Twenty-year CJD Report




The following information comes from no less a prestigious source than the Journal of the American Medical Association (Vol. 284, No. 18, November 8, 2000). We will first comment on the article, paragraph by paragraph, and then quote it.

Comment on 1: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is the human form of mad cow disease in animals. A new form of CJD has emerged, which is called new variant CJD (nvCJD). But both produce deterioration of  brain tissue and eventual death. Both are fatal; there is no cure for either. As our new book, International Meat Crisis, explains, the cause is always due to eating meat, eating raw glandulars, having infected animal blood enter the skin through a cut, or by infected surgical instruments.

You will generally read in the public press that there is no CJD (mad cow disease in humans) in America. But the JAMA article, reprinted below, clearly shows that Americans have been dying from it for quite some time. This report only covers the years from 1979 onward. Our new book explains that CJD-infected meat in America and Britain has been eaten since the early 1970s, when new animal feeding methods were introduced, slaughterhouse processing techniques were accelerated, and government controls were relaxed.

Comment on 3: There were 4,751 known deaths from CJD in the 19 years from 1979 through 1998. That averages to 238 persons per year. Is that a complete number? We do not know.

After completing the book this spring, I received a phone call from a nurse in a southeastern state. She told me that two people had recently died at her hospital of CJD and that the CDC immediately phoned and ordered them to burn the equipment and ship the bodies to a research university for further analysis.

We know that Alzheimer's disease has almost the same symptoms as CJD, yet autopsies are rarely done to check on the possibility that the victim may have died of CJD instead of Alzheimer's. In fact, there is only one recorded instance in America in which this was done: the U.S. Veterans Hospital in Pittsburgh. They did analytic autopsies of 53 sequential Alzheimer's victims. Sampling #1 revealed that 5.5% of the Alzheimers patients had actually died of CJD, and sampling #2 showed 6.3%. Extrapolating from that research finding, it can be estimated that about 6% of all Alzheimer deaths in the United States are actually caused by the human form of mad cow disease! That would be a lot more than 238 deaths per year! But how many?

The cover article on the May 14, 2001, issue of Time magazine was devoted to Alzheimer's disease. Statistics on the total number of Alzheimer's deaths were given twice in the article. Here is the first one:

Precious little is known about this terrible illness, which threatens to strike some 14 million Americans by 2050.

If 6% of Alzheimer's deaths are actually CJD mad cow, then 6% of 14 million would be 840,000 Americans who will die of mad cow within the next 49 years!

The article also mentions that this mysterious disease, Alzheimer's, is increasing rapidly to epidemic proportions among older people. At the present time, over 65, one person in ten, Americans die of what is thought to be Alzheimer's. By age 85, it becomes 50%! Six percent of those deaths will really be from mad cow disease. Here is the second statistic from Time:

On the average, 10% of the people over 65 come down with Alzheimers, a number that rises to 50% by age 85.

And that brings us to our comment on 4.

Comment on 4: In this paragraph, we are told that the average age of death by CJD is 68. Very few CJD victims died young (only 10 out of 4,451). Not only are the symptoms of Alzheimers and CJD almost alike, but death tends to come to both in old age.

Alzheimer's is thought to be a genetic disease, yet death by it is doubling and trebling. But death rates caused by genetically caused diseases tend to remain constant. Why is it that death by Alzheimer's is increasing so rapidly while almost no deaths by CJD are occurring? Notice in 4 that some patients die of CJD caused by taking human growth hormones.

Comment on 5: We are told that more than 85% of patients die within 1 year. That means within a year after the symptoms clearly manifest themselves. We are also told that it is not until the victim has died that we can be certain that death came from CJD. Obviously, autopsies are urgently needed in order to identify CJD as the cause of death, yet they are rarely done. Without autopsies, CJD deaths cannot be correctly reported to the CDC. But physicians fear to conduct such autopsies, since their instruments cannot be cleansed of the infecting prions. So we have here a CJD reporting crisis. Far more people are dying of CJD than are being reported.

Either CJD is not going to be correctly reported or the medical instruments in U.S. hospitals are going to all become contaminated with CJD-causing prions. The CDC is choosing the former.

Farther down in the same paragraph, it is estimated that fully 80% of the CJD deaths in America are being identified. But, as we have learned above, that cannot be a correct statement.

The paragraph also states that no marked increase in the CJD death rate is occurring. That is understandable. People are eating lots of meat, just as they did years ago, and the meat is processed in the same contaminated manner that it was back then. Little wonder that there seems to be little change in the reported statistics.

Comment on 6: While there have been 4,751 reported deaths from CJD in America since 1979, there have only been 84 cases of nvCJD in Britain. Astounding! We thought that British beef, which Britishers love to eat, was so heavily contaminated with mad cow diseasethat nations all over the world were refusing to buy it. Yet Brits have 84 cases and we have 4,751. Yet, in the public press, beef in America is said to rarely have mad cow disease. Yet we have had 4,751 cases of CJD among Americans!

Also note in this paragraph that, while reported CJD in America tends to cause death in old age, reported nvCJD in Britain results in death at a much earlier age. Could that be partly due to a different method of gathering data on CJD deaths?

Comment on 7: The CDC has established an entire new research center to consider statistics on CJD in America. They are getting worried. But they do not want you to worry. The meat industry must not be disturbed, for it makes more money than any other branch of U.S. agriculture.

Comment on 8: As mentioned earlier, CJD and nvCJD are variants of the human form of mad cow disease. This paragraph states that only the first of these is killing people in America.  

Here now is the article from the Journal of the American Medical Association: Sections containing complicated statistics have been omitted. The omissions are marked with a dash (). Paragraphs are numbered.  

[1] To the Editor: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is the most common transmissible spongiform encephalopathy in humans. In response to concerns about the emergence of new variant CJD (nvCJD) in the United Kingdom, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) enhanced its ongoing CJD surveillance 1,2. We describe results of mortality surveillance for CJD in the United States from 1979 through 1998.

Methods: .

[2] We analyzed multiple cause-of-death data 3 for CJD (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, code 046.1). We excluded 8 deaths because of coding errors, clear alternative diagnoses, or pathological findings indicating the absence of CJD. We included an additional 5 deaths reported to the CDC by other surveillance methods. Age-specific and age-adjusted annual CJD death rates were calculated. Age-adjusted rates were standardized by the direct method, using the 1990 census population.

Results: .

[3] From 1979 through 1998, 4,751 deaths due to CJD were reported in the United States. The average annual age-adjusted death rate was 0.97 deaths per million persons, ranging from 9.78 in 1980 to 1.13 in 1997. The overall annual rates have been relatively stable since 1985 (P = .64, linear regression analysis).

[4] The median age at death was 68 years. Ten CJD decedents were younger than 30 years, including 3 who died during the period of the nvCJD epidemic in the United Kingdom (1995-1998). Neuropathologic evaluations of 2 of these 3 patients ruled out nvCJD; the third patient had iatrogenic CJD associated with receipt of human growth hormones.

Comment: .

[5] Because CJD is invariably fatal, more than 85% of patients die within 1 year and the diagnosis is best ascertained at the time of death, mortality data analysis is an efficient way of monitoring CJD incidence in the United States. Two studies have indicated that mortality data analyses identify at least 80% of CJD deaths in the United States 1,2. The relatively high sensitivity of CJD mortality surveillance is supported by the fact that no marked increase in the CJD death rate was seen in recent data despite the extensive attention nvCJD, CJD, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy have received since 1996.

[6] As of October 2, 2000, a total of 84 nvCJD cases had been reported in the United Kingdom 1. The median age at death of patients with nvCJD was 27.5 years (unpublished data, National Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance Unit, Edinburgh, Scotland, October 16, 2000).

[7] In the United States, the CDC enhanced CJD mortality surveillance by focusing on the striking difference in age distribution of nvCJD cases from that of U.S. sporadic CJD cases. This enhancement included follow-up investigation of patients with CJD who were younger than 55 years and the establishment of the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center (NPDPSC) in collaboration with the American Association of Neuropathologists (AANP).

[8] The clinical and neuropathologic record reviews of 101 patients with CJD who died before age 55 from 1994 through 1997 have been completed; 45 of the 101 patients had neuropathologic confirmation of the CJD diagnosis (CDC, authors unpublished data). The NPDPSC  alerted U.S. members of AANP and the U.S. and Canadian Academy of Pathologists about nvCJD pathology and periodically requested reports of CJD and suspected nvCJD cases. None of the CJD surveillance efforts, including analysis through September 20, 2000, of brain tissues of suspected and confirmed CJD cases at the NPDPSC, detected any evidence of nvCJD in the United States (Pierluigi Gambetti, MD, Case Western Reserve University, written communication, September 27, 2000).


Robert V. Gibbons, MD, MPH

Robert C. Holman, MS

Ermias D. Belay, MD

Lawrence B. Schonberger, MD, MPH

Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases

National Center for Infectious Diseases

Center for infectious Diseases

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Ga.  

1 Holman, RC, Khan AS, Belay ED, Schonberger LB. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the United States, 1979-1994. Emergency Infectious Diseases, 1996;2:333-337.

2 Tan L, Williams MA, Khan MK, et al. Risk of Transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy to humans in the United States. JAMA. 1999; 281:2330-2339. Abstract full text.

3 U.S. Department of health and Human Services. Vital Statistics Mortality Data, Multiple Cause Detail 1979-1998, Public Use Data Tape Contents and Documentation Package. Hyattsville, Md: National Center for Health Statistics; 2000.

4 Department of Health, United Kingdom. Monthly Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease statistics. Accessed October 16, 2000.

5 Will RG, Zeidler M, Stewart GH, et al. Diagnosis of new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Annals Neurology. 2000;47:575-582.

6  National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center. Accessed June 22, 2000.  

Nearly 400 Products Made from Cattle, Sheep, and Pigs  

It comes as something of a shock to discover all the products that contain animal parts or derivatives. Many of these are in food, medicines, or medical equipment.

We live in a chemical age, and the raw materials the chemists have to draw from are rocks, plants, and animals. There is nothing else.



GENERAL MEDICAL AND HEALTH CARE PRODUCTS antibodies (immunoglobulins) / beef insulin / bovine collagen - used as injections to fill in scars / bovine fibrinolysin (brand name-Elase) ointment for necrotic tissue - bovine super oxide - dismutase cream (Orgotein) - cosmetic skin cream to prevent tissue aging / bovine thrombin (brand name - Thrombinar) clotting agent for blood / culture medium - diagnosis / fetal bovine serum - tissue cultures / Hyaluronidase - efficient drug use / PTH - control tetany / pegademase - bovine derivative (brand name - Adagen) - for patients who are immuno-compromised - helps prevent white blood cells from breaking down / pill capsules - GELATIN / whole serum - vaccine manufacturing                               

PRODUCTS FROM OVARIES estrogen / progesterone - a reproductive hormone                                

PRODUCT FROM STOMACHS pepsin - aid in protein digestion / rennet - aid in milk digestion                                

PRODUCTS FROM THYROIDS bovine thyroid (Thyrar) a thyroid replacement / TSH - thyroid diagnosis / thyroid extract - hypothrodism / thyroid hormones - myxedema and cretinism

PRODUCTS FROM ADRENALS cortisone - for arthritis, skin allergies, anti-inflammatory medicine / epinephrine - aid in raising blood pressure, heart disorders, and allergies                                

PRODUCTS FROM LIVERS heparin - anti-coagulant, prevents gangrene / liver extract - treatment of anemia / intrinsic factor - pernicious anemia / Vitamin B12 - prevention of B-complex deficiencies                                

PRODUCTS FROM LUNGS heparin - anti-coagulant, prevents gangrene                                

PRODUCTS FROM BLOOD plasma protein / blood albumin - RH factor typing / Fraction I - hemophilia / Fraction V - kills viruses / iron for anemia / thrombin - blood coagulant / protein extracts / diagnostic microbiology                                

PRODUCTS FROM HOG HEARTS heart valves for human transplant

PRODUCTS FROM INTESTINES medical sutures - surgery

PRODUCTS FROM BONES bone marrow - blood disorders / bonemeal - calcium and phosphorous source / mineral source in supplements / collagen and bone for plastic surgery / soft cartilage - plastic surgery / xiphisternal cartilage (breastbone) plastic surgery                                

PRODUCTS FROM PANCREAS chymotrypsin - contact surgery / diastase - aid in starch digestion / glucagon - treat hypoglycemia / insulin - diabetes mellitus / pancreatin - aid digestion / trypsin - for burns, wounds, and infection - promotes healing - aid in protein digestion and in cleaning wounds                                

PRODUCTS FROM PITUITARY GLANDS ACTH - arthritis, allergies, rheumatic fever, skin and eye inflammations / pressor hormone - regulates blood pressure / prolactin - promotes lactation / vasopressin - controls intestinal and renal functions                                

PRODUCTS FROM SPINAL CORDS cholesterol - hormone products                                                                                             

2 -  FOOD PRODUCTS                                

PRODUCTS FROM CATTLE, SHEEP, AND HOG FLESH a huge variety of fresh, frozen, pre-cooked meats, and prepared and processed meat products                                

PRODUCTS FROM MILK/DAIRY butter / casein (proteins) / cheese and cheese products / cream / food ethanol / ice cream and ice cream mixes / lactose (carbohydrates) / milk powder / sherbet / whey (proteins) / fats (lipids) / yogurt                                

PRODUCTS FROM FATS AND FATTY ACIDS (edible)chewing gum / lard / oleo margarine / oleo shortening / oleostearin / pharmaceuticals / rennet for cheese (sheep)  / shortening                                

PRODUCTS FROM BLOOD blood sausage / bonemeal / cake mixes / deep-fry batters / egg substitute / gravy mixes / imitation seafood / pasta / whipped toppings and coffee whiteners                                

PRODUCTS FROM BONES whitener in refined sugar                                

PRODUCTS FROM BONE, HORNS, AND HOOVES gelatin capsules / gelatin deserts / ice cream, malts, and shakes / marshmallow / potted meats                                

PRODUCTS FROM INTESTINES sausage casings                                

PRODUCTS FROM HIDES AND SKINS sausage casings / gelatin / candies and confectionery / flavorings / foods / gelatin desserts / ice cream / marshmallows / mayonnaise / yogurt                   




PRODUCTS FROM MILK adhesives / animal feed / buttons / carriers for human medicine / cosmetics / glue / pharmaceuticals / sizing / specialty plastics / veterinary medicines                                

PRODUCTS FROM BLOOD adhesives / bone marrow / bonemeal / fabric printing and dyeing / leather-treating agents / livestock feed / minerals / plaster retardant / plywood adhesive / diagnostic microbiology from colloidal proteins - glue for automobile bodies / protein source in feeds / sticking agent / textile sizing                                

PRODUCTS FROM BONES bone charcoal / pencils / high grade steel / bone handles / bone jewelry / mineral source in feed / fertilizer / dried bones / buttons / bone china / glass / porcelain enamel / water filters / whitener in refined sugar                                

PRODUCTS FROM BONE, HORNS, AND HOOVES adhesives / bandage strips / collagen cold cream / cellophane wrap and tape / crochet needles / dice / dog biscuits / emery boards and cloth / fertilizer / glycerine / laminated wood products / neats-foot oil / photographic film / plywood and paneling / shampoo and conditioner / wallpaper and wallpaper paste / syringes                                

PRODUCTS FROM BRAINS anti-aging cream / cholesterol                                

PRODUCTS FROM FATS AND FATTY ACIDS (edible and inedible)animal foods /  biodegradable detergents / biodiesel / cellophane / cement / ceramics / chalk / chemicals / cosmetics / crayons / creams and lotions (sheep) / deodorants / detergents / explosives / fertilizer / fiber softeners / floor wax / glycerin / glycerol / antifreeze / herbicides / horse and livestock feeds / industrial oils and lubricants / insecticides / insulation / linoleum / livestock feed / makeup / matches / medicines / mink oil / nitroglycerin / oil polishes / ointment bases / oleostearin / paints / paraffin / perfumes / pet foods / pharmaceuticals / plasticizers / plastics / printing rollers / protein hair conditioner / protein hair shampoo / putty / rubber products / shaving cream / shoe cream / soaps / solvents / stearic acid (sheep) / tallow for tanning / textiles / tires / waterproofing agents / weed killers                                

PRODUCTS FROM GALLSTONES ornaments                                

PRODUCTS FROM HAIR air filters / artists paintbrush / felt and rug padding / insulation material / nonwovens / plastering material / textiles / upholstering material                                

PRODUCTS FROM HIDES AND SKINS belts / collagen-based adhesives (from trimmings) / bandages / emery boards / glues for papermaking and bookbinding / cabinetmaking / sheetrock / wallpaper / drumhead (sheep) / pharmaceuticals / photographic materials / leather sporting goods / leather wearing apparel / luggage / pigskin garments and gloves / porcine burn dressings for burn victims / shoes and boots / upholstery / wallets                                

PRODUCTS FROM HOOVES AND HORNS chessmen / combs / buttons / fertilizer / horn handles / imitation ivory / inedible bonemeal / livestock feeds / ornaments /  piano keys / plant food                                 

PRODUCTS FROM INTESTINES instrument strings / sausage casings / tennis racquet strings                                

PRODUCTS FROM MANURE fertilizer - used in gardens, lawns, and farm cropland / nitrogen / potash / phosphorus / minor minerals                                

OTHER PRODUCTS FROM CATTLE SOURCES airplane lubricants and runway foam / car polishes and waxes /  hydraulic brake fluid / Stearic acid - helps rubber in tires hold shape under steady surface / friction steel ball bearings containing bone charcoal / textiles for car upholstery / various machine oils and viscous fluids                               

PRODUCTS FROM WOOL asphalt binder / carpet / clothing / cosmetics / fabrics / felt / insulation / lanolin / medical ointments / paint and plaster binder / pelt products / rouge base / rug pads / upholstery / woolen goods / worsted fabric / yarns

 Return to Family Health