|Chicken carcasses burning at a farm in Viet Nam.—FAO Photo.|
"No Safety in Possessing Flocks or Herds"
It was October 5, 1898, and Ellen White was in Australia writing a letter back to Dr. John Harvey
Kellogg of Battle Creek, Michigan. Here is a part of what she wrote in that letter:
The light that God has given me is that the curse of God is on the earth, the sea, the cattle,
on the animals. There will soon be no safety in the possession
of flocks or herds. The earth is decaying under the
curse of God.—Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 414, bold added.
Sound wacky? Danger in just having the flocks and herds, even if you don't eat them?
Well, maybe it is wacky, but . . .
Catching Avian Flu by Kissing
The January 10, 2006, San Jose Mercury News ran an article entitled,
"Girl gets bird flu after kissing chicken." Here is an excerpt from that article:
VAN, Turkey — Sumeyya Mamuk considered the chickens
in her backyard to be beloved pets. The 8-year-old girl fed them,
petted them and took care of them. When they started to get sick
and die, she hugged them and tenderly kissed them goodbye. The
next morning, her face and eyes were swollen and she had a high
fever. Her father took her to a hospital, and five days later
she was confirmed to have the deadly H5N1 strain of bird
gets bird flu after kissing chicken," Jan. 10, 2006. (This link has since expired, but the first paragraph of the article is also found here, with a link to the rest of the article.
It wouldn't be so bad if you had to kiss the chickens in order to get avian flu, but just touching them
will suffice, according to a story in the Sante Fe New Mexican:
ANKARA, Turkey — . . .
Authorities distributed leaflets in eastern regions most
affected by the outbreak, cautioning people not to touch fowl,
while television spots urged people to wash their hands after
contact with poultry. . . .
One patient, Gulsen Yesilirmak, said from her hospital bed in
Sivas that she felt sick after throwing out dead chickens from
"I threw out one, and another died and I threw out that, too.
Then I got sick ... I sat down exhausted, and I had a headache,"
Yesilirmak told private CNN-Turk television, struggling to breathe
through a protective mask. Her eyes were
scrambles to contain deadly outbreak as bird flu causes jitters across Europe," Jan. 10, 2006.
How in the world did Ellen White know that things would come to this?
However, we have the distinct possibility that Ellen White wasn't talking about chickens at all
when she used the word "flocks." Instead, she could have been talking about flocks of sheep and goats.
Thus, if we want to cover all the bases, we should determine whether there are problems with "possessing"
flocks of sheep and goats, as well as herds of cattle. The examination of this question constitutes our
Zurich Hospital Says Urine Can Transmit Prion Diseases
It has been a puzzle how Chronic Wasting Disease, a disorder similar to Mad Cow Disease that also is caused
by prions, could spread
throughout the deer population when deer don't go around gobbling up the brains and spinal cords of
demented deer. Wonder no more, for researchers at the University Hospital of Zurich, Switzerland, have found the
solution to the puzzle. The results of their research were published in the prestigious journal
Science in October 2005.
—Ag. Research Service
The theoretical basis for this report actually can be found in the September 1997 issue of Medical
Hypotheses. In that issue S. Dealler suggested that the white blood cells known as macrophages
transport the prions, the infectious agent in Mad Cow Disease,
into the brain from the "original peripheral site of infection" ("The key must fit: macrophages transport prion
infection to the central nervous system and may determine the
sites of infection within it," Medical
Hypotheses, 49(3):213-20). But if macrophages transport prions, then any
inflamed or infected organ could end up harboring prions, and this is exactly what the Zurich study proved:
The University Hospital of Zurich team conducted laboratory
tests in mice to determine whether chronic inflammatory kidney
disorders could cause prions to be excreted in urine, CBC New
The mice with the kidney disorder did excrete prions in their
urine. When the prions excreted in the urine were injected into
other mice, they became infected. Mice that did not have kidney
inflammation did not have prions in their urine. . . .
The researchers suggested that animal urine be added to a list
of potentially infectious tissues from cows, such as the brain
and spleen, that are checked before they're used to make cosmetics
Cow Prions Can be Spread Through Urine," Jan. 10, 2006.
The reason why this is so sobering is that the medical journal Lancet published
a study back in 1991, a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, that showed that
prions can remain in soil for at least three years and still be infective
("Survival of scrapie virus after 3 years' interment," Feb. 2, 1991, 337(8736):269-70).
If prions can stay in the soil that long, and if "mad" animals with kidney inflammation
can exrete prions in their urine, then there really is no safety in possessing flocks and herds today.
In other words, how is a farmer ever supposed to avoid contact with Mad Cow Disease-causing
prions if his animals don't stop urinating?
Give Us Your Opinion
|"No safety in possessing flocks and herds." What do you think?