- THE OBSERVER, the Londan
daily newspaper, is reporting on Monday that the "mad cow" epidemic
may have been caused by scientific attempts in the 1980s to create a super
- Reporters Patrick Wintour and Antony Barnett cite experts
who "believe that hormones, taken from the brains of slaughterhouse
carcasses, were injected into cows in a bid to create a new breed of super-cattle."
- "The hormones, extracted from pituitary glands,
were transmitted in an agent that spread mad cow disease and eventually
infected humans as new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (nvCJD)."
- The article describes how the use of human growth hormones
in the past has created scientific nightmares as results:
- "Twenty years ago, a similar use of human growth
hormone, extracted from the pituitary glands of cadavers and given to children
with congenital dwarfism, was shown to have spread CJD among humans."
- While many scientists and cattle experts believe the
theory to be compelling, a spokesman for the British Ministry of Agriculture
told the paper, "It is a theory being considered, but it is only a
- So far, the disease has killed 43 people, and cost Britain
upwards of $6.4 billion pounds ($9.7 billion USD).