Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Another reason to be a Vegie

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-12-06

Apart from the problems of justifying the water profligacy of meat-eaters, there is another reason for people move to eating less meat… it ain’t just neural tissue that can transmit "Mad Cow"/"CJD" and similar prion diseases.

Fat (both white and brown) can be infectious too, as just demonstrated for the first time.

Detection of Prion Infectivity in Fat Tissues of Scrapie-Infected Mice. PLoS Pathog 4(12): e1000232. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000232 includes the following:

The presence of prion infectivity in fat suggests that additional consideration may be required to eliminate from the food chain any fat from ruminants suspected of exposure to or infection with prions. Thus, this finding has implications for public health, food safety, and prion disease prevention strategies.

We’ve stopped transmission of one form of tranmissible spongiform encephalopathy (Kuru) by changed eating habits, but as heat doesn’t render dangerous prions "safe", use of animal fats in cooking oils and other non-flesh products may also need extra controls and costs.  That’s a much bigger sociological change.


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