Ground-breaking documentary on mad cow disease

Christine Lord launches her book at Southsea Library about the politics surrounding the death of her son Andrew who died from vCJD. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (143153-4)

A GROUND-BREAKING documentary about the human form of Mad Cow Disease (BSE) – co-produced by a Portsmouth journalist – will be included in London’s Royal Academy of Arts’ Summer Exhibition this year.

Cows, Cash & Cover-ups? Investigating vCJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease), explores calls for a criminal inquiry to be held to examine the handling of the BSE crisis by the government and authorities in the farming and food industries. The film also asks how Brexit could escalate food safety problems.

Award-winning Portsmouth investigative journalist Christine Lord acted as associate producer. Lord lost her only son Andrew Black to the human variant of the disease vCJD in 2007 when he was just 24 years old.

Lord published a book Who Killed My Son? and launched justiceforandy.com to expose how the disease took so many lives.

Ian Reddington, known for Outlander, EastEnders and Coronation Street, narrated the independent documentary.

The film will form part of artist Roger Hiorns’ work ‘A Retrospective View of the Pathway’ at the Royal Academy.

UK Film Review has awarded the documentary five stars out of five. The review said: ‘A vital, urgent and frightening raising of an issue that we should all make it our duty to know about.

‘This documentary should be televised on the grandest scale and its story shared with as wide an audience as possible.

‘Scary and upsetting, Cows, Cash & Cover-ups? Investigating vCJD is essential coverage of an important but under-discussed subject people would rather believe a tragedy of the past, than a fear of the future. The film is the first step into changing this mindset and is one hell of a powerful and well-researched achievement.’

Around one in every 2,000 people in the UK may carry vCJD proteins, according to a study published by the British Medical Journal. Long incubation periods for the disease mean that the true number of possible victims is unknown.

The Summer Exhibition is the world’s largest open submission art show and has been running without interruption since 1769.

The show runs from June 10 to August 12, 2019.

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