Carcinogenic Retrovirus Found in Eggs

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

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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%; 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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Waleed Alzuhair / Flickr

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%; 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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Waleed Alzuhair / Flickr

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 videos: EPIC Findings on LymphomaChicken Dioxins, Viruses, or Antibiotics?; and Poultry and Penis Cancer.

The retail egg survey is open access, so feel free to download it by clicking on the link in the Sources Cited section above.

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

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

18 responses to “Carcinogenic Retrovirus Found in Eggs

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  1. 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.




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    1. 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!!!




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    2. Raw egg eating is actually very prevalent, especially among body builders and other athletes. In the past many writers have warned that salmonella and biotin deficiency could result from eating raw eggs, the info about cancer causing viruses is not yet commonly known. I hope you’ll update as more evidence appears. Thanks!




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  2. 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.




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  3. It doesn’t matter whether or not there are endogenous retroviruses in chicken eggs or anything else. They are harmless. Retroviruses have long been known as passenger or associated viruses and do not kill the cells they infect. They are RNA viruses as opposed to DNA. No virus, either DNA or RNA is causal for cancer. Retroviruses have been known to cause tumors in chickens (Rous Chicken Virus) but they were never cancerous and not infectious to humans. Retroviruses are so small as to be almost invisible even in the electromicroscope. They were studied in the70’s as a catalyst for cancer in Nixons Cancer-Virus Program due to this property they had of living inside the cell without killing it. That program failed to prove they were carcinogenic to humans. Now though, corrupted science through the CDC blames them for cancer of the cervix and many say the SV40 virus, another RNA type, is causing all sorts of cancers w/o any evidence or studies… Science spokespeople always conflate these two virus types and/or forget to mention which virus, RNA, or DNA they’re talking about. That’s what happened when they claimed in 1984, w/o reproducible lab procedure, that HIV, a retrovirus, was the cause of total immune destruction…..hmmm never happened. Now most scientists use PCR to “isolate” viruses but they don’t say that this form of isolation can only detect minute fragments of what may or may not be a virus or microbe that may have been at the scene of the crime once. But that’s not isolation. Kochs Postulates is isolation.




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  4. I am wondering if there have been any studies done on the relationship between a plant-based diet and sarcoma cancer. I have only encountered information about Kaposi’s sarcoma on this website, but Kaposi’s is not a true sarcoma. Is there any research on cancers such as osteosarcoma, fibrosarcoma, or angiosarcoma? My doctor does not believe a plant-based diet can influence this cancer and that I should continue to include animal products as part of my diet, and I have nothing to prove him otherwise. Thank you.




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    1. Hi Helena: You can find all the info we have on cancer here. It doesn’t look like we have anything specific to sarcoma at the moment, but I will put in a topic request for you. I will also leave your question open for the other moderators to see. Hopefully one of our wonderful medical moderators will have something to add.




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  5. Hi Helena and Katie: this his Dr. Daniela Sozanski PhD in Natural Medicine and Moderator with Nutritionfacts. Just stumbled over your comments.
    First if I may, you should not have to convince your doctor of anything. It is ultimately your decision of the path you are taking.
    Second, there may not be particular articles on sarcoma, but there is an ample body of evidence that a whole plant based diet, with focused nutrition toward cancer, has the ability to strongly impact the following:
    1. Initiation, or the ability of the cells to mutate
    2. Multiplication, or the ability of cancers to grow
    3. Angiogenesis or the ability to create blood supply
    4. Survival, or the ability to switch off normal cell death
    5. Migration and invasion, or the ability to metastasize
    Think a protocol based on whole plants, in addition focus on curcumin, green tea, cruciferous vegetables, beets, garlic and onions and pomegranates; there is more focused natural medicine based intervention, but that needs a more in depth analysis case by case. I hope this helps. Daniela




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