September 29 2004From Mark Purdey - with permission to publish on warmwell
Whenever the Americans have problems with TSE outbreaks in their domesticated wildlife held in their captive facilities, they adopt a policy of bulldozing the top six inches of soil from the pens and disposing of it - exactly the same strategy that is applied to land that has become contaminated by radioactive metals.
I have always ascribed the age old higher scrapie rate in the sheep flocks kept on Shetland ( and other parts of Central Scotland ) to the natural radioactive metals in the igneous granitic rock there - the levels of barium (the daughter product resulting from uranium decay ) are essentially the most relevant. Once they penetrate into the brain, these metal micro-crystals seed the radioactive metal-protein crystals that grow into the fibril features which characterise the 'sound sensitive' TSE diseased brain ( NB Barium is the metal added to sound proof boarding for absorbing the acoustic energy ).
Basically, if you or your animals thrive off ecosystems which carry the higher levels of natural radioactive metals (NORM) - as in Iceland where NORM is high downwind of some of the volcanoes - then you have to be careful that you are nourished with ample antioxidant co factors such as copper, selenium / vitamin E, zinc, vitamin C. These arrest the free radical mediated chain reactions which are initiated by the radioactive decay around the crystals in the contaminated brain. In this respect, these antioxidants will therefore act as a preventative against diseases like TSEs, explaining why the sheep farmers in Iceland fail to contract CJD because they consume ample seafood which contains all of these antioxidants, whereas their scrapie riddled sheep remain confined to the copper / selenium / zinc deficient pastures - and therefore succumb to the negative effects of the radioactive metals that are endemic in their local environs.
Whenever the Americans have problems with TSE outbreaks in their domesticated wildlife held in their captive facilities, they adopt a policy of bulldozing the top six inches of soil from the pens and disposing of it - exactly the same strategy that is applied to land that has become contaminated by radioactive metals. They know the true cause of these diseases out there, but just keep it hush for fear of disturbing the public - and, of course, to dodge any compensation claims that may result from any claims against the leaks from their nuclear weapon sites and incineration of their low level waste ordnance .
We are equally gullible over here, and just believe the most politically convenient scapegoat line that the government tells us. Imagine if the truth were to get out about mad cow..Ron asked: How does this affect the West Country, Cornwall in particular, as it has a large amount of granite? If I remember rightly isn't China Clay part of decayed granite. Of course there is also a large amount of copper there as well.
Radon gas is a problem too in Cornwall.
Mark replied:Good questions. It is the particular type of igneous rock ( granites, etc ) which determines how much radiation absorbing metal ( eg uranium, barium, strontium, etc ) is going to be present. There are quite a few different types of granite which are very varied in respect of their capacity to absorb radioactivity.
In Orkney / shetland it is the Old Red Sandstone, as well as the granites, that are very high in the uranium / barium deposits - so much so that they wanted to mine the uranium deposits there during the Thatcher era, much to the horror of the local islanders. Other human and eco-factors are also very relevant in determining how much uranium / barium is released / leached into the open environment ( eg; into the topsoil, atmosphere, vegetation / food crops etc). It could remain locked up in the bedrock.
I understand that there is a moderate amount of scrapie on Dartmoor ( the main granitic area of the SW ), with plenty of BSE in the areas that were populated by bovines. South Devon was particularly heavily affected with BSE, particularly in the areas where the 'bluestone' surfaces in the top soil - bluestone has a well renowned ability to absorb ionising radiation, and MAFF were conducting many soil tests down there after the Chernobyl accident.
There is a linear clustering of scrapie that runs along the back of the Brendon hills ( starts near to my farm ) and then Exmoor to the coast at Woolacombe. It's ordovician bedrock, with high levels of barium and manganese. The manganese used to be mined in places. Copper / selenium are low.
It is really interesting what you say about china clay. It would be interesting to follow that up and analyse the stuff, since I know that potters and ceramic workers ( glass workers too ) get high rates of both CJD and Parkinson' s, but I had always ascribed that to the use of barium, strontium and/or manganese in the glazes - eg; not due to the clays.
The Lizard peninsula is wholly igneous rock - serpentine. This would make an interesting study of the types of metals in the serpentine rock and the possible rates of scrapie in the local sheep flocks, if any. Well, a comparative study needs to be conducted in the sheep flocks that are grazed over the pockets of igneous and non igneous rocks all over the UK.
Genetics certainly has a major role in scrapie too, perhaps by increasing susceptibility of the animal to an increased uptake of these rogue metals or to an inadequate ability of the animal to neutralise the effects of the radicals that the rogue radioactive metals generate.
In fact so much 'in depth' research needs to be done to follow up on the cursory studies that I have managed to do, but of course the major stumbling block here falls back on the issue of funding. Since government and corporations only fund projects that support their particular commercial and political agendas, its become impossible for the likes of people like me to take this research forward. Its an appalling situation which is getting progressively worse as the years go by. Fifteen years ago, there were actually some good people working within MAFF, but over recent years these people seem to have somehow fallen by the wayside ......