More Mad Cow in US?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by me_94501, Jun 30, 2004.

  1. Whigga Spitta macrumors 6502

    Apr 21, 2004
    Can you say Chi-City??
    not as concerned as me...
    i work for some one who trades the 'live cattle' commodity at the chicago mercantile exchange, and mad cow could turn a relaxing summer into hell on earth
  2. MacAztec macrumors 68040


    Oct 28, 2001
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Dont be scared of MadCow. Tell me, how many people have EVER died from it? In the whole world? I think its like 16 or 23 or something like that. I eat beef all the time and it never crosses my mind.
  3. me_94501 thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2003
    153. 10 outside of Britian.
  4. ziwi macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    Right back where I started...

    Maybe in 10 -15 years they will find out that mad cow in humans takes many forms - they know it is already the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans, but what if it takes different forms and affects the brain differently for different people - Alzheimers, Parkinsons to name a few - I wouldn't be surprised to see that link down the road. It is the beginning - all caused by greed.

    I need a bigger cow so I can make more money - let's feed it protien from other cows and animals to make it bigger - isn't a cow an herbivore - sure, but it doesn't know if we disguise the feed it gets.

    Next comes "crazy chicken", "psycho pig", "terrorist turkey", "fired-up fish", etc.

    And no the vegetarians are not safe either...

    Genetic engineering of vegetables to get more yields - what will the long term effect be on humans - the German Kid with the super strength? Who knows.

    using this microcosm as an example, apparently we are ultimately responsible for all of the problems that plague us.

    Theory over...
  5. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    these scares really, really hurt beef producers. i live in iowa so i see this firsthand-- lots of farmers very paranoid about another "outbreak". This wouldn't happen at all if beef processing facilities didn't use machine meat separation, which is how brain and spinal tissues wind up mixed with the meat itself. Even cows infected with mad cow are safe to eat, as long as they're prepared properly.

    So, hopefully there's not this big panic again. It's pointless. I'd be more worried about being killed by a freak hailstorm than contracting this from a steak or hamburger...

  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I always thought this was a good example of "common sense farming". You feed a herbivore the brains of another of it's kind to save a few bucks, and after a few decades of doing it something starts to go really wrong. Surprise, surprise.

    Still, statistically, your chance of getting mad cow disease, even if you actually eat infected beef, is pretty slim. A hundred or so people isn't a statistical anomaly, though, so there is a danger if you eat enough of the stuff.

    But what's perhaps more disturbing is that there is likely a lot of mad-cow infected (if you can really call a molecular disease an infection) cattle in the US, and the meat industry may just not want to test for it for fear of a scare. Even if it's only a tiny chance, I'd pay a bit more personally for meat I know won't give my kid a wasting disease--wouldn't you?

    A different perspective:

    I watch the Japanese news daily, and in Japan they're a lot more concerned about "clean" food than Americans apparently are. They used to import a huge amount of beef from the US because it is relatively cheap--used at fast food resteraunts and the like. After the first recorded incidence of mad cow in the US, the Japanese got very skittish about US beef. The Japanese government, under heavy pressure from the public, refused to allow the import of beef that wasn't tested for mad cow.

    The problem? The FDA and industry organizations responsible for overseeing the testing process refuses to let any exporter test all their cattle--only whatever "good enough" percentage is currently required to be tested. This hurt a lot--many inexpensive resteraunts in Japan, such as the famous "beef bowl" chains (beef strips on rice) literally had to completely reorganize their menus, because of the lack of inexpensive beef available for import. Some of the slack has been taken up by Australian ranchers, but apparently Australian beef tastes different enough that a lot of Japanese just don't like it for whatever reason.

    For months, the Japanese news has been reporting on this constantly, and they've run investigative stories where, for example, a cattle export company wanted to test all their animals, but they were indirectly threatened by a major organization (I think it was the FDA, though it could have been an industry organization) if they did so. They've also had several interviews with ranchers who had cattle die under very suspicious circumstances, but after testing were told "Nope, not mad cow disease, don't worry." "This isn't the first time this happened." was one rancher's comment.

    Could just be paranoia, but it seems awfully suspicious, particularly considering that the government of Japan seems more concerned with the health of its people than ours. What would the problem be with testing every animal? Yes, it'd be a bit more expensive, but not enough to make a huge difference (a few cents a pound) to anybody but the rich factory farm executives... unless there's a big chance of actually finding a whole lot of infected cattle, which would be disasterous.

    Personally, just in case, I stick to locally-ranched, non-antibiotic'd, free-range, grass-fed cattle. I can go watch 'em eat if I want, and it's a whole lot more humane to both the cow and the person eating it than those huge reeking factory farm "ranches" I drive by on the way to LA.
  7. takao macrumors 68040


    Dec 25, 2003
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    hm interesting are the numbers of BSE infected cows in germany after nation wide tests were made mandatory..

    2001 2.869.176 cows tested 125 positiv
    2002 3.030.542 tested 106 positiv
    2003 2.589.073 tested 54 positiv

    detections of the disease going back...
  8. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040


    Sep 13, 2003
    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    Lets put this into perspective...

    More people die EVERY YEAR in the US from lightning strikes that have died world wide EVER from TSE.

    Soy is murder! Eat more beef!
  9. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I'm not all that concerned. My faith is in our Agriculture Department to continue strict inspections. Personally I limit my intake of beef. You are taking chances just getting out of bed in the morning. Here in the Boston area we have had two instances of workers at restaurants with Hepatitis A, which is a highly infectious disease. As has been said it's very important to use common sense.
  10. jimjiminyjim macrumors 6502


    Feb 24, 2003
    If you don't eat beef because of BSE, then:
    -don't get in a vehicle
    -don't get in a plane
    -don't eat chicken (salmonella!)
    -don't drink water (e. coli!)

    The BSE scare is essentially two things:
    1. Overblown Media Coverage
    2. International Trade Political Games

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