Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Please don't buy the bull...

To put this BSE/CJD within a larger perspective, here's the latest from Stauber with Rampton, including what needs to be done:
    Fortunately, the steps which need to be taken are rather simple and understandable. We should ship U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman and her smartest advisors to Britain so they can study and copy the successful feed and testing regulations that have resolved the mad cow problem in Europe. Veneman and her advisors should institute a complete and total ban on feeding any slaughterhouse waste to livestock. You may think this ban is already in place, because that's what industry and government said they did back in the summer of 1997. But beside the cattle blood being legally fed back to cattle, billions of pounds of rendered fat, blood meal, meat and bone meal from pigs and poultry are rendered and fed to cattle, and cattle are rendered and fed to other food species, a perfect environment for spreading and amplifying mad cow disease and even for creating new strains of the disease.

    The feed rules that the United States must adopt can be summarized this way: human beings do not have to be vegetarians, but the animals we eat must be. The United States must also institute an immediate testing regime that will test millions of cattle, not just the 20,000 that were tested out of 35 million slaughtered in the past year in the United States. Japan now tests all cattle before consumption, and disease experts like Dr. Prusiner recommend this goal for the United States. And of course, no sick "downer" cows, barely able to move, should be fed to any humans. These are the type of animals most likely to be infected with mad cow and other ailments-although mad cows can also seem completely healthy at the time of slaughter, which is why testing all animals must be the goal.

    Unfortunately, Veneman and the Bush administration currently have no plans to do the right thing. The United States meat industry still believes that the millions of dollars in campaign contributions doled out over the years will continue to forestall the necessary regulations, and that soothing PR assurances will convince the consuming public that this is just some vegetarian fear-mongering conspiracy concocted by the media to sell organic food. Will the American public buy this bull? It has in the past. Much depends on journalists and what they are willing to swallow. It looks now as if papers such as the Wall Street Journal and New York Times are finally putting some good investigative reporting teams onto this issue, and that may undercut and expose PR ruses such as the USDA's "blame Canada campaign."
I'm waiting eagerly for those investigative reports. In the meantime, it's the health food store for us.

Then there's this damn good post about mad cow, agribiz and other stuff at the Anger Management Course( link thanks to Kevin at the american street) and from the Anger Management guys, here's the must-read website belonging to Dave Louthan, the guy who killed the cow testing positive for BSE over at Vern's in Washington state.

More food goodies, link again from the anger management people, is at bad things, who covers not only BSE but GM issues.

And the most current hot news is that there may be more than one form of BSE in cows.
    This may even lead to the identification of at least three types of BSE-like diseases in cattle. The research seems to point to a different form of the deformed and deadly prion protein thought linked to BSE from those suggested by Prof Collinge. British scientists have never found different types of BSE, but scientists such as Prof Collinge say this is because the government has never looked.
Although unconfirmed, now they're talking about at least three forms of BSE.