affirmative action exists in not only people opposed to it, but also in those who strongly endorse equality.

User comments : 0