Tuesday, July 6


As expected (or, at least, predicted), both BSE tests from last week turned out to be false alarms. So the talking point now is that everything's fine on the Mad Cow front, and the only danger is in scaring the public with news of initial tests. But there are just a few other factors to take into consideration.

For one thing, it has just emerged that France had a Mad Cow epidemic for over a decade that went unnoticed due to arrogance and bad policy. UPI reports that "more than 300,000 cows" contracted BSE, with "almost 50,000 severely infected animals entering the food chain." The report by French researchers shows that "while French politicians blamed Britain for the emergence of the disease — and attempted to create a cordon by banning imports of British beef — they failed to adopt measures to prevent a hidden epidemic at home."

Boy, those goofy French, huh? Banning imports, but not adopting their own safety measures. Huh. Oh, by the way, while the USDA selectively bans imports of Canadian beef, our country's own anti-BSE measures, announced on Jan. 26 by the FDA, have still not been adopted. So "brains, spinal cords and other tissues known to harbor the highest concentrations of brain-destroying agents" are still going into foods, dietary supplements and cosmetics, as is material from downers; poultry litter collected in hen houses -- "typically comprising feces and contaminated feed" -- is still being eaten by cows; and cow blood is still being fed to calves. But that's all irrelevant, 'cause there's no more Mad Cow here to be spread around...

Or is there? According to Robert LaBudde, president a food industry consultancy in Virginia Beach, we'll probably see around 100 more cases of Mad Cow here - and half of those "will go undetected and passed on for human consumption." Only about half the cases will be detected because many animals will not show any symptoms, LaBudde said. This is based on the experience in Europe, where half the animals that test positive have no outward symptoms of infection, he added. Oh, please. Since when do we give any credence to anything coming out of Old Europe?

No comments: