Monday , May 10 2021

The newly discovered pathogen in beef and cow's milk – for the first time the BfR

How dangerous are newly discovered pathogens in cow's milk and beef?

Newly discovered pathogens in beef and cow's milk products can lead to an increased risk of cancer, warns the German Center for Research on Cancer (DKFZ). Now the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) commented on the issue and made recommendations to address the new findings.

A little over two months ago, cancer research identified cow's milk and beef as a cause of cancerous tumors, and since then, the question of practical recommendations that consumers can draw from this is open. In a recent press release, the BFB assessed and recommended actions.

Veal, cow's milk and cow's milk products contain an unknown pathogen that can cause cancer. (Picture: Jenny Sturm /

BMMF causes inflammation

In February, the DKFZ published new findings on infectious agents known as "Beef and Meat Factors" (BMMF), stating that pathogens cause inflammation and thus an indirect link between consumption of different cattle and Occurrence of certain cancers in people. The new pathogen is found in cows 'milk, cows' dairy products and in the blood serum of healthy cattle.

Early Infection Infection?

According to DKFZ, BMMF is a type of pathogen, similar to viruses and bacteria. In view of the relationship with plasmids, they are now called "plasmids," explains BfR. First, on the basis of epidemiological observations, the DKFZ assumes that "consumption of dairy products and / or beef can lead to BMMF infection, especially in infancy due to immature immune systems." Infants with immature immune systems Infectious Cow milk with BMMF in their first year of life, so the assumption.

Insufficient data for clear statements

Together with the Max Rubner Institute (MRI), the BFF has already assessed the results of the DFAC. The statements for BMMF as a cancer risk factor are "due to insufficient data so far not possible", so the conclusion of the assessment. However, the supposed relationship between BMMF and the onset of cancer should be further investigated. With regard to nutrition, BfR and MRI recommend limiting meat consumption to a maximum of 600 grams per week, as epidemiological studies show a link between red and processed meat consumption and an increased risk of colon cancer.

Additional research is urgently needed

"On the other hand, according to the current state of knowledge, the consumption of cow's milk continues to be fully recommended," says BfR. On the other hand, the DKFZ advises children less than one year of age not to eat or feed cow's milk because they would otherwise be infected with the BMMF. The actual risk posed by newly discovered pathogens remains unclear and further research is currently under way. (Fp)

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