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Alistair McConnachie published Sovereignty from July 1999 to its 120th consecutive monthly issue in June 2009, and he continues to maintain this website.
Alistair McConnachie also publishes Prosperity - Freedom from Debt Slavery which explains a solution for the economic crisis and A Force For Good which makes a positive case for the UK Union.
To find out more go to the about who is Alistair McConnachie page.
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The absurd scares based around Scrapie in sheep and BSE in cattle have prompted us to run this article by Alistair McConnachie which was originally published in the May-June 1996 issue of The Social Crediter just after the original BSE scare broke nationally.

The authorities would have us believe that Scrapie in sheep can lead to BSE in cattle, which can lead to nvCJD in humans, as a result of humans consuming meat from cattle which have consumed feedstuffs, which have the rendered remains of the occasional Scrapie-infected sheep brain. Like, "Hello?"

The evidence, however, suggests there is no connection between BSE in cattle and nvCJD in humans, and that organo-phosphate chemicals are the likely cause of both. The Scrapie issue is a red herring. It also follows that the prohibition on cattle over the age of "30 months" being allowed to enter the food chain, is complete baloney.


Could any harm come from a firm possibility of a definite maybe? Conjecture, by its very nature, must lead to confusion. And therein lay somebody's cool calculations.

On March 20, 1996, for reasons still unclear, Health Secretary Stephen Dorrell MP chose to publicise the ill-founded speculation of the government monitoring unit, the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC). With absolutely no scientific proof, nor even a written paper to provide a degree of authority, Mr. Dorrell informed the world that "the most likely explanation at present", according to his "experts", was that recent nvCJD cases were linked to the cattle disease known as BSE. The consequences were inevitable.

The British beef industry went into a tail-spin. The EU Commission slapped a "world-wide" ban on all beef and beef-related products from the UK. The latter included such well-known harbingers of death as lipstick and jelly-babies. It was an instructive moment. Few of us were aware that the EU had the power to prevent the UK trading with the rest of the world. The true power of the EU was exposed for all to see.

BSE was first officially diagnosed in November 1986. A theory was devised which suggested that BSE had originated from cattle feedstuffs, partly derived from rendered animal protein. It was surmised that matter from sheep brains, infected with a disease called Scrapie, had survived a new rendering process. In July 1988, the British Government banned the use of rendered animal protein in feed stuffs. This was termed "the offal ban".

The BSE agent has only ever been found in the central nervous system in cattle; that is, in the brain and spinal cord. No trace of BSE has ever been found in muscle nor even the nerves which run through the muscle. In November 1989, after concern that parts of infected brain or spinal cord might be entering pies, sausages and burgers, the Government banned the use of these parts for human consumption. The gut, tonsils, thymus and spleen were also included in the English ban. Three months later the measures were introduced in Scotland.

Several points lead us to contradict the official line that nvCJD is derived from "exposure to BSE" which is, in turn, derived from Scrapie:

1. There is no proof that the sheep brain disease, called Scrapie, is contractable by cattle. Diseases do not, as a rule, jump species barriers.

2. Feeding herbivores products which are partly derived from rendered carcasses has been a practice for many decades before BSE appeared. However, the current theory argues that the infectious agent from the Scrapie disease has only recently been able to survive the rendering process due to manufacturing at reduced temperature. It is incorrect to suggest, as some have, that this is part of a "greedy" profit-at-any-price policy by the feed-stuff firms. In the 1970s, rendering businesses switched from an old-fashioned technique that used a noxious solvent and high temperatures to the American Carver-Greenfield process, which operated at lower temperatures and which was meant to make meat and bonemeal more nutritious and appetising (Economist 30 3 96).

3. Even if one is tempted to believe that the infectious agent survived this process, the quantity of infected matter in the feed-stuffs would be equivalent to a grain of sand on a beach.

4. Organic dairy farmer Mark Purdey also noted in an article in The Independent (22.3.96) that "this same UK ingredient was exported in millions of tonnes (of cattle feed) to cattle in BSE-free countries all over the world. It was also manufactured in a similar way in the US without any BSE erupting there. Furthermore, 24,000-plus UK cattle born after the offal ban in 1988 have still gone down with the disease".

a) People have been directly eating Scrapie-infected sheep since the 18th century and have not contracted a brain-debilitating condition from their lamb chops. Indeed, in Iceland, farmers tended to eat Scrapie-infected sheep, but up to ten years ago, the last period on which we have information, there have only ever been two cases of nvCJD (Scotsman, 28.3.96). Sheep brain also used to be sold as a delicacy in every butcher's shop in Scotland until recently.

b) Countries such as New Zealand, where Scrapie is unknown, still record cases of CJD (Independent,22.3.96).

c) The incidence of nvCJD in the UK is the same as its incidence in other parts of Europe where there has been no corresponding BSE scare. In fact, the cases of nvCJD have been falling in the UK. In 1994 there were 52 cases. In 1995 there were 44. The 10 cases of nvCJD - later revised to 12 - which gave rise to the current speculation, were all contracted before the November 1989 food restrictions.

d) Recent research is also indicating that many more people than previously suspected died of nvCJD before BSE struck in 1986 (Sunday Telegraph, 3 1.3.96). This throws doubts on the idea that nvCJD is linked to BSE in any way.

** The BSE agent has only ever been found in the brain and spinal cord. No trace has been recorded in meat nor in meat-nerves (Economist, 30.3.96).

** Since November 1989, the brain and spinal cord of all cattle - whether dairy or beef - has not been allowed to enter the food chain. Known BSE cases are, of course, incinerated entirely.

** The overwhelming majority of BSE cases have been in dairy cattle. The Daily Telegraph (1.4.96) reported that out of 159,134 cases of BSE, 134,710 were in Friesian/Holstein cattle. Even healthy dairy cattle are never sold for meat chops in butchers or supermarkets. They are ground down into pies, sausages and burgers exclusively.

** If nvCJD was contractable from meat chops then, in cases where meat is sold locally, it would be localised around butchers who sell from infected herds. This is not the case.

** Roasting and tinning destroy all infectious agents completely.

** The UK has the highest abattoir standards in the world. We have no control over the rearing, slaughtering, processing, packaging and transporting conditions in the rest of the world. It is almost certainly of a lower standard than that which exists in this country. Yet some regional councils have been serving Argentinean beef to schoolchildren on the pretext that it is safer than British beef (Herald, 4.4.96). A butcher known to us in the south of England was recently offered the chance of beef from Namibia. How do we know what controls are present in these countries?

On April 6 1996, Mark Purdey, the organic dairy farmer, addressed a meeting organised by the McCarrison Society at the Royal Museum of Scotland. He made it clear that he blamed an organo-phosphorus pesticide used to treat warble fly as the main cause of BSE.

Organo-phosphates are used in nerve gas. The chemical, which he named Phosmet, was poured along the backs of cattle and was designed to penetrate the central nervous system. The use of this chemical became widespread in 1985. Previous to its use, dairy farmers were required to withdraw their milk from sale for a period of days after treating for warble fly. Phosmet allowed milk to be sold 6 hours after treatment. It is no surprise that it became especially popular among dairy farmers. Northern Ireland started the use of Phosmet three years after the rest of the UK and the Northern Ireland BSE scare started exactly three years after the scare on the mainland.

Mr Purdey informed the audience that cattle are still being treated with this chemical, particularly at the point of importation. He said that all farmers he had contacted could trace their herd's BSE problems to the use of this chemical. A full exposition of Mr Purdey's views are to be found in two papers which he has written and which appear in the May 1996 issue of Medical Hypotheses, published by Churchill Livingstone.  Tel: +44 (0)20 8308 5790   Fax: +44 (0)20 8308 5702

Mark Purdey's papers are at website

Faced with the reality of an illogical scare we need to ask two questions:

The scare originally emanated from the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC). This is a 13-member committee. We know that five new members were appointed in December 1995 (Guardian, 22.3.96). We also know that their Edinburgh CJD research unit was facing funding cuts and redundancies (Sunday Telegraph, 31.3.96). So why did the SEAC start the scare? Private Eye (5.4.96) came to the obvious conclusion: "Not least of their 'scientific' considerations must have been that the unit researching nvCID in Edinburgh was facing massive funding cuts and was planning major staff redundancies. Scaling down the BSE threat could do nothing but hasten the process."

The Government
The timing of the announcement was certainly opportune. The Government knew that the start of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) was only nine days away. The Government knew that the EU would use the crisis to its own advantage. Despite this, the Government, keen to give the impression that it was only listening to its "experts" appeared to set a trap for itself and then walk into it.

The Consumers' Association
This organisation obtained a high television and radio profile in the days immediately following the statement. It lost no chance to play-up what it termed "an unquantifiable risk". The recorded message on its "helpline" (0645 245490) continually emphasised the word "risk". The Director, Sheila McKechnie, tells us that scientific advisors to the government "admitted for the first time" that the most likely cause of CJD was exposure to BSE. The CA has no scientific evidence available to assess "just how great the risk is" but if we want "to avoid the risk" then there is "no choice" but to stop eating beef and beef related products. However, if we feel that "the risk from eating beef is acceptable" then it "would advise reducing the risk" in several ways. Later in the tape it is specifically emphasised that "it is still a risk".

The Consumers' Association has come a long way from scientifically testing goods and services alone. Objectivity has given way to subjectivity here.

Multi-national Corporations
McDonald's and Burger King undoubtedly triggered further panic with hasty and offensive bans on British beef. McDonald's makes an annual operating profit of £91 million from the British people (Guardian, 2.4.96).

The European Union
The EU believes the UK is standing out alone against moves to weaken the national veto, extend majority voting, and give greater power to the European Parliament. The EU ban looks like a straightforward attempt to put the screws on.

The question remains, however: who is the British Government's 'enemy within', toward that end? Could it be that treachery and continental venality will mean the UK's place in the Union is finally untenable. Will a mad cow save us?

Mark Purdey's website is

Also see Lord Walsingham on the likely cause of nvCJD

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