BSE, CJD, Mad Cow Disease may be in milk as well as meat!

news @ - Prions suspected in milk - Sheep mammaries shown to contain agents of fatal brain disease.

Scientists have finally found evidence for what some nutritionists have suspected for years, that BSE could be passed on in milk. This follows circumstantial evidence of a higher than average rate of CJD amongst Dairy Farm workers.

It also may explain new cases of BSE amongst cattle who have been allegedly protected and kept free from contaminated food.

The inflamed mammary glands of sheep have been found to contain protein particles that cause scrapie, a sickness similar to mad cow disease. This suggests that the suspect proteins, called prions, may also be present in the milk of infected animals.

"It is unlikely that the prions are not in the milk," says Aguzzi, a pathologist at the University of Zurich Hospital, Switzerland. "And the prospect is not a pleasant one."

Neil Cashman, a prion researcher at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, is worried too. People have looked for prions in the milk of cows with BSE and haven't found any, he says. "But they haven't looked in cows with mammary-gland infection and BSE."

On 13 January 1995 SEAC held a special meeting to consider the significance of the death of a third dairy farm worker case from CJD. They concluded that the occurrence of CJD in three dairy farm workers with BSE in their dairy herds within the first five years of the CJDSU's surveillance study was a matter of concern, given the low probability of this happening by chance.

More - BSE Overview - BMJ - BSE Background News - Guardian