Food, Water, Air Contamination Fueling Brain Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease, Autism Now Industrial Diseases

The EPA is drawing more attention and criticism than usual lately, but its history of mismanagement is nothing new.

EPA failures regarding wastewater treatment, reuse and the land application of sewage sludge go back decades. For example, sewage sludge was deemed too toxic to dump in the ocean in 1972, so the EPA started pimping it as fertilizer for our food supply, gardens, parks and school grounds.

Sewage sludge certainly has some beneficial nutrients for plants, including phosphorous and nitrogen. Unfortunately, the so-called biosolids also include pathogens, prions, heavy metals, pharmaceutical residues, carcinogens and other harmful ingredients. After all, sewage comes from slaughter houses, nursing homes, hospitals, dental offices, veterinarians, street runoff, factories, and beyond. It also includes all of the things that millions of homes choose to dump.

land application sewage sludge

The EPA never conducted a legitimate risk assessment regarding the land application of sewage sludge. It never issued official policy. It issued something known to industry insiders as the sludge rule back in the 1990s. It’s the government equivalent of a wink-wink.

The EPA stood behind the sludge rule and allowed each state to develop random regulations and practices on sewage discharges. Places such as Milwaukee, Wisconsin started pimping its sewage sludge as fertilizer long ago. In Milwaukee, they branded the toxins Milorganite, which is registered for sale in all 50 states. Farmers are eating the stuff up. So do livestock, crops, gardeners and our wildlife. It’s running off into streams, rivers, lakes and oceans. Tornadoes carry it into the sky and into homes, offices and schools. The treated wastewater is discharged to Lake Michigan, where Chicago and other municipalities tap drinking water.

Since the EPA’s infamous sludge rule darkened our world, we now know about a deadly form of protein known as a prion. Prions are in the bodily fluids of victims, including blood, saliva, mucus, urine, feces, etc.—everything that’s destined for a wastewater treatment plant and a farmer’s field (or a soccer field).

Prions aren’t alive, so they can’t be killed. Wastewater treatment does little more than separate the stuff that floats from the stuff that doesn’t float. What’s left is pumped right back into your world. Including wastewater that’s being touted as drinking water (per the next section, look for the word “prion” in the risk assessments).

Prion disease and Alzheimer's disease

Dr. Stanley Prusiner earned the Nobel Prize in physiology in 1998 for his study of prions and prion disease. Unfortunately, government and industry are ignoring the ramifications of his science. As such, neurodegenerative disease is now the fastest-growing cause of death in the world. The autism epidemic is likely related to the same mismanagement of neurotoxins. Meanwhile, valley fever has evolved into an umbrella term for a variety of ailments spread through infectious waste in soil and air.

Prion disease is prion disease, but misguided public servants are blinding us with pseudo science. We know that prions migrate, mutate, multiply and kill with unparalleled efficiency. Yet, we are being told that various threats are unproven. We are being told that prions deplete themselves.

We are being told that there is no connection between the various forms of prion diseases among humans and other mammals, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease, and mad cow disease.

We are told that autism is caused by vaccines, not food and water contamination. We are being told that infectious waste is fertilizer. It’s time to read between the lines and think for ourselves, while we can still think at all.

The wastewater treatment plant in Milwaukee, for example, has been serving people with prion disease for decades. Wastewater treatment plants around the world are prion collectors, incubators and distributors. As more and more people get neurodegenerative disease, the deadlier the waste stream becomes. They have become weapons of mass destruction, yet no regulation exists. Highly toxic garbage in—fertilizer out.

land application sewage sludge and disease

Prions + Pathways = Victims

Humans Transmitting Prion Disease To Wildlife

Thanks to the indiscriminate dumping of sewage sludge laden with prions from sick people, the dairy state is a now a leader in chronic wasting disease among its wildlife. Since wildlife are serving as the proverbial bird in a coal mine, we know that livestock and humans also are being poisoned. The prion pathway goes both directions–people can contract it from infected animals and animals can contract it from human infectious waste (sewage). Few, if any mammals are immune. Few corners of the earth are safe.

The risk assessments for biosolids and wastewater reclamation were prepared before the world of science knew about deadly, unstoppable prions. Prions don’t deplete themselves over time. They don’t have a half-life. They migrate, mutate and multiply. Prions are being mismanaged in a criminal way on an industrial scale.

Although there are several pathways for deadly prion disease to infect a herd, the greatest prion pathway is being ignored. Sick deer, elk, moose and reindeer are just canaries in a proverbial coal mine. You and your family are caught in the crossfire of misinformation and mismanagement. Neurodegenerative disease is now the fastest-growing cause of death in the world.

Municipalities around the world were asked to stop dumping their sewage sludge in rivers and oceans and start dumping the toxic soup onto farms, forests, parks, school grounds, gardens and golf courses. Cities also are dumping the toxins in the deserts around the world, where it bakes and blows back in the faces of the cities that are trying to get rid of the sewage. The death dust from sewage sludge alone includes infectious waste, radioactive waste, heavy metals, carcinogens, pharmaceutical residues and other threats.

Alzheimers disease treatment

Humans Transmitting Brain Disease To Humans

Most forms of neurodegenerative disease are prion disease. The clinical term is transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is “transmissible.” Victims are producing and discharging infectious waste. Prions from people are the most deadly and aggressive because people are at the top of the food chain. It’s a vicious cycle. People are giving it back and forth to each other, but in different mutations. People are transmitting prion disease to animals through sewage. Animals are transmitting it to people through milk and meat. Government and industry are fanning the flames.

Thanks to modern sewage disposal (biosolids) and antiquated (if not fraudulent) risk assessments, we’re witnessing a public health disaster that’s still unfolding in the form of autism, Alzheimer’s disease, west Nile virus, Zika virus, chronic wasting disease, mad cow disease, valley fever, meningitis, hepatitis, and other threats to public health.

The spike in autism and Alzheimer’s disease began shortly after we started dumping toxic sewage on open lands in urban and rural areas. The spike in chronic wasting disease and mad cow disease began about the same time. It’s time to divert all sewage sludge to lined landfills to protect human health, animal health and entire watersheds. Infectious waste isn’t fertilizer.

Alzheimer's disease prevention

Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease and the prion disease epidemic is an area of special expertise. Please contact Gary Chandler to join our coalition for reform

Prion Surveillance Center Fighting For Life

Alzheimer’s, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, Mad Cow and Chronic Wasting All Caused By Prions

By John Fauber, Reporter, MedPage Today

When Tim Suroviak developed cognitive problems after coming home following heart surgery last year, one of the first questions doctors asked was whether he was a hunter. He was not, though his family did eat venison a few times year.

Suroviak, 63, deteriorated quickly from a rare brain condition known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). The disease is in the same family as chronic wasting disease, which is endemic in Wisconsin’s deer herd. The Suroviaks live in Wausau, Wisconsin.

After his death, Suroviak’s brain was sent to a lab in Ohio, which led to some shocking news for the family: The type of CJD he had was especially rare, caused by a genetic defect.

That discovery allowed family members to be tested for the disease. So far, no one, including his two daughters, carries the mutation, said Suroviak’s wife, Monica.

But the search for rare prion diseases, whether genetic, sporadic, or potentially caused by eating meat from infected animals, could be curtailed beginning next year.

Prions and Alzheimer's disease

The country’s prion disease surveillance center that looks for new brain disorders would lose all of its federal funding and cease operations under President Trump’s proposed fiscal 2018 budget.

For 20 years, the brains of people who died of suspected prion diseases, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, have been sent to the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

The center also is the only licensed lab that can test spinal fluid from living people who have suspected Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Such tests can allow families to find out if someone has the disease and what type it is, and then plan how to spend the person’s remaining months. The disease is always fatal.

The loss in funding would come at a time of heightened concern over whether chronic wasting disease can infect people. Recent research showed that it could infect monkeys that were fed venison from infected deer.

At the same time, the number of Creutzfeldt-Jakob cases has jumped substantially nationally and especially in Wisconsin, where chronic wasting disease has now been identified in wild deer in 18 counties. For now, officials attribute the increase to better surveillance and an aging population.

chronic wasting disease

“I don’t know why we want to stop surveillance at a time like this,” said Debbie Yobs, president of the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Foundation. “It doesn’t seem logical.”

The foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports families affected by prion diseases, as well as raising awareness and supporting medical research.

For the Suroviaks, the lab provided peace of mind. First, it let the family know that Tim had a genetic form of the disease, which occurs in between 5 percent and 15 percent of cases. Overall, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease occurs in about 1 to 1.5 one million people a year worldwide with the vast majority being the sporadic type, meaning the cause is unknown.

While no family members have tested positive for the disease, it turns out that two first cousins of Suroviak died of the disease, Monica Suroviak said.

“If the testing had not been done, we would have never known,” she said.

In 2002, the year CWD was discovered in Wisconsin, six cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease were recorded in the state, according to the Department of Health Services. In two of the last four years, 13 cases have been recorded in the state. That’s a 117 percent increase.

Nationally, there also has been an increase in Creutzfeldt-Jakob cases. In 2002, there were 260 cases, compared with 481 in 2015, an 85 percent increase, according to data from the CDC.

mad cow disease

Creutzfeldt-Jakob is closely related to the form of mad cow disease that infected people, primarily in Great Britain, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, after they ate beef from infected cows. Indeed, human mad cow disease is known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob. Both diseases attack the brain, and death usually occurs within a year.

Chronic wasting disease now is in 21 states, primarily in the Upper Midwest and Rocky Mountain states.

Mark Zabel, a prion researcher at Colorado State University, said chronic wasting disease may be mutating and someday could infect people, if it hasn’t already.

“If you don’t have a prion surveillance center that looks for it, you are going to miss it,” he said. “Then, it probably is going to be too late.”

About 400 brains are sent to the prion surveillance center each year. Since 1997 it has contracted with the CDC to provide prion disease surveillance. It has developed a vast library of tissue samples that help show how prion diseases manifest and mutate in people.

Prion diseases are not static; they evolve, Jiri Safar, MD, director of the prion surveillance center and a professor of pathology and neurology at Case Western, said.

“We do not have evidence of a jump to humans, but that is the concern among many in the public health and research community,” he said. (Editor’s Note: There also is no evidence of a reliable species barrier.)

The federal government spends about $6 million a year supporting prion disease surveillance.

Christine Pearson, a spokesperson for the CDC, would not say whether it supported the budget cut.

“The President’s budget is an important part of the federal appropriation cycle; however, Congress will determine final funding levels for all federal agencies,” she said in an email.

Thanks to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today for the great report.

Prion Disease News

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Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease and the prion disease epidemic is an area of special expertise. Please contact Gary Chandler to join our coalition for reform

Is Alzheimer’s Disease Contagious

Science, Evidence Proving That Alzheimer’s A Transmissible Disease

If you think that you and your family are immune to the surging epidemic of neurodegenerative disease, think again. Neurodegenerative disease, including Alzheimer’s disease, is the fastest-growing cause of death in the world. It’s getting worse every day thanks to mismanagement and misinformation.

Infectious proteins known as prions are involved with most forms of neurodegenerative disease. Prion disease is known in neurology as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is “transmissible.” The global epidemic has more to do with the prion contagion than age.

Dr. Stanley Prusiner, an American neuroscientist from the University of California at San Francisco, earned a Nobel Prize in 1997 for discovering and characterizing deadly prions and prion disease. Prusiner claims that all TSEs, includingAlzheimer’s disease, are caused by prions.

Prions and Alzheimer's disease

President Obama awarded Prusiner the National Medal of Science in 2010 to recognize the importance of his research. According to Prusiner, TSEs are a spectrum disease. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which is extremely aggressive and extremely transmissible, is at the extreme end of the spectrum. Unfortunately, Prusiner’s science is being ignored and we are facing a public health disaster because of the negligence.

Neurologists are just guessing when they make a diagnosis on the prion spectrum. If the patient exhibits memory problems, they are labeled with Alzheimer’s disease. If they have a movement disorder, they are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. If the person exhibits extreme symptoms of both, they are diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). It’s far from a science. Neurologists don’t know where along the spectrum the disease becomes transmissible. The entire spectrum could represent a transmissible disease. Unfortunately, neurologists are not warning these patients and their caregivers about the risks of exposure. Even those with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are not quarantined. They are sent home, where they can infect friends, family, caregivers, clinics, dental offices, restaurants and entire communities.

“There has been a resurgence of this sort of thinking, because there is now real evidence of the potential transmissibility of Alzheimer’s,” says Thomas Wiesniewski M.D. a prion and Alzheimer’s researcher at New York University School of Medicine. “In fact, this ability to transmit an abnormal conformation is probably a universal property of amyloid-forming proteins (prions).”

A study published in the journal Nature renews concern about the transmissibility of Alzheimer’s disease between people. A second study released in early 2016 by the same scientist adds to the stack of evidence.

According to neuroscientist Laura Manuelidis, at least 25 percent of Alzheimer’s diagnoses are wrong. These misdiagnoses are actually CJD, which is further up the prion spectrum. CJD, without dispute, is extremely infectious to caregivers and loved ones.

Alzheimer's disease and caregivers

Studies confirm that people and animals dying of prion disease contaminate the environment around them with prions because prions are in the skin, urine, feces, blood, mucus and saliva of each victim. Each victim becomes an incubator and a distributor of the Pandora-like pathogen. Victims are contagious long before they exhibit clinical symptoms.

At the personal level, this is very bad news for caregivers, especially spouses, who are 600 percent more likely to contract neurodegenerative disease from patients (Duke University and Utah State University). A cough, sneeze, utensils and drinking glasses all become lethal pathways. Once an item is contaminated, it’s impossible to sterilize. The human prion is resistant to both heat and chemicals. It’s reported that prions released from people are up to a hundred thousand times more difficult to deactivate than prions from most animals. Prions are not alive, so they can’t be killed.

Wastewater treatment plants are collecting points for prions from infected humans. The sewage treatment process can’t stop prions from migrating, mutating and multiplying before being discharged into the environment where they can kill again. The bad news is that the prions are being released back into the environment and dumped openly on land. The wastewater is being reclaimed and used for irrigating crops, parks, golf courses. It’s even being recycled as drinking water.

wastewater treatment plant

Claudio Soto, PhD, professor of neurology at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, and his colleagues confirmed the presence of prions in urine. Soto also confirmed that plants uptake prions and are infectious and deadly to those who consume the infected plants. Therefore, humans, wildlife and livestock are vulnerable to prion disease via plants grown on land treated with sewage sludge and reclaimed sewage water.

Prion researcher Dr. Joel Pedersen, from the University of Wisconsin, found that prions become 680 times more infectious in certain soils. Pedersen also found that sewage treatment does not inactivate prions. Therefore, prions are lethal, mutating, migrating and multiplying everywhere sewage is dumped.

“Our results suggest that if prions enter municipal wastewater treatment systems, most of the agent would bond to sewage sludge, survive anaerobic digestion, and be present in treated biosolids,” Pedersen said.

joel pedersen prion research

“Land application of biosolids containing prions represents a route for their unintentional introduction into the environment. Our results emphasize the importance of keeping prions out of municipal wastewater treatment systems. Prions could end up in sewage treatment plants via slaughterhouses, hospitals, dental offices and mortuaries just to name a few of the pathways. The disposal of sludge represents the greatest risk of spreading prion contamination in the environment. Plus, we know that sewage sludge pathogens, pharmaceutical residue and chemical pollutants are taken up by plants and vegetables.”

Thanks to more and more people dying from TSEs, wastewater treatment systems are more contaminated with prions than ever. Wastewater treatment plants are now prion incubators and distributors. The prion problem is getting worse every day.

biosolids land application sewage sludge

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has confirmed that prions are in sewage and that there has been no way to detect them or stop them. As such, the EPA has never issued guidance on prion management within wastewater treatment plants. Unfortunately, the EPA’s risk assessment on sewage sludge and biosolids were prepared before the world of science knew about prions. The agency continues to cling to its antiquated sludge rule crafted back in the dark ages. It does, however, consider prions a “contaminant of emerging concern.” Meanwhile, its outdated risk assessments are promoting a public health disaster.

“Since it’s unlikely that the sewage treatment process can effectively deactivate prions, adopting measures to prevent the entry of prions into the sewer system is advisable,” said the Toronto Department of Health, November 2004.

Exposing crops and livestock to prions is a very bad idea. Plants absorb prions from the soil along with water and nutrient uptake, which makes the prions even more bioavailable and infectious to humans, wildlife and livestock.

chronic wasting disease

Unfortunately, the damage is real. Deer, elk, moose and reindeer are contracting an unstoppable prion disease now. In deer, the government calls prion disease chronic wasting disease. In cattle, prion disease is called bovine spongiform encephalopathy (they might as well call it what it is—transmissible spongiform encephalopathy). Mad cow disease is the term that most of us know. The government pretends that there is a specific prion responsible for each of these diseases. The fact is that there are thousands of mutations of prions spreading in the environment and food chain now. Some kill quickly, while some are less lethal. The only thing that we need to know is that a deadly prion is a deadly prion. There is no species barrier.

mad cow disease

If prion disease is killing these animals, livestock are not immune. Beef and dairy cattle are consuming these infected crops and the infected water supplies, too. Since humans are at the top of the food chain, and since we are often downstream from these infected farms, ranches and forests, our food and water supplies are being compromised. Wind and tornadoes transport the infectious waste even further.

So, is Alzheimer’s disease transmissible? There is absolutely no evidence to the contrary. The truth is your best defense against neurodegenerative disease. It’s time to demand reforms on many levels to safeguard caregivers, family members and our food and water supplies. Despite all of the warning signs, government and industry are insisting that we waste more time, money and lives studying these issues to death. The infection is real. The body count is real. The denial is disturbing.

Alzheimer’s Disease Research via

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Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease and the prion disease epidemic is an area of special expertise. Please contact Gary Chandler to join our coalition for reform

Wildlife Contracting Brain Disease From Humans

Chronic Wasting Disease Further Proof Of Infectious Disease

Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other forms of neurodegenerative disease are collectively becoming the leading cause of death around the world. Brain disease also continues to expand in wildlife. Is there a connection?

biosolids land application contaminates food water

Keep reading to find out why:

  • Alzheimer’s disease is part of a spectrum disease known as prion disease, which also includes Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The spectrum also is known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE);
  • Alzheimer’s disease is an infectious prion disease, which is often misdiagnosed and undiagnosed. Millions of diagnoses are being suppressed by physicians;
  • The bodily fluids of those with prion disease are infectious;
  • Wastewater treatment plants are contaminating our food and water supplies by spreading deadly prions via sewage sludge, biosolids and reclaimed wastewater. The risk assessments involving these facilities and their by-products were prepared before prions were discovered and characterized;
  • Wildlife, sea mammals, livestock and people are contracting prion disease from mismanaged sewage; 
  • Caregivers are in harm’s way because of disease mismanagement; 
  • It’s time to reclassify sewage sludge, biosolids and reclaimed wastewater as infectious waste; and 
  • It’s time to defend our food, water and air from infectious waste by enforcing the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act Of 2002 and similar laws around the world.

The Brain Disease Epidemic

Alzheimer’s disease alone is killing 50-100 million people now. Millions more will contract the disease this year, while just as many will go undiagnosed and misdiagnosed.

Thanks to misinformation and the mismanagement of infectious waste and bodily fluids, people of all ages are now exposed to an expanding spectrum of brain disease. So are other mammals.

Prions and Alzheimer's disease

The most common forms of neurodegenerative disease include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease–the most aggressive and infectious of them all. According to Nobel Prize Laureate Stanley Prusiner, these brain diseases are part of the same disease spectrum—prion disease. It’s also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is transmissible.

Pandora’s Lunchbox

Many factors are contributing to the epidemic. Unfortunately, it appears that Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are just as infectious as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). The bodily fluids of people with prion disease are infectious. Prions are the X factor in the global epidemic.

infectious waste and food contamination

Prion disease is a spectrum disease that varies in severity. It also varies depending on which region of the brain is impacted first. It affects most, if not all, mammals. Prion disease causes memory loss, impaired coordination, and abnormal movements. Prions are an infectious form of glycoprotein that can propagate throughout the body. TSE surveillance is important for public health and food safety because TSEs have the potential of crossing from animals to humans, as seen with the spread of mad cow disease. TSEs also have the potential of being transmitted from humans to animals. The most common example is chronic wasting disease (CWD) among deer species. Sick wildlife are a canary in the proverbial coal mine. CWD is part of a larger epidemic of neurological disease that is killing people, wildlife and livestock around the world. The warning signals are being ignored.

land application sewage sludge and chronic wasting disease

CWD was first detected in deer in North America. Then it was detected in a variety of other animals, including an elephant at the Oakland zoo. It’s been found in a variety of animals across the United States and Canada. All hypotheses seem to center around contaminated feed and deer farmers. Then the deer spread the disease via nose-to-nose contact. Those theories were just rocked by the discovery of CWD in Norway in moose and reindeer. The disease didn’t jump the Atlantic from the Americas. However, Norway dumps tons of infectious waste on land every year–infectious waste from people with prion disease.

It’s not known which patients with brain disease become infectious or when. The medical community prefers to ignore the topic. The legal industry is about to have a bonanza because negligence is the rule and not the exception regarding Alzheimer’s disease and the mismanagement of infectious waste. Savvy neurologists won’t touch patients with these symptoms because of the risks. Unfortunately, caregivers aren’t warned accordingly.

Prions are unstoppable. The pathogen spreads through the bodily fluids and cell tissue of its victims. The blood, saliva, mucus, milk, urine and feces of victims are infectious. Wastewater treatment doesn’t touch prions. In fact, these facilities are now helping incubate and distribute prions via solids and wastewater released. Once unleashed on the environment, prions remain infectious. They migrate, mutate and multiply as they infect crops, water supplies and more.

chronic wasting disease

When the U.S. government enacted the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, it classified prions as select agents that pose an extreme risk to food, water and much more. Unfortunately, the CDC quietly took prions off the list because the regulation criminalized entire industries and several reckless practices.

Unfortunately, prions linger in the environment, homes, hospitals, nursing homes, dental offices and beyond infinitely. Prions defy all attempts at sterilization and inactivation.

Prions shed from humans are the most deadly. They demand more respect than radiation. They’re being ignored by regulators and industry alike. As such, food and water sources are being contaminated with the deadliest forms of prions. Municipal water systems can’t stop them from reaching water taps in millions of homes. Filtration doesn’t phase them.

Alzheimer's disease research

Scientists have shown that infected tissues can transmit prion disease between animals. There is no species barrier. A new study published in the journal Nature renews concern about the transmissibility of Alzheimer’s disease between people. A second study by the same scientist in early 2016 adds to the stack of evidence. There is no evidence that Alzheimer’s disease is not infectious.

Although there are many causes and pathways contributing to prion disease, many pathways are being mismanaged around the globe. Not only are homes and hospitals exposed to the prion pathogen, so are entire sewage treatment systems. Wastewater treatment plants are prion incubators. Sewage sludge and wastewater pumped out spread the disease.

biosolids land application

The risk assessments prepared by the U.S. EPA for wastewater treatment and sewage sludge are flawed. Many risks are not addressed, including prions and radioactive waste. They don’t mention prions or radiation because there is no answer. Most nations are making the same mistake. Failure to account for known risks is negligent. Crops for humans and livestock grown grown in sewage sludge absorb prions and become infectious. We’re all vulnerable to Alzheimer’s and other forms of prion disease right now due to widespread denial and mismanagement.

Sewage treatment plants can’t detect or stop prions. Just ask the U.S. EPA. If sick deer are serving as a canary in a coal mine, what is this infectious waste doing to livestock and humans?

mad cow disease

It’s time to stop the land application of sewage sludge (LASS) in all nations. Safer alternatives exist. Please join our coalition for reform.

Sewage Sludge On Land Spreading Brain Disease

Infectious Waste Spreading Brain Disease

Brain disease is attacking record numbers of people around the world. Microcephaly in infants is part of the same scourge. The global epidemic is being fueled by infectious waste that’s contaminating our food, water, air and more. This infectious waste (biosolids) contains deadly and unstoppable neurotoxins, but it’s being spread like fertilizer in virtually every country around the world.

biosolids land application contaminates food water

In 1972, world leaders realized that dumping millions of tons of sewage sludge into the oceans killed entire underwater ecosystems. Some nations stopped the dumping immediately. Others did not.

The U.S., for example, finally passed the Ocean Dumping Ban Act of 1988. It required dumping all municipal sewage sludge and industrial waste on land. That meant dumping it into landfills or dumping it openly on land, including farms, ranches, national forests, city parks, golf courses, playgrounds, sport fields and beyond. The Act went into effect in 1992 and it sparked a public health disaster. The practice is spreading tons of pathogens into the lives of people, livestock, wildlife and beyond every day.

Landfills designed to handle these toxins are expensive. So, the dumpers hired a public relations firm to convince innocent citizens that neurotoxins and carcinogens are fertilizer. The PR firm started calling this toxic waste biosolids. It’s even sold in bags at your local home and garden store as soil for your garden and potting plants. It’s death dirt.

infectious waste

Since then, millions of tons of infectious sewage sludge have been given to farmers as fertilizer and dumped into food and water supplies around the world every year. Those farmers and ranchers are being paid to dump deadly sewage sludge on their land and shut up. Sick livestock are sold or buried as quickly as possible. Those that make it to market are consumed by people and pets, while permanently contaminating everything that they touch.

The landowners are held harmless if the sewage sludge causes damage to people or property downwind, downstream or on the dinner table. Landowners are literally making a killing with government assistance. Unfortunately, the practice of dumping extreme quantities of sewage sludge on land has created an even bigger public health problem. It’s killing people, wildlife, livestock and sea mammals downstream.

biosolids land application

Prions are infectious proteins responsible for a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is transmissible.

TSEs have a wide range of confusing names, which helps cloak this global disaster:

  • bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) in cattle;
  • scrapie in sheep;
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans; and
  • chronic wasting disease in deer, elk, moose and reindeer.
  • badgers, mink, cats, elephants, dolphins and many other mammalian species have died from TSE. The concept of a species barrier is a myth. A deadly prion is a deadly prion. They don’t discriminate.

According to Nobel Laureate Stanley Prusiner, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS and Huntington’s disease also are on the TSE spectrum. All are fatal, neurodegenerative brain diseases.

Infectious prions are in the bodily fluids of its victims, including blood, urine, mucus, saliva and feces. As such, these victims send prions to the municipal sewage treatment plant where they remain untouched.

“There is now real evidence of the potential transmissibility of Alzheimer’s,” says Thomas Wiesniewski M.D. a prion and Alzheimer’s researcher at New York University School of Medicine. “In fact, this ability to transmit an abnormal conformation is probably a universal property of amyloid-forming proteins.”

A new study published in the journal Nature renews concern about the transmissibility of Alzheimer’s disease between people. A second study by the same scientist in early 2016 adds to the stack of evidence.

Wastewater effluent and sewage sludge applied to land recycles prions into the environment. Once dumped on open land, prions remain infectious. Irrigation, precipitation and wind carry the prions into groundwater, streams, lakes, oceans and airways, including homes, offices and beyond.

wastewater treatment plant

Reckless wastewater treatment policies and practices are now fueling a global epidemic of neurodegenerative disease among people, wildlife and livestock. In fact, Europe just reported its first case of chronic wasting disease in a reindeer in Norway. There will be many more.

The risk assessments for the land application of sewage sludge (LASS) are based on fraud and outdated information. The risk assessments were developed back in the 1970s and 1980s–before we knew about prions and other killers in modern sewage streams, including many forms of infectious medical waste. These outdated risk assessments make the entire practice illegal today under bioterrorism laws. Common sense makes them immoral and a crime against humanity.

Because of these reckless practices, it’s time to reform many laws, practices and policies. For example, it’s vital to demand testing for mad cow disease in beef cattle and hope like hell that dairy producers aren’t spreading the disease in milk, cheese and meat. Wisconsin, dairy land U.S.A., has an epidemic among wild deer. It has dumped sewage sludge in virtually every county. There is no reason to believe that the cattle are immune from the prion epidemic that’s being fueled by sick soil in Wisconsin, Colorado and beyond.

mad cow disease

There is no reliable test for live animals, yet, which means that animal health is paramount for public health. There also is no testing of crops grown in sewage sludge, despite the science that has proven that crops for humans and livestock absorb the toxins and pathogens that they are grown in–including deadly prions.

Ironically, the United States passed homeland defense laws to protect our food and water supplies from potential terrorists. Many other nations followed suit. When the U.S. government enacted the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, it classified prions as select agents that pose an extreme risk to food, water and much more. With reckless policy, the U.S. transferred responsibility for the management of select agents to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC–a private corporation that serves as the Coverup Division). These defenders of public health quietly took prions off the list of select agents because the regulation criminalized entire industries and several reckless practices. They obviously chose to defend the bottom line of corporations and the wastewater treatment industry instead of public health.

Unfortunately, prions linger in the environment, homes, hospitals, nursing homes, dental offices and beyond infinitely. They migrate, mutate, multiply and kill with unparalleled efficiency. Prions defy all attempts at sterilization and inactivation.

Prions shed from humans are the most deadly. They demand more respect than radiation. They’re being ignored by regulators and industry alike. As such, food and water sources are being contaminated with the deadliest forms of prions. Municipal water systems can’t stop them from reaching water taps in millions of homes. Filtration doesn’t phase them.

As stated earlier, the risk assessments for biosolids, sewage sludge and reclaimed wastewater were questionable when they were developed and they are total failures now. Plus, these risk assessments do not account for the possibility of sewage sludge dumped on land going airborne via windstorms and tornadoes. These events now leave a trail of sickness and death in their wake. Airborne sewage is a killer. It dumps the toxins, pathogens and superbugs everywhere.

Valley Fever caused by land application of sewage sludge

Unfortunately, the U.S. exported these bad practices to other nations who proceeded to contaminate their food and water supplies with sewage. If hospitals can’t stop prions, neither can the brain surgeons at wastewater treatment plants.

The legislation banning ocean dumping was very explicit about the need to stop dumping potentially infectious medical waste into the oceans. Ironically, the current policy that promotes LASS ignores the risk of infectious medical waste and many other threats. It also ignores radionuclides, endocrine disruptors, birth control pills, antibiotics, flame-retardants and other toxins and superbugs. This toxic waste belongs in a lined landfill not our watersheds and food supplies. It’s time for immediate reforms.

The same sewage-borne toxins and pathogens are still contaminating our oceans. Now, they’re dumped in further upstream. Entire watersheds are now being infected—including the oceans. The body count among people, livestock and wildlife has been stacking up ever since ocean dumping began phasing out. The nightmare is worse than ever.

caregivers Alzheimer's disease

Biosolids and other forms of sewage mismanagement are now contributing to a global epidemic of neurological disease, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autism, mad cow disease, chronic wasting disease, microcephaly and more. Industry and governments are scrambling to blame the global epidemic on anything but contaminated soil, water, food and air. They are playing dumb in the face of fraud and scientific suppression. Negligence is too kind of a word.

Sewage sludge and reclaimed wastewater also contaminate our food with listeria, e-coli, salmonella and other killers. In fact, scientists are forced to come up with deceptive new names for the growing list of sewage-related ailments, including Zika virus, West Nile virus, epizootic hemorrhagic fever, equine herpes, valley fever and others. Industrial disease. Taxpayer dollars at work.

As mentioned earlier, crops contaminated by sewage sludge can uptake prions and deliver them throughout the plant. Crops then deliver deadly prions to mammals that consume them. In fact, infected plants are spreading prion disease to several species, including humans. When hamsters consumed infected wheat grass, the animals were infected with prion disease. Researchers also found deadly prions in plants that just made surface contact with infected urine and feces.

“These findings demonstrate that plants can efficiently bind infectious prions and act as carriers of infectivity, suggesting a possible role of environmental prion contamination in the horizontal transmission of the disease,” said Claudio Soto, the lead investigator from the University of Texas at Houston.

Killer prions are impossible to stop. Prions are contributing to the death of millions of people now. Victims produce and spread prions daily because they’re in the bodily fluids of all victims. Millions of people with brain disease are contaminating their homes and communities, while exposing caregivers and family members to the contagion. The sewage from these victims is contaminating the local wastewater treatment plant and everything that enters or leaves these facilities, including reclaimed wastewater and sewage sludge. Once dumped on open land, these contagions remain infectious as they migrate, mutate and multiply forever.

Prions and Alzheimer's disease

Prions demand containment and isolation, not distribution and consumption through air, food and water. These toxins demand lined landfills not reckless dumping on our dinner tables. Since prions migrate, mutate and multiply, dilution is not a solution. Prions are a public health nightmare, not to mention the carnage taking place among other mammals.

The world has never done an effective job of managing its sewage. It’s an industry that drives by looking in the rear view mirror. It only swerves when the dead-end road is littered with body bags. After enough people get sick and die, new alternatives emerge. Today is no different.

We now have nearly eight billion people competing for food, water, open spaces and places to dump their sewage. As prion disease spreads and as industrial-scale agriculture becomes more intensive, sewage is becoming deadlier by the day. The stakes have never been higher.

The bodies are stacking up. The contamination grows stronger and spreads further every day. It’s time to stop dumping sewage sludge on land because of the prion risk and many others not accounted for in the antiquated and fraudulent risk assessments. It’s time for citizens to defend our land, water and air. Homelands around the world are under assault and ISIS has nothing to do with it. The terrorists are home-grown traitors. It’s treason.

Today, the land application of sewage sludge is killing mammals and more around the world. Pathogens in sludge are causing brain disease, cancer and death. Let’s take a meaningful stand for food safety. Just say no to sewage sludge in our watersheds and food supplies. Safer alternatives exist.

treat Alzheimer's disease

Take a free preview of our new eBook to learn everything that you need to know about the epidemic and the mismanagement. The rest of the book explains how to defend yourself with aversion and targeted nutrition. Eating organic foods is one way to minimize your exposure to sewage-borne toxins and pathogens. There are no silver bullets.

Please join our global coalition of Homeland Defenders. Join our campaign for truth and reform. Please write to Gary Chandler for more information


Alzheimer’s Disease Related To Chronic Wasting Disease

All Mammals Appear Vulnerable To Prion Epidemic

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is ravaging wildlife in many regions across North America. It’s part of a larger epidemic of neurological disease that is killing millions of people, wildlife and livestock around the world. Once again, wildlife are serving as the proverbial canary in a coal mine.

Biosolids land application

CWD is part of an incurable spectrum disease called transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The operative word is “transmissible.” Mismanagement of pathogens associated with the disease are contributing to a broader epidemic of neurological disease among wildlife, livestock and people.

TSEs include Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, mad cow disease and chronic wasting disease in deer. Few, if any, mammals are immune. There is no cure and there is no species barrier.

chronic wasting disease

TSEs, including chronic wasting disease, are caused by a deadly protein called a prion(PREE-on). Prion disease is unstoppable. Prions defy all attempts at sterilization and inactivation. Victims can spread the disease even further via their bodily fluids and cell tissue. Victims often are contagious long before they appear sick. Their saliva, urine, blood and feces, for example, spread the pathogen further every day. Prions linger in the environment and on objects infinitely. They migrate, mutate, multiply and kill with unparalleled efficiency. Because of the dynamics, Canada has declared CWD unstoppable.

Although there are many causes and pathways contributing to CWD and the prion disease epidemic, many pathways are being mismanaged around the globe. Thanks to sewage, biosolidsreclaimed sewage water and feedlot waste, we’re recycling the prion pathogen that causes neurological disease right back into our watersheds, which we share with deer, elk, moose, livestock and other creatures that are vulnerable to prion disease. Rain, wind and irrigation spread deadly prions further everyday. Healthy wildlife are being exposed to deadly prions through food, water, air and contact with infected animals.

biosolids land application sewage sludge

Since prions are in the bodily fluids of its victims, sewage mismanagement is a top concern. Wastewater treatment plants can’t detect or stop prions. Just ask the U.S. EPA. Therefore, putting biosolids on crops and dumping sewage sludge throughout our watersheds is a very bad idea. Dumping sewage from billions of people on land and at sea creates deadly prion freeways.

Every sewage system in the world has been used by a person, if not millions of people, with Alzheimer’s disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Sewage systems have become prion incubators. Biosolids, water reuse and sewage sludge disposal have made them potent prion distributors. The waste from feedlots is likely contributing to the problem as well.

Although there are multiple causes of prion disease, including Alzheimer’s disease and CWD, reckless policies are contributing to an environmental nightmare. Sick deer, elk, moose and other wildlife and marine life are just a symptom of a much bigger problem. Putting these Pandora-like pathogens back in the box is impossible. However, that is not a license to dump them right into the lifecycle.

Read the full story about the connection between Alzheimer’s disease, chronic wasting disease and other aspects of the prion epidemic at

Deadly Proteins Likely Causing Mass Deer Deaths In Alabama, Elsewhere

Editor’s Note: All signs point to prion disease that has ravaged at least one private herd of deer in Alabama. The bad news is that the misinformation and declarations of false alarms are already in full swing. Containing chronic wasting disease or any prion disease is impossible. Telling people otherwise is reckless and criminal. The coverup and mismanagement is criminal. Chronic wasting disease, mad cow disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and many other neurological disorders are related and spreading rapidly. The common pathogen spreads in many ways, but victims magnify the environmental component of the epidemic with every breath and every step. Victims contaminate everything that they touch–even the sick deer in this story represent an environmental nightmare that threatens our food, water and much, much more. For example, the soil at this breeding facility is hopelessly contaminated and has been for quite a while (due to the urine, feces and saliva of the infected animals). The wind and rain will carry the pathogens away and help them migrate to new pathways, where they will multiplay and spread even further. The lies and mismanagement must stop.

Rush To Dismiss Unstoppable Risk Reckless 

Preliminary tests have revealed that the contributing cause of death of more than 50 whitetail deer at a breeding facility in north Alabama is viral in nature, according to an Alabama conservation department news release.

chronic wasting disease

Pathologists with the state’s Department of Agriculture and Industries are conducting further testing, Kevin Dodd, the state’s Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division Chief Enforcement Officer, said Tuesday afternoon.

“Pathologists have assured us that it’s not something to be too worried about. At this point, they’ve been able to determine more of what it isn’t than what it is,” Dodd said.

Much to the relief of everyone involved in the investigation, Dodd said pathologists are confident that the cause of death does not appear to be chronic wasting disease (WTF?), an always-fatal neurological disorder of the brain that affects cervids such as deer, cows and goats. Variants of similar fatal abnormal proteins in the brain have been transferred to humans. Mad cow disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are two such CWD variants in humans.

Dodd said tests on brain tissues from the dead deer to confirm that CWD is not the cause will take several weeks to complete. Despite years of trying, scientists still have not developed a test for CWD that is effective on live animals. There is no known cure.

He said one of his officers reported that two more animals died Tuesday. According to the facility’s inspection papers, Dodd said the facility had an inventory of 130 animals in March.

biosolids land application sewage sludge

ADAI and USDA pathologists are also confident that since the die-off began in May, it has been limited to this single breeding facility, which is located near Boaz (wrong. Prions migrate in air and water. Plus, it doesn’t address how the animals got the disease. The pathways are numerous). Still, Dodd is asking the public to report any sick deer around that northeast Alabama city and surrounding areas of Marshall and DeKalb counties.

“We always want to know about sick animals anywhere in the state,” Dodd said, “but especially right now in those areas of Marshall and DeKalb counties we are asking people to report anything suspicious outside of a deer that has been hit on the highway.”

Whatever virus is killing the deer is indiscriminant, Dodd said. The facility owner told him that bucks, does and yearlings of all ages have all succumbed.

“One day the deer are healthy and eating and the next they’re dead as a hammer,” Dodd said. “Many of the deer have been pregnant does, which is devastating for the future of the business. The owner told me those deer were his kids’ college fund. I really feel for him. He did everything he was supposed to do and reported the die-off to us like he’s supposed to.”

biosolids cause wildlife disease

Attempts to reach State Veterinarian Tony Frazier were unsuccessful Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier this year, the facility passed a routine herd inspection, which is conducted twice annually as part of a joint monitoring program between the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and the ADAI. Breeding facilities are required by law to report any animal deaths.

“Artificial conditions such as the penning of multiple species together like wild sheep and deer can spread pathogens that are normally restricted to one species,” Dodd said. “Although the deer in the affected facility were legally acquired in state, this incident demonstrates the potential outcome of introducing new diseases from areas outside the state.”

chronic wasting disease

WFF Director Chuck Sykes said incidents such as this demonstrate the importance of the strict biosecurity measures Alabama keeps in place for its native wildlife and farm animals.

“Restricting the import or movement of potentially infected animals is a fundamental measure that was put in place to protect the health and safety of Alabama’s wildlife, livestock and citizens,” Sykes said.

Licensed game breeders in Alabama supply deer for stocking hunting enclosures across the state. These breeding facilities are subject to routine testing to minimize the introduction and spread of detrimental pathogens.

That routine monitoring of herd health led to the notification of the die-off at the north Alabama breeding facility. This resulted in the identification of the pathogens involved and a plan of action for the breeder was implemented.


Deadly Deer Epidemic Related To Alzheimer’s, Mad Cow

Editor’s Note: A deadly and unstoppable form of protein called a prion is the common thread between many neurodegenerative disorders that are surging around the world among people, wildlife and livestock. Prions are always fatal. They are transmissible from victims in many ways. We’re advocating for the truth and reform. Please join us and arm yourself with the facts in our eBook “Alzheimer’s A Survivor’s Guide” (all proceeds benefit prion research, advocacy and care). 

Chronic Wasting Disease Caused By Infectious Waste

By Martha Rosenberg

It has been over ten years since Wisconsin endured a kind of deer holocaust. The terminal deer and elk disease, chronic wasting disease (CWD), descended upon its deer population with such vengeance officials declared “CWD eradication” zones in which fauns and does

would be killed before bucks. Thousands of deer carcasses were stored in refrigerated trucks in La Crosse while their severed heads were tested for CWD. If the carcasses were disease-free they were safe to eat (any takers?); if not, they were too dangerous to even put in a landfill. Why?

biosolids land application sewage sludge

Because “prions” (which also cause mad cow disease, scrapie in sheep and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans) are not inactivated by cooking, heat, autoclaves, ammonia, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, phenol, lye, formaldehyde, or radiation. They remain in the soil indefinitely.

Hunters in Wisconsin and other states were warned to wear surgical gloves when cutting up deer and to avoid exposing open cuts or sores on their hands.  One hunter wrote the local paper that after his buck tested positive for CWD he was worried about the blood on his steering wheel and hunting clothes which his wife was exposed to. There were also cross-contamination risks since deer processors do not usually sterilize their equipment after each deer. Food pantries in Wisconsin and their customers were warned about the risks and it became difficult to donate. (“If this meat is so safe why don’t you eat it?” the poor may have been thinking.)

biosolids land application contaminates food water

Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials in Wisconsin and other states assured the public that deer meat was safe, even if it harbored CWD, as long as they avoided eating a deer’s brain, eyeballs, spinal cord, spleen and lymph nodes–the parts also implicated in mad cow disease.  But scientific articles suggested most of the animal contained prions including its kidneys, pancreas, liver, muscle, blood, fat and saliva, antler velvet and birthing material.

Another reason to doubt DNR officials’ reassurances, calculated to keep their funding from hunting licenses flowing, is a 2002 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the CDC titled Fatal Degenerative Neurologic Illnesses in Men Who Participated in Wild Game Feasts —Wisconsin, 2002.

chronic wasting disease

Many animal lovers have noted the hypocrisy of states citing deer “overpopulation” when they encourage deer breeding farms. What?  Recently a four-part expose in the Indiana Star explores how “the pursuit of deer bred for enormous antlers and shot in hunting pens” on trophy farms is spreading CWD at an alarming rate. Deer breeding and “trophy farms” are a $4 billion a year industry and hotbeds of CWD thanks to their concentration of animals, “communicability window” (from trophy stock trading and escaped animals) and its unknown feed sources.

Like mad cow disease, widely believed to stem from the cost-cutting practice of feeding cows to cows, chronic wasting disease may also have man-made origins. In the mid-1960s, the Department of Wildlife ran a series of nutritional studies on wild deer and elk at the Foothills Wildlife Research Facility in Fort Collins, Colorado and soon after the studies began, however, Foothills deer and elk began dying from a mysterious disease reports  Brian McCombie. The CWD in the deer may have been caused by sheep held at the same facility which had scrapie, say researchers.

Prions and Alzheimer's disease

Since 2002, Wisconsin’s CWD eradication efforts have failed abysmally. The penned herd of 76 deer at Stan Hall farm has gone from one animal with CWD to 60 in five years writes outdoor reporter Patrick Durkin and in some areas, half of all deer now have the disease. “The world’s most ‘disturbing,’ ‘frightening’ and ‘unprecedented’ CWD case is growing next door to our capital and flagship university, and our government won’t crack a window to sniff it,” he writes.

Clearly using wildlife, which is held in trust by the state for the benefit of the public per the “Public Trust Doctrine”, to profiteer from hunters is unethical and harmful to animals. And despite DNR officials’ assurance, the spread of CWD may prove harmful to humans too.

Martha Rosenberg is an investigative health reporter. She is the author of  Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health (Prometheus).


Conference Investigates Prion Diseases

Prion Epidemic Striking Mammals Globally

Editor’s Note: According to Nobel-Prize winner Stanley Prusiner, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Creutzfeldt-Jakob, Chronic Wasting, and Mad Cow disease all are forms of prion disease. One could argue that we have epidemics in Alzheimer’s and Chronic Wasting disease. Those incubating various forms of prion disease are very infectious. We should assume that they all are very contagious and reform prion management policies accordingly around the world.

What does chronic wasting disease – a killer neurological disease in deer, elk, and moose – have in common with human brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease?

The diseases are caused by protein misfolding that starts a degenerative chain reaction in the nervous system, ultimately leading to death. In the case of chronic wasting disease (CWD), a distorted protein called a prion triggers the neurodegeneration.

The mysteries and fatal effects of prions, as well as the insights they hold for well-known neurological diseases in people, are the focus of a three-day scientific meeting called “Expanding Prion Horizons” at Colorado State University this week. The Prion Research Center, a CSU Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence, is hosting the conference.

CSU researchers have investigated the puzzling properties of prions for decades, since they first identified CWD in deer in northern Colorado, and this week they will host national and international colleagues to consider new scientific questions related to these rogue proteins. This includes what scientists might learn from prion diseases to better understand protein misfolding disorders in people, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s and Huntington’s diseases.

Prions and Alzheimer's disease

Nobel laureate Dr. Stanley Prusiner, director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases at the University of California – San Francisco, will headline the meeting. His keynote talk, “A Unifying Role for Prions in Neurodegenerative Diseases,” will start at 8 a.m. Thursday at the University Center for the Arts. It is free and open to the public.

“It’s an honor to have Dr. Prusiner visit CSU,” said Sue VandeWoude, associate dean for research in the CSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “Participation of a scientist of his caliber in this conference highlights the decades-long research focus on prion diseases in Fort Collins, and puts the spotlight on CSU as a leader in this intriguing research area.”

Prusiner, a neurologist and biochemist, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1997 for prion research. He is credited with first proposing that misfolded proteins with infectious properties cause the family of degenerative neurological diseases now known as prion diseases, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.

Prion diseases include: chronic wasting disease, which affects deer, elk, and moose; bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease; scrapie, which affects sheep; and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the fatal prion disorder seen in humans.

Prusiner labored in the laboratory for years to prove that these degenerative diseases are caused by infectious proteins, not by a virus, as scientists widely believed for many years. The maverick scientist even gave the infectious agents their name: prions, from “proteinaceous infectious particles.”

biosolids land application sewage sludge

These agents, Prusiner showed, can arise spontaneously, can be inherited, can be transmitted like other infectious pathogens (from contamination in food, water, medical and dental devices) and can cause other proteins to change shape. The “prion paradigm,” used to describe the activity of these misfolded proteins, since has formed a basis for better understanding other neurodegenerative diseases that plague people, and has led to Prusiner’s investigation of novel therapies to stop neurodegeneration.

“Dr. Prusiner provides us with a compelling story about the emergence of a new scientific paradigm and the importance of basic scientific research,” said Glenn Telling, director of the CSU Prion Research Center.

Prion investigators at CSU are themselves internationally recognized for their expertise in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies that pose a risk for human and animal health. In fact, CSU scientists first identified CWD as a fatal wasting syndrome in mule deer, and then discovered it is a prion disorder.

chronic wasting disease

CWD “continues to spread with alarming efficiency among wild and captive animals” and continues to demand scientific attention, Telling said. Mad-cow disease prions have clearly caused a new form of prion disease in humans, while there is conflicting scientific evidence about the risks that CWD prions pose to people.

This remains an important issue for CSU prion researchers working in the endemic region, where CWD infection rates reach 15 percent to 20 percent in some wild elk, and deer populations, Telling said. CWD has spread from its epicenter in northern Colorado to at least 20 other states, two Canadian provinces, and South Korea, scientific surveillance has found.

“This is an emerging epidemic,” Telling said. “CWD is the only recognized prion disease in wild animals, which means it’s very difficult to control, and it’s extremely contagious. It’s important that we understand prion diseases so we can better assess risk to public health.”


Prions In Plants Spreading Brain Diseases

Infectious Waste Spreading Alzheimer’s Disease

Prions — the infectious, deformed proteins that cause chronic wasting disease in deer and mad cow disease in cattle — can be absorbed by plants such as alfalfa, corn and tomatoes, according to new research from the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison.

Alzheimer's disease infectious disease

The research further demonstrated that stems and leaves from tainted plants were infectious when injected into laboratory mice.

The findings are significant, according to the researchers and other experts, because they reveal a previously unknown potential route of exposure to prions for a Wisconsin deer herd in which the fatal brain illness continues to spread. The disease has also become a pressing issue nationwide: The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified the deer disease in 17 states and predicts it will spread to other states.

Michael Samuel, a CWD researcher and wildlife ecology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who was not involved in the plant research, said the new study is significant. Previous studies have shown the disease can be transmitted animal-to-animal and via soil.

“It’s important because it identifies a potential pathway,” Samuel said of the study.

Christopher Johnson, who conducted the study, wrote in the abstract: “Our results suggest that prions are taken up by plants and that contaminated plants may represent a previously unrecognized risk of human, domestic species and wildlife exposure to CWD.”

Prions and Alzheimer's disease

The study focused on those prions similar to those causing CWD in deer. The disease is one of a class of neurological, prion-caused diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, including scrapie in sheep and goats, bovine spongiform encephalopathy — or mad cow disease — in cattle, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. CWD was discovered in Wisconsin’s deer herd in 2002.

Johnson is scheduled to present his research at the annual meeting of The Wildlife Society in Milwaukee in October. Johnson studies CWD at the federal wildlife disease center, which is run by the U.S. Geological Survey.

James Kazmierczak, the state public health veterinarian, said that a molecular species barrier, though little understood, appears to have so far prevented the CWD prions from making people and cattle sick.

Also, Kazmierczak said, data reported to the Wisconsin Division of Public Health show little deviation from the national rate — a little above one case per million people — in annual cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Nor, he added, does data on more than 800 Wisconsin hunters who have consumed CWD-tainted venison show any human cases of prion brain disease.

Nationwide, according to the CDC, “no strong evidence of CWD transmission to humans has been reported.”

Even so, the threat of CWD transmission by crop and food plants — and the newly discovered potential for exposure to humans and livestock — has prompted some to say the state Department of Natural Resources should reconsider its CWD policy.

chronic wasting disease

“That is very disconcerting,” George Meyer, executive director of the nonprofit Wisconsin Wild-life Federation, said of the research.

“My impression,” said Meyer, a former DNR secretary, “is (that) it should cause a major review of the very weak CWD strategy that is being pursued by the DNR.”

Dave Clausen, former chairman of the Natural Resources Board and a veterinarian who has studied CWD, has also criticized the DNR for being passive on the disease. He agreed with Meyer that the new research should give the agency pause. He said the potential presence of prions in plants is not only a public health concern but “has big implications for our agricultural economy, not just in this state but all across the country.”

Disease Spreading

Soon after the discovery of CWD in Wisconsin, the DNR embarked on an aggressive effort to halt spread of the disease by putting in place additional and longer hunting seasons, requiring hunters to shoot a female deer before taking a buck, and hiring sharpshooters to kill deer.

But the ambitious program grew unpopular with hunters and landowners, and the number of hunters participating in the state’s annual deer hunt declined. Meanwhile, the disease spread.

The DNR reports that prevalence of the disease has increased in all sex and age classes of deer. During the past 11 years, for example, agency data estimates prevalence in adult males has risen from 8 to 10 percent, to more than 20 percent. And in adult females, the prevalence has grown from about 3 or 4 percent to about 9 percent.

biosolids land application sewage sludge

In a disease hot spot in southwestern Wisconsin, CWD prevalence has increased to 27 percent among deer 2½ years or older, according to DNR statistics. The growth was called “frightening” by Robert Rolley, a DNR researcher who worked on the study.

And the disease has spread far beyond where it originally showed up. Two years ago, the disease was discovered in a doe in Washburn County in northeastern Wisconsin. Testing has turned up no other infected deer in the area.

Tom Hauge, who directs the DNR’s wildlife management program, said the new research is unlikely to cause the agency to re-evaluate its CWD program.

“Current management is grounded in the reality of the present conditions,” Hauge said. “There is no science to indicate that human health is at risk to date. And livestock to date have not been impacted. That reality has shaped the socioeconomic response.”

Hauge also said the current political atmosphere has been a factor. He said the special CWD regulations “wore thin on people” and that “manifested itself in a gubernatorial campaign.”

“Until that landscape changes,” Hauge said, “we have to live with the realities we face right now.”

Tami Ryan, who heads the DNR’s Wildlife Health Section, helped organize The Wildlife Society session at which Johnson will present his findings. She said she invited him because the agency is interested in learning more about the research. She called the initial work “very important research” but said she wants to see more data, especially on whether lab animals can become infected by eating tainted plant material rather than just via injection.

biosolids land application contaminates food water

“I’m also interested in the contamination level,” Ryan said. “What is the concentration and frequency of exposure that would result in infection? Is this as great a risk as coming into contact with another infected animal? A level of risk assessment is necessary.”

For the moment, she said, “I don’t hear alarm bells.”

Johnson said he is testing whether animals can become infected by eating CWD-laden plant tissues. He also said future work will address the questions raised by Ryan about the prion concentrations in plants necessary to cause infection.

“We’re just scratching the surface here,” Johnson said.

But Bryan Richards, CWD project leader at the National Wildlife Health Center, said even the findings to date should be taken seriously by state and federal wildlife and public health agencies.

“The potential for exposure is undeniable,” Richards said.

Can humans get CWD

Clausen said the plant research should be considered in the context of other CWD studies. He said research has shown the molecular barriers that seem to have protected humans from infection may be more porous than some believe.

Alzheimers epidemic

In 2004, for example, a CDC study published in the scientific journal Emerging Infectious Diseases concluded that the transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, to humans indicates that “the species barrier may not completely protect humans from animal protein diseases.”

The article also cited lab studies in which CWD prions were found to infect human prion proteins. Still, the article concluded, “limited investigations have not identified strong evidence for CWD transmission to humans.” (bullshit)

Another study, led by Marcelo Barria from the Mitchell Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Brain Disorders at the University of Texas and published in the March 2011 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, showed that CWD prions in the laboratory can be manipulated over generations to change and become more infectious to humans.

“Our findings lead to a new view that the species barrier should not be seen as a static process but rather a dynamic biological phenomenon that can change over time when prion strains mature and evolve,” the researchers concluded.

Such science, Clausen said, should raise questions about a management approach to CWD that does not stem the spread of the disease and, as a result, increases the risk of human and animal exposure.

Alzheimer's disease epidemic

“The DNR’s official approach to environmental contamination with CWD prions has been a yawn and a shrug. Whether concerns from consumers, public health officials or agricultural interests will change that is an open question at this time,” Clausen said.

John Stauber, an activist and co-author of the book “Mad Cow USA,” said the new research should be especially sobering in a nation he believes is ignoring a possible dangerous public health threat.

“The implications of prion diseases potentially (spreading) via contaminated agricultural plants is mind-boggling,” Stauber said. “Imagine people, wildlife or livestock eating a cereal or vegetable that could years or decades later cause an incurable, fatal brain disease.

chronic wasting disease

“The best scientists have always warned that with prions, all bets are off. There is no other deadly disease agent as bizarre or invisible. Unfortunately, federal and state food and wildlife agencies have been ignoring the prion threat, downplaying its human health risks, cutting back on research, and pretending this will all go away. It won’t.”