Posted by: Didapper PJ11 JUN 2009
I recently wrote a brief piece about the possibility that eating pâté de fois gras may lead to brain damage similar to that produced by prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Soon after the appearance of the piece in The Journal, the editor received a couple of enquiries about the source of my information, which I had not been able to squeeze into the space available.
I responded immediately, but if anyone else is interested, the story came from a EurekAlert! release, which summarises a recent article in the International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health. The article is by Michael Greger (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the journal is published by Inderscience Publishers.
After being given this information, one correspondent wrote again to explain that he had needed the reference to pass to the GP of one of his patients, who is a possible candidate (the patient, that is, not the GP). He says that the patient has so far defied diagnosis but has had a rapid onset of disseminated autoimmune problems — and she is known to eat pâté de foie gras regularly two or three times a week.
The correspondent also suggests that the French, as major practitioners of gavage (as the production of foie gras is known), may not be keen on the story. He envisages Lambeth High Street blocked by hundreds of protesting French farmers, in their little three-wheel camionnettes, demanding withdrawal of the article and compensation.