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: Study finds large racial disparities in how some school districts suspend students

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Canada looks east-west to ship oil after Keystone veto

3 hours ago

After US President Barack Obama vetoed a bill to expedite construction of the Keystone XL pipeline Tuesday, petroleum producers are expected to turn to Canadian routes to ship oil internationally, but hurdles ...

Internet access limited in developing world

4 hours ago

Most people in the developing world do not use the Internet, with access limited by high costs, poor availability and a lack of relevant content, a Facebook report said Tuesday.

Manhattan Project physicist Ralph Nobles dies at 94

4 hours ago

(AP)—Ralph Nobles, a nuclear physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project and later led efforts to save thousands of acres of San Francisco Bay wetlands from development, died following complications of pneumonia, according ...

In Japan, robot dogs are for life - and death

4 hours ago

Incense smoke wafts through the cold air of the centuries-old Buddhist temple as a priest chants a sutra, praying for the peaceful transition of the souls of the departed.

US sees little severe weather so far in 2015

4 hours ago

(AP)—While a big chunk of the nation deals with snow and ice, the U.S. is poised to end January and February with the fewest bouts of severe weather in decades.

Recommended for you

Ancient wheat points to Stone Age trading links

19 hours ago

(AP)—Britons may have discovered a taste for bread thousands of years earlier than previously thought, thanks to trade with more advanced neighbors on the European continent.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.