Study links goose liver pate to rare disease

  1. Yet ANOTHER reason to not eat foie gras . . .

    AFP - Tuesday, June 19 11:16 am
    CHICAGO (AFP) - A protein found in foie gras can accelerate a potentially deadly disease process known as amyloidosis that occurs in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and tuberculosis, according to a study published Monday.

    The findings are based on preliminary experiments in mice and suggest for the first time that amyloidosis, like mad cow disease, might be transmissible.
    The researchers caution, however, that even if the findings hold true for humans, only people who are at high risk for diseases involving amyloidosis would be susceptible to infection.
    "Eating foie gras probably won't cause a disease in someone who isn't genetically predisposed to it," said Alan Solomon, the lead author on the paper, and a specialist in amyloid-related disorders at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine in Knoxville.
    But, "people with a family history of Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or other amyloid-associated diseases should avoid consuming foie gras and other foods that may be contaminated with fibrils."
    Amyloidosis is a disease process involving the deposit of normal or mutated proteins that have become misfolded. In this unstable state, such proteins form hair-like fibres or fibrils that are deposited into vital organs, like the heart, kidneys, liver, pancreas and brain.
    This process leads to organ failure and eventually death.
    In laboratory experiments, mice that had been genetically modified so they were prone to develop a specific type of amyloidosis were fed amyloid extracted from the foie gras -- a delicacy made from the livers of force-fed ducks.
    Within eight weeks, a majority of the mice developed extensive amyloid deposits in the liver, spleen, intestine and other organs.
    It took eight months for the same level of buildup to be seen in another batch of genetically-altered mice that were fed a regular diet, free of foie gras.
    The type of amyloid that the investigators found in the foie gras is not the same as the one that accumulates in the brains of Alzheimer's victims, said Solomon, a professor of medicine at the university's school of medicine.
    But it remains to be seen whether the AA amyloid found in foie gras could cross seed and trigger the production of these other proteins, he said Solomon.
    The study appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and was a collaborative effort between the Tennessee researchers and colleagues from Linkoping and Uppsala Universities in Sweden.

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  2. I meant the FIRST reason to not eat foie gras is that they treat the geese horribly. (Poor things are force fed!)

    If the force feeding thing doesn't worry you, the new study should.
  3. If you don't want to click on the links, foie gras means fat liver.

    Anyone see the movie Supersize Me? That guy in the movie decided to go for a month eating nothing but whatever's on the McDonald's menu and he has to supersize the meal if asked.

    During one of his checkups, his doctor informed him that his liver was at the consistancy of pate.

    He had a choice to eat those things and as an unfortunate side effect, his liver took on a pate like consistancy.

    Geese do not have a choice. To get their livers to that consistancy, they are force fed via tube 12-18 days before slaughter.
  4. I don't like any type of liver...and that's a great excuse to not start eating it!
  5. The process of foie gras is so evil and sad. Since there are animal cruelty laws, and the process done to these animals is indeed animal cruelty, why isn't it illegal? Some things just don't make sense.....
  6. I felt sick after watching the video on that site. Horrible.

    Purplekitty, I think because force feeding an animal is not illegal, that is how they get around it. I don't know how force feeding isn't considered cruelty to an animal... but apparently it is not? I think in Europe I was reading that no new places can begin foie gras production, but there are farms that specialized in making foie gras before those laws were passed and they're allowed to continue doing do. I might have some of that wrong, but that was my understanding from the little research I've done... it grosses me out so I try not to think about it, and researching makes me think about it!
  7. I could be wrong, but I thought I had read this years ago which turned me off of it, but sometimes they're force fed too much and their stomachs can burst. I can imagine this happening since corn has a tendency to expand when wet, and if the corn they're given is only partially cooked, there's room for it to to do this within their stomachs. My dad said once this pony got into a huge sack of corn, ate way too much, then the corn expanded after it was consumed and did so much damage, he died.

    Maybe it's a loophole? I think force feeding can be necessary if it's an ill animal or pet that needs the nutrition but not when it's more than the healthy limit. It's disgusting and I can't believe someone can actually grab a duck and inflict so much pain on them for such a miniscule commodity (or at all!). It's funny we have these animal cruelty laws and this doesn't fall under that.

    Maybe the scare of disease was fate so there can be a little more awareness toward this.