Some meat eaters seem to insist that all the health problems that are associated with consumption of animal products are a result of of consuming meat or milk as such, but a result of the cooking of these products.
Here's some links that somehow are related to consuming (and handling) raw animal products:
Human Papillomavirus Type 7 and Butcher's Warts
Meffert and Anthony1 in the March issue of the ARCHIVES proposed that the established dogma about human papillomavirus type 7 (HPV-7) as the "butcher's wart" virus should be reassessed since HPV-7 is not the only HPV type found in butchers and meat handlers, and since HPV-2 is even the most common type.
We found HPV-7–induced warts in one third of the hand warts in butchers, besides all other types of HPVs responsible for common and plane warts (HPV-1, HPV-2, HPV-3, and HPV-4).2 The most frequent infection was with HPV-2 and HPV-2–related viruses,2 as also found usually in warts of immunocompetent and immunosuppressed population, in both children and adults.3 From the restriction patterns of viral DNA published in a 1981 article by Orth et al,2 it can be deducted that viruses considered as HPV-2–related (HPV-2c) or HPV-3–related (HPV-3f, HPV-3g) corresponded to HPV-27, HPV-10, and HPV-28, respectively. Human papillomavirus type 7 was associated with a highly characteristic histologic pattern.2, 4 Several types of warts often coexisted in butchers, and their prevalence differed depending on work automation, and reached 49.2 % in abattoirs where the workers had direct contact with the meat.5 Although found almost exclusively in butcher's warts, HPV-7 is probably an ubiquitous virus, as all other HPV genotypes, and is present in a latent form in the general population. All later reports confirmed the exclusive association of HPV-7 with butchers' and meat handlers' warts,6-7 with single exceptions in immunosuppressed people,8 in whom all types of warts may appear, including those induced by epidermodysplasia verruciformis-associated HPVs. Human papillomavirus type 7 is firmly established as a human HPV type with no homology with bovine papillomavirus DNA sequences,2, 9 and not originating from slaughtered animals.6
We did not find HPV-7 in any family member of butchers, and the infection was localized to the hands, ie, to the areas of contact with the meat.
All butchers with HPV-7–induced warts had well-preserved cell-mediated and humoral immunity, and were otherwise healthy people.5 Slaughterhouse workers having no contact with meat or animals had a low prevalence of warts.5 We speculated that the activation of HPV-7 latent infection, could be due to some unknown factors (possibly growth factors) in the bovine serum or meat.5 Similar results and speculations were reported by others.7, 10-11 Thus, HPV-7 remains a quite exceptional virologic and epidemiologic curiosity, even on reassessing available data, as suggested by Meffert and Anthony.1 We believe that it is worth collecting virologic, clinical, and epidemiologic data on this mysterious virus to solve the enigma of HPV-7.
Mortality from malignant diseases-update of the Baltimore union poultry cohort.
PMID: 19847658We previously studied mortality up to 1989 in 2,639 members of a local union who had ever worked in poultry slaughtering and processing plants, because they were exposed to oncogenic viruses present in poultry. In this report, cancer mortality was updated to the year 2003 for 2,580 of the 2,639 subjects who worked exclusively in poultry plants. Mortality in poultry workers was compared with that in the US general population through the estimation of proportional mortality and standardized mortality ratios separately for each race/sex group and for the whole cohort. Compared to the US general population, an excess of cancers of the buccal and nasal cavities and pharynx (base of the tongue, palate and other unspecified mouth, tonsil and oropharynx, nasal cavity/middle ear/accessory sinus), esophagus, recto-sigmoid/rectum/anus, liver and intrabiliary system, myelofibrosis, lymphoid leukemia and multiple myeloma was observed in particular subgroups or in the entire poultry cohort. We hypothesize that oncogenic viruses present in poultry, and exposure to fumes, are candidates for an etiologic role to explain the excess occurrence of at least some of these cancers in the poultry workers. Larger studies which can control for confounding factors are urgently needed to determine the significance of these findings.
Mortality in workers in poultry slaughtering/processing plants: the Missouri poultry cohort study
Of course people who eat raw meat aren't exposed to raw meat the same way as people who touch raw meat many times every day, but I'm quite sure that putting these "objects" inside the body have a lot more impact on humans than just breathing in the fumes from the dead animals' bodies or touching them with one's hands. Meat also needs a lot of time inside the human body to be digested.Subjects who work in poultry slaughtering and processing plants have one of the highest human exposures to viruses that cause cancer in chickens and turkeys. It is not known whether these viruses cause cancer in humans also. Epidemiological studies investigating this issue are scarce.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Statistically significant excess risks of non-malignant respiratory diseases, accidents, and symptoms, senility, and ill-defined conditions, and increased but not statistically significant excesses for some cancers were observed in particular race/sex groups. Most of these results were based on small numbers of deaths, and in many cases were evident only in particular subgroups of the cohort. Because of this and the multiple comparisons made, chance could not be ruled out in explaining the findings. Furthermore, the cohort is young, with only 6% deceased at the end of follow up. Further follow up of this cohort is required before a reliable assessment of the potential risk associated with these viruses can be made.
Plus, eating chicken etc, with cancer causing viruses by itself doesn't sound like something anyone would want, even if we don't know much yet about whether these viruses can cause cancer in humans.
Mortality in the Baltimore union poultry cohort: non-malignant diseases
PMID: 19902237RESULTS: Poultry workers as a group had an overall excess of deaths from diabetes, anterior horn disease, and hypertensive disease, and a deficit of deaths from intracerebral hemorrhage. Deaths from zoonotic bacterial diseases, helminthiasis, myasthenia gravis, schizophrenia, other diseases of the spinal cord, diseases of the esophagus and peritonitis were non-significantly elevated overall by all analyses, and significantly so in particular race/sex subgroups.
CONCLUSIONS: Poultry workers may have excess occurrence of disease affecting several organs and systems, probably originating from widespread infection with a variety of microorganisms. The results for neurologic diseases could well represent important clues to the etiology of these diseases in humans. The small numbers of deaths involved in some cases limit interpretation.
Mortality from cancer and other diseases in poultry slaughtering/processing plants.
PMID: 9447392RESULTS: Statistically significant increased risks were observed for cancer of the oesophagus, liver cancer, tumours of the haemopoietic lymphatic system, and motor vehicle accidents, in the group of poultry workers as a whole or in particular race/sex subgroups. The results for other causes of death showed consistently elevated risks in most race/sex subgroups, but these were not statistically significant.
CONCLUSION: The cohort is young, and because the number of deaths is small, the results though suggestive of increased risks for some causes, are inconclusive. However they indicate that this cohort is of interest, and that further follow-up might reveal a much clearer and consistent picture.
Cancer mortality among workers in the meat department of supermarkets
PMID: 7951779METHODS: Cancer mortality for the period 1949 to 1989 was compared in a previously studied cohort of 10,841 members of a local meatcutters' union in Baltimore, Maryland who worked in the meat department of supermarkets, after an extended follow up of nine years (1981-9). Person-years and deaths were apportioned in five-year intervals by sex, age, and calendar year, and standardised mortality ratio (SMR) and proportional mortality ratio (PMR) analyses were conducted. The United States general population was used as the comparison group. Analyses of SMR and PMR were also conducted for a control group of workers from the same union who worked exclusively in non-meat companies.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Among women, an SMR of 1.6 (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.1-2.2) and a PMR of 1.5 (95% CI 1.0-2.0) for lung cancer were found. For men, the SMR for cancer of the buccal cavity and pharynx was 1.8 (95% CI 1.0-3.0), and for colon cancer it was 1.5 (95% CI 1.1-2.1). The respective PMRs were 1.9 (95% CI 1.1-3.1) and 1.5 (95% CI 1.1-2.1). Whereas the role of non-occupational factors needs to be taken into account before occupational factors can be implicated in the occurrence of the excess of cancer of the buccal cavity and pharynx, and colon cancer in men, there is reason to suspect that occupational factors may be responsible for the lung cancer excess in women. Thus exposures that occur predominantly in women, such as exposure to fumes during wrapping and labelling, should be investigated as to their role in this excess.
Occurrence of cancer in women in the meat industry
PMID: 3756110A follow up study of 7261 white women from a meatcutters' union was conducted between July 1949 and December 1980. Proportional mortality ratio (PMR) and standardised mortality ratio (SMR) analyses, using the United States general population mortality rates, were conducted for the group as a whole and for subgroups defined according to the four main job categories in the meat industry, and a fifth category of workers from outside the industry but belonging to the same union (control group). At least a threefold risk of death was observed both for myeloid leukaemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphomas among workers in the meat department of retail food stores. No excess risk from these diseases was observed in the control group. SMRs of 4.56, 4.02, and 1.95, which were statistically significant, were observed for lung cancer among workers in chicken slaughtering plants, meatpacking plants, and retail food stores respectively. The lung cancer SMR for abattoir workers was 1.41 (not significant) and 1.11 for workers in non-meat companies. The role of potentially harmful exposures within the industry in the occurrence of these excesses is discussed.
Cancer among meat industry workers
PMID: 15633593Several studies have found increased risks of cancer among workers in the meat industry, particularly lung and hematologic cancers. Relevant publications were obtained through a computerized literature search with the key words "cancer", "lung cancer", "hematologic neoplasms", "meat products", "abattoirs", and "slaughterhouses", and the evidence available from analyses of routine data, proportionate mortality and incidence studies, and cohort and case-control studies was reviewed. These analyses suggest a significant excess lung cancer risk among meat workers. This risk was associated the most strongly with exposure to animal slaughtering or freshly slaughtered meat or to biological material contained in blood and animal fecal matter, and it was greater than could be attributed to smoking. This finding suggests an etiologic role for biological exposure; however, the specific exposure(s) responsible are unknown, and further research is clearly required. The results of studies of hematologic cancers have been less consistent, but they suggest a small excess risk for leukemia in association with similar exposures.
Mortality and cancer incidence in New Zealand meat workers
PMID: 15150395RESULTS: Vital status was determined for 84% of the cohort, and 92% of the total possible person-years. Mortality from all causes and all cancers was increased, and there was a significant excess of lung cancer. There were significant trends of increasing risk of lung and lymphohaematopoietic cancer with increasing duration of exposure to biological material.
CONCLUSIONS: Excess risks were observed for mortality from all causes, all cancers, and lung cancer. Although the increased risk of lung cancer may be partly due to confounding by smoking, it is unlikely to be entirely due to this cause. Furthermore, the dose-response relation observed for lung cancer suggests the effect is related to exposure to biological material contained in animal urine, faeces, and blood. Although numbers were small, the risk of lymphohaematopoietic cancer was also associated with increasing duration and level of exposure to biological material.
Cancer mortality among white males in the meat industry
PMID: 3485192A study was conducted among 13,844 members of a meat-cutter's union, from July 1949 to December 1980, to examine cancer occurrence in the meat industry. Separate analyses were carried out for the whole group, and for subgroups defined by job-categories characteristic of the industry, including a control group. Mortality was compared with that of the United States through the estimation of standardized mortality ratios (SMR) and proportional mortality ratios. A statistically significant proportional mortality ratio of 2.9 was obtained for Hodgkin's disease among abattoir workers; the SMR of 2.2 was not significant. Among meat-packing plant workers, highly statistically significant SMRs were recorded for bone cancer, SMR = 9.6; cancer of the buccal cavity and pharynx, SMR = 3.4; and lung cancer, SMR = 1.9. The role of oncogenic viruses and other carcinogenic exposures was investigated.
Paralysis Outbreak In Meat Workers Handling Pigs' Brains
Non-malignant disease mortality in meat workers: a model for studying the role of zoonotic transmissible agents in non-malignant chronic diseases in humansThe US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an update last week to its investigation of an outbreak of a paralysing condition that is affecting certain meat processing plant workers who use compressed air to remove the brains from the heads of pig carcases.
The illness is called Progressive Inflammatory Neuropathy (PIN) and its symptoms range from acute paralysis to gradual increase of weakness on both sides of the body, which in some cases happens over 8 days and in others over 213 days. The symptoms vary in severity from slight weakness and numbness to paralysis that affects mobility, mostly in the lower extremities.
The current thinking, which is yet to be proved, is that the meat workers are being exposed to splatter and aerosol droplets of pig brain tissue created by the compressed air blast, which liquefies the tissue before expelling it from the pig skull. Once inhaled, small particles of pig brain tissue are then is attacked by the worker's immune system which uses antibodies that also attack the body's own almost identical human nerve tissue.
(Occup Environ Med 2007;64:849-855 doi:10.1136/oem.2006.030825)Results: A clear excess of mortality from septicaemia, subarachnoid haemorrhage, chronic nephritis, acute and subacute endocarditis, functional diseases of the heart, and decreased risk of mortality from pre-cerebral, cerebral artery stenosis were observed in meat workers when compared to the control group or to the US general population.
Conclusions: The authors hypothesise that zoonotic transmissible agents present in food animals and their products may be responsible for the occurrence of some cases of circulatory, neurological and other diseases in meat workers, and possibly in the general population exposed to these agents.
Wikipedia about zoonosis:
A zoonosis (pronounced /ˌzoʊ.əˈnoʊsɨs/) or zoonose is any infectious disease that can be transmitted (in some instances, by a vector) from non-human animals, both wild and domestic, to humans or from humans to non-human animals (the latter is sometimes called reverse zoonosis or anthroponosis). Of the 1415 pathogens known to affect humans, 61% are zoonotic. The emergence of a pathogen into a new host species is called disease invasion.
Emerging food-borne zoonoses
PMID: 15702717Diarrhoeal diseases, almost all of which are caused by food-borne or waterborne microbial pathogens, are leading causes of illness and death in less developed countries, killing an estimated 1.9 million people annually at the global level. Even in developed countries, it is estimated that up to one third of the population are affected by microbiological food-borne diseases each year. The majority of the pathogens causing this significant disease burden are now considered to be zoonotic. The occurrence of some of these zoonotic pathogens seems to have increased significantly over recent years. The factors involved in such increases have not been well studied, but they are generally agreed to include changes in animal production systems and in the food production chain. Both types of changes can cause corresponding changes in patterns of exposure to the pathogens and the susceptibility pattern of the human population. This paper will not attempt a more in-depth analysis of such factors. The authors briefly describe five of the most important emerging food-borne zoonotic pathogens: Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli, Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium parvum.