Renewable Farming

Underlying vulnerability to Covid-19: A lesson from “Mad Cow” disease

We’ve listened to the theories of what caused Covid-19 and wonder why so few are asking the basic questions: How does a land get so toxic that it cannot feed its people? How do the people of that land lose their immune systems?

June 12, 2021 by Jill Carlson   We started asking such questions in 1996 during the global Mad Cow scare: Why did so many British cows go “mad”? Why did so many people in Britain succumb to Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease (CJD), a variant of Mad Cow (BSE)? American publications and broadcast news outlets were asking the wrong questions such as: “How do we keep infected meat and milk out of our food supply? How do we keep America’s Mad Cow (dairy) and Scrapie (sheep) diseases from invading America’s farms?”

At LandOwner Newsletter, which we wrote for Professional Farmers of America, we wanted to get to the root of the problem. So we asked what no one else was asking. We were the only national publication investigating the underlying triggers making animals vulnerable to CJD.

It took some digging — something I’d learned the hard way from my veterinarian father. “Ask questions. Always ask questions,” he’d say. “And just when you think you have all the answers, ask some more.” This method had held him in good stead, and he became the first head of the newly formed veterinary division of the Food and Drug Administration in 1966.

“Start with what you know,” he’d say. So I went to my shelf of medical references and spotted Christopher Day’s Homeopathic Treatment of Small Animals: Principles and Practice., This source had helped us with many animal problems from cats to heifers on our farm. I found his British phone number and was amazed to have him answer. I dove right in and asked him if he knew of any large-animal veterinarians who were treating Britain’s mad cows.

“Oh, we’re not allowed to treat them,” he said, “but if you want another viewpoint on this whole episode, check with Mark Purdey. He’s a British dairyman in Somerset — he’s looked at causes and he’s done a lot of research.” I soon found his phone number, and Purdey graciously agreed to tell me what he knew.

Purdey knew plenty.  “It’s this whole warble fly problem,” he began. “Twice each year, British dairy farmers are required to pour an organophosphate solution — it’s called Phosmet — directly over the spines of every cow in the herd. They’ve upped the requirements until they’re telling farmers to use four times what they prescribed in the seventies. For pregnant cows, it means that when her calf is born it’s bound to get brain disease. But it happens long enough after the Phosmet pour-on that no one’s making the connection.”

“So what do you do for your cows?” I asked.

Mark Purdey, British dairyman

“I farm organically. Our herd doesn’t get Mad Cow disease. We got an exemption from Phosmet a few years ago when I filed a high-court judicial review. It banned the Ministry of Agriculture from coming onto my land with forced chemical dressing. Organic dairy farmers don’t have Mad Cow episodes unless they’ve bought a cow from somewhere else.”

 “We’ve proved on our farm that it’s not transmissible — even though the official name for this family of diseases is TSE — Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies.”

I waited for his punch line: “And you can’t get it from eating meat or bone meal from a mad cow.”

Surely our own scientists had a bead on this panic, I reasoned. So I asked the how-do-you-catch-the-disease question of Dr. R. C. Cutlip of the National Veterinary Services Laboratory at Iowa State University shortly after I talked with Mark Purdey. Cutlip’s work was primarily with sheep (their “mad” episodes are called Scrapie). He said that after six years of trying, he still wasn’t able to make cattle sick by feeding them raw, Scrapie-infected meat. “The only way I could transmit the disease from one animal to another was by injecting raw brains from an infected animal directly into a healthy animal,” he said. A year later we tried reaching him again but lab officials were vague about where he’d gone and gave us no more information.

Prion, prion…who’s got the prion?

Meanwhile, Mad Cow research was getting sophisticated and we had a popular new cause to blame: Prions. These are virus-like proteins that fold themselves into the tissues of a susceptible animal, human or plant — and multiply. Since they were found in mad cows and Scrapie sheep, and eventually in Creutzfeld-Jacob human victims, prions became the latest consensus cause. Stanley B. Prusiner, “found” the damaging “virus-prion” and was awarded the Nobel prize in physiology and medicine in 1997. 

Everyone said “whew” and tried to figure out how to stop prions from spreading:

Don’t eat raw meat. Don’t eat meat from animals that eat meat. Don’t sell meat with their bones intact. Don’t use bone meal in feed. If a mad dairy or sheep animal dies on your farm, kill the whole herd. This, despite the fact that we’d imported bone meal from Britain for years with never a mad animal in our herds.

Meanwhile, Britain was quietly withdrawing its Phosmet pour-on mandates and, to satisfy the public, was leaning heavily on culling entire herds — many of them with prize purebreds produced through years of careful breeding. Official Britain not only looked to the wrong cause — they looked to a baseless and heartbreaking solution. Meanwhile, ICI Zeneca (so spelled in 1996), producer of Phosmet, merged in 1999 with Swiss-owned Astra to form Astra-Zenaca. Phosmet faded from view.

British cattle herd destroyed in CJD epizootic 1995-97

And so it went for two years, until Mad Cow was relegated to the dustbin of news. Quietly and predictably Mad Cow and its human variant CJD — all of them official “transmissible” diseases — became prion diseases in the official science of the world. No one was interested in showing the correlation between “mad” diseases (encephalopathies) with trigger causes like mandated Phosmet. Or with organophosphate sprays of Britain’s hops fields. Or with power-plant toxicity. Or high altitude ultra-violet rays.


So my ears were pricked last week when I read Dr. Stephanie Seneff’s scholarly paper on Covid-19 and the body’s compromised ability to fend off the disease. (Please see this link for the entire paper by Stephanie Seneff and Greg Nigh)

She’d connected the dots too.  She was talking about prions.

She pointed to environmental triggers — like glyphosate. Countries without glyphosate contract Covid-19 in far lower percentages, she says. Countries with heavy glyphosate use (U.S., Brazil, India, Britain, e.g.) produce populations more susceptible to the disease. Glyphosate is in the soil, the water, the air — and this all leads to greater susceptibility. Now you add to this mix the Covid vaccine’s ability to make uncontrolled spike proteins, she warns, and a replication of prions (virus-like  proteins) start taking over.

Stephanie Seneff

Still, the official science of the world doesn’t acknowledge environmental triggers to either Mad Cow or Covid. Mad Cow and human variants of spongiform encephalopathies are universally called prion diseases now.

Purdey told his story to a packed hall of farmers at the ACRES USA annual meeting in 2001. He urged farmers to look at what’s missing in a mammal’s defenses. Organophosphates are all oxidizing agents, he explained, and if you or your animals are missing copper, selenium and zinc— and if manganese gets too high — damaging prions begin replicating when triggered by environmental poisons.

And, he could have added today — glyphosate is also an oxidizing agent — a chelator which strips human biomes of critical minerals.

Purdey died in 2006 after researching spongiform encephalopathies all over the world. The works of this British Somerset farmer have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and applauded by those who want the second and third tiers of answers…to those who take the time to ask questions.

You can read our LandOwner feature in which Purdey describes his global search for the underlying reasons animals appeared vulnerable to prion disease when he was in dairying. Here’s the link to our 4-page PDF.


Update June 13, 2021  Dr. Mercola reports on “How Covid vaccines may harm your health.” Mercola says: “Stephanie Seneff, Ph.D., and Judy Mikovits, Ph.D., a dream-team in terms of deep insights into the scientific details, explain the problems they see with gene-based COVID-19 vaccines. There is a load of highly useful technical information that you can use to defend your opposition to these dangerous vaccines.”


Update June 13, 2021 We’d asked Dr. Seneff to review Jill’s article. Here are her comments, which add further insights.

“Great article!  I shared the link on social media. 

“I am madly studying prion proteins these days. I think they are central to the disease process in both COVID and glyphosate toxicity. And they are incredibly fascinating!

“Unfortunately, I think the mRNA vaccines will bring you to a prion disease more quickly than an infection with the virus would have done.

“I read Mark Purdey’s book, as well as several of his papers, some time ago.

“He was such a great role model!”


Update June 14, 2021  For your background reading, we’ve linked to a 2002 analysis by Mark Purdey in the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation

Here’s an excerpt from Purdey’s opening paragraphs. His experience is an eerie precedent to the “scientific” dogma of WHO, CDC and other agencies responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since 1986, the infamous neurodegenerative syndrome known as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) has blighted the heartbeat of British Agriculture. The disease has led to the annihilation of thousands of cattle, whilst its human analogue, new-varient Creutzfeld Jakob Disease (vCJD), has blighted the lives of a growing number of young people. Moreover, the spongiform epidemic has created a fierce battleground between nations, vested interests, political parties, farmers, victims and consumers.

But despite the severity of the BSE legacy, little genuine attempt has been made to crack the causal riddle of these diseases, thereby leaving us devoid of insight into measures that would best cure, control and, better still, prevent this terrible illness.

This story is an attempt to shine a ray of light over the whole debacle. It charts my own eco-detective escapades and original field investigations, which ran in tandem with the laboratory research of Cambridge University biochemist, Dr. David Brown. These works have gone a long way towards unearthing the truth underpinning the original cause of these grotesque diseases.

Hard evidence has been amassed so far which indicates that vCJD and BSE could both result from separate exposure of cattle and humans to the same set of toxic environmental factors — excess manganese and oxidizing agents — and not from the ingestion of beef by humans and animal by-products by cows. If this hypothesis continues to accumulate corroborative evidence, a radical upheaval of the status quo mindset can be expected.

Despite the fact that my theory has been substantiated both by field and by laboratory findings, Dr. Brown’s and my own published works have largely been dismissed, with all funding proposals irrationally rebuffed at peer review. Contrary to the recommendations to UK government by the 1999 BSEInquiry Report, rejection of our grant proposals continues to the present day, including one submission aimed at developing a feasible cure for vCJD!

Update June 14, 2021 Dr. Joseph Mercola’s daily briefing cites evidence from Canadian immunologist and vaccine researcher Byram Brindle, Ph.D, revealing how the spike protein injected in Pfizer’s Covid-19 shot spreads through the body with toxic effects. Mercola also reports:

“There’s also evidence suggesting the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein may be a prion, which is yet another piece of really bad news, particularly as it pertains to vaccine-induced spike protein. Prions are membrane proteins and when they misfold, they form crystals in the cytoplasm resulting in prion disease.”