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Letters to the Editor Issue 13

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 13 - July 1996

Strategies for BSE

BSE is a neurodegenerative disease and is almost certain to be multifactorial, like all degenerative diseases: Alzeimers, Parkinsonism, MS, ME, CJD, cancer.

The scientific methodology has been wrong. Experiments to induce scrapie or BSE into transgenic mice to see if it will cross the species barrier – and wait 2-3 years for the result is the wrong sort of science.

1) It does not ask whether cows got BSE from scrapie, or whether they got it via an autoimmune allergic rejection of their own tissue - feeding cow remains to cow. ie the same way the Kuru cannibals contracted CJD, or those that were given pituitary growth hormone probably contracted theirs.

2) It does not tell us, even after two years, whether it will cross our species barrier, because it is too simplistic in its assumption of the biochemical route.

3) It does not ask what might make mice susceptible. Cows that succumb are cows that are susceptible. The dose may be irrelevant. That is why the disease is sporadic. We need to find out why one or two cows in a herd are susceptible and the rest resistant. It is senseless to slaughter healthy cows over a certain arbitrary age, and pandering to hysteria. If they can be tested, that is the definitive answer as to whether or not they incubate the disease. If there is not yet an available test, withdraw them from meat consumption when their time comes.

What are the triggers that make cows susceptible?

a) Alien chemicals: I believe Mark Purdey’s evidence that organo-phosphates are the trigger is overwhelming. Our cattle were given compulsory OP warblecide pour-on, capable of penetrating to the central nervous system; they were fed OP-insecticidal treated cereals, screenings, citrus pulp and other sources. The Vet Medicines Directorate advised spraying spent sheep dip on the pastures.
We ourselves, in our environment are awash with OPs . . . on and in our fruit and vegetables, in our treated timber, vapona strips, flea sprays. I had 4 cases of potentially lethal OP poisoning from flea spray last August.

The prion infective protein is an aberration of a normal neural membrane protein that has been induced to change its molecular shape and become resistant to degradation, so that the body switches on a self-destruct signal to destroy the infected nerve cell. Our research should be screening for all the possible chemicals and potentiating conditions that make the molecule change shape and become enzyme-resistant. The most likely agent is organo-phosphate as Mark Purdey has shown by analysing the clinical and chemical similarities between BSE and delayed-type OP poisoning. But MAFF and their appointed scientists have refused to consider the possibility, just as they refused to consider that farmers suffering from paralysis, MS, ME, and depression are victims of OP poisoning. They have, until a few days ago, excluded Mark from their consultations, just as they excluded farmers and their experience from OP toxicity research.

Again we need to ask: how does the detoxifying system in most people and in most cows enable them to cope with the OPs they absorb while a few cannot? What has gone wrong with their protective mechanisms, and how can they be restored?

b) Deficiencies: Mark Purdey identified magnesium. But selenium with its importance in the liver, the detoxifying organ, is almost certain to induce vulnerability when deficient. Its deficiency contributes to all our degenerative diseases as epidemiological studies have shown. It is the prime cause of the one all farmers know about: White muscle disease in calves and lambs. UK soil selenium levels are now very low. Blood levels in farm animals are consequently low. Selenium intake in the human population has fallen progressively from 60mcg/day in 1978, which is a safe level, to 34mcg/day in 1994 or below the RNI (reference nutrient intake) absolute minimum. The Government have told us there is no cause for concern because none of us suffer from selenium deficiency diseases. They have not taken into account the role of its deficiency in the initiation and progression of degenerative disease. We await their hindsight.

Events are now overtaking us. But what should we resolve?

1) Demand that BSE-free herds are recognised as safe.
2) Ban organo-phosphates. Use the minimum of chemical protection. Reject chemical manipulation to force up production.
3) Restore selenium and other trace elements to our depleted soils.
4) Buy animal feed only from companies that practice ‘open declaration’ of what is in their feed.
5) Go back to grass. Grass is what we can grow, and what the animals have evolved to utilise best.
6) Go back to the breeds, the Friesians, Ayrshires, Shorthorns, Channel Island, and native beef breeds. Go back to a broad genetic base. Don’t destroy it by introducing embryo transplants and cloning into farming practice. Don’t narrow it by pushing for excessive milk yields via the over-bred Holstein, at the expense of her short life, poor feet, overburdened body and a bull calf that nobody wants except in the veal crate agribusiness.
7) Safeguard farming livelihoods by assuring the public of welfare-friendly rearing and food that is safe to eat.

Helen Fullerton BSc. MSc. PhD
Farming and Livestock Concern

Leon Chaitow replies . . .

Concerning the review of my new book Muscle Energy Techniques in issue 12, Mario Paul Cassar is fulsome in his praise, for which I thank him. However, there are a few comments in the review which I feel it necessary to correct.

He states that

Although Leon Chaitow seems to be using this source of information [quotations from researchers], more than his own clinical experience, to explore the effectiveness and application of this form of bodywork the book is very informative . . . etc

This book was designed to evaluate the many forms of MET and in order to do this I trawled the literature and quoted widely from this, since despite having employed MET for some 20 years I believe that the words and research of a range of experts is far more likely to impress the professional bodyworker than quoting what I do in my own work.

I also disagree with the reviewer’s view that

the book is more suitable to the manipulative practitioners like osteopaths and chiropractors [rather] than massage therapists

I teach these methods widely in the UK, USA, Israel and Ireland and attendance at my workshops and seminars comprises 70% massage therapists. The handout notes participants receive formed the basis for the book and massage therapist participants seem to have no trouble understanding the text.

Towards the end of the review there is a comment that

other aspects of bodywork are also mentioned albeit briefly due to lack of space. These include Strain/Counterstrain Techniques . . . Facilitated Positional Release . . . Functional technique . . .

There was no ‘lack of space’. The topics were not fully covered in a book which was aimed at completely different methods – MET. They will be dealt with fully in another book in this same series (Positional Release Techniques) as will Modern Neuromuscular Techniques –  both of which will appear later this year from Churchill Livingstone, along with a series of videos to accompany each book.

Leon Chaitow ND DO

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