Sunday, April 3, 2011


We don’t realize what risks we are taking in our mad rush to invent ever more efficient methods of production to satisfy the consumerism so prevalent throughout the world. We cut corners willy-nilly to make things and provide services as cheaply as possible so as to be able to sell, sell, sell, thereby feeding the ‘bottom line’ of the huge corporations that generate what we consume. No industry – and especially not the food industry – is safe from shortsightedness when it comes to trying to increase efficiency. We force-feed the chickens and the cattle that we eat, we treat our dairy and vegetable products with chemicals so that they ripen quicker and keep their freshness longer and we try to ‘reduce waste’ wherever feasible. One such effort to ‘reduce waste’ (and increase profitability) was to mix into the feed destined for consumption by our cattle the finely-ground remains of dead cows and bulls. The result was catastrophic, not only for the animals that consumed this tainted fodder, but also for the human race. The animals involved developed BSE – Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), or MAD COW DISEASE. (Their brain matter literally turned to mush resembling sponges – hence the name). BSE was first reported in the UK in 1986. Since that year, according to the world health Organization (WHO) about two hundred thousand cases have occurred in the UK. BSE in the UK began to decline in 1992 and has continuously declined year by year since then. Unfortunately, however, BSE has spread to 21 other countries. This is bad news, but not as bad as the news that the disease had mutated into a new form: HUMAN BSE. When BSE material infects humans the resulting disease is known as (new) variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s Disease (nvCJD). It is invariably fatal.
My book, FATAL GREED, is about a hypothetical occurrence in which surgical glue, manufactured from bovine blood, is accidentally infected by nvCJD. The glue is sent out to hospitals around the world where unsuspecting surgeons start using it thereby infecting and killing thousands of people. FATAL GREED is available in hard-cover and eBook form from Its plot is entirely plausible and very topical.