Is US Mad Deer Disease Infecting Humans?
May 31, 2002
By John Stauber
Is Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) already infecting Wisconsin's cows and
other livestock? Perhaps, but we wouldn't know because the US Department
of Agriculture refuses to adequately test cows and other livestock for TSEs
(Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy). Europe denied that the TSE
called BSE or mad cow disease was spreading there, but once they started to
test they found it. The US simply asserts that no such diseases are
infecting US livestock, but refuses to adequately test for BSE and other US
TSEs such as CWD or scrapie, so such assurances that US livestock are not
infected are worthless.
In fact, US TSE diseases might have already spread into US livestock, and
could be killing people here in the US who seem to be dying at young ages
from increasing cases of what is being called 'sporadic' or 'classic' CJD
In 1995 alone, 26,488 road killed Wisconsin deer were rendered into products
like meat and bone meal, much of which was fed back to cattle, deer, pigs
and other animals as mineral, fat and protein supplements. (1.)
Slaughterhouse waste from Wisconsin's game farms and from the
hundreds-of-thousands of deer killed during the gun season has also been
rendered into byproduct feed for animals.
As of August, 1997, rendered ruminant meat and bone meal is no longer
supposed to be fed to cattle, deer, sheep and other ruminant animals.
However, it CAN be fed to pigs and poultry, and rendered byproducts from
pigs and poultry can be fed to cattle, deer, sheep and elk.
Furthermore, calves in Wisconsin are still legally fed calf starter and calf
milk replacer which can contain as its protein source dried blood plasma
from rendered ruminant animals including cattle, sheep and deer.
In other words, there are many avenues by which 'mad deer disease' could
infect, or may have already infected, Wisconsin cows and other animals.
How would we know? The US refuses to test adequate numbers of livestock to
detect TSE diseases, so we wouldn't know. The regulations in the US are so
bad that we might first find out by witnessing an increase in young people
dying from so-called 'sporadic' or 'classic' CJD. No one knows what US
strains of CWD or scrapie would look like in humans, but it would probably
be labeled classic or sporadic CJD when it first appeared.
In fact, there does appear to be an increase in such human deaths, although
since the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) refuses to make CJD deaths a
reportable disease nationally, complete information is impossible to come
by. Last summer in an Ann Arbor, Michigan, hospital two young men, one 26
and the other 28, were both dying at the same time from classic or sporadic
CJD of unknown cause. They had lived their entire short lives in Michigan.
How could these young men have become infected with a TSE? It could have
been through eating venison, it could have been from taking glandular
nutritional supplements, it could have been a TSE strain consumed in beef,
pork or sheep. Again, since the US refuses to adequately test livestock for
TSEs, we might first see outbreaks in the deaths of young people before we
recognize it in livestock. These young men in Michigan and other young US
CJD victims are definitely not dying of British mad cow disease, called new
variant (vCJD). They are dying of a strain or strains of TSE they are
picking up here in the US.
British mad cow disease has so far claimed over 115 lives, and the average
victim age is around 28. The death toll is growing steadily, doubling every
three years. No one knows how many thousands of Brits will die in the years
and decades ahead, but the disease has an invisible latency period that can
last decades in people. Its 100% fatal, and incurable. Before dementia
occurs, its invisible; future victims appear completely healthy until
symptoms of mental illness and dementia develop.
For more information, download a free copy of our 1997 book Mad Cow USA by
clicking on the link below the book's cover on this website.
John Stauber, co-author, Mad Cow USA
"In some regions, free living deer killed by motor vehicles are included in
MBM (meat and bone meal). For example, in Wisconsin 46,443 white-tailed
deer were killed on the road in 1995 with 26,488 picked up by contractors
for disposal at render facilities (27.). Future TSE research should include
characterizing the epidemiology of CWD and its pathogenicity for cattle."
Footnote 27: Wisconsin DNR Bureau of Law Enforcement. "Report of Car
Killed Deer, Seized Deer and Deer Picked Up on Contract. 07/01/94 -
"Surveillance for BSE in the USA may be complicated by the existence of
strains," by Doris Olander and Richard F. Marsh of the University of
Wisconsin, Department of Animal Health and Biomedical Sciences.
Appearing in "Prion: Jenner, Pasteur and Their Successors. S. Plotkin, B.
Fantini, editors. 1996, Elsevier, Paris.