Mad Cow USA
December 30, 2003 2:28 PM   Subscribe

After reading that beef has been recalled from my local grocery store, I spent some time reading Mad Cow USA a book written back in 1997 but not widely published because of fears of repercussions under the Texas food disparagement act. AlterNet has an article written by one of the book's authors summarizing some of the key points of the book. Some claim that only ground beef is infected, while others claim that's bull. has a lot of good information on the topic, and it seems the powers that be are going to blame Canada.
posted by woil (14 comments total)
woil, that last link (FindLaw) is a good one, but a lot of it is already superseded:The U.S. has just banned Downer cows from the food supply, which conveniently means no more downer cows need to be tested.
posted by soyjoy at 2:43 PM on December 30, 2003

Just a need for clarification: what's the definition of downer cow ?

a) a cow that can't stand on her legs so it's slaugheted, regardless of the reason of her inability to stand

b) a MCD infected cow ?

If a) is the definition, not allowing downer cow in production chain could be just the tip of the iceberg, as maybe cows still on their legs may still be infected, yet not sick enough and still standing.
posted by elpapacito at 3:30 PM on December 30, 2003

elpapacito: excellent observation. One would think the USDA would be able to reach the same conclusion.
posted by bshort at 3:34 PM on December 30, 2003

there's a texas food disparagement act, but no texan citizen disparagement act?
posted by quonsar at 4:08 PM on December 30, 2003

--Prohibiting air injection stunning of cattle, a pre-slaughter practice that can disperse brain tissue

Mmm, i'm hungry.

who wants hamburgers?
posted by shadow45 at 4:39 PM on December 30, 2003

Asisso often the case,scienehad a way to avoid Mad Cow Disease and the govtignored it! for which, see
posted by Postroad at 5:13 PM on December 30, 2003

After reading halfway through the Mad Cow USA book,...
I've decided that I am never ever going to eat meat ever again.
posted by yeoz at 6:24 PM on December 30, 2003

postrad : Im not clear how this 'treatment' method is of any value. heat and pressure turn meat into not so tasty paste. In addition the whole protein does not have to be in tact to cause prion disease. i wrote a reply elsewhere about prions. Take a look.
posted by MrLint at 6:28 PM on December 30, 2003

I'm reading the book linked in the topic. Interesting, indeed. Oh and if you think it's a boring read (quite the contrary it's enjoyable) you may just want to know

"the HighLanders ..customary greeting was a standing embrace in which both men and women handled each others genitals".

Yeah you learn the wickest things by reading. Wanna know more ? Read book.
posted by elpapacito at 7:21 PM on December 30, 2003

We'd strongly prefer you not discuss it.

(and if you do, it'll only cost you a million bucks)
posted by namespan at 7:22 PM on December 30, 2003 has a lot of good information on the topic

True - I looked for, and found, the 1999 study that led all reasonable neurological scientists to acknowledge the BSE-nvCJD link as proven (which the beef industry's friends are now claiming it's not) - but that page only goes up to April 2001. After that it was handed off to Michael Greger. The current page of Mad Cow news is here. Some might call the style "overkill," but that's appropos, because, well, so is Mad Cow.
posted by soyjoy at 8:56 PM on December 30, 2003

"the HighLanders ..customary greeting was a standing embrace in which both men and women handled each others genitals".

So, that's why he's called Sgt. Serenity.
posted by y2karl at 9:05 PM on December 30, 2003

As I understand there have been bills (or parts of bills) in Congress the past two years designed to remedy the loopholes that allowed mad cow to get into the food supply but special interests and the politicians they own prevented them becoming law.
Anyone got links? I want names!
Why won't the media give us names of those politicians complicit in allowing this to happen?
Whoring for an industry should make front page news in this situation!
posted by nofundy at 5:24 AM on December 31, 2003

The author of the CNN article is playing a titch loose with her facts: DNA testing is still under way to confirm that the cow came from Canada. That said, I'm not seeing as much of a 'blame canada' attitude coming from US officials this time around (unlike last spring). Realizing that the production and markets are tightly integrated, and that their own policies have failed to protect the food supply from the incredibly small risk that MCD presents to humans, the US officials have taken steps to change their own ways instead of just finger pointing. Sure, there's national embarassment for Canada should the cow indeed have come from Canada, but at least we are seeing more cooperation than recrimination, and that's heartening.
posted by holycola at 10:12 AM on January 2, 2004

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