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Weapons of Calf Destruction
December 24, 2003 8:30 AM   Subscribe

"I guess any self-respecting rancher would have shot, shoveled and shut up, but he didn't do that". An annoyed Premier of Alberta Ralph Klein was quoted saying this on Sept 17th, 2003 at a weekend meeting of U.S. governors and western Canadian premiers in response to the discovery of one case of mad-cow found in his province.
Fast forward to today: USDA refused to release mad cow records , United Press has been requesting these documents since July 10th, 2003 and has been continually stonewalled as recently as Dec 17th ,2003. Especially troubling is the question of where the Canadian mad-cow possibly originated.
posted by CrazyJub (25 comments total)

 
Needless to say, I'm still having beef for Xmas, and I agree with our Canadian government keeping the border open to US beef while this is worked out.
posted by CrazyJub at 8:33 AM on December 24, 2003


Parts of the cow in question may already have been turned into chickenfeed.

Don't worry, the next line says BSE can't be transmitted to humans that way. Now if you will excuse me, I have a nice pork roast to deal with.
posted by ilsa at 8:57 AM on December 24, 2003


And for people who want to read more about Mad Cows....
Disinfo has a bunch of links
posted by rough ashlar at 8:59 AM on December 24, 2003


Don't worry, the next line says BSE can't be transmitted to humans that way.

Don't know if you're being sardonic, ilsa - the exact quote is rather different - "but the disease has not been shown to be transmissible in this manner, said W. Ron DeHaven, deputy administrator and chief veterinary officer at the USDA."

The disease "had not been shown to be" present in the US as of yesterday, but that didn't mean it wasn't in the US. Second, please take with a grain of salt any "safety" pronouncement from the USDA, as I pointed out in the other Mad Cow thread (really, I love seeing this get attention, but did we need two separate threads?).
posted by soyjoy at 9:11 AM on December 24, 2003


Well one was about the BSE discovery, and this one is about a potential discovery 6 months ago.

Do they deserve two threads? Yup, they are two different issues.
posted by CrazyJub at 9:32 AM on December 24, 2003


Moo! Moo!

MOO! moo! MOO! moo!

Moo!
posted by troutfishing at 10:27 AM on December 24, 2003


Beef - It's what's for dinner.
posted by troutfishing at 10:28 AM on December 24, 2003


Hey, but you can pick up premium turkeys real cheap from the Gov'ment officials who are changing their Christmas Dinners to beef just to show the Public it's safe...
</cynicism>
posted by wendell at 11:31 AM on December 24, 2003


"but the disease has not been shown to be transmissible in this manner, said W. Ron DeHaven, deputy administrator and chief veterinary officer at the USDA."

I share a wariness for this statement. It reminds me too much of the kind of "Well, Saddam has not proven he doesn't have any WMDs" kind of logic. Thalidomide had not been shown to cause problems before... it caused all kinds of problems.

I read a Wendell Berry essay weston had posted and tend to think he expresses the problem with the "has not shown to be" line of thinking well.
posted by namespan at 11:38 AM on December 24, 2003


Lots of you have probably already read it, but if you haven't I can not recommend enough Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation.

If you read the book, you knew that it was just a matter of time before the US had its own BSE problem.
posted by jpoulos at 12:20 PM on December 24, 2003


Hm. My local paper today has a front page article on some mad cow discovered in Washington. Timely.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:33 PM on December 24, 2003


If you read the book, you knew that it was just a matter of time before the US had its own BSE problem.

You needed a whole book to come to know that? The entire food chain is corrupted by the "Its cheaper if we do it this way" approach to food production.

I'm vegan and still, I can't with all due dilligance avoid all the shit thats found in foodstuff. Its just that pervasive.
posted by Fupped Duck at 1:03 PM on December 24, 2003


This is probably the most appropriate time to mention that CheapAss games sells Unexploded Cow, a card game in which you have BSE-infected cows and unexploded bombs in France. Brilliant mind that you are, you see a way to solve two problems at one time.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:49 PM on December 24, 2003


Congress Scuttled Meat Protection Measure
posted by homunculus at 11:48 AM on December 25, 2003


Here's something that was just leaked from the Center for Disease Prevention and Spin Control, Bovine Spongiform Paranoia Division:

Next Monday, they're going to raise the alert level to "Medium Well".
posted by wendell at 5:28 PM on December 25, 2003


The Agriculture Department estimates that 130,000 downed animals that are too injured or sick to stand or walk unassisted are slaughtered every year. About 36 million cows are slaughtered each year in the United States.

The provision, which started through the legislative process as an amendment to an agriculture spending bill, would have effectively prohibited the sale of livestock too sick or injured to stand or walk unassisted.


I think that if I lived in the USA, and were informed of the above two paragraphs, I would have to quit eating meat. It just can't be trusted to be safe.

I don't want to know what passes for meat standards in Canada, otherwise I'll have to sell the BBQ. Sigh.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:34 AM on December 26, 2003


If you think the USDA pronouncement that "all the infectious parts of the animal were removed" can be trusted, Michael Greger will change your mind. This is some seriously messed-up shit.
posted by soyjoy at 11:45 PM on December 26, 2003


And now the USA is accusing Canada as the source for the cow. Riiiiight.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:10 AM on December 27, 2003


Every time they repeat that meat is safe to eat, I'm reminded of the EPA and air quality here in NY on and around and since 9/11. It's impossible to believe any of them. It would be interesting to see how much beef lobbyists have contributed to this administration.
posted by amberglow at 11:56 AM on December 27, 2003


And the Canadians are trying to imply that the US was the source of their mad cow. Riiiiiiiight.
posted by shoos at 8:19 PM on December 27, 2003


And Mad Cow can ever be counted out in one country or another. Riiiiiiiiight.

Notice that at the beginning of the crucial Monday stock market, this will be the story line - cow was from Canada, so absolutely no problem for U.S. - that's current, whether it later proves to be true or not. Nice tapdancing.
posted by soyjoy at 9:16 PM on December 27, 2003


U.S. Mad Cow Link Questioned in Creutzfeldt-Jakob Cases
posted by amberglow at 12:11 PM on December 28, 2003


Latest headlines on CNN say that there's no risk at all to consumers.

Which is, of course, why import beef was banned when Canada had its single case.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:46 PM on December 28, 2003


I nearly got sideswiped by this dude going over 100 mph today.
posted by shoos at 3:31 PM on December 29, 2003


Cow Parts Used in Candles, Soaps Recalled
Cow parts - including hooves, bones, fat and innards - are used in everything from hand cream and antifreeze, to poultry feed and gardening soils.

In the next tangled phase of the mad cow investigation, federal inspectors are concentrating on byproducts from the tainted Holstein, which might have gone to a half-dozen distributors in the Northwest...

posted by amberglow at 3:54 PM on December 29, 2003


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