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Animal Pharm

One Man’s Struggle to Discover the Truth about Mad Cow Disease and Variant CJD

Mark Purdey
Foreword by Bob Woffinden
Contributions by Nigel Purdey
Edited by Nigel Purdey
November 2007
More details
  • Publisher
    Clairview Books
  • Published
    15th November 2007
  • ISBN 9781905570119
  • Language English
  • Pages 288 pp.

Mark Purdey’s life changed one day in 1984, when a Ministry of Agriculture inspector told him he must administer a toxic organophosphate pesticide to his dairy herd. Passionately committed to organic farming and convinced of the harmful effects of chemicals in the environment, he refused to comply. “It was as if my whole life became focused,” he explained later. Before they had a chance to prosecute, Purdey took the Ministry to court and won his case. Those experiences led him to challenge the orthodox line on the origins of Mad Cow Disease and its human counterpart, variant CJD. Could the insecticide used in the official program have precipitated the spread of the disease?

Purdey’s quest to discover the truth was hampered at every turn by government bureaucracies and self-serving scientific cliques who sought to smear and marginalize him. Dogged by dirty tricks and forced to work alone as something of a scientific sleuth, he struggled to reveal hidden interests and dangerous secrets. His supporters included many members of the public, as well as Prince Charles, as well as the poet Ted Hughes, who wrote to him expressing “a million congratulations.”

Increasingly sceptical of the official narrative, Purdey was certain that toxic environmental factors would provide answers, and so embarked on a self-funded worldwide odyssey to investigate. Animal Pharm follows him on these eco-detective trails to locations as diverse as Iceland, Sardinia, Colorado, and Australia. Purdey uncovers contamination from industry, munitions, pesticides, nuclear experiments, and natural geology, linking these with the emergence of a range of neurodegenerative diseases.

Mark Purdey's research is both compelling and disturbing, helping to create a paradigm shift in our understanding of the relationship of pollutants to disease and health.

C O N T E N T S:

Foreword by Bob Woffinden
Introduction: “Rebel with a Cause” by Nigel Purdey

1. A Warble Fly in the Ointment
2. The Crystal Grail
3. Sheep May Safely Graze
4. Becquerels on the Brain
5. To the Ends of the Earth
6. The Wasting Lands
7. The Road to Syracuse
8. The Silicon Valleys
9. Maple Leaf Rage
10. Behind the Iron Curtain

Afterword: “Farewell” by Nigel Purdey
Appendix: Don’t Let the Buggers Get You Down” by Nigel Purdey
Table 1: Key TSE Clusters around the World
Table 2: Key Clusters of Human TSEs around the World
Principal Sources and Further Reading

Mark Purdey

Mark Purdey, born in 1953, turned down a university place to start his own organic farm at the age of nineteen. In the late 1980s, he started to teach himself neurobiology, and in the mid-1990s began worldwide field research to discover the truth behind BSE, CJD and other neurodegenerative diseases. He was a vociferous campaigner on these issues, making television programs, publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals, and lecturing at prestigious institutions. He died November 2006 of a brain tumour and is survived by his wife and eight children.