J.E. Shields
Fri, 23 Jan 2004 12:04:27 PST

Putting on my professional hat (biochemist, protein chemist), I would say 
that there has to be a possibility of contracting BSE through bone 
meal.  The BSE agent is known as a "prion". A prion is a rearranged version 
of a normal body protein.  The rearranged form, actually refolded, is then 
pathogenic.  Steam does not inactivate it; and neither, obviously, do 
digestive enzymes in the gut.  Breathing the dust should work even better 
than eating it, if you want to contract the disease.  Its manifestation in 
humans is known as vCJD, or the fast acting variant of Creuzfeld-Jacob Disease.

People who want to sell you bonemeal and other animal byproducts will 
vigorously dispute this.  There are also people who dispute that we are 
undergoing global warming.  In cases where future personal profits are 
involved, the value of the opinions offered should be seriously questioned.

I have banished all forms of bone meal from my garden, permanently.  It is 
not worth the risk. Even though that risk should be very small, it is not 
equal to zero.  Getting vCJD would be a really unpleasant way to die.


James E Shields, PhD
retired biochemist & protein chemist

At 12:18 PM 1/23/2004 -0500, Jim McK. wrote:

>Judy mentioned BSE: did anyone else hear as I did that researchers have not
>ruled out the possibility that humans could contract SE from handling bone
>meal? Yikes!

Jim Shields             USDA Zone 5             Shields Gardens, Ltd.
P.O. Box 92              WWW:
Westfield, Indiana 46074, USA
Tel. ++1-317-867-3344     or      toll-free 1-866-449-3344 in USA

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