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April 1998

Lord Justice Phillips
PO Box 163
SE99 2UZ

Submission to B.S.E. Inquiry

In 1992 myself and my family were diagnosed as suffering from Organophosphate sheep dip poisoning by blood tests carried out at Guys Hospital, London.

The fact that we all nearly died was seen as an irrelevance by Government departments. There was no treatment offered, or indeed any acknowledgement of our predicament. In simple terms, we were to be ignored to enable Government to cover its tracks - after all, they were responsible for licensing all veterinary products. In the face of such stonewalling, I decided to make my own enquiries, and contacted the following establishments for information - I am extremely grateful for their help:

The World Health Organisation
The Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, USA
The University of New Jersey, USA
The Pesticide Trust
The Royal Society of Chemistry, London
The Hazards Society, London

plus many private individuals. I am also extremely grateful to my lawyer for his support and advice. He has copies of all the papers in my possession.

With the help of the Royal Society of Chemistry, I obtained scientific information on all the OP compounds used as sheep dips, ie Diazinon, Propetamphos, Chlorfenvinphos, Carbophenothion; and via a third party, went on to Crufomate, which he had used as a warble fly dressing. I later explored all the OPs which had been used in the Gulf War.

What I began to find extremely worrying from this collection of information was that all OPs were cholinesterase inhibitors - the damage caused was cumulative, and research using laboratory animals showed that most were carcinogenic and also responsible for malformations in up to and including the third generation of offspring.

The destruction of the central nervous system, immune system and peripheral nervous system was also apparent with most OP compounds.

My next move was to collect as many published scientific papers as I thought were relevant. Copies of the following are enclosed:

1. Poisoning on the Farm by Dr Redhead, published in the Lancet in 1968. This paper explains the importance of the cholinesterase levels in man. It should be borne in mind that OPs were designed to attack the cholinesterase in insects, and will of course have the same effect on cattle.

2. Effects of Chronic Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure on the Central Nervous System by Richard J Korsak and Miles M Sato, published in 1977. This paper is important because it exposes the frontal lobe brain damage suffered by exposed victims.

3. Environmental Trichlorfon and Cluster of Congenital Abnormalities by Andrew E Czeizel et al, published in the Lancet in 1993. This paper is devastating in its content, and the fact that it has been ignored in the UK is unbelievable. The effect on the foetus is beyond words.

There are many other papers in my possession, which are of course available to the Inquiry, but I hope to have painted an adequate picture of the effects of OP poisoning on the insect, human and animal species for the present. I move on ...

As mentioned above, I received an enquiry about Crufomate. The information on this compound, plus the sight of BSE-afflicted cattle on television, made me aware of the alarming similarities in both our situation and that of the cattle. To put it bluntly, the human OP victims were going off their heads and off their legs! The cattle were becoming more obvious than the shepherds (more than 900 shepherds have committed suicide since 1984). Click here to view papers on crufomate

Black's Veterinary Dictionary, 10th Edition (1973) provided quite a lot of answers where it describes the effect on cattle treated with Crufomate for warble fly. The VMD deny knowledge of Crufomate (see letter attached) but the British Veterinary Association should still have the results of all the testing done on cattle before they gave their blessing to its usage. I have persistently called for the testing of cholinesterase levels in cattle before and after treatment for warble fly. This is unnecessary - it has been done, and the results should be made available to the Inquiry by the BVA as a matter of urgency. The maternal transmission is explained in the following paper:

Reproduction and Growth of Progeny of Female Mice mated after treatment with Crufomate - author M A Khan - Research Station Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada; published in the Journal of Scientific Health in 1981. It is interesting to observe that when the first damning scientific papers on a product are published, the chemical companies react in a somewhat vigorous manner - by withdrawing the offending compound and substituting it with something considerably worse!

I consider that I have proved the link between OPs and BSE. What I could never see was a link between BSE and nv CJD, unless nv CJD was some other form of chemical poisoning. Had these two conditions been the same, there would not have been any OP victims left alive to tell the tale. In any case, the Department of Social Security have been paying out Industrial Injury Benefit to OP victims in industry for decades.

There are very few, if any, recorded deaths from chemical poisoning in the UK, but there are numerous reported deaths from "glue sniffing", "inhalation of lighter fuel", etc. Autopsies on all these deaths would presumably show frontal lobe brain damage, plus failure of the respiratory tract - but I digress. The nearest I have come to identifying nv CJD as a form of chemical poisoning is a version of Pyrethroid poisoning, the symptoms of which are identical to those exhibited by nv CJD victims (see enclosed literature).

I have requested Mr Rutter of the VMD to forward my findings to SEAC. He has intimated that he has done this, although I have had no response from SEAC. I also passed my findings to Mr Frank Dobson, the Minister for Health, on 23rd February 1998, without receiving any reply to date. I have also sent to the Inquiry, prior to this paper, such scant information on Pyrethroids as is available, in the hope that it may be of assistance to any further victims diagnosed with nv CJD.

Finally, the chemical companies should be invited to submit all research papers to the Inquiry - I am sure they have much more than I do, and some effort should be made immediately to help the thousands of suffering shepherds. It is also of extreme importance that every scrap of information relating to Pyrethroid poisoning be made available to the general public as a matter of urgency. The fact that these compounds are being used as a head lice treatment for children is appalling.


Poisoning on the Farm by I H Redhead; published Vol 1 "The Lancet" 30th March 1968.

Effects of Chronic Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure on the Central Nervous System by Richard J Korsak MD and Miles M Sato BA; published 1997 "Clinical Toxicology 11 (1)" pp 83-95.

Environmental Trichlorfon and Cluster of Congenital Abnormalities by Andrew E Czeizel et al; published Vol 341 "The Lancet" 27th February 1993.

Reproduction and Growth of Progeny of Female Mice mated after Treatment with Crufomate by M A Khan; published 1981 "Journal of Scientific Health" B16 (2) pp 141-157.

A Systemic Reaction following exposure to a Pyrethroid Insecticide by S A Box and M R Lee; published 1996 "Human and Experimental Toxicology" 15 pp 389-390.

Toxic Treatments Directory page 175 - "Pyrethroids".

Recognition and Management of Pesticide Poisoning - 4th Edition, 1989, by Donald P Morgan MD PhD.

Black's Veterinary Dictionary - 10th Edition, 1973 - page 1005.

  Dated 29/10/2005.

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Click here to view a paper on BSE and Poisoning by Mrs Sutcliffe which is now found in the British library.

Click here to view Mrs Sutcliffe's second paper on BSE and its cause which is also now found in the British library.

Click here to view papers on crufomate

Click here to read Mrs Sutcliffe's comments on Crufomate

An Official Review of the Management of Organophosphate Poisoning

   Updated 11/07/2007.

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