Speaking of mad cows...
May 20, 2003 8:58 PM   Subscribe

Due to the prion nature of BSE, I'd imagine that is is one of the very few transmittable diseases that can actually appear in isolated cases without any outside source at all. But I'm not entirely sure about that.

So, it's possible that this case arose from some farmer's immensely bad luck and not from our incredible stupidity in feeding farm animals to each other.

In any case, I'm sure that will be a great comfort as all of our brains rot away.
posted by Mitrovarr at 9:17 PM on May 20, 2003

...promised to have beef for supper...

I've never understood this line of reasoning. "Look, I'm not dying - it must be safe!" The worst thing that anyone can do is assure the public that everything is OK when an investigation has just begun.
posted by letitrain at 9:25 PM on May 20, 2003

Hmmmm... being from Alberta, I can just see Klein saying this. I would expect nothing less from him.

Thanks for posting this... I'm not one to be paranoid, but this is a little too close to home, and it's good to be aware.
posted by chemgirl at 9:31 PM on May 20, 2003

Australian Beef producers say:

"Ha ha!"

(as they light another cigar with a flaming $100 bill)
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:29 PM on May 20, 2003

I'm no veggie or person who frets about additives etc, but I won't feed beefburgers to my kids now. The Uk government were telling people that BSE couldn't cross the species barrier for years until it was proven that it can, and has done.

And I might stop buying chicken after reading today's lovely report in the Guardian which states that "Food processors have been caught on video boasting that they have developed undetectable methods of adulterating the chicken that goes into hospitals, schools and restaurants with cheap beef waste and water.... It admits it does not test its beef for BSE".
posted by Pericles at 1:00 AM on May 21, 2003

What's more worying is the lack of concensus here - this tiny piece from yesterday's Guardian. (Scroll down a little). I can't find any more detail, but it does seem to underpin what Pericles said; scientists remain clueless until hit by a clue-stick.
posted by punilux at 1:33 AM on May 21, 2003

promising to have beef for supper is better than stuffing a burger down you kids throat as Gummer did to show its harmlessness...
posted by couch at 2:54 AM on May 21, 2003

I've never actually seen any evidence that BSE crosses over to vCJD. As was pointed out above, it's prion related, so I don't see why the same thing that started it all off in cows can't be what's started it in us. Forget the cows, what if we are getting it from the same place they are?

Besides, this all ignores the fact that it all started in sheep anyway. Nice rack of lamb anyone?

I'm 26 years old. I've eaten meat of all grades and all levels of carbonisation for my entire life. If I'm going to get it, I'm going to get it. You can't stop every thing.

There are always going to be illnesses. Everytime we beat one another turns up, normally worse than the one before. Forget about it. Enjoy life. If it gets you, enjoy your life until it gets too bad and then take the Swiss pills. You've still lived longer than you would have 200 years ago.

[Spot todays happy camper...]
posted by twine42 at 2:57 AM on May 21, 2003

Australian Beef producers say:
"Ha ha!"
(as they light another cigar with a flaming $100 bill)

aussie dollars are now worth less than matches then?
posted by biffa at 3:30 AM on May 21, 2003

...and wouldn't aussie dollars melt rather than burn?
posted by vbfg at 4:25 AM on May 21, 2003

Call me ignorant, but how many documented cases are there of people contracting BSE from eating beef from infected cattle?
posted by alumshubby at 5:51 AM on May 21, 2003

The funny part is that the Rolling Stones are a bigger threat to Canada, and they're paying them to come. What other band has shown up there, seduced the Prime Minister's wife and seen their guitarist busted with coke and smack, then gotten off by playing a benefit show for disabled children?

Time forgives all, I guess.

posted by trondant at 6:13 AM on May 21, 2003

I've been eating hamburgers all my life, so I'm doomed anyway.
posted by agregoli at 7:03 AM on May 21, 2003

Hey, I've got an idea-any maybe it's a little simplistic. But maybe we can cut down on mad cow by stop feeling cut up animal parts to cows!! Wow...amazing logic.
They're not meat eaters anyway.
posted by aacheson at 8:21 AM on May 21, 2003

Agreed. Ditto feeding ground up fish to farmed fish.
posted by twine42 at 8:52 AM on May 21, 2003

Isn't that a little different only in that some fish eat other fish?
posted by agregoli at 8:52 AM on May 21, 2003

Well, Australian beef producers would be saying "ha! ha!" if they had any damned cattle left after the drought. We don't have a cow, man.
posted by GrahamVM at 8:56 AM on May 21, 2003

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