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In brief

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 01 January 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:8

Rapid Response:

U.S. Scientist should be concerned with a CJD epidemic in the U.S., as well...

In reading your short article about 'Scientist warn of CJD epidemic'
news in brief Jan. 1, 2000. I find the findings in the PNAS old news, made
famous again. Why is the U.S. still sitting on their butts, ignoring the
facts? We have the beginning of a CJD epidemic in the U.S., and the U.S.
Gov. is doing everything in it's power to conceal it.

The exact same recipe for B.S.E. existed in the U.S. for years and
years. In reading over the Qualitative Analysis of BSE Risk Factors-1,
this is a 25 page report by the USDA:APHIS:VS. It could have been done in
one page. The first page, fourth paragraph says it all;

"Similarities exist in the two countries usage of continuous
rendering technology and the lack of usage of solvents, however, large
differences still remain with other risk factors which greatly reduce the
potential risk at the national level."

Then, the next 24 pages tries to down-play the high risks of B.S.E.
in the U.S., with nothing more than the cattle to sheep ratio count, and
the geographical locations of herds and flocks. That's all the evidence
they can come up with, in the next 24 pages.

Something else I find odd, page 16;

"In the United Kingdom there is much concern for a specific
continuous rendering technology which uses lower temperatures and accounts
for 25 percent of total output. This technology was _originally_
designed and imported from the United States. However, the specific
application in the production process is _believed_ to be different in
the two countries."

A few more factors to consider, page 15;

"Figure 26 compares animal protein production for the two countries.
The calculations are based on slaughter numbers, fallen stock estimates,
and product yield coefficients. This approach is used due to variation of
up to 80 percent from different reported sources. At 3.6 million tons, the
United States produces 8 times more animal rendered product than the
United Kingdom."

"The risk of introducing the BSE agent through sheep meat and bone
meal is more acute in both relative and absolute terms in the United
Kingdom (Figures 27 and 28). Note that sheep meat and bone meal accounts
for 14 percent, or 61 thousand tons, in the United Kingdom versus 0.6
percent or 22 thousand tons in the United States. For sheep greater than 1
year, this is less than one-tenth of one percent of the United States

"The potential risk of amplification of the BSE agent through cattle
meat and bone meal is much greater in the United States where it accounts
for 59 percent of total product or almost 5 times more than the total
amount of rendered product in the United Kingdom."

Considering, it would only take _one_ scrapie infected sheep to
contaminate the feed. Considering Scrapie has run rampant in the U.S. for
years, as of Aug. 1999, 950 scrapie infected flocks. Also, Considering
only one quarter spoonful of scrapie infected material is lethal to a cow.

Considering all this, the sheep to cow ration is meaningless. As I said,
it's 24 pages of B.S.e.

To be continued...

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
P.O. Box 42
Bacliff, Texas USA

Competing interests: No competing interests

02 January 2000
Terry S Singeltary