Mad Cow Disease: Is It Really Manganese Madness?

Several days ago, I posted an article about grass-fed animals having a reduced risk of contracting Prion Disease or Mad Cow Disease. It appears information in that article was very right, and very wrong. Yes, animals that are grassfed ARE healthier, and we, in turn, receive benefit of that when we drink grass-fed milk or eat grass-fed meat. The really, really wrong theory, about prions becoming perverted because cows, ruminants, are fed meat by-products, is what takes some thinking through. This theory is widely accepted around the world as the basis for Mad Cow Disease, but if it is viewed with good scientific methods, the perverted-prion theory falls apart. Mark Purdy is leading the way to uncover the real issues behind Mad Cow Disease. From what I’ve read, he’s someone the Industry would like to quiet, so I feel it is my duty to join his cause and spread the word. Here’s an excellent article written by the Idaho Observer about Mark Purdy’s theory. I also ask forgiveness for having helped to spread wrong information about the prion theory, sending people down the wrong path. Help me get the word out and distribute the following article. -Sharon

From the March 2004 Idaho Observer

Mad Cow disease: Is it really Manganese Madness?

The Idaho Observer has taken a dissident position on every disease scare that exists. In each case, whether its AIDS, SARS, West Nile, small/monkey/cow/mousepox, anthrax, the “official” stories used to scare people do not stand up to scientific scrutiny, logic or even field experience. Mad cow is no different except in one significant way: Prion diseases are currently all up and down the food chain and all creatures with brains have what it takes to be ravaged by mutated prions. What on earth has caused this global propensity for madness? The answer to that is why people must believe the official lies about mad cow.

Mad Cow or Manganese Madness?

From Friday’s Journal

Mad Cow disease has been big in the news of late and I’ve been studying the work of Mark Purdey for some good light on the subject. Purdey is an English cattle farmer with personal experience with the disease and an extraordinary amount of scientific research on the subject under his belt.

False presumptions

Everyone seems now to assume that the cause of mad cow disease is established and known. It is caused by a horrible “rogue prion” that jumped from sheep into cattle when the cattle were fed meat and bone meal that contained the remains of sheep that had scrapie—the sheep version of mad cow disease.

This meat and bone meal is made from the carcasses of all sorts of animals, road kill, euthanized pets and sick farm animals—all ground up and dried and made into powder. Once lodged in the body of an animal or human, this rogue prion somehow multiplies itself until it takes over your brain, fills your brain full of holes like a sponge and then kills you.

Nothing destroys this rogue prion—not cooking, not irradiation, not the passage of time.

Everyone seems now to assume that this has been established beyond controversy as the true cause of mad cow disease. It has a strong emotional appeal because most people find the practice of feeding meat and bone meal to naturally herbivorous cattle perverse and disgusting.

Many well meaning people are using the concern over mad cow disease to advocate banning this meat and bone meal as a feed for cattle and raising cattle and other meat animals by organic standards. I’m all in favor of organic farming and I’m all in favor of feeding herbivorous cattle on their proper herbivorous food. Nevertheless, now that I’ve studied Purdey’s work, I’m not at all convinced that we’ve been given the true story on the real cause of mad cow disease. Purdey appears to have come closer to the true cause of mad cow disease than anyone else.

Logic 101

Those who say that the problem of mad cow disease, and its human equivalent Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, or CJD, would disappear if the use of this meat and bone meal as cattle feed were altogether banned, while well-intentioned and advocating something that I certainly agree should be done, may not be right.

For instance, Purdey notes that the meat and bone meal was banned in Britain in 1988, but nevertheless 40,000 cattle born after the ban have come down with mad cow disease. Further, he notes that in Ireland, Portugal, and France, there have been more cases of mad cow disease reported in cattle born AFTER the meat and bone meal feed was banned in these countries, than were being reported before the bans. So the real cause of mad cow disease may very well lie elsewhere than what we have all been told.

Phosmet and the warble fly

Mark Purdey’s interest in mad cow disease began in 1982 when the English government demanded that all cattle be treated with large doses of an organophosphate insecticide called Phosmet, applied along their spines in a systemic formulation designed to go through the animal’s skin and make its system toxic to the warble fly.

Purdey was an organic farmer and didn’t want to do it. He took his case to court where he prevailed in 1984. The next year, mad cow disease appeared in Britain and Purdey immediately suspected it was connected to this warble fly eradication program. He noticed that no cows born and raised on organic farms and not treated with Phosmet, ever developed mad cow disease, although the organic standards at the time allowed feeding these animals some meat and bone meal. A few of his cattle developed mad cow disease but they were all animals he had purchased and brought in from conventional farms.

Immaculate replication?

Purdey thought that the advocates of the “rogue prion in the meat-and-bone-meal” theory hadn’t done a very good job of explaining how this rogue prion was created in the first place. Purdey also found there were no explanations as to how these rogue prions replicated themselves once they had invaded their host. Therefore, Purdey reasoned, the meat-and-bone-meal theory cannot explain how the rogue prions could eventually gain the force of numbers to turn one’s brain into a sponge.

This “rogue” prion is not a virus, it is not a bacteria, it is not a fungus, it is not a tiny parasitic animalcule. It is not a living organism of any sort. It is a protein molecule. In high school biology class we learn that protein molecules do not replicate themselves sexually; we learn that proteins are assembled upon demand from resources found in our bodies and manufactured according to codes and templates for their structure contained in our DNA.

Thus far I have not heard any of the advocates of the popular theory explain this unique self-multiplying property of this particular prion protein molecule. To my knowledge, no other protein molecule in the universe has ever demonstrated such behavior.

The Mad Cowboy

I heard Howard Lyman, the Mad Cowboy, in a radio interview recently. Lyman, author of a book entitled, “The Mad Cowboy,” popularized the subject of mad cow disease in America with his appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show in 1996. I liked listening to Lyman as he’s obviously a very well-intentioned man who has dedicated his life to the promotion of organic farming. I couldn’t help but notice, however, that his presentation did not contain any science to back up his explanation of the cause and spread of mad cow disease.

The scientific cowboy

Purdey, on the other hand, has been proceeding logically to determine how the prions replicate and how mad cow really spreads. Suspecting Phosmet was involved but not wanting to jump to any conclusions, Purdey hired Dr. Stephen Whatley of the Institute of Psychiatry in London, to subject brain cell cultures to doses of Phosmet to see if this would create the rogue prion. As I’ve come to understand, prion proteins are normal constituents of nerve and brain tissue but deformed, abnormal prions are being found in the brains of the poor wretched creatures who die from mad cow disease.

Whatley’s tests caused some deformation of the prion protein, but not in the precise configuration found in the mad cow disease. So Purdey went back to square one and continued researching further, with a willingness to abandon his initial hypothesis if the evidence could not be found to support it.

Purdey observed that the mad cow disease, and its human form CJD, and the same disease found amongst deer and referred to as chronic wasting disease (CWO), were occurring in clusters in certain areas here and there around the world.

This was another point where he found the popular theory not making sense. If mad cow disease were really caused by the cattle eating meat and bone meal, and if CJD were really caused by people eating beef, then the disease should be occurring at random over broad areas, not in clusters in, certain small limited areas.

Purdey also observed that Britain was exporting large amounts of meat and bone meal to a number of countries such as India, South Africa and Saudi Arabia, and yet the cattle there were not developing mad cow disease.

Further he noted that several antelope in the London Zoo came down with mad cow disease but they had never eaten meat and bone meal. He also observed how several cows on an English government experimental farm, raised totally on grass and silage with no meat and bone meal, developed mad cow disease.

These things just didn’t add up to support the official theory. Since the disease was occurring in clusters in certain limited areas, Purdey logically suspected that environmental factors—something peculiar to the environment of these areas—was likely the cause of prion disease outbreaks.

(I recently heard a radio news report this morning about a cluster of CJD cases appearing in a town in New Jersey; more confirmation of Purdey’s observations).

Common environmental factors discovered

Purdey traveled to as many mad cow disease cluster areas—or maybe I should call them spongiform encephelopathy cluster areas, since they included CJD and CWD areas as well.

“Spongiform” means that it’s full of little holes like a sponge; “encephelo” means brain, and “pathy” means disease. So “spongiform encephelopathy” is just a fancy name for a disease that fills your brain full of little holes so it looks like a sponge.

Anyway, Purdey traveled to as many areas around the world as he could get to, where clusters of the spongiform encephelopathy diseases were occurring, to examine the local environments. Purdey was searching for unusual conditions that may be common among areas reporting incidence of prion disease.

Purdey reports that, in all these areas, he found a certain package of similar environmental factors.

One was a very low level of copper in the soil, so that animals and people living there would tend to be deficient in copper.

Another was an abnormally high level of manganese, either naturally occurring in the soil or, in many cases, as a result of a local industry polluting the area with manganese.

Manganese madness?

Purdey’s investigations revealed is a condition called “manganese madness” developed with some frequency by manganese miners, with symptoms essentially the same as CJD. So it began to look likely that these spongiform encephelopathy diseases were forms of manganese poisoning. It is said that CJD is very similar to Alzheimer’s disease, which is generally attributed to metal toxicity from aluminum and mercury. It makes sense that CJD could be due to similar metal toxicity from manganese.

Another factor common to mad cow disease clusters, Purdey found, was either very high levels of ultraviolet light due to high altitude, or frequent sonic shocks caused by sonic booms of supersonic aircraft, frequent explosions or, in a few cases, proximity to a rumbling volcano. So he set out to discover how this particular package of environmental factors could be causing brains to turn into sponges.

Scientific support for empirical observations

Purdey then found that his work connected very well with the work of Dr. David Brown of Cambridge University. Dr. Brown had demonstrated that normal, healthy prion protein bonds to copper in the normal, healthy brain and nervous system. Remember, this prion protein is a normal constituent of a normal brain; it is abnormal or deformed prion proteins that are associated with spongiform encephelopathy disease.

Is it the abnormal prion that causes the disease or is it some unhealthy factor in the environment that causes the prion to become deformed and abnormal and this leads to the disease?

Purdey published a paper proposing that: Manganese could, in the presence of copper deficiency in the animal or human, substitute for copper in the prion protein, thus producing the abnormal prion found in the brains of spongiform encephelopathy disease victims.

This was a hypothesis based on his field work in the areas where clusters of mad cow and CJD were occurring and where, he observed, all these areas had unusually low levels of copper in the soil and unusually high levels of manganese in either the soil or the atmosphere.

Purdey reports that, “David Brown ran the necessary cell-culture experiments, in which he introduced manganese into copper-depleted prion protein cell cultures.”

Behold the mutated prion

Amazingly, his experiments produced the key deformation of the prion protein which the earlier tests using organophosphate (OP) insecticides like the Phosmet (Purdey initially suspected as the cause of mad cow disease at the Institute of Psychiatry) had failed to create. These experiments represented the first time that malformed prion protein had been created experimentally as a de novo transformation.

So it appears that these experiments definitively answered the key question of where this abnormal prion came from in the first place, something I have not heard the advocates of the conventional theory do with any clarity.

What I have heard them say is that the rogue prion originally came from sheep with scrapie disease. How the sheep got it in the first place is not explained. But because scrapie-diseased sheep brains were included in the meat and bone meal fed to cattle, the prion got into cattle where it then proceeded to multiply itself by the gazillions.

Again they don’t explain how the prion multiplies itself. And if a person eats meat or a beef byproduct such as a gelatin capsule that contains one of these rogue prions, again it can multiply itself by the gazillions in the brain of the unfortunate person until it turns his or her brain into a sponge and he or she dies a most wretched death.

Supplementation over slaughter

Further, it appears that here we would also have the real key to preventing spongiform encephelopathy disease—not by mass slaughter of healthy animals as the government is wont to do, on the premise that they may harbor rogue prions which they will eventually transmit to somebody, and not by electronically tagging and tracking every animal, but by simply making sure that the animals—or we ourselves—do not suffer from copper deficiencies in their nutrition.

The conventional theory has made many people worried sick over getting CJD and they’ve given up meat eating and continue to live in anxiety that they may get CJD from a stray prion that has wormed its devilish way into a gelatin capsule or bar of soap.

It certainly sounds to me that, if people are concerned over CJD, the wise thing to do would be to take a mineral supplement that would assure them of adequate copper. They might also prevent themselves from getting gray hair that way, as I’ve heard Dr. Joel Wallach, the “dead-doctors-don’t-lie” man, say that gray hair is the result of copper deficiency.

Purdey further reports that researchers at Case Western University in Cleveland analyzed brain tissue from victims of CJD. These brain tissues, compared to control brains, reportedly contained a ten-fold higher level of manganese and a 50 percent reduced level of copper—and the manganese was bonded to the abnormal prions in these CJD tissues.

Political hay

The fanatic vegetarians of course like to use this fear in the service of their cause but it is wrong to promote anything on false premises. Let vegetarianism be promoted by whatever truthful arguments can be mustered up for it, not by false theories of the cause of spongiform encephelopathy diseases.

Riddle solved?

So it looks like the riddle of what causes these spongiform encephelopathy diseases is essentially solved. It’s a form of manganese poisoning that can occur in the presence of a copper deficiency.

Purdey has some further refinements to add to the picture. For instance, what about the Phosmet Purdey initially suspected as the cause of mad cow disease?

Purdey found that Phosmet chelates copper out of the bodies of the cattle, thus leading to the copper deficiency that then allowed mad cow disease to develop. There are organophosphate pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers humans use for various purposes that can have a similar effect on us.

More observations in support of the OP/copper/manganese hypothesis

Purdey says Britain had the highest rate of mad cow disease because of the compulsory warble fly eradication program that required all farmers to treat their cattle with high doses of systemic Phosmet applied along the spine. Other countries that experienced some outbreak of the disease but not as much as Britain either did not have such a compulsory program or used the organophosphates in lower doses or non-systemically.

Another product Purdey implicates in mad cow disease is artificial milk substitute often fed to calves, which have up to 1,000 times the level of manganese found in natural cow’s milk.

Purdey observed that the mad cow, CJD and CWD cluster areas all were subject either to frequent sonic shocks or very high levels of ultraviolet light.

Copper is used in wires as an efficient conductor of electricity; manganese is used in batteries to store electricity. Purdey hypothesizes that the normal prion protein, bonded to copper, facilitates a smooth flow of the energy brought into the nervous system via sound and light. Conversely, when manganese substitutes for copper, energy would have a tendency to be stored rather than allowed to flow. This could result in explosive releases of energy, thereby progressively deteriorating the brain tissues in the spongiform pattern.

It’s quite an ingenious explanation. I haven’t heard the proponents of the official theory advance a scientifically viable explanation as to why the rogue prion causes spongiform deterioration of the brain.

Purdey also suspects the sonic shocks from supersonic airplanes could be altering the magnetic qualities of manganese in such a way as to promote an even more rapid degeneration of the brain tissues.

The kuru copper connection

Another case that is frequently mentioned in discussions of mad cow disease, is the disease called “kuru” that has afflicted many members of the Fore tribe in New Guinea.

Being essentially the same as CJD, kuru is always attributed to traditions of cannibalism specific to these people.

The public readily accepts this explanation since cannibalism is morally and emotionally repugnant to most people and, therefore, it seems a sort of divine or poetic justice that it would lead to a horrible disease like kuru.

It’s sort of similar to the way sodomy is repugnant to people of normal sexual desires, and so some see it as a sort of divine or poetic justice that it’s practice be blamed for transmitting AIDS.

However, Purdey observed that many other New Guinea tribes were cannibals but only the Fore were getting kuru.

Curiously, the Fore people had been cannibals for centuries but had only started getting kuru after World War II. Purdey traveled there to examine the environment, and found the local soils deficient in copper.

Manganese/aluminum alloy and kuru-type madness

Completing the picture, during World War II some Japanese airplanes had crashed in the area. The Fore people had made utensils and cooking pots from the manganese-aluminum metal they salvaged from these airplanes—a likely source of manganese poisoning.

Purdey also found that a cluster of CJD cases had developed in the Fuji River valley in Japan, downwind from the factory where the manganese-aluminum panels for these airplanes were manufactured, where the atmosphere was tainted with manganese-laden emissions from the factory smokestacks.

Dissidence deadlier than disease

Science these days is inevitably entangled with politics, and Purdey found that in advancing his perspective on the true cause of mad cow disease, he evidently displeased some powerful political interests. His house burned down. His lawyer, who had helped him with his court case against the government’s mandatory Phosmet program and his veterinarian, who was assisting in his research, both died in strange auto accidents. Attempts were made to slander and discredit him morally and professionally.

What political interests would want to interfere with his efforts to bring some objective science to the question of the cause of mad cow disease?

The chemical industry that makes $billions from organophosphate sales would well have an interest in not having these chemicals linked to causing outbreaks of prion diseases.

Slaughter the animals, kill the family farm

Purdey also sees an interest of corporate farming here: Massive, multinational corporations such as Arthur Daniels Midland are putting vast acreages of farmland worldwide under cultivation. They are growing genetically engineered grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes heavily treated with chemical pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

Their competition is traditional family farmers who raise crops and livestock without chemicals. If word got out that global madness through mutated prions was linked to genetically engineered crops treated with OPs, multinational corporate agribusiness would suffer a public relations disaster from which it may never recover.

It would well suit these agribusiness interests to put traditional family farmers out of business. Since there is no science to support the mass slaughter of infected animals, it is logical to suspect that public fear of eating contaminated meat or is nurtured in the press to justify government slaughter programs. Rather than exterminating the rogue prions, government slaughter programs are helping to exterminate agribusiness’ competition: The family farmer.

Big Brother implications

The official theory also furnishes a convenient rationale to mandate electronic tagging and tracking of all livestock via microchips. Developing the livestock surveillance infrastructure lays the groundwork for applying such a surveillance system to people.

Chemical/copper connection known for half a century

In an article entitled “The Grammar of BSE Panic” in the February, 2004 edition of “Acres U.S.A.” we find these words:

“Writing some 50 years ago in SOIL, GRASS & CANCER” Andre Voisin noted how certain chemicals interfered with the uptake of copper even when that nutrient was available in the pastures.

“He called this ‘disease’ epizootic ataxia. It sounds like bovine spongiform encephelopathy to us, and the university-blessed grinding of cats, dogs, cows, chickens and horses to make cattle-cake was not even a blip on the radar screen at that time…After England experienced BSE cases in animals, now identified by prions bent out of shape, the defenders of toxic-genetic chemicals postulated an infectious disease agent of some sort and resultant transmissibility.

“The answer was to shoot herds and to construct a theory with a politically-correct etiology. The only rule seemed to be, ‘Do not implicate phosphate factories spewing their pollution into the ambient air, and never, never indict Phosmet poured on animal spines…There are several chemical agents quite capable of turning a brain into a sponge. Mercury and Minimata disease come to mind.”

Official story does not pass basic scientific muster

In the same publication indicated above, a letter from the Minnesota COACT organization (www.coact.org) said, “BSE fails to fulfill what is known as ‘Koch’s postulates’—the yardstick for gauging whether a given disease stems from infectious origins. Briefly, they are

1. The causal agent is found in all symptomatic animals;

2. The causal agent is not found with other diseases; and

3. The causal agent can be isolated and cultured, then reproduced in a susceptible host.”

COACT also noted that, “A BSE prion is a protein particle that does not contain DNA or RNA.”

So without any DNA or RNA how does one of these bloody things jump off your hamburger and into your body and so it can madly replicate itself until your brain has been turned into a sponge?

***

Editor’s Comments

Since the powers-that-be have an interest in maintaining the rogue prion theory as the cause of mad cow disease in public perception, you won’t hear of Purdey’s work being reported in the dominant media.

But what Purdey says makes sense and his theories are supported by 50 years of published science where the official theory would not pass a high school biology test. So I’ve put on my journalist’s hat and have written this to do my bit to get the word out to the public, because that’s the only way we can hope to get the truth out.

Thomas Jefferson said, “If the people lead, then eventually the leaders will follow.”

If we can make the truth about mad cow disease common enough knowledge amongst the general public, then the authorities of the scientific world will finally accept it.

Unfortunately though, if that happens, the authorities of the scientific world will not give Purdey the credit he deserves but will claim to have discovered it themselves: “Can’t allow the peasants to think they can do anything important.”

It’s like 75 years ago the health nuts were saying you could prevent cancer by eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. The medical authorities debunked it and said your diet had nothing to do with whether or not you got cancer. But the health nuts kept on, and eventually the general public came to understand the relationship between diet and cancer that the medical authorities have suddenly discovered you can reduce your risk of cancer by eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables.

But they cite their own studies in support of this radical concept and do not give the health nuts of 75 years ago any credit for having known it all along.

One problem with communicating Purdey’s perspective is that it takes a little bit of study to understand it. The official theory is very easy to understand and emotionally grabbing. “They’re feeding rotten meat to cows that are supposed to eat grass!” Which I agree is not the right thing to do, but that doesn’t prove it’s really the cause of mad cow disease.

Purdey’s writing by contrast is fairly technical and I had to read it through about six times before I understood it. Not many people will bother to do that. Although, since I’m just a high school dropout and not very bright, most people wouldn’t have to study it near as much as I did to understand it. So I’ve written this to try to put Purdey’s perspective in as plain and simple language as I can to try to help more people understand it.

So, if you think this article is saying something true and important, HELP GET THE WORD OUT! Make more copies of this, put it up on websites, email it or snail mail it to as many people as you can. And, of course, it would be great if you’d read Purdey’s work for yourself and don’t depend just on me for your understanding of it.

The difference between us and the dominant media is that we do the best we can to tell each other the truth so we can make the most of our lives and raise our children in a decent world whereas the dominant media engages psychological warfare against you, in order to deceive and mislead you into supporting its big business advertisers. (DWH)

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You can read Purdey’s work for yourself at his website, which is at www.markpurdey.com


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