‘Human remains in food’ linked to vCJD
MAD cow disease and its human equivalent could have arrived in Britain through the importation of bone meal contaminated by human remains, according to a new theory.
The hypothesis — which has little hard evidence to support it — is published this week in The Lancet by Alan Colchester, a medical professor at the University of Kent, Canterbury, and his daughter Nancy, a veterinary medicine specialist at the University of Edinburgh.
They suggest that haphazard Hindu funeral practices led to contamination in India of animal bone meal with human bones. Some may have come from people who died of vCJD and whose partially cremated bodies had been cast into the Ganges, only to be scavenged and recycled. If so, bone meal contaminated with vCJD could have entered the animal food chain in Britain, caused the outbreak of BSE in cattle, and then transferred to people as vCJD, the human equivalent of BSE.
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