Monday, January 29, 2018



The deer disease that CAN  and HAS killed people in the Midwest. There is a LOT of information here and is a long read, but very enlightening and IMPORTANT.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob is the most common member of a family of disorders that affect people and animals called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. The diseases eat holes in the brain, leaving it looking like a sponge (hence the name). The other human ailments include kuru, fatal familial insomnia and Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinkerdisease.
In animals, the spongiform disorders include mad-cow disease and scrapie in sheep and goats. Another form, chronic wasting disease, is having a devastating effect on wild deer, elk and moose; it is highly contagious among the animals. In humans it is called Cruetzfeldt-Jakobs disease.

      In 2017, the Program known as ‘Share Your Harvest’ distributed perhaps tons of deer meat to the poor and needy throughout Missouri.  Other Midwestern states do the same.  That practice needs to stop immediately, and no one anywhere should ever ingest deer or elk meet from pen-raised animals.

      As a life-long deer hunter who has butchered and prepared his own deer meat for 40 years, I will never kill another deer unless it can be tested for what is called Chronic Wasting Disease, and will never again eat venison from any deer unless it HAS been tested for that disease by some group with solid science behind them that I can believe in.  That certainly will not be the Missouri Department of Conservation.

      Fearing the loss of millions of dollars, the Conservation Department has intentionally mislead and outright deceived, the hunters of this state by saying no one has ever been known to die of that disease.  Technically, they can get away with saying that.

      That is because the exact same disease, caused by ingested “prions” is called by a different name when it is found in humans.  It is called Cruetzfeldt-Jakob disease then.  In all creatures, and there are several, which are infected with the prions, the correct name for what kills them, including humans, is transmissible spongiform encephalopathy disease.  Doctors I have talked to tell me that they are still know too little about the disease and whether or not it has appeared in many deer hunters who have been misdiagnosed.

I want those who eat elk and venison to see why this is a big worry for all of us who hunt.  You can decide for yourself what many people much smarter than I have learned… in articles I have found over the past couple of months.  Read these and see if you want to believe a greedy and proven corrupt agency that stands to lose millions if deer hunters know the whole truth.

By Dr. Joseph Mercola

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a contagious neurological disease that is part of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) disease family — the most notable member of which is bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease. Unlike BSE, which infects cattle, CWD affects deer, elk and moose.
"It causes a characteristic spongy degeneration of the brains of infected animals resulting in emaciation, abnormal behavior, loss of bodily functions and death," The Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance reports.1 The symptoms are similar to those of mad cow disease, scrapie (a similar disease found in sheep and goats) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. The infectious agent thought to cause CWD and other TSEs is prions — an infectious type of protein known to cause neurodegeneration.
A human version of mad cow disease, known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), can be caused by eating beef contaminated with brain, spinal cord or other central nervous system tissue from infected cattle.2 This can occur in ground meat (including hot dogs, bologna, taco fillings and more), as it may become contaminated during the "extraction of the last bits of meat from cow carcasses," the Center for Food Safety stated.3
The question then, as CWD continues to spread across the U.S., is whether this disease may also jump to humans — and the Canadian government has recently issued a warning based on new research suggesting the answer is yes.
The Canadian Health Products and Food Branch (HPFB) issued an advisory in April 2017 warning of "potential human health risks from chronic wasting disease." The disease has been detected in cervids (mammals belonging to the deer family) in 24 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces to date, including in farmed elk and wild mule deer. The advisory states:4
"While extensive disease surveillance in Canada and elsewhere has not provided any direct evidence that CWD has infected humans, the potential for CWD to be transmitted to humans cannot be excluded. In exercising precaution, HPFB continues to advocate that the most prudent approach is to consider that CWD has the potential to infect humans."
The warning came on the heels of a study led by a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) scientist, which found CWD was transmitted to macaque monkeys, which are the nonhuman primate species most closely related to humans that are still allowed to be used in research, via "both the intracranial and oral routes of exposure." Further, both brain and muscle tissue from infected animals were capable of transmitting disease.
In the ongoing study of 18 macaques, three of five monkeys fed infected white tail deer meat developed CWD over a three-year period. Two monkeys that had infected matter exposed to their brains also developed CWD.5
Based on this and other data, including a systematic literature review that included a study showing CWD could be transmitted to squirrel monkeys,6 the HPFB warned that although CWD may be "readily" transmitted to humans, "the species barrier is not absolute." They also included a list of the many possible routes of exposure to CWD for humans, especially among those who rely on deer meat as a regular food source:7
"Canadians may be exposed to cervids, and materials derived from cervids through a variety of sources, and routes of exposure, including in their diet and through the use of natural health products that contain antler velvet.
There is also the potential for Canadians to be exposed to cervids through farming (including veterinary services), slaughter, velvet harvest, as well as through field dressing of hunted animals, preparing trophies and/or the use of cervid-derived materials (e.g., urine) as hunting lures.
While monitoring and control programs are in place to reduce the likelihood that animals known to be infected with CWD reach the marketplace, the possibility cannot be excluded that some of these sources of exposure may be derived from animals with CWD. Cervid meat (venison) is available in many of the same cuts and processed meat products as for other meat products.
While consumption survey estimates for the general Canadian population … indicate that overall venison consumption is quite low, there are known subpopulations, including rural and Indigenous populations that have higher dietary exposures to this food. In addition, populations that rely on cervids as an important source of protein are more likely to hunt and/or consume wild cervids."
Are Rising Cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Due to CWD?
Meanwhile, cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease have spiked 85 percent in the U.S. from 2002 to 2015, which is surprising since the natural variant of the disease is typically extremely rare. In Wisconsin, a 117 percent increase in cases was recorded since 2002 — all as rates of CWD continue to rise.8 Health officials have downplayed any connection, blaming it instead on an aging population and increased detection and conformation of Creutzfeldt-Jakob cases, but it cannot be ruled out.
Speaking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) spokesperson Christine Pearson said, "While no human cases of CWD have been reported to date, the new [macaque] study findings raise concerns that people who hunt or consume meat from infected animals could be at risk for CWD infection." In response, they recommend not eating meat from infected deer or elk and having meat tested if it came from an area where known cases are present.
It's not unheard of that a form of TSE could mutate into one that could infect humans. This is what happened with mad cow disease in cattle, which first began after cattle were fed food containing sheep parts infected with scrapie. The sheep disease mutated into a form that could infect cattle, which in turn mutated into a form that could infect humans. There's a good chance that hunters consuming venison may be coming into contact with infected deer, at least in Wisconsin.
And although the state offers free CWD testing to hunters, many do not take advantage of it. With cases of both CWD and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease trending upward, the potential connection is unsettling to put it mildly, especially in light of the new research.
CWD Is Fatal, Has No Cure and Spreads Like Wildfire Among Captive Animals
CWD-infected animals shed the infectious prions in saliva and urine, starting around three months after being infected. They remain contagious for the remainder of their life, contaminating land and water as they go along. According to some experts, the prions causing CWD are the most resistant disease agent currently known.
The Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance seconds this, noting, "The CWD infectious agent is smaller than most viral particles and does not evoke any detectable immune response or inflammatory reaction in the host animal. Based on experience with other TSE agents, the CWD infectious agent is assumed to be resistant to enzymes and chemicals that normally break down proteins, as well as resistant to heat and normal disinfecting procedures."10
The infectious agents in CWD also persist in the environment, which is why deer and elk raised in captivity (or concentrated via artificial feeding) have an increased likelihood of transmitting the disease among them.
The common denominator between mad cow disease and CWD is forcing natural herbivores to eat animal parts — a more or less routine practice in the concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) model.

(use photo 1 here) caption… meat and bone meal feed given to semi-tame deer in penned operations, to give them larger antlers and make them more valuable, often sold to trophy hunters for up to 70 or 80 thousand dollars.
      It's one more reason to avoid all meats from livestock raised in CAFOs and to be wary of supporting game farms.

The Alzheimer's Connection
While CWD and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease may seem like more obscure diseases, the mention of Alzheimer's disease may hit closer to home. Alzheimer's disease has grown to be one of the most pressing and tragic public health issues facing the U.S. With no known cure and the number of people affected expected to triple by 2050, the Alzheimer's Association estimates that by mid-century someone in the U.S will develop Alzheimer's disease every 33 seconds.11
An infectious protein called TDP-43 behaves like the prions implicated in mad cow disease and CWD. Researchers have also found that this protein may play an important role in Alzheimer's disease, as it is correlated with shrinkage of the hippocampus, thereby causing memory loss. By examining the autopsied brains of more than 340 Alzheimer's patients, the researchers found that TDP-43 was present in nearly 200 of them.
Research presented at the 2014 Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC) also revealed Alzheimer's patients with TDP-43 were 10 times more likely to have been cognitively impaired at death than those without it,  and the possibility has been raised that humans might get infected with TDP-43 via contaminated meats. A 2005 study published in the journal Medical Hypotheses, stated: "In the opinion of experts, ample justification exists for considering a similar pathogenesis for Alzheimer's, Creutzfeldt-Jakob and the other spongiform encephalopathies such as Mad Cow disease. In fact, Creutzfeldt-Jakob and Alzheimer's often coexist and at this point are thought to differ merely by time-dependent physical changes. A recent study links up to 13 percent of all 'Alzheimer's' victims as really having Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease."
When it comes to CAFO meats, be it chicken, pork or beef, you're being exposed to any number of foreign proteins — and TDP-43 might be one of them. Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) has a long incubation period, and few dementia-related deaths in the U.S. are ever investigated. An infected person usually starts having symptoms in their 60s.
As noted by the Centers for Food Safety, the symptoms of vCJD are similar to Alzheimer's, and include staggering, memory loss, 
And although the state offers free CWD testing to hunters, many do not take advantage of it. With cases of both CWD and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease trending upward, the potential connection is unsettling to put it mildly, especially in light of the new research. The Journal Sentinel put it down in numbers:9
"[Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR)] figures show that tens of thousands of hunters are killing deer in areas where CWD is prevalent and are not submitting them for testing. In 2016, in a CWD-prone area that the DNR describes as the southern farmland zone, 442 deer tested positive for disease out of 3,760 samples. More than 65,000 deer were killed in that zone and were not tested, according to DNR figures."
As noted by the Centers for Food Safety, the symptoms of CJD are similar to Alzheimer's, and include staggering, memory loss, impaired vision and dementia.15 As for CWD, if it has infected people, there's no way to know how it would present and whether it would have different or identical symptoms to other TSEs, like CJD.
Kurt Giles, a prion disease expert and associate professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco's Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, told the Journal Sentinel, " I don't know of any evidence of transmission of CWD to people, but that doesn't mean it can't happen in the future, or indeed has already happened but we can't detect it."
Until we have more answers on this emerging predicament, it makes sense to take abundant precautions, especially if you consume venison from areas with known CWD outbreaks.

Joseph Michael Mercola is an osteopathic physician, age 63 who specializes in Nutrition  EducationMidwestern University (1978–1982), University of Illinois at Chicago(1972–1976)

By Fiza Pirani, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Deer across North America are dying from a mysterious disease that gradually destroys the animals’ nervous systems.
And scientists are concerned that the infection could make its way to humans.
Chronic wasting disease — or “zombie deer disease” — was first observed in 1967 in Fort Collins, Colorado, and has since infected wild herds in 24 states and Canada, as well as in South Korea and Norway, NPR reported.
“CWD passes from animal to animal through prions, misfolded proteins that cause other proteins to misfold around them,” NPR reported. “Different prion diseases tend to only harm certain species, but can evolve to overcome those limitations.”
In some herds, as many as half of the animals carry prions.
But direct contact isn’t the only way prions are transmitted. Sick animals and cadavers can spread prions through plants and soil, which could be coated with deformed proteins for years, perhaps even decades.
An animal infected with the disease can live two years before signs of symptoms — such as a vacant stare, thick saliva, exposed ribs or drooping heads — become visible.
There have been no reported human illnesses due to the disease, and scientists don’t have conclusive evidence that infected meat has ever harmed people, suggesting there is a “species barrier” between humans and deer.
 “While most research shows there’s a robust species barrier, this recent study showed that barrier might not be quite as robust as we once thought,” Matt Dunfee, head of the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliancein Fort Collins, Colorado, told NPR.
Zabel and his team also found that the prions involved in the “zombie disease,” which scientists have only known about for 50 years, are probably still evolving, “which leads us to believe it’s only a matter of time before a prion emerges that can spread to humans,” NPR reported.
Mad cow disease, for example, is a prion disease that evolved from scrapie, a deadly disease that afflicts sheep. Once the prions were passed to cows, the cows developed a prion disease of their own (mad cow disease). And when humans ate the beef from those sick cows, they developed prions in their own brains. As of 2016, according to the Food and Drug Administration, 231 people had died from the condition.
According to Michael Miller, senior wildlife veterinarian for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, mule deer transmission more than tripled toward the end of 2017, and CWD continues to be prevalent in Colorado.
Public health officials in the area have been monitoring for CWD and human brain-wasting diseases, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
But over the past 21 years, rising rates of both diseases haven’t impacted human health.
Still, as a precaution, Dunfee told NPR, “if you are hunting in an area where CWD is found, have your animal tested. If it comes back positive, don’t eat the meat.”
Read the full study published in the “Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews” at

By Sam Brasch

Would you eat venison if there was a chance it could slowly eat away at your brain?
If there's a slight possibility, it doesn't bother Patrick States.
He tested a sickly-looking elk in the past and threw out the meat when it came back positive. But he opted not to test the deer now on his dinner plate.
"The deer was a big healthy animal and there was a really low percentage [of CWD] in the area," he says. "It's just not something I worry about."
Matt Dunfee, head of the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance in Fort Collins, Colo., has heard that sort of reasoning from hunters before. He calls it "absolutely wrong."
"The vast majority of the time hunters find out their animal has CWD, they're shocked, because it looked great," he says. "It was moving just like everything else. It had great body fat."
Michael Miller, senior wildlife veterinarian for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, has released data showing that mule deer submission to Chronic Wasting Disease more than tripled near the end of 2017.
The reason has to do with the speed of the disease. A CWD-infected animal can live for two years before showing signs, like a vacant stare or exposed ribs. Predators or car accidents tend to remove infected animals first, according to Dunfee.
What's trickier is explaining why hunters should worry at all. As Dunfee acknowledges, scientists have found no conclusive proof that infected meat has harmed people.
That evidence, or lack of it, suggests a strong "species barrier" between deer and humans.
CWD passes from animal to animal through prions, misfolded proteins that cause other proteins to misfold around them. Different prion diseases tend to only harm certain species, but can evolve to overcome those limitations.
For instance, Mad Cow emerged in the UK in the mid-1980s after cattle ate the bone meal of sheep infected with scrapie, a similar brain-wasting disease. The disease then made the jump to people through infected beef products, causing a new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.
Such a change has yet to happen with CWD. So far, its path of destruction appears to have stopped at the human body.
A new study has heightened concerns. Canadian researchers found that macaque monkeys contracted CWD after eating infected deer. The results mark the first time the disease has been shown to spread to a primate through meat, rather than through a direct injection of CWD prions into the nervous system.
"While most research shows there's a robust species barrier, this recent study showed that barrier might not be quite as robust as we once thought," Dunfee says.
Research by Mark Zabel, the associate director of the Prion Research Center at Colorado State University, has found the agents behind the "zombie disease" are highly susceptible to change — and are likely still evolving.
Zabel points out that scientist have only known about CWD for 50 years, "which leads us to believe it's only a matter of time before a prion emerges that can spread to humans."
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment continues to monitor for Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease deaths across the state. Since 1998, it reports there have been 72 cases confirmed by brain examinations. Some families choose not to have the procedure, so the agency estimates 42 additional probable cases in that period.
Nationwide, there has been an 85 percent increase in CJD cases from 2002 to 2015 — something national health officials chalk up to better monitoring efforts and an aging population.
Dunfee says such results are encouraging, but are not definitive proof that people are safe. A strain could be steps from vaulting the species barrier between deer and people.
But if it ever did, Dunfee says his advice to hunters would be the same:
"If you are hunting in an area where CWD is found, have your animal tested. If it comes back positive, don't eat the meat."

Abnormal Proteins
Discovered in Skin of Patients
With Rare Brain Disease

Scientists have found prions — abnormal proteins widely believed to cause a rare, brain-destroying disease — in the skin of 23 patients who had died from it, according to a study published on Wednesday.
The discovery suggests that skin samples might be used to improve detection of the disorder, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which now is usually diagnosed with much more difficult procedures, like brain biopsies or autopsies.
But the presence of prions in the skin also raises unsettling questions about whether medical instruments could become contaminated even during surgery that does not involve the brain and then spread the disease to other patients. The prions stick to stainless steel and are notoriously hard to destroy.

Affected individuals deteriorate mentally, weaken, move uncontrollably, and may become blind and unable to speak. The disease belongs to the same class of brain disorders as mad-cow disease.
The researchers also said that although the disease had been transmitted decades ago by corneal transplants and certain neurosurgical procedures, there was no definitive evidence that other types of surgery had ever spread it. And the levels found in  the brain far exceed the levels found in the skin.
Most cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob, about 85 percent, are “sporadic,” meaning they strike out of the blue in people with no risk factors or family history.

Most cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob, about 85 percent, are “sporadic,” meaning they strike out of the blue in people with no risk factors or family history.

Fire May Be the Only Remedy for a Plague Killing Deer and Elk

Mark D. Zabel wants to set some fires.
Dr. Zabel and his colleagues are developing plans to burn plots of National Park Service land in Arkansas and Colorado. If the experiments turn out as the researchers hope, they will spare some elk and deer a gruesome death.
Across a growing swath of North America, these animals are dying from a mysterious disorder called chronic wasting disease. This year is the 50th anniversary of the discovery of chronic wasting disease.
“There’s a lot that we still don’t know and don’t understand about the disease,” Dr. Zabel said in an interview.

Direct contact, it turns out, may not be the only way in which prions are transmitted. Sick animals and cadavers spread prions across the landscape. Plants and soil may remain coated with deformed proteins for years, perhaps even decades.
Dr. Zabel now suspects that the only way to rid the land of them is to set controlled fires.
Researchers discovered that chronic wasting disease belongs to a small group of conditions caused by prions. But other prion diseases are known only to affect livestock or people, not wildlife.
Scrapie, for example, is a deadly disease that afflicts sheep. A number of studies indicated that bone meal contaminated with scrapie prions passed the prions to cows. The cows developed a prion disease of their own, called bovine spongiform encephalopathy, nicknamed mad cow disease.
In rare cases, people who ate beef from the sick cows developed prions in their own brains. As of 2016, 231 people had died from the condition worldwide.
Scientists long suspected that deer and related species developed chronic wasting disease by picking up scrapie from sheep flocks kept at Colorado State University. The disease then turned up in other states and Canada as animals were shipped to private game farms.
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As a result, Dr. Zabel and his colleagues have found, infected animals can release huge numbers of prions. “We found it in urine, in saliva and in feces,” he said.
Other members of a herd can get sick by making direct contact with a shedding animal. But the way the disease is spreading across North America suggests that the prions is are also using other routes to get to new hosts.
If deer got sick only by direct contact, for example, you would expect the outbreak to be most severe in the Midwest, where populations are densest. But some of the worst outbreaks are in the Rocky Mountains, where there are fewer animals.
Mathematical models suggest that animals are getting sick from prions in the environment. In additional to the prions shed while a sick animal is alive, its cadaver can release another bounty of deformed proteins onto the ground.
Some studies suggest that these prions can end up on grass and other plants, which are then eaten by healthy animals. Some prions in the soil may bind to minerals. It’s possible that animals may sometimes pick them up if they eat bits of dirt.
Compared with viruses or bacteria, prions are impressively rugged. In a forest or on a prairie, a prion may be able to hang around for years, still able to infect a new animal. As herds migrate along the same route year after year, the supply of prions in the environment may keep increasing.
Dr. Zabel is also concerned about the potential threat chronic wasting disease might someday pose to humans.
So far, there have not been any documented cases in which people got sick from eating meat from sick animals. “That doesn’t mean it won’t happen,” Dr. Zabel warned. “We may just be in the early stages,” he said.
Dr. Zabel and his colleagues hope to test controlled burns. While the fires won’t be hot enough to destroy the prions, they might kill off enough prion-laden plants to lower the odds of healthy animals getting sick.
The researchers will test this hypothesis by seeing if the prevalence of chronic wasting disease drops after they set their fires.
Dr. Zabel said he has encountered some stiff skepticism about his plan. But he still thinks it is the only plausible way to put a brake on the prions.
“If you eliminate the plants that have prions on the surface, that would be a huge step forward,” he said. “I really don’t think it’s that crazy.”

READ MORE… thanks to Richard Abdoler for providing the following sites for those who want to know more….

 A general CDC site: