More Research Required on New Pathogens in Beef, Cow's Milk Products

GERMANY - According to the DKFZ, research has been carried out on cow's milk, cow's milk products and the blood serum of healthy cattle.
calendar icon 12 June 2019
clock icon 2 minute read

From scientific findings found up to this point, it seems likely that an indirect connection could be made between the consumption of various foods originating from cattle and the occurrence of several cancer types in humans.

According to the DKFZ, BMMF are a new pathogen similar in type to both viruses and bacteria. Because they are related to plasmids, they are currently being called "plasmidomes". As far as can be established by the DKFZ researchers, BMMF do not occur as "naked" genetic material but rather together with proteins.

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and Max Rubner-Institut (MRI) jointly conclude that an assessment of the possible risks posed by so-called BMMF as possible cancer risk factors has not been possible up to now due to the inadequate data situation. The presumed connection between the BMMF and the incidence of cancer in humans is to be further examined.

The DKFZ is assuming that infants whose immune systems have not yet fully matured become infected with BMMF during their first year of life through being supplementarily fed with cow's milk. They therefore conclude that infants should not be given cow's milk at too early an age.

In line with the latest available information regarding nutrition, the BfR and MRI agree with the following recommendation: On the basis of the epidemiological studies published up to now on the connection between the consumption of red and processed meat and an increased risk of colon cancer and in concurrence with the German Nutrition Society (DGE), it is recommended that meat consumption be limited to a maximum of 600 grams per week.

Contrary to this, the consumption of cow's milk without any restriction is still recommended in compliance with the latest available knowledge. Breastfeeding in order to prevent various diseases is also fundamentally advocated.

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