Three scientists worry that feeding cow parts to farmed fish could expose seafood consumers to mad cow disease. The scientists published their findings in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and called on the government to ban cow meat and bone meal from appearing in fish feed.
“We are concerned,” Friedland and colleagues write, that eating farmed fish may provide a means of transmission of infectious proteins from cows to humans, causing variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease.
“We have not proven that it’s possible for fish to transmit the disease to humans. Still, we believe that out of reasonable caution for public health, the practice of feeding rendered cows to fish should be prohibited,” Friedland said in a prepared statement. “Fish do very well in the seas without eating cows,” he added.
Mad cow can incubate for decades, so proving a connection between seafood and the disease isn’t exactly easy. Even without the brain-wasting disease though, it still seems like a bad idea to feed fish remnant cow parts.