The main failing of the Phillips Inquiry was that it restricted itself to
certain time spans and it is widely believed that this was intended to allow
the government of the day to escape any criticism. However it also had the
effect of hiding the fact that BSE continues to be a problem long after the
so-called experts suggested that it would be "history".
In fact BSE is increasing on the continent despite the restrictions imposed which were supposed to have eradicated the disease many years ago.
This was another failure of the Inquiry in that it did not address causation and therefore left the door wide open for more sordid tricks intended to hide the truth. To this end it seems the Government appointed Professor Gabriel Horn who was instructed to review the origins of BSE.
Recent reports suggested that he was to interview just four individuals in his
search for the cause of BSE and it seems that those individuals were not
necessarily qualified to make a scientific opinion on the possible causes.
In fact there were very many scientists who have worked exclusively on the subject and independent of MAFF who could have been called to give evidence but were "overlooked" by Professor Horn. This was not unexpected.
Nor was his conclusion which seems at odds with the conclusions of the Phillips
Inquiry in that Professor Horn reverted to the preferred MAFF line and
restated the unproven theory that scrapie caused BSE. Furthermore he again
relied on the MAFF led research and epidemiological studies which have been
shown to be flawed but which they employed to discount the involvement of
toxic chemicals such as Organophosphates in BSE causation.
He achieved this rewriting of the story of BSE by ignoring the proven facts that other countries have, like the UK, lived with scrapie for hundreds of years and fed rendered meat to their animals for the best part of a century without any sign of BSE.
He ignored the fact that countries to which the UK exported the very meat and bone meal he claims caused BSE have not themselves had the problems seen in the UK which he now claims were caused by that same material.
In reaching his conclusions he does not even appear to have mentioned the risk from BSE contaminated hormone injections which are proven to be a thousand times greater risk than eating the material.
Interestingly he suggests that the changes in the rendering techniques may have resulted in a ten-fold increase in "infectivity" but there is no firm evidence that the supposedly "infective" material caused any BSE when the earlier methods were used which he claims were not "completely effective" in extracting the "infection". This is very strange because MAFF had made every effort to show that minute quantities could cause BSE in order to persuade the people that it was the farmers who were causing the tens of thousands cases of BSE in cattle born after the feed ban in the late 1980s by feeding food contaminated accidentally with MBM.
Few commentators refer to this ban now, preferring the MAFF line that the real ban came in 1996 but sadly we are still getting cases in animals born after that date and who have never so much as sniffed Meat and Bone meal.
Although he dismissed the OP connection he refers to the ratio of sheep to
cattle as if this somehow explains why the UK had more BSE than elsewhere.
I wonder if he considered how many of those sheep had been dipped in toxic pesticides like OPs and how much of those chemicals remained in the rendered meat? Some observers were amazed at how easily MAFF dismissed the OP factor and wondered how they could say so confidently that some farms had never used OP chemicals when treating with OP warblecides and sheep dips was actually compulsory and the grain they were fed would have contained OP insecticides added to the harvested crop. It was almost impossible to avoid these chemicals and in fact the Ministry took people like Mark Purdey to court if they failed to comply with the order to use OP warblecides or sheep dips.
Perhaps it is no surprise then that Professor Horn qualifies his verdict on OP involvement by agreeing that the chemicals could make the cattle more susceptible to the disease.
Inevitably the Horn Review reportedly claims that mutations of scrapie may
have caused BSE has re-kindled the efforts of those researchers with an eye
on a "good earner" to begin testing sheep for BSE. There have even been
unfounded claims suggesting that BSE was in sheep and lambs as long ago as
the 1990s and yet is is scientifically impossible to prove and will once
again damage the livestock industry at a time when it is hardest hit.
There has never been any evidence of BSE in sheep and yet it is claimed that minute amounts of "infective" material can cause sheep to become ill and that the disease then spreads throughout the nervous system of the animal.
This scare story is a bit late in coming because the majority of sheep which had been alive at that time have long since gone and yet officials denied that there was any risk at all at the peak of the BSE crisis.
First we are told that sheep scrapie caused BSE and then that the BSE found its way into the sheep and all this is founded on the assumption that there is an "infective agent". It is to be hoped that these scientists are wrong because on their advice many people changed from eating the perfectly "safe" beef to what they now say could have been very much "unsafe" lamb!
Will they admit to their responsibility though? This too is doubtful.
Interestingly the latest scare has been led by the Food Standards Agency.
This is the same Agency which claims confidence in the science of pirimiphos methyl and glyphosate even though there are serious opposing views on the safety of these two compounds. It is also the same Agency whose Chairman proclaimed support for the introduction of genetically modified crops.
Strange then that they ignore proven risks and yet publicise the unproven, and to many unscientific and merely theoretical, views on BSE and sheep.
It seems that those who ask if there is a hidden agenda have good grounds.
There is little doubt that this latest scare would not have surfaced were it not for the over-ruling of the Phillips Inquiry by the Horn Review.
So, as with the various "investigations" into the human effects of OPs, the conclusion of yet another review into BSE is that there is a need for further research. The conclusion is that there is no conclusion.
With the claims made by science that they can entrap a criminal by a speck of DNA and trace the source of diseases even in animals long since extinct the observers of this tragic farce could be forgiven for thinking that the scientists involved are not trying very hard to find the truth.
For those interested in the truth about BSE it is recommended that they read a book written by a truly independent scientist who has actually worked on this disease. The book title is "BSE: A DISASTER OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS OR A DISASTER OF BRITISH SCIENCE" ISBN 0-9503632-1-9 and it is written by Janie Axelrad, published by the Hampden Trust and can be obtained from them at Room 222, Southbank House, Black Prince Road, London SE1 7SJ by sending a cheque to the value of 5 pounds UK.
It was first published on the web in 1999 on the website of the Institute of Economic Affairs at http://iea.org.uk
As Christopher Gill, RD MP wrote in the forward to the book
Sadly as has been seen with this review and Foot and Mouth this continues.
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