Britain: New wave of human BSE/vCJD feared

By Barry Mason, 27 December 2008

Britain faces the spectre of a second wave of deaths from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease vCJD as a result of people, overwhelmingly young adults, consuming meat from cattle infected with BSE, or Mad Cow Disease.

Canada: meatpackers profit from BSE crisis

By David Adelaide, 23 August 2004

A recently released report by Alberta’s auditor general reveals that the major meatpacking companies reaped windfall profits from Canada’s BSE crisis, while the social cost of the crisis fell onto cattle producers, including small farmers and farm workers, and the public treasury.

Britain: new findings point to larger outbreaks of vCJD “mad cow disease”

By Trevor Johnson, 18 August 2004

UK scientists are upwardly revising their estimates of the number of people likely to die from new variant CJD (vCJD, also known as “mad cow disease”). It follows the death of a second patient, who contracted the disease after a blood transfusion [1].

BSE/Mad Cow Disease crisis provokes trade war

By Paul Mitchell, 2 August 2004

The spread of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, has provoked a trade war in cattle and beef products.

Britain: Report highlights BSE danger from infected sheep

By Barry Mason, 21 January 2002

The risk to humans developing variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) could be far greater if the brain-wasting disease Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) has entered the sheep population. This was the conclusion of a study published in the British science magazine Nature on January 10.

Britain: Government suppresses report showing hospital patients face danger from Human BSE

By Paul Mitchell, 29 November 2001

The Labour government has suppressed a damning report into the procedures used by hospitals to prevent the spread of the incurable brain-wasting disorder variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD).

Britain: Labour government accused of cover-up over BSE experiments

By Paul Mitchell, 26 October 2001

Farming and Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett has been accused of seeking to suppress how vital experiments concerning the safety of British lamb and mutton were botched-up. Scientists had hoped to determine whether deadly Mad Cow Disease (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or BSE) has infected British sheep.

Britain: Big increase in human form of "Mad Cow Disease"

By Paul Mitchell, 11 September 2001

The incidence of variant Creutzfeldt Jacobs Disease (vCJD)—the human form of “Mad Cow Disease”—has increased 20 percent in the UK since last year. In his announcement last week, Professor James Ironside, head of the CJD Surveillance Unit in Edinburgh, said that instead of “a flat line, we are now seeing an upward trend that has been sustained for the past four quarters”. The total number of cases could vary between several hundred and 150,000, he added. Professor Ironside’s unit has released figures showing there are now 106 confirmed or probable cases of vCJD, the fatal and incurable brain wasting disorder in the UK. Most scientific opinion now accepts that the disease is probably related to eating beef infected with BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy), or “Mad Cow Disease”.

World Health Organisation says BSE is a major threat

By Paul Mitchell, 6 July 2001

Scientists last month warned that Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), or Mad Cow Disease, “has joined AIDS as a major health challenge facing the world.” A conference organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) concluded with a call for governments to “strongly consider” testing for BSE in cattle used for human consumption and imposing a worldwide ban on meat and bonemeal cattle feed (MBM).

BSE / "Mad Cow Disease" spreading in Spain

By Vicky Short, 7 May 2001

Forty-three animals infected with BSE, or “Mad Cow Disease,” have so far been registered in Spain. According to official information provided by the department of agriculture and fisheries, 33 of these are concentrated in the north-west area of Galicia. The others are in Asturias/Basque Country (6 cases), Barcelona (2) and the Balearic Islands (2). The cases were reported between November 22, 2000 and April 3 this year.

Growing concern about "Mad Cow Disease" in the US

By Joanne Laurier, 2 February 2001

More than 1,200 head of cattle in Texas were quarantined last week for fear of exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as “mad cow disease”. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating whether the feedlot eaten by the cattle contained meat-and-bone meal made from other ruminant animals. St. Louis-based Purina Mills Inc. confirmed that its feed mill in Gonzales, Texas manufactured the questionable feed.

BSE/"mad cow disease" crisis spreads throughout Europe

By Richard Tyler, 23 January 2001

Cases of BSE have now been identified in 10 of the 15 European Union (EU) countries, as well as Switzerland and Liechtenstein, which are not members. Although incidences are still relatively few in number, the discovery of the disease across the continent has had a dramatic effect on beef consumption, which has fallen by 27 percent across the EU.

BSE inquiry delivers report as scientists raise fresh concerns about "mad cow disease"

By Paul Mitchell, 3 October 2000

The inquiry into the BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) crisis set up by Labour shortly after coming to office in 1997 sent its final report back to the government yesterday. It covers the period from the first recognised outbreak of “mad cow disease” in the mid-1980s up to March 20 1996—when the previous Tory government first admitted a direct link between BSE in cattle and a new variation of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), the brain-wasting disorder in humans.

Britain: Deaths from Human BSE reveal "statistically significant rising trend"

By Richard Tyler, 20 July 2000

Two more deaths in the last fortnight have brought to 69 the total number of fatalities in the UK from variant Cretzfeld Jakob Disease (vCJD). So far this year 14 people have died from this brain-wasting disorder related to BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) or Mad Cow disease, equalling the 1999 total. Another seven are known to be currently suffering from this incurable disease, also known as Human BSE.

Renewed fears that BSE/Mad Cow Disease can pass from one generation to another

By Barry Mason, 12 July 2000

Britain's Agricultural Minister confirmed in parliament last month that a calf had been born with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) or Mad Cow Disease. The animal was born after August 1, 1996, when extra control measures on animal feed containing mammalian meat and bone meal had been implemented, supposed to eradicate the incidence of BSE.

British doctors fear mother has passed human BSE disease to baby

By Keith Lee, 17 March 2000

Doctors in Britain are concerned that a 24-year-old mother has passed on the fatal human form of BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or “mad cow disease”) to her baby, now four months old.

Risk of Mad Cow Disease growing throughout Europe

By Paul Mitchell, 15 January 2000

A single cow infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or Mad Cow Disease, could expose up to 400,000 people to the risk of infection according to the European Union's Scientific Steering Committee (SSC). This is the worst case scenario presented in the Committee's report Human Exposure Risk via Food with respect to BSE.

Study finds "indisputable" link between BSE/"Mad Cow Disease" and CJD in humans

By Barbara Slaughter and Harvey Thompson, 29 December 1999

A team of scientists working on the link between Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE or “Mad Cow Disease”) and the degenerative brain condition found in humans, (new) variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (nvCJD or vCJD), have made a significant breakthrough. The research, which has been carried out by doctors in Scotland and the US, found that the infectious agents, or prions, that cause both BSE and vCJD produced exactly the same disease characteristics when injected into laboratory mice.

Mad Cow Disease inquiry reveals how British government protected pharmaceutical companies at expense of public health

By Paul Mitchell, 9 December 1999

Most attention during the crisis surrounding Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as Mad Cow Disease, has focused on the risk of eating beef. However evidence to the ongoing British government BSE Inquiry shows how the potentially greater risk from the use of cow by-products in vaccines and other medicines was covered up.

What is involved in the Genetically Modified Food debate?

By Chris Talbot, 9 August 1999

Hardly a week goes by in Britain without headlines related to genetically modified (GM) food, usually opposed to it. This week the Church of England decided that growing GM products in field tests on its land was unethical. Last week the aristocrat leader of Greenpeace, Lord Melchett, was arrested and jailed over night for leading a group who trashed a field full of GM crops which was part of government field tests. Britain was the one country where the big corporations manufacturing GM seeds, Monsanto, Novartis, etc., had hoped for a favourable response to give them a lead into the rest of Europe.

Safety of genetically modified food questioned

Interview with gene scientist, Dr Arpad Pusztai

By Paul Mitchell, 3 June 1999

The British House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (STC) has been investigating the nature of scientific advice to government. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are the subject of its first report, published this month.

Further evidence that chemical crop sprays cause adverse health effects

By Paul Mitchell, 17 April 1999

Recent scientific research has pointed again to the far-reaching health effects of chemicals such as pesticides and weed killers. The results are published in New Scientist magazine. In an article, "It's raining pesticides", Stephan Müller and Thomas Bucheli of the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science show that rain water often contains pesticides above the limits allowed in drinking water. It is already well known that crop sprays drain into rivers and underground supplies, but the Swiss scientists say they can also evaporate from fields and become absorbed into clouds. The highest concentrations of such pollutants are found in the first rainfall after long dry periods.

Human BSE, nvCJD

Statistics point to increased incidence of brain-wasting disease in Britain

By Barry Mason, 23 March 1999

A research letter published in the Lancet medical journal points to a possible increase in the rate of people dying from new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (nvCJD), a fatal brain-wasting disease also called Human BSE.

In row over genetically modified food

Blair defends billionaire cabinet member

By Richard Tyler, 24 February 1999

Labour's close ties to big business are central to the ongoing row over genetically modified food. The storm that unfolded last week focussed on the role of Lord Sainsbury, Minister for Science.

International scientists raise concerns over genetically modified food

British Labour government rushes to defend biotech industry

By Keith Lee and Richard Tyler, 17 February 1999

The Labour government has been rocked by a dispute over the possible health dangers posed by genetically modified food. Last week 20 scientists from 13 countries issued a memorandum supporting their colleague Dr. Arpad Pusztai's research into the possible harmful effects of genetically modified (GM) food.

Britain: new Food Standards Agency no occasion for restored confidence

By Jean Shaoul, 5 February 1999

The government has announced legislation setting up a Food Standards Agency to "protect public health and rebuild the public's trust in the machinery for handling food issues". Frank Dobson, the Secretary of State for Health, said, "This new, independent agency is good news for consumers. It will separate the different--and potentially conflicting--interests of food producers and food consumers."

Export-ban on British beef to Europe lifted

By Barry Mason, 28 November 1998

European Agriculture Ministers voted on November 23 to lift the ban on exports of British beef.

The BSE crisis - British officials fall out over the "Beef is Safe" campaign

By Paul Mitchell, 5 November 1998

BSE detected in beef passed for human consumption

By Trevor Johnson, 20 October 1998

Concrete proof has emerged that meat from animals infected with

"Mad cow disease" could have spread to Britain's sheep

By Barry Mason, 16 September 1998

Significant breakthrough in diagnosis of human BSE

By Barbara Slaughter, 3 September 1998

Food poisoning deaths inquiry shields British meat industry

By Jean Shaoul, 26 August 1998

An exchange of letters on the Mad Cow Disease (BSE) crisis

23 July 1998

The book has been praised for its honesty and integrity in uncovering the truth about this public health disaster.

Meeting discusses new book on Mad Cow Disease epidemic in Britain

15 May 1998

Some sixty academics, medical students, youth and workers attended an April 28 public meeting at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds to launch the book Human BSE--Anatomy of a Health Disaster.

The libel action against Oprah Winfrey

US agribusiness attempts to silence debate on BSE

By Julie Hyland, 10 February 1998

The $12 million defamation suit brought by Texas cattle ranchers against talk show host Oprah Winfrey and one of her guests, Howard Lyman, is reaching its conclusion. The case, which is being heard in Amarillo, Texas, centers on comments made during Winfrey’s April 15, 1996 show that discussed the “mad cow” epidemic in Britain. Mad cow disease, or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, became epidemic in Britain's herds in the 1980s.