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USP Backing Bastian


September 5, 2019

Dr. Frank Bastian, formerly of the Louisiana State University (LSU), has promoted a theory since about 2003 that Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is caused by spiroplasma bacteria. Nearly every other researcher has determined that CWD is caused by misfolded prions, which are protein materials. According to Dr. James Kroll and others, Bastian's theory has been discredited because no other researcher has been able to replicate Bastian's findings. Because of his controversial theory, Bastian lost his privilege to do research at LSU.

The Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania (USP) is one of the only sportsmen's organizations in Pennsylvania that has opposed the draconian deer decimation policy of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The USP has earned the respect of Pennsylvania's deer hunters because of its work. The USP, along with the Allegheny County Sportsmen's League, is concerned with controlling CWD and threw its support behind Bastian and his research last spring. Despite Bastian's research's having been discredited, the USP is still backing him.

In June, after Bastian lost his privileges at LSU, the USP began a partnership with him to help organize a CWD research lab in Louisiana called the Bastian Laboratory for Neurological Research. The new lab is located at the Advanced Materials Research Institute at the University of New Orleans. According to the summer issue of "Pennsylvania Woods & Waters," USP's newsletter, the project is now operated as part of the North American CWD Project and is directed by respected wildlife researcher John Eveland. "Unified is proud to be a founding partner in this project and is playing a vital role in providing funding for the operation of the lab."

According to "Pennsylvania Woods and Waters," Bastian already has a "lab assistant and will soon be working with other universities toward controlling CWD, other neurological diseases of animals and livestock, and especially humans, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and Alzheimer's disease."

The research's first goal remains to create a diagnostic kit for hunters to test harvested deer in the field for CWD. Later, Bastian's research is to design a test for live animals so that deer farmers can weed out infected deer without having to slaughter their entire herd. In a second year, they "hope to develop an injectable vaccine to be followed by an oral vaccine for free-ranging deer."

These projects are to be field-tested and first applied in Pennsylvania as demonstration projects.

All of this is "pending adequate funding," which USP is working to obtain.

The USP believes this is a history-making project, despite Bastian's research's having failed to be confirmed by other scientists.


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