Tom Sykes reviews the true story of fellow journalist Christine Lord’s terrifying and tragic ordeal, the loss of her son Andrew, diagnosed with variant CJD, or human BSE.
Losing a child is every mother’s worst nightmare. For NUJ member Christine Lord, the nightmare was compounded by the fact that her son Andrew died aged just 24 of VcJD, the human variant of BSE (“mad cow disease”).
Who Killed My Son? is Christine’s riveting account of her six-year investigation into Andrew’s death and the broader issue of how BSE passed from animals to humans during the 1980s. She discovered that the public had been lied to time and again, that vital scientific evidence had been repressed and that government inquiries had been misled.
This was a scandal that went right to the top of British politics, industry and agriculture. Furthermore, VcJD remains a huge risk today because millions were exposed at the time and the incubation period is long. While researching the book, Christine received a number of threats to her safety, but was not deterred from seeking out the truth.
Who Killed My Son? is at once a page-turning thriller and an urgent piece of investigative journalism that should be read by anyone who cares about the food they eat, the politicians they elect and the experts they place their trust in.
You can find out more about Christine Lord’s ongoing campaign for justice for Andrew here.
(This review was originally published in The Journalist)
Photography by Sarah Cheverton.