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Old 02-04-2008, 08:14 PM
Iggy Dalrymple's Avatar
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Default Inhaling Pig Brains May Be Cause of New Illness

Inhaling Pig Brains May Be Cause of New Illness
One of the steps in that part of the operation involves removing the pigs' brains with compressed air forced into the skull through the hole where the spinal cord enters. The brains are then packed and sent to markets in Korea and China as food.

Investigators say there is no reason to suspect that either the brains or the pork cuts were contaminated. Their working hypothesis is that the harvesting technique -- known as "blowing brains" on the floor -- produces aerosols of brain matter. Once inhaled, the material prompts the immune system to produce antibodies that attack the pig brain compounds, but apparently also attack the body's own nerve tissue because it is so similar.

If this theory is correct, the ailment -- for the moment called "progressive inflammatory neuropathy" -- resembles Guillain-Barre syndrome, an autoimmune condition that sometimes follows fairly benign infections, particularly those caused by an intestinal bacterium called Campylobacter. In the Minnesota cases, however, there appears to be no germ involved.

Although far from proved, the theory makes enough sense that the Centers for Disease Control and Infection, in Atlanta, has cast a net to about 25 other large-scale pig slaughterhouses in 13 states, seeking other cases.
For now we see through a glass, darkly.... 1st Corinthians 13:12
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