BSE Conspiracy Theory

Hello all-

This is from a local 'zine ( that mainly caters to the ex-pat crowd. The author is a, well, not radical, but close, vegetarian and animal rights crusader. He has articles in this 'zine almost every week…some thought provoking, some not. Here is his latest one on the BSE scare…now while it does sound like someone from Idaho wrote it before they fortified their ranch, I was wondering if anyone else has heard things like it. I’m pasting the whole story here, because the link is screwed up on the website.

[And I’m removing a good chunk of it because we don’t allow full article paste-ins like this due to copyright concerns. However, there doesn’t seem to actually be anything wrong with the link. Here it is: Mad Cow Disease: The Chemical Industry Plays Dirty – David B, SDMB Great Debates Moderator]
Take care-

The story:

Mad Cow Disease
The Chemical Industry Plays Dirty

By Dr Paul Kail
Animal Consciousness Foundation
< … >
Given the huge amount at stake, one might expect that any credible theory would be welcomed. Yet Mark Purdey, a British farmer from Somerset, has suffered constant harassment and has had to support his research from his own pocket. Purdey has a theory which might explain the mystery of why BSE and new variant nvCJD started in the UK, and why they are so much more serious there.

However, since he went public with his ideas, some rather unfortunate things have happened:
< … >
Purdey believes that the root cause of BSE is an imbalance of magnesium and copper, exacerbated, in the case of the UK, by the use of a highly toxic pesticide known as phosmet. Phosphet is an organophosphate nerve toxin, originally developed by the Nazis. It is also related to the drug Thalidamide, which causes birth defects.
< … >
Quite apart from the direct attacks on Mr Purdey, the chemical industry have launched a media campaign to discredit his research.
< … >

[Edited by David B on 02-18-2001 at 09:07 AM]

Tomcat posted at 09:47, David B. edited at 09:07.

I don’t think that’s very fair of you to be able to jump in your time machine & edit our posts like that.

Um. My Snopes alarm just went off. Any minute now I have the feeling that I’ll be receiving an e-mail on this with the words “Please forward this to everyone you know!” attached.

This guy would seem to be implying that prions only came into existence shortly after the invention of organophosphates. Is this true? :confused:

And, um…

Current research shows that BSE is transmitted by feeding cows parts of other cows. Would I be correct in presuming that an organic farmer wouldn’t be feeding his cattle anything other than “God’s Food”, i.e. organic hay, corn, etc.? Certainly not meat meal. But Purdey doesn’t address that.

Also, there’s not a cite in the whole document. To hear Purdey and Kail tell it, the British Isles have been a seething hotbed of assassination, dirty tricks, and general mayhem ever since Farmer Purdey formulated his theory. If any of it really happened (his house burned down? A barn collapsed on his science library? Mysterious deaths? Cars being rammed?) I’d sure like to see a news cite for any of it.

So, once again, the Lone Wolf comes up with an answer passed over by the entire world–it’s the manganese, stupid!

But this is the clincher.

Hey, even paranoids have enemies sometimes! :smiley:

[Moderator Hat: ON]

Attrayant said:

Not on my page – it says Tomcat posted at 08:47.

I can’t recall now, but this system may have an option to set your time zone. If so, it would alter the time in that box, but would not change the time appearing in the message, which is set to Central time.

But if you want to believe in super-secret moderator powers that include the ability to time-travel, who am I to say otherwise? :wink:

David B, SDMB Great Debates Moderator

[Moderator Hat: OFF]

FOR SALE: Bridge. Nice view. Gates. Gold. Best offer.

Suffice to say, a theory should be judged on its own merits and should not be taken seriously because people have allegedly died. Lots of crackpot researchers have difficulty getting funding for their work. Chemical companies cannot get, to my knowledge, legal protection from selling toxins and mutagens to a post office box.
“Oh, thalido-mide. No, no. We sold that to Arizona. Post office box 73. Tobacco, too”.

Surely an organization willing to kill with such little provaocation would not bother with collapsing barns and ramming cars? Surely these events would attract more attention after appearing in a national newspaper with a circulation of hundreds of thousands?

The Official and Independent Inquiry (make of that what you will) into BSE did take Mark Purdey’s theory into consideration. This page offers a detailed account of the theory’s passage:
The closing paragraph of the Inquiry’s conclusion into Purdey’s idea’s states:
“5.360 We would commend Mr Purdey for the tenacity with which he has pursued his theories in the public interest. We understand that this has involved him and his family in financial sacrifice. We have considered the manner in which he, and his theories, were treated by Government scientists and have concluded that they received fair consideration. At times his persistence irritated MAFF officials who believed that he was barking up a number of wrong trees. To an extent they were correct, but the door is not yet closed on the possibility that OPs played a role in rendering cattle susceptible to BSE infectivity.”*

*My bolding.

One thing about the UK is that it sometimes seems awash with well-intentioned eccentrics with bees in their bonnets. Occasionally they get things right. I have no idea if Purdey is on to something.

How could you close the door, given the extremely small probability it might be true? No doubt Mr. Purdey deserves credit for his tenacity, but that hardly means the link described in the OP contains the relevant facts.

Reminds me of the Yes, Minister episode where there ICI lands a big contract to make metadioxin.

I’ll just play devil’s advocate for a second.

The only prion-prion transmission ever observed was CJD transfer by dural or corneal transplantation.

No one has ever observed ingestion of BSE infected meat leading to CJD. The epidemiologic link is tenuous, at best.

It is plausible that BSE can turn into CJD. It sure appears that way with scrapie turning into BSE. But the epidemiology is not conducive (20 year incubation) to make definitive links any time soon.

I think this link cannot be out-of-hand dismissed simply because the thinker is not affiliated with any major institution or supported by research grants. It doesn’t sound likely – the researcher in question has some weak correlative evidence to battle the BSE correlative evidence – but I wouldn’t want to dismiss it just because it has been picked up on by the fringe press.

At least he published his hypothesis in Medical Hypotheses, a somewhat respected journal devoted to publishing sometimes off the wall hypotheses. At least it is the right scientific channel in order to start a discourse on the subject.

Here is a link to the abstract (I hope)

Thanks for cleaning it up David, when I tried, it kept sending me to a Czech language version of it…maybe they fixed that. As for copyright laws…Sheez! You would not BELIEVE what this mag does! It exists solely because the copyright laws in the CZ suck! They copy things off of the Net, slap a fake name on it, and call it theirs all the time! But thanks for doing the work!
Thanks London! I’ll write in with that link.

Take care-