Saturday, July 30, 2005

Mad cow

Possible case of mad cow reported |
The government is investigating a possible new case of mad cow disease but says there is no threat to the U.S. food supply.

Testing indicated the possible presence of the disease in a cow that died on the farm where it lived, John Clifford, the Agriculture Department’s chief veterinarian, said Wednesday. The animal was burned and buried, the department said.

“It is important to note that this animal poses no threat to our food supply because it did not enter the human food or animal feed chains,” Clifford said.
How many cows can they find before the public stops believing the "we found the only infected cow" line? Asymptomatic cows can be infectious, at least in principle, so a cow that's found may be surrounded by dangerous cows, and may have eaten infected feed that also went to many other farms.

A while back, a Kansas meat packer wanted permission to test every cow, and the FDA (under pressure from the beef industry) refused permission.

The way mad cow develops is still unclear, so I have trouble assessing risk. I trust whole cuts, since I think nerve tissue, and lots of it, are probably what you're gonna get infected by. So I've switched to ground turkey and scaled back my beef eating over all.

Platitudes aren't going to make me more confident. Testing (almost) every cow will.