VEGA News Item

Milk gets SEAC’s Goat - 04/03/2005
SEAC and the Food Standards Agency Unite on Warnings over Goat Milk and Meat and Derivatives.

SEAC’s meeting yesterday, at which VEGA attend endorsed the FSA’s cautions and warnings on the consumption of goats milk and derivatives, as well as of goat-meat (SEAC stands for Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee). The concern applies to products from male and female goats and of all ages and to consumption by people of all types; pregnant women might take special care. The FSA’s is on its website.

New evidence accruing from findings in the EU indicate a spread of BSE into species in which scrapie has been identified for centuries without apparent harm to humans, but now BSE, which is a danger to consumers ( and possibly handlers), is appearing in other ruminants insidiously under the disguise of classical scrapie. The official advice to consumers is inconclusive, but recommends customers to enquire of their suppliers if their sources can be traced to animals “in good health” and suitably bred and tested. Traceability in goat-and sheep-farming, and the varying husbandry practices is hard to assure, however. Even with cattle cases of BSE have been diagnosed in cows born after the bans on feedstuffs intended to scotch the spread. SEAC will be reporting soon on continuing investigations on possible carriage by cow’s milk. The white stuff, like the red stuff, contains leukocytes (white cells). Blood for transfusions in now “leukodepleted”.

Sustainability of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs)
SEAC is now occupied in tracing possible lateral (or horizontal or human-to-human) transmission of agents leading to a maintained risk of vCJD in human consumers. Vehicles attracting much attention and expense are safely disposable surgical instruments and blood transfusions. Progress by the NHS is promising, but so far limited to surgery on tonsils and appendixes; dentistry will have less attention, because much of it is carried out in the private sector (but we note, that includes a number of procedures on a number of patients). Further, much surgery is undertaken on non-human animals of many species and in various stages of hygiene.

Blood donated by veggies may acquire a premium at least as a standard by which to assess the changes transmitted through the food chain and further spread consequent upon the BSE epidemic and its aftermaths. Real vegetarians or vegans ( who are even denied a suitable biscuit after the blood-letting) may wear a special crown of honor in the pantheon of the public spirited. Their data would be especially valuable if they held reliable records (e.g. from epidemiological surveys) of their dietary consumption and lifestyle and of any donations of blood.

Dying for the Cause
In bids for further glory some veggies opt for “ green” funerals and burials. Even more gloriously some may leave there bits and bobs for medical and research purposes, combining a belief that this remains their final gesture in lessening resort to experiments and testing on living or purpose-bred animals. It could be most advantageous to instruct relatives and executors of the possible special relevance of such material to researchers seeking clues to the puzzles of CJD, BSE, and other encephalopathies.Anti-vivisectionists remain lamentably mute and ineffectual over the toll taken of non-human animals, now including macaque monkeys, in research unleashed as a result of the exploitation of the dairy-cow and her calf and the subsequent harm in BSE, CJD, and other TSEs.

There is yet another glory for those who describe themselves as veggies and animal welfarists-but are milksops. The toll of suffering generated by British dairying and the corollaries in the spread of harm and complicity in squandering of subsidies in this evil industry demand a lively sacrifice prior to dying for the cause. Assert human humility by joining all the other animals in a post-weaning independence of bubby!


Registered Charity No. 1045293
© VEGA - 2008