Researchers Warn Of Mad Cow In Fish

by Gabe Bullard on June 15, 2009

Researchers at the University of Louisville have published a study saying fish farming techniques could lead to more cases of mad cow disease.

The act of feeding rendered cow body parts to other cows is thought to have caused the spread of mad cow disease in cows and the humans who eventually eat them. Now that the practice has been banned in many countries, the rendered materials are increasingly being fed to commercially grown, or farmed, fish.

Study co-author Robert Friedland says no cases of mad cow have been linked to fish, but they are physiologically capable of contracting and transmitting the disease.

“The fish have a protein which could be infected by the material from cows,” he says. “So it is conceivable that fish could develop the disease themselves if they consume infected material.”

The paper comes before a new FDA rule that blocks the feeding of rendered cows to certain animals, but not fish.

Comments Closed


pat chism June 21, 2009 at 10:35 am

Its very important to note that all the catfish feed produced in the mississippi deltla area does not use cow renderings in there fish feed.

Mary Ellen Walling June 22, 2009 at 12:16 pm

“Mad Cow” report demolished by Canadian Food Inspection Officials

An article in the June issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease speculated that farmed fish could transmit Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (mad cow disease) if their feed contained byproducts rendered from cows. The byproducts in question are called “Specified Risk Materials” (SRM) — the parts of cattle where BSE (mad cow disease) can be found.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has stated that this hypothesis is false on two counts: (1) Canada has banned the use of all “specified risk materials” in ALL animal feed, including fish feed, since 2007, and (2) Canadian finfish farming companies do not use SRM products in their feeds.

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