When Andy was discharged from hospital dying of human BSE aged just 24 years old, a member of the CJD Edinburgh Surveillance Unit came to visit our home. The Unit’s job is to research and gather data regarding victims, their lifestyles and routines to try to find a common link. They look at dietary factors, lifestyle choice and everything else which can cause patients to develop vCJD.
On June 14th 2007 the Unit’s Research Registrar Dr Gurjit Chohan (see Prof Will Tyrrell Committee) came to see us, and after a brief hello and examination of Andy, she spent the next few hours talking me through a list of questions in Andy’s bedroom. Andy by this time was upset by the number of “experts” that were coming to see him, at times confused and unable to walk more than a few steps without two people holding him. The form she had with her is known as the, RISK FACTOR “Questionnaire” with additional questions for subjects born in or after 1983 (the year Andy was born). It included questions on baby foods “risky” to human health.
The questionnaire asked:
“Did Andy ever eat commercially prepared infant/toddler foods containing beef?”
“At what age did this start?” and
“At what age did Andy stop eating commercially prepared baby food?”
The questionnaire asked “How often did he eat commercially-prepared baby food?”
I was shown a series of flash cards which corresponded with a frequency, code 8 being the highest, the equivalent of several times a day. The named baby foods are:
*Cow & Gate
Professor Will told me in April 2008: “We know that from information we have received that some brands of baby food contained mechanically recovered meat”.(MRM)
There was also a specific page for the schools my son attended, including spaces for dates and postcodes, and there were questions on “how many years did he eat school dinners“ and “from what ages?”
Andy’s score was nearly the highest, having eaten school dinners several times per week during BSE’s most prevalent and toxic levels, and MRM was used extensively in institutional and school meals.
Here is a letter I received from Nutrica who own Cow and Gate, after I requested information about MRM in their baby food products during the 1980s and 1990s. The UK government knew of these practices in the baby food industry, and condoned and encouraged the use of cheap MRM in commercially prepared baby food.