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My mom got this from a well-meaning family member. After reading what else the guy says in the link, I'm not inclined to believe a word he says. However... I'm interested enough to formally debunk it... but don't have any ideas where to look. "Prions" seem pretty technical to me. Any sciencey folks with some spare time want to debunk this for me?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">This article is from Dr McDougall's site: <a href="http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2008nl/mar/fav5.htm" target="_blank">http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2008nl/mar/fav5.htm</a><br><br><br><br>
Mad Cow Proteins Detected in Dairy Products<br><br>
Prion protein in milk by Nicola Franscini published in the December 2006 issue of PLoS ONE (Public Library of Science) found prion proteins in Swiss off-the-shelf milk and fresh milk.1 Prions are the cause of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE), such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle and humans, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. About the same concentration of prion protein was measured for organic farm milk and non-organic farm milk as well as for pasteurized (heating for 30 seconds to 72°C) and ultra-high temperature (UHT) treated (heating for 1-4 seconds to 135°C) milk.1 Prions were also found in the milk of humans, sheep, and goats.<br><br>
Comment:<br><br>
Prion protein is the agent that causes mad cow disease in cattle, people, deer, sheep, and many other animals. These infectious proteins accumulate for years before illness appears. Transmission from food to people is of great concern. Prior to the use of the latest technology, this infectious agent was hard to detect in milk. However, that changed with the use by these investigators of new methods employing the Alicon PrioTrap®. This technology is so effective that prion proteins can even be found in human milk.<br><br>
A similar story can be told about bovine leukemia viruses found in cow's milk. This virus was discovered in cattle in 1969, but studies using older technology (agar gel immunodiffusion and complement fixation assays) failed to find antibodies to bovine leukemia viruses in people. As a result, the prevailing opinion was exposure of humans to bovine leukemia viruses by eating beef and drinking cow's milk was not important; therefore, the presence of this virus in our food supply was not a public health hazard.2 However, in 2003 researchers reported finding evidence of infection with bovine leukemia viruses in 74% of people tested by using more modern technology (immunoblotting).2 Still, almost no one has heard that 9 out of 10 cattle herds in the US are infected with bovine leukemia viruses and that three-fourths of people show immunologic signs suggesting infection.2</td>
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<span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:xx-small;">First of all, prions are found in everyone already. They call them “normal prions” to differentiate them from the abnormal variety that has the potential to cause disease. So, finding prions in a species, does not equal finding disease.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:xx-small;">" Research has shown that the normal prion protein, in its nonpoisonous form, must be playing some important role in the body, especially in the nervous system. It is found in all tissues, but is particularly abundant in cells of the spinal cord and brain. This tells scientists the protein is there for an important reason. "It is a natural protein with a natural function, something specific for neural function," said neuroscientist Huntington Potter, formerly at Harvard, now interim director of the Alzheimer's Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Fla.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:xx-small;">The idea that BSE might be found in cow’s milk products originated from an interpretation of a study on scrapie in sheep, and now new lab methods that more accurately identify the prion in mammalian tissues. Scrapie is a different disease caused by prions, sheep don’t get BSE. The researchers found that the prion for sheep scrapie can be transmitted by sheep milk to lambs. They found the prion in the lambs, but at the time of the study had seen no disease in them.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:xx-small;">According to the article linked below, “This work raises the possibility that other prion diseases could be transmitted in sheep via milk although it should have no direct implications for human health.”</span></span><br><a href="http://pda.physorg.com/lofi-news-scrapie-milk-lambs_126847597.html" target="_blank"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:xx-small;">http://pda.physorg.com/lofi-news-scrapie-milk-lambs_126847597.html</span></span></a><br><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:xx-small;">A reaction from a prion researcher:</span></span></span><br><br><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:xx-small;">Dr. Adriano Aguzzi, one of the world's leading prion researchers, based at the Institute of Neuropathology at University Hospital in Zurich, Switzerland… (says) "This is of course something that needs to be investigated. I would not want to provoke a wave of panic. And if that helps, I may add that I'm not going to stop eating sheep's cheese."</span></span></span><br><a href="http://www.organicconsumers.org/madcow/milk112105.cfm" target="_blank"><span style="font-family:Arial;"><span style="font-size:xx-small;">http://www.organicconsumers.org/madcow/milk112105.cfm</span></span></a>
 

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McDougall is referring to commercialized, pasteurized milk, which is from sick animals that don't graze on pasture, never see the light of day, and they eat anything ranging from other animals diseased carcasses to leftover donuts. So, of course sick animals will produce sick milk.<br><br>
Healthy cows grazing on open green pastures and living a natural lifestyle will produce healthy milk.
 

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Thank you, velcromom!!! That's exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for. The site the original crap came from is very anti-milk, and anti-animal protein of any kind, and also goes on and on about the evil saturated fats in animal products. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> So, I didn't think he had science on his side.<br><br>
And Therese, I agree. I wasn't about to stop my kids from enjoying their fresh raw goat milk.<br><br>
I don't expect to change the minds of my Seventh Day Adventist relatives... but they expect to change mine. *sigh*
 

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Here's the original article:<br><br><a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0000071" target="_blank">http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0000071</a><br><br>
Basically the authors were seeking to find a method to determine prion levels in milk from HEALTHY animals and humans. It is a methods paper - they were trying to show that they developed a cool technique, essentially. As velcromom mentioned, there is no cause of alarm as the mere presence of prions does not indicate disease. So their conclusion is that in TSE infected animals milk might be source for transmission, but that is speculation as that is not shown by evidence in the paper (and the speculation itself is fine - it is what scientists do to give ideas for future work).
 
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