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Carcinogenic Retrovirus Found in Eggs

Avian leukosis/sarcoma virus has been found in 14% of retail egg samples.

April 11, 2012 |
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Sources Cited

Acknowledgements

Image thanks to Waleed Alzuhair.

Transcript

To recap: Certain viruses commonly infect and cause a wide variety of cancers in chickens and turkeys destined for human consumption. They include the avian leukosis/sarcoma viruses, reticuloendotheliosis viruses, and Marek’s disease virus. The avian leukosis/sarcoma viruses and reticuloendotheliosis viruses are among the most potent cancer-causing agents known, and can induce cancer in poultry in a matter of days. This is what Marek’s looks like; you can see all the little tumors in the skin. It also can affect the chickens’ eyes.
What about people, though? Well, These viruses are found present in raw poultry products, including raw or inadequately cooked poultry meat and eggs meant for human consumption, as well as vaccines grown in eggs.
They cite a study in which researchers went looking for avian leucosis/sarcoma virus, a carcinogenic retrovirus in commercial eggs right off supermarket shelves and found 14% of egg samples from 20 randomly chosen New Orleans retail stores tested positive for the virus.
Thus, the general population is commonly exposed… It is therefore of great interest whether these agents also cause cancer in humans. We don’t know for sure, but This large study provides evidence that a human group with high exposure to poultry oncogenic viruses has increased risk of dying from several cancers.
Beyond just poultry workers, with regards to the general population, The public health implication that the excess occurrence of some of these cancers in these workers may be associated with exposure to oncogenic viruses is not trivial.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

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Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

But who eats raw eggs? It's probably more a problem of cross-contamination before they're cooked. See Total Recall. For info on viruses in poultry, see the last three days of videos: EPIC Findings on LymphomaChicken Dioxins, Viruses, or Antibiotics, and Poultry and Penis Cancer. And as always, there are hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects. The retail egg survey is open access, so feel free to download it by clicking on the link above in the Sources Cited section.

For some context, please check out my associated blog posts: Eating Green to Prevent CancerHow Tumors Use Meat to Grow, and Eggs, Cigarettes, and Atherosclerosis

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

    But who eats raw eggs? It’s probably more a problem of cross-contamination before they’re cooked. See Total Recall. For info on viruses in poultry, see the last three days of videos: EPIC Findings on Lymphoma, Chicken Dioxins, Viruses, or Antibiotics, and Poultry and Penis Cancer. And as always, there are hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects. The retail egg survey is open access, so feel free to download it by clicking on the link above in the Sources Cited section.

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/hemodynamic/ HemoDynamic

      The only solution. . . Plants!

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/chjones29/ chjones29

      I have been eating healthy for about 6 months due to a health scare. Then I recently found your site. It is totally amazing! I have learned so much. Thank you for the time and effort you put into this!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Warren-Case/648766204 Warren Case

      Raw eggs are used in mayo, french silk, and tom and jerries just to mention a few things.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/lui/ Lui

    Given this, should we be concerned about getting vaccinations?
    Do you know which vaccines use eggs?

    • JB

      MMR………..Measels, Mumps and Rubella Vaccine.

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Also, please check out my associated blog post: http://nutritionfacts.org/blog/2012/05/17/poultry-and-penis-cancer/!

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Please also check out my associated blog post, Poultry and Penis Cancer!

  • Suzanna Dodd

    If you’re concerned about vaccines, when you go for a flu shot or whatever type of vaccine you’re getting they are required to ask you if you are allergic to eggs. Those are the vaccines associated with fertilized chick embryos, I believe. Better to get your vaccines than to put the rest of the public at risk by not getting them, though.

  • Emiliano Lopez

    I throw raw eggs in my protein shakes :’(