There has long been a belief in the farming community that the treatment of animals with chemicals has been the root cause of BSE but to believe something and to prove it are two quite different things. I am now confident that we have proved the theory.

My interest in the organophosphate group of chemicals and the danger they represent, goes back ten years to 1992, when myself and my family were devastated by the compulsory use of organophosphate sheep dips. To learn more I had to make enquiries overseas and I owe a great deal to the E.P.A. Washington who were very generous with their help and information.

I have never seen any difference between what happened to the cattle with BSE and what happened to the poisoned shepherds. When you canít walk between two gates in a field without falling over, you know you have a problem and when you begin to lose the power of speech and reasoning then you become absolutely sure. The sight of afflicted cattle on T.V. filled many of us with dread.

My scientific background is none existent but it seemed a good idea to start with the Health and Safety Data sheets of all the products relating to sheep dip. The information was astounding and explained why the farmers and the shepherds had never had sight of them until 1993. I then began to collect data on the compounds used for treatment of warble fly infestations in cattle; Crufomate was the first . This was followed by Coumaphos, Triclorfon and last but not least, Phosmet.

Researching any subject is difficult and costs time and money but when the subject is a closed book it becomes nigh on impossible. The obstacles become even worse when the people who should be helping are becoming more and more obstructive. I cite The Veterinary Medicines Directorate, The Health and Safety Executive, Local Environmental Health Offices, The Department of Health, and of course the mouthpiece for the chemical companies, The National Office of Animal Health.

The shepherds got together and pooled information and what a wonderful group of people they have turned out to be. Blackís Veterinary Dictionary 1973, 10th edition became the focus of much attention.
There we discovered the symptoms of Crufomate poisoning if the cattle were overdosed. At the same time we were looking at the Government document APS/1 which stated that if one OP made one ill, then one should never ever use another OP. Pity the cattle couldnít talk at the time. Over a period of time, some cattle must have been subjected to treatment with four different organophosphates. Finding scientific data on all of the compounds used turned out to be a test of patience and frustration for me. Coumaphos and Triclorfon presented no problem.Crufomate was something else again. The people I tried to get information from turned out to be either unwilling or unable to help. I suspect the former.
After seven years of searching we eventually ran around the house shouting "Eureka". The Health Authority New Jersey, U.S.A. placed it on their web site. For the benefit of all I will repeat it here.


Crufomate can affect you when breathed in and by passing through your skin. Crufomate can damage the testes. Breathing Crufomate can cause rapid fatal organophosphate poisoning with headache, sweating, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of coordination and death.
Repeated exposure may cause personality changes. High or repeated exposure may damage the nerves.


The BSE inquiry was a complete waste of tax-payers' money. The manufacturers of Crufomate were Dow Agrosciences Ltd. Their submission to the enquiry stated that they had withdrawn from the animal health business about 1980 and had no records of that part of their business prior to their withdrawal. Was this because they saw everything going pear shaped I ask.
They now have a copy of the hazard fact sheet, I sent them a copy, and they should waste no time in putting it in the public domain.

There are a number of interesting factors about organophosphates which are not widely known. They were originally designed as nerve gases and then supposedly modified to be used as insecticide. They are extremely efficient at destroying certain enzymes in the blood of all warm blooded creatures, man being no exception. The first enzyme we investigated was cholinesterase.
This facilitates messages getting to and from the brain. The expected norm in man varies between 40 and 80 units per 100 mls of blood. When I was blood tested I had 8.25. The cholinesterase enzyme will try to put itself right over a period of time but never reaches its starting point. It is essential that blood tests and done within 24 hours of exposure. Discovering that the enzyme Paraoxinase is important to the functioning of the heart muscles was interesting to say the least. The destruction of this enzyme leads to Cardiac Arrest which is usually fatal. The most amazing factor of all the scraps of information is that there are any cattle, sheep, or farmers, left alive in the UK after so many years of enforced abuse.

We need to look carefully at all the Government bodies and agencies which have been involved in his gigantic cover-up.

1. Local Environmental Health Offices supervised the sheep dipping at all farms. Their officers were no better equipped the most farmers. When we collapsed in 1992, there was a blank refusal to help. We needed to remove spent dip from our yard and were told to do it ourselves. When our local councillor called a meeting of local farmers to discover if there were any other victims in the locality, the authority refused to send a representative. They stated; IF THESE PEOPLE WERE MADE ILL, IT IS THEIR OWN FAULT, THEY WERE GIVEN GUIDELINES.

2. The Health and Safety Executive. They have a great deal to answer for. The Medical Services Document MS 17 is their responsibility. When they came to rewrite this paper the draft paper actually mentions the Suicide Impulse of many victims. The fact that hundreds of shepherds have committed suicide after using OP sheep dips hasn't yet occurred to them. The MS 17 never reached the farmers and the rewrite was completed without the suicide clause. They later went on to threaten campaigners with libel action and at the same time closed down a wool grading factory at Carnforth because they couldn't guarantee the safety of the workers from organophosphatespoisoning. In 1991 they will in the process of finalising their own research into the health of farmers to the use of organophosphates. The research was devastating.
They were aware then that organophosphates degrade through heat and age to become tetraethyl pyrophosphate. They should have been aware that it took only 45 minutes to destroy 20 head of cattle in Texas. Their reaction to this set of devastating research defies belief. They called a meeting.
The HSE the VMD and the National Office of Animal Health all attended on 25.2.1991 and now would you believe THEY HAVE ALL LOST THE MINUTES OF THAT MEETING.

3.The Veterinary Medicines Directorate is the agency which is supposed to investigate all adverse reactions to veterinary products. They have yet to find a confirmed case of organophosphate poisoning among the farmers who have managed to find their way through the maze of forms. Every report which have looked at very blandly states that there is insufficient evidence to support the diagnosis. They even managed to ignore the reports from HSE doctors which support or confirm the diagnosis. Papers appear to be lost or destroyed as do medical records. Marks out of ten for the VMD = Zero.

Whilst the minutes of the 1991 meeting may have been destroyed, the people who were in attendance are still around. They should be called before the select committee on health at the House of Commons and asked for explanation of the research and their own involvement in suppressing this information.

The Veterinary Products Committee are responsible for the licensing of all these products.
They certainly have a laid-back attitude to the user's welfare. There is no communication between themselves and the victims. Letters to any of these quangos are part of a game called Pass the Parcel. The letter Is passed to another Ivory Tower for reply and when you finally get an answer you will have forgotten what the question was in the first place.

The HSE will never implement the 1968 Medicines Act against the chemical companies on the shepherds' behalf. Section 6 relating to substances at work is quite explicit. The shepherds are entitled to a Police Investigation - always supposing that Murder by Remote-control is still not legal in Britain today.

Signed Brenda Sutcliffe.

Dated 4/4/2003.

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