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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Home arrow Blog arrow MAD COW DISEASE FROM FARMED FISH
MAD COW DISEASE FROM FARMED FISH
Friedland RP, Petersen RB, Rubenstein R. Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and Aquaculture. J Alzheimers Dis 2009 Jun;17(2):277-279
I didn’t think I would see these words together yet here it is. In a bizarre combination of circumstances worthy of a B-movie plot, it looks like you can get Mad Cow disease from eating farmed fish. The researchers behind this study are concerned that consumption of farmed fish may provide a means of transmission of infectious prions from cows with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) to humans, causing variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease.

Creutzfeldt Jakob disease, the human form of "mad cow disease", could result from eating farmed fish who are fed byproducts rendered from cows. Mad cow disease, also called bovine spongiform encephalopathy is a fatal brain disease in cattle, which scientists believe can cause Creutzfeldt Jakob disease in humans who eat infected cow parts. Of course this begs the question, who’s brilliant idea was it to feed diseased cow parts to fish?

In this issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, Dr. Robert P. Friedland, a neurologist at University of Louisville in Kentucky and colleagues suggest that farmed fish fed contaminated cow parts could transmit Creutzfeldt Jakob disease. The scientists want government regulators to ban feeding cow meat or bone meal to fish until the safety of this common practice can be confirmed. "We are concerned," Friedland and colleagues write, that eating farmed fish may provide a means of transmission of infectious proteins from cows to humans, causing variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease.”

"We have not proven that it's possible for fish to transmit the disease to humans. Still, we believe that out of reasonable caution for public health, the practice of feeding rendered cows to fish should be prohibited," Friedland said in a prepared statement. In a clear declaration of the obvious Friedland added "Fish do very well in the seas without eating cows”. The risk of transmission of made cow disease to humans is unknown but that's no guarantee that it can't happen. "The fact that no cases of Creutzfeldt Jakob disease have been linked to eating farmed fish does not assure that feeding rendered cow parts to fish is safe," Friedland said. "The incubation period of these diseases may last for decades, which makes the association between feeding practices and infection difficult," he points out.

Eating farmed fish was a risky practice before this revelation. Now it’s potentially demented.

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