Special News Center
To counteract the snow job mostly being conducted by mainstream press about these issues, we've set up a little news center to collect current news and links from decent sources about what's happened, what's happening, and what's going to happen. Many of these articles contain facts that most mainstream press, in allegiance to industry and government, conveniently omits in order to maintain a more positive, light, public-relations slant.

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July 20, 2004

Pressure is mounting for a federal investigation into a possible second case of Mad Cow Disease in San Angelo, Texas. Two weeks ago, a cow staggered and collapsed at a Lone Star Beef slaughterhouse, and under federal law should have been tested for the deadly disease. According to government and industry sources, a federal inspector was in the process of taking a brain sample to test for the disease but was ordered to stop by the regional headquarters of the Texas Department of Agriculture. Instead, the cow was sent to a rendering plant to be made into animal food. According to Felicia Nestor, director of food safety at the Government Accountability Project, there have been several recent instances where government offices have attempted to keep inspectors from testing cows showing symptoms of Mad Cow Disease.


Selected good press
(not meat-industry-propaganda or
sales-protective optimism):

Mad Cow Disease in the United States

Agriculture Dept. Announces New Restrictions on Beef

The Politics of Cattle Slaughter

Paul Watson: The Mad Cowboy's Prediction Comes True

USDA Refused to Release Mad Cow Records

Mad Cow Found in Washington State

Supplements used in factory farming can spread disease

U.S. Loses 90 Percent of Beef Exports

8 Asian Nations Block U.S. Beef Imports

Mad Cow Disease, as printed in The Washington Times on January 2, 2004

Looking Harder at Mad Cow Risks, as printed in the
San Diego Union Tribune on January 2, 2004

Ex-Cattleman's Warning Was No Bum Steer
Rancher Raised Flag on Mad Cow Long Ago
Washington Post, Friday, January 2, 2004; Page C01




by Dr. Michael Greger, M.D.,
for Action for Animals.

.....Our government seems to be more interested in protecting cattle futures on the Chicago Merchantile exchange than it does in protecting human futures. In direct violation of the World Health Organization recommendations and international standards, billions of pounds of slaughterhouse waste is still legally fed to pigs and chickens in North America. According to the USDA, the most infectious tissues of the U.S. mad cow case--the brain, spinal cord, and intestines--"were removed from this animal and sent to rendering" to presumably become animal feed and pet food. D. Carleton Gajdusek was the first to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work on mad cow-like diseases. He was quoted on Dateline NBC as saying, "it's got to be in the pigs as well as the cattle. It's got to be passing through the chickens." Dr. Paul Brown, medical director for the US Public Health Service, believes that pigs and poultry could indeed be harboring mad cow disease and passing it on to humans, adding that pigs are especially sensitive to the disease. "It's speculation," he says, "but I am perfectly serious."
.....Although no pigs or chickens have been found with the disease, they are killed so young on American factory farms that they may not have time to develop symptoms. Pigs and chickens may also be so-called "silent carriers." Dr. Richard Race is a Senior Investigator with the National Institutes of Health. In 2001, he published a landmark paper showing that even species thought to be resistant to particular strains of prions could invisibly harbor the disease and pass it on to other animals. He also found that these deadly prions were somehow able to adapt to the new species, becoming even more lethal and replicating faster and faster. Mad cow disease has been described as the chernobyl of food safety issues. It lays to bear our brash willingness to place the public, rather than corporate profits, at risk, and the danger inherent in cows-or people-eating the flesh of other beings.
.....Any animal with a brain has the potential to become infected and presumably infectious with these deadly infectious sponge-like brain diseases. Although there are some cuts of beef that carry less risk than others, the safest type of meat... is a veggie burger. It's a no-brainer!

For more info, visit:
http://www.veganmd.com http://organicconsumers.org/madcow.htm

.....Mad Cow Disease has officially hit the United States. In Japan and Europe, every adult cow is tested for Mad Cow Disease at slaughter--before it enters the food chain. U.S. testing policies are quite a bit more relaxed.
.....Last year, while the European Union tested 10 million cattle for Mad Cow, the U.S. tested only 20,526 cows out of 35 million slaughtered. Since the Mad Cow Disease outbreak in the UK, which killed 143 people, the OCA and its allies have pressured the USDA to create standards that emulate those of Japan and the EU. Yet the USDA continues to resist. Speaking of the face hat Japan tests every single cow it butchers (1.2 million per year), Dr. DeHaven, the USDA's Chief Veterinarian, told the New York Times that the Japanese are doing too much testing.
.....Advocacy organizations are demanding that the U.S. government adopt and enforce mandatory testing for all cattle brought to slaughter, before they enter the food chain; and that they ban the feeding of blood, manure, and slaughterhouse waste to animals.

.....Since the news hit on December 23, the Agriculture Department promised to tighten defenses, including a ban on meat from all downer cows. Changes in slaughterhouse techniques to prevent meat from being contaminated with brain or spinal cord tissue are also supposedly in the works. It's more than a little late and it's not enough--and it's obviously only to save sales--but it's a start.

.....The USDA has made repeated statements that consumers need not worry, as the disease can only be spread to humans and other cows via ingestion of nervous system tissue from an infected cow, not muscle meat. Interestingly enough, the USDA did inspections of meat processing plants in 2002, and found that, due to current killing and mechanical meat extraction practices in U.S. slaughterhouses, a full 35 percent of beef is contaminated with nervous system tissue. Studies have shown that many processed meats, such as ground beef, salami, bologna and hot dogs, contain bits of the spinal column. Of course, T-bone steaks actually contain cow vertebrae and part of the spinal chord, so according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, these meats need to be avoided as well, since cooking the meat does not kill the disease. (The pathogen has been shown to survive temperatures high enough to melt lead.) Beef stock and beef flavoring also contain remnants of nervous system tissue, as they are typically made from boiling the skeletal remains of slaughtered animals. Boneless cuts can also be contaminated, in that the animal is cut in half with a chainsaw, down the spinal column, thereby contaminating the surrounding meat. A European study of animals slaughtered in this manner showed 100% contamination of meat. And besides all that, recent studies show that infectious agents DO show up in the muscle of the meat, and that BSE and other diseases can be transmitted through blood.

For more: http://organicconsumers.org/madcow/Greger122403.cfm


.....In 1997 the FDA banned certain practices of feeding rendered bovine meat to other cows, based on increased likelihood of spreading diseases. Yet, within the beef industry, it is still a common practice to feed animals blood, slaughterhouse wastes, and manure. On non-organic dairies it's a standard practice to wean calves from their mother's milk by feeding them bovine blood and later feeding slaughterhouse wastes, in order to maximize profits. The problem here is that the disease can also be found in the white blood cells. Adding to the problem, sick "downer" cows not deemed safe for human consumption are sent to rendering plants to make oils and animal protein products. It's estimated that 2-10% of downer cows have been tested in the U.S. Europe tests all downer cows and Japan tests all cows, period.

.....Of course, simply NOT EATING MEAT is always an option. Why depend on a profit-pinching industry and its public-relations promises when it's so much safer just not to eat its diseased dead animals? Not contributing to that industry is literally a breath of fresh air for the planet--and the breath of life for animals too.




Robyn Landis' Op-Ed in the Seattle P-I

P-I column also picked up by Common Dreams!

P-I column also picked up by Organic Consumers Association!

Question and Answer archives

Now's the time to read Mad Cowboy and Food Revolution if you haven't already.
See Featured Books page



spacExcerpt from PETA press release that explains why not eating meat is the best defense: (I think its only weakness is that it leaves out the part about feeding chicken and pig fecal matter and other livestock wastes to cows)
spac...Because the infected cow was raised for dairy production, she had lived long enough to show symptoms of the disease. Most cows, pigs, turkeys, and chickens, however, are killed before they turn 2 years old, and before they become symptomatic, so no one would know whether they were infected with the brain disease.
spacIt's possible that there is a mad chicken or mad pig disease, as any animal with a brain could potentially develop a variant of this diseas, which could then be transferable to people. We've had mad sheep, mad mink, and mad deer disease in North America for years.
spacMad cow disease was detected in British cows in the mid-1980s after infectious tissue from sheep was included in their feed. This led to a ban on feeding animals to animals in the United Kingdom, as well as to a ban on feeding any animal older than 30 months to human beings. Although the U.S. banned feeding ruminants to ruminants in 1997, the U.S. government said that as recently as 2001, there was widespread violation of the feeding regulation. It's even more worrisome that it is still legal to feed cow's blood to cows, to feed sheep and cows to pigs and chickens, and to feed pigs and chickens to one another and to cows, even though these practices have been banned in Europe out of fear that chickens, pigs, fish, or other animals might contract spongy brain diseases and pass them along to human beings.
spac"If you eat meat, you already have to worry about salmonella, E. coli, campylobacter, heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, and cancer, as well as your weight. Now, you can add mad cow, chicken, or pig disease to the list," says PETA Director of Vegan Outreach Bruce Friedrich. "The best way to ensure that you and your family won't get sick is to go vegetarian."

For more information, please visit GoVeg.com.


A list of Mad Cow articles can be found on the Organic Consumer's Association website: http://organicconsumers.org/madcow.htm

See BodyFueling.com Articles page for selected articles.

See Robyn Landis's op-ed on disgracefully sales-obsessed U.S. news coverage of Mad Cow disease. 
[in Seattle P-I]  [on BodyFueling.com]

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