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BSE and the use of cattle tissues in inoculates

by Joanna Wheatley

Long Lane Farm
Touchen End
Berks SL6 3LG
1st March 2001

Commissioner Byrne
Rue De La Loi 200

Dear Commissioner Byrne,


BSE, scrapie and CJD are termed Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies [TSEs], a term denoted them as they are spongiform encephalopathy diseases which have been noted in actual not just experimental situations to become transmissible by injection.

Issues concerning the regular practice of cattle tissue injection into cattle

It would appear the above issue of using bovine tissues in the culture of injectable pharmaceuticals has not been given due acknowledgement and consideration when equating a full perspective of BSE. It is ludicrous to attend to the dangers of recycling BSE through ingestion when the injection route appears to be unconsidered. I would be grateful if you would consider the enclosed correspondence to Professor Krebs chairman of the British Food Standards Agency.

It is imperative these basic facts are acknowledged if further cases of BSE are to be avoided. The licensed use of within species pituitary extracted hormones in fertility work continued until 1993 in Britain, and the ignorance of the risks associated with these veterinary medicines by vets and farmers may well have contributed to the perpetuation of BSE.

However if this practice has not and does not cause a problem, then how can the far less risky practice of ingestion of these materials be qualified as the cause or spread of BSE. Other factors must be relevant such as toxic load [including feed components] and genetic susceptibility, these have received little to no investigation.

I would be grateful if you could inform me as to the status of bovine tissues used in European veterinary and human medicines.

Do these materials come from pharmaceutical herds, which are kept to specific standards?

What are those standards?

Who polices the standards?

Do these animals pass through designated slaughtering and processing facilities, which are to the standards befitting their purpose?

I do not believe the whole European herd and slaughtering facilities could reach these standards and traceability through the guise of creating BSE free food. Without farmers and vets understanding the basic issues and dangers BSE will not go away, pharmaceuticals are an international market which are internationally obtainable. Furthermore just as we are beginning to learn of BSE in Europe there may well be BSE in other countries such as, America, Australia or just about any country where fertility and growth treatments may use natural pituitary extracted hormones.

As of March 2001 it will become illegal to use British bovine tissues in veterinary inoculates, it became illegal to use them in human preparations in July of this year. I am obviously concerned, as perhaps you might be as a user of medical pharmaceuticals, that these materials should come from an accountable source, and designated processing. However whilst so much emphasis is being focused on food routes of transmission, the far greater risks posed by the inoculate route appear not to be addressed.

Yours Sincerely

Joanna Wheatley