The Prion Pathogen
Prions are the common thread between many neurological disorders that are killing people, wildlife and livestock around the world. Deadly prions (pronounced PREE-on) are contagious and unstoppable. They are known to migrate, mutate, multiply and kill with incredible efficiency. Prion strains are differentiated by the symptoms that they generate in the host and their potential to infect other mammals. When we connect the dots between all forms of prion disease, we see an explosive growth rate around the world now.
Prions are involved with neurodegenerative disorders in mammals, including humans. A Nobel-Prize-winning scientist claims that prions are behind many neurodegenerative disorders. He characterizes these diseases all as Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE).
“The (human) brain diseases caused by prions includes Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), and other disorders known as frontotemporal dementias,” said Nobel Laureate Stanley Prusiner.
Prusiner earned a Nobel Prize in Physiology in 1997 for discovering deadly prions. U.S. President Barack Obama awarded Prusiner the National Medal of Science in 2010 for his vital work. Prions are not science fiction. They have the attention of the entire scientific community and world leaders alike. Prions can self-propagate through protein-altering chain reactions. The prion epidemic is already one of the greatest public health threats in history. World health officials admit that it will continue to escalate exponentially, but little is being done to contain it.
Prions are such a formidable threat that the U.S. government enacted the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2003, which included a provision to halt research on prions in all but two laboratories. It classified prions as select agents that pose an elevated risk to food, water and health systems.
“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.”
In addition, prions are causing a deadly epidemic among deer, elk and moose in North America called Chronic Wasting disease (CWD). CWD, like Alzheimer’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disorder that consumes the brain. Thousands of animals have died and are still dying of the disease, while spreading the infection before and after death.
Since we have a global prion epidemic among people and regional ones among wildlife, it stands to reason that livestock also are impacted (in my opinion) because the species barrier is a myth. Unfortunately, we don’t comprehensively test our food supply for prions, so we don’t know to what extent prion disease is, or isn’t, in global herds that supply meat, dairy, and other products. As we discuss later, these deadly proteins have likely made it into our water supplies, too.
We usually associate the word protein with muscle growth and cell generation. Ironically, some proteins can reverse roles and kill brain cells. These renegade proteins cause damage to the nervous system and the entire body.
These corrupt proteins might even play a role in autism. A study in Canada is underway. We might even find that some proteins play roles in cancer development. The prion protein, in particular, behaves somewhat like cancer cells—they both corrupt their neighbors. They both spread and kill. A key difference is that prions keep going and going. They can survive outside of a body in a very harsh environment. They can lurk in soil or on a feed trough forever—waiting for their next victim. If we manage these protein predators based on what we do and don’t know, we can start managing the pathways and overall health risks to humans, livestock and wildlife.
Protein science is a fresh arena and we still have many more questions than answers. However, we know enough to connect some dots around proteins and the various threats that they pose. Humans and animals with prion disease are highly contagious. The prions are found throughout their body before and after death. The prions have been found in blood, urine, saliva, feces, tissue and milk of infected animals. Handling an infected animal or human is a risky proposition that requires extreme caution.
Only a decade ago, the idea that Alzheimer’s disease might be transmissible between people would have been laughed away. But scientists have now shown that tissues can transmit symptoms of the disease between animals. A new study published in the journal Nature raises additional concern about the transmissibility of Alzheimer’s disease between people.
“This is the first evidence of real-world transmission of amyloid pathology,” says molecular neuroscientist John Hardy of University College London (UCL). “It is potentially concerning.”
Ironically, most of these protein-based diseases exploded in the late 1900s. Have we created “Pandora’s Lunchbox” with our foolish food production and sewage disposal practices? Once released, prions are impossible to contain again. Learn more about the prion contagion in our new eBook. Simple steps can save lives.
The greatest prion pathway in the world is human sewage. 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 strengthen with each mutation.
Wastewater treatment plants collect millions of gallons of this infectious waste every day. They are incapable of stopping prions, which makes these facilities incubators for prions. It’s a centralized place where they can incubate and mutate before being recycled into reusable water or fertilizer (biosolids). Industrialized nations and developing nations alike are poisoning us all with sewage laced with prions, carcinogens and much more. Because of the prion factor alone, all by-products and discharges from wastewater treatment plants are infectious waste, which are contributing to the global epidemic of neurodegenerative disease among humans, wildlife, sea mammals and livestock.
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 (biosolids) was prepared before the world of science knew about prions. The agency clung to its antiquated sludge rule crafted back in the dark ages until recently. All along, it considered prions as an “emerging contaminant of concern.”
The risk assessments prepared by the U.S. EPA for wastewater treatment and sewage sludge are flawed and current practices of recycling this infectious waste are fueling a public health disaster. 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. We’re dumping killer proteins on crops, parks, golf courses, gardens, ski areas, school grounds and beyond. Wind, rain and irrigation spread these contaminants and many more throughout our communities and watersheds.
Meanwhile, its outdated risk assessments are still in use. They are promoting a public health disaster. The neurotoxins found in sewage, including heavy metals, also are contributing to the global spike in autism, which follows the same timing and trajectory as the spike in neurodegenerative diseases.
“Since it’s unlikely that the sewage treatment process can effectively stop prions, adopting measures to prevent the entry of prions into the sewer system is advisable,” said the Toronto Department of Health, November 2004.
Once unleashed on the environment, prions remain infectious. They migrate, mutate and multiply as they infect crops, water supplies, wildlife, livestock, sea mammals and humans. According to prion researcher Joel Pedersen at the University of Wisconsin, prions in soil become up to 680 times more infectious. From there, they migrate, mutate and multiply. It’s a real world version of Pandora’s Lunchbox.
“Our results suggest that if prions enter municipal wastewater treatment systems, most prions would bond to sewage sludge, survive anaerobic digestion, and be present in treated biosolids,” Pedersen said. “Land application of biosolids containing prions represents a route for their introduction into the environment. I emphasize the importance of keeping prions out of municipal wastewater treatment systems.”
Pedersen also found that sewage treatment does not inactivate prions. Therefore, prions are lethal, mutating, migrating and multiplying everywhere sewage (biosolids) is dumped. Read more about infectious waste and the prion pandemic.
In my opinion, there isn’t a single explanation for prion disease. We all have healthy prions in our bodies. When prions start misfolding, all hell breaks loose. It’s the neurological equivalent to cancer, radiation poisoning and more all rolled into one threat that consumes the mind and body. Unfortunately, each victim becomes a walking time bomb as they expose everyone and everything around them. Prion aversion is our only hope. Answers begin with the truth.
Background On Sewage Sludge
In 1972, world leaders admitted that dumping highly toxic sewage sludge into the oceans killed entire underwater ecosystems and threatened public health. Some nations stopped the dumping immediately and started dumping it on land or burning it in incinerators. The most responsible cities started putting sewage sludge in landfills. Meanwhile, the United States allowed cities to keep dumping sewage sludge at sea for another 20 years. It finally passed the Ocean Dumping Ban Act of 1988, when beaches along the east coast were forced to close because of high levels of pathogens from sewage that washed up on shore.
The law prohibited all dumping of industrial waste and municipal sewage sludge into our oceans after December 31, 1991. It did nothing however, to keep cities such as Boston and Los Angeles from dumping millions of gallons of raw sewage directly into the oceans every day, but with the help of the U.S. EPA, the Act did redirect millions of tons of deadly toxins and pathogens from our oceans to farms, ranches, national forests, city parks, golf courses, playgrounds, fair grounds, race tracks, sport fields and beyond. From there, the pathogens began
contaminating food, water and air as they were soaked up by crops, swept away by rainwater and picked up by windstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes and dumped on innocent citizens where they live, work and play. The runoff still contaminates our oceans after it filters through our creeks, lakes and rivers.
After the 1991 ban on ocean dumping, the EPA instituted a policy of sewage sludge reuse on agricultural land. It hired a PR firm to spin a new brand for the death dirt. They crafted the clever name “biosolids” to help disguise the hazards. The EPA promoted biosolids recycling throughout the 1990s. Unfortunately, the risk assessments were severely biased and flawed. The proof is in the pudding.
This new form of sewage dispersal has sparked a public health disaster that’s still unfolding in the form of autism, Alzheimer’s disease, west
Nile virus, Zika virus, chronic wasting disease, meningitis, hepatitis, and other threats to public health. The risk assessments for these practices failed to account for heavy metals, pharmaceutical residue, radionuclides, carcinogens and a deadly form of protein known as a prion (which was unknown to the world of science at the time). The practice sparked a public health disaster in exchange for healthier oceans and a very profitable new industry. The EPA even took its show on the road and convinced other nations to use its faulty risk assessments to justify multi-million dollar contracts for these new corporations. Countries such as Canada took the bait hook, line and sinker and never conducted its own risk assessments.
Chronic wasting disease is now rampant in Canada and it recently jumped the Atlantic to Norway’s reindeer herd. It’s spreading across the U.S. like wildfire as we spread more pathogens and lies. Land application sites often involve locations where poverty is high and economic prosperity is low, which means resistance is low. Sludge tends to be dumped where minorities live, leading to allegations of environmental racism. Unfortunately, contaminated food and water make it back to the cities where the infectious waste originated.
Treated sewage sludge has been used in the UK, Europe and China agriculturally for more than 80 years, though there is increasing pressure in some countries to stop the practice of land application due to farmland contamination and public outrage. In the 1990s there was pressure in some European countries to ban the use of sewage sludge as a fertilizer. Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, and others introduced a ban to safeguard public health. Others should follow their example.
There are proven strategies to help avert neurodegenerative disease, including smart nutrition, exercise and prion aversion. There is not a cure for prion disease, but smart nutrition can ease the symptoms. Preview and order the eBook now to defend yourself and your family.
Gary Chandler is a prion expert. He is the CEO of Crossbow Communications, author of several books and producer of documentaries about health and environmental issues around the world. Chandler is connecting the dots to the global surge in neurodegenerative disease, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease and other forms of prion disease.