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Commentary :: Environment
Be careful what you eat
30 Dec 2003
Question of the day...given how the cow is worth many many tens of billions a year, and over time is truly the trillion dollar cow, could it be the case that the government would be adhering to the highest ethical standards, you know, and not making judgments driven by such tawdry concerns as 'the economy' when establishing the mad cow policy for the nation......Well it seems pretty damned unlikely ...
have a nice day...



some links to previous material...

Common practice for Ranchers to hide Mad Cow disease ... Alberta's Ralph Klein summarized the official position on Mad Cow Disease as being 'shoot, shovel, and shut up' (in otherwords the saying 'we haven't had any mad cow disease' is meaningless, since the mad cows are shot and then buried secretly on the ranch...the official policy of the American government is that Mad Cow disease is not one of the disease which has mandatory reporting requirements which makes the practice Klein described perfectly legal, and also explains why 'we have no mad cow disease reported here' (which means nothing by the way, given the way things work)...

Mad Cow USA? ... links and commentary on the distortions which actually make up the official 'mad cow policy'...for example it is a distortion to state that 'we don't feed dead cows to other cows' when actually it is legal to feed a dead cow to a deer and then feed the road killed deer to a cow, which is probably how the disease escaped into the wild resutling in a continent wide epidemic of deer, elk, and bison with mad cow disease...as well calves are weaned on cows blood from the slaughter houses and various other practices (treating vegetarian animals as carnivores) continue to be legal)...hats off to the PRWatch site and their excellent work on this issue over many, many years...

First report of a Canadian death of Mad Cow disease...mad cow disease in humans can masquerade as 'Alzheimers' or even 'Early Onset Alzheimers' in the case of young people...since only a brain autopsy after death can really diagnose the difference between the two the new policy of the Alzheimer's association is to encourage families to have autopsies done after death to determine the difference...

Mad Deer Disease - Wisconsin to 'kill every deer' in South Western part of the state ... after years of baiting deer with ground up dead cow waste from slaughter houses, the mad deer now require shooting since the prions persist in the environment...the practice of feeding deer dead cows as well as ground up road killed deer, was started as states battled for the reputation as having deer with the largest antlers, thus winning the hunter's dollar...

First American death of mad cow reported ... posted on the Portland site in September, 2003, not so long ago...


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Re: Be careful what you eat
30 Dec 2003
The following are some quotes from an article by Maria Tomchik, which appeared on Z=Net today...

Happy New Years: And Be Careful What You Eat

"The Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture -- keep telling us that they're doing a good job of protecting us from the ravages of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) ... it takes about 5-7 years for symptoms of BSE to appear in an infected cow ... dairy farms are sending their abused, used-up, broken-down cows off to the slaughterhouse at younger and younger ages...A ban on butchering downer cows (animals that stagger, can't walk, or exhibit other signs of BSE) will make no difference, either ... unless we want to quarantine and test all young cattle sent to slaughter or ban all animals younger than 7 years old ... "Experts" like to remind us that there have been no confirmed cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (the human form of spongiform encephalopathy) in the United States ... the only way to test for it is by removing brain tissue and examining it under a microscope after the patient has already died. Autopsies are never performed ... the fear of catching the disease from infected brain tissue ... is too great to risk ... we're supposed to rest easy with assurances that the brain and spinal cord of the Mabton cow were "ripped" out of the cow's carcass ... The machine routinely leaves behind spinal cord tissue ... the USDA admits that to be the case. One-third of the hamburger, lunch meat, sausage, and processed ground meat ... contains spinal cord tissue in it ... But "muscle cuts" are supposed to be safe, they tell us. Steaks and roasts are supposedly free of any traces of BSE. Yet a man in Britain recently died from CJD that he contracted from a blood transfusion ... if it's in the British human blood supply, why wouldn't it be in the blood of infected cattle, and in steaks and roasts? ... imple, extremely durable protein that can't be killed by freezing or extreme heat. Researchers have put prions into autoclaves to try and kill them, but they survived. So the slaughterhouse process of rendering ... isn't enough to kill prions. When the USDA tells us that the brain and spinal cord of the Mabton cow were rendered down for use in cosmetics or feed for pigs, chickens, and pets, they're just not telling us that the prions may still enter the human food chain ... organic farms often use fertilizer made with chicken manure, and many organic packaged fertilizers for home gardens have chicken manure in them ... the Mabton cow's carcass passed through the system, was processed for food, sent to distributors and grocery stores, and was almost certainly cooked and eaten before the results of its BSE tests were completed and announced to the public. That's how our mechanized, inhuman, corporate, non-regulated food supply system works."

The full article on the Znet site

Not mentioned in the article but also of interest is the experiments done years ago which demonstrated that the prions that cause mad cow disease persist in the environment. Even years later an animal can become infected just by being placed into a previously infected environment. It was research like this that led to such events as the Yellowstone BSE infected Bison shoot (what happened was that Bison were wandering outside the boundaries of the park and the fear that they would contaminate the environment of cattle ranches with BSE was so great they began gunning down the wandering Bison herds to save the cattle). Where I live the Elk ranching industry has been devastated by rampant BSE infections in the ranched Elk herds. BSE is loose in the wild and last year led Wisconsin to start a program which was supposed to kill every single deer in the entire south western corner of the state (but you know, even those few deer that escaped the dragnet would be enough to perpetuate the spread of BSE throughout the deer, elk an bison herds of North America. What is really remarkable here is that although BSE is a really big problem for deer, elk, and bison, animals which in the wild live long enough to show symptoms, by a great miracle the cow has escaped the ravages of the disease, a truly remarkable feat, well, except for those couple of cows that slipped through the cracks, but no doubt that was either just a Canadian problem, and not an American problem, or it was just a really unlikely event that took place those two times and will never happen again, given how safe all our cows are (mosts cows dying by the age of three, and thus, thankfully, we 'have no mad cows here' because they get eaten before they can display symptoms...the Madson cow was seven years old, which explains how it came to be staggering around, and discovered to have mad cow disease, but that doesn't explain how it got ground into hamburger and various other products...

One thing to keep in mind here is that the North American cow is, over time, the TRILLION dollar cow. That would be Trillion with a 'T' and not Billion with a 'b'. Cattle are the prop that keeps modern agriculture from collapsing under the weight of its own enormous production. Cattle return about one gram of protein for every 50 to 100 grams they consume, so sending most of the worlds grain products through a cow, while it makes good economic sense, from the marketing point of view, by making a market for all those grain and corn and soy bean products that flood world markets every year, it does not make good nutritional sense to first send a hundred grams of protein through the belly of a cow so that cow can give back one gram of protein, not to mention that hardening of the arteries and other disabilities found in people that live in high cow consumption countries, while being almost unheard of in countries where people can't afford the cow consumption life style like they do here. Meanwhile even the cow can't keep up with the enormous productive capacity of modern agriculture, and thus we find prices falling, and subsidies kicking in to keep every thing afloat, and governments wrangling at such conferences as that of the WTO (where the Americans hypocritically wanted to open up dumping ground markets for all the big piles of agriculture production they can't sell on the glutted world markets, since all the people who can afford the expense of sending all the world's food through a cow before eating it, are already doing so, and those who aren't can't afford it, so what this means is that we can get rid of the growing crisis of surplus commodities and over production of food by birthing and fattening more cows, because the world is all cowed up already. The cow is already worth many tens of billions of dollars a year, being the fast food of choice, along with the chicken, which as the years go by and the decades go by make that cow worth trillions, which explains why even though a horrible threat like BSE exists the official policy remains, in the words of Alberta's premier, Ralph Klein, that one should deal with mad cows by employing the 'shoot, shovel, and shut up' practice (or risk bringing down the whole modern agricultural system, which depends on that cow eating heavily, otherwise, bad as things are now, with that cow sticking the world with fifty to one hundred times as much uneaten grain products as is currently the case, well I don't need to tell you what a disaster that could be (in economic terms). So when you think about the trillions tied up in that cow, you can understand how a 'reasonable' person might conclude that, really, so some people are going to eat a mad cow burger and drop dead, but that's a risk we just have to take...Now personally, I feel that if people are very informed about all the mad deer, for example, and they decide well they will hunt and eat a deer and just take their chances, well that's their risk they took. It is typical when human mad cow cases are reported to blame them on venison, or up here there is this suggestion that it came from those Bison burgers that became all the rage at the EX. You take your chances, and I suppose there are still people willing to hunt deer in South West Wisconsin, in fact I read an interview with those deer hunters and they had decided to go for it, which I found unbelievable, but like I said, it was an informed choice. Unfortunately, because of the trillions of dollars all tied up in that cow, the consumer cannot make an informed choice about that cow, being disinformed after all, thus when a consumer eats a mad burger or picks up a mad dog with mustard, someone else made the choice that they would take that risk for them, which of course they would then not perceive as being a risk at all, since we don't have mad cows here, well except for those two elderly cows that showed symptoms. All our young cows that everyone is eating, well no one has ever seen a mad cow around here, right, which isn't surprising by the way, and as long as no cow is allowed to live longer than four years, maybe no one will ever see a mad cow around here again. Mad deer, elk and bison, are everywhere, but fortunately for us, there are no mad cows here...

And if you believe that one, perhaps I can interest you in buying on of local bridges...I also have a few interesting emails from Nigeria you might be interested in reading (Nigeria now leading the world not only in the billion dollar email scam racket (believe it or not) but according to the 700 hundred club television show, they are now raising the dead in Nigeria using Bible powers, something that could come in handy around here, you know, given the ways things are....)

What we have here is the most short sighted so called 'mad cow policy' in the world...the way it works is like this...we eat all our mad cows while they are to young for anyone to know they have mad cow, and the old ones get secretly shot on buried on the ranch

remarkably short sighted and potentially costly mistake in policy, you know save a dime to lose a dollar sort of deal...kind of like that 'no climate change policy' climate change policy we have, you know, the one where we'll just deal with that lost beach front property, or that desert or swamp, depending on how things turn out, well we'll deal with that when it becomes an emergency problem...we'll also deal with our disappearing glaciers in about ten or twenty years, which is real soon in the great scheme of things by the way, when our lakes and rivers dry up on us....as for those mad cows well we will just keep eating the young ones and hiding the old ones... think of the trillions that will be saved...unless people find out , of course, but they'll never find out...what me worry

have a nice day...



are vegetarians safe?
30 Dec 2003
time to explode another myth

according to an interview with John Stauber (Mad Cow USA author) you would be surprised where the rendered cow parts wind up

for example if you take a headache caplet or any other pill in caplet form...rendered cow product...as Stauber points out just avoiding the cow is not a solution due to the long listing of products that rendered cow waste actually winds up being included in as an ingredient...its to wide spread to be avoided by even vegetarians...

the interview is here
http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=36&ItemID=4756
John Stauber
30 Dec 2003
Mad Cow USA: The Nightmare Begins

By John Stauber
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17466

Those who did read "Mad Cow USA" when it was published in November, 1997, however, realized that the United States assurances of safety were based on public relations and public deception, not science or adequate regulatory safeguards.
big meat
30 Dec 2003
Inside Big Meat
http://www.counterpunch.com/stclair12302003.html

IBP spent $150,000 to start up the "Safeguarding Our Last Links Campaign", which will be run the Food Marketing Institute, the meat industry's trade association. The Last Links campaign will not focus on the growing crisis of e.coli contamination in meat plants, but on teaching consumers how to keep meat "safely" stored in refrigerators and how to clean countertops and silverware. The campaign, IBP's CEO Robert Peterson said, is designed to "help consumers learn safe food handling practices."

Of course, this might be a tough sell, coming from a company whose workers say they are forced to urinate in their pants on the factory floor as they butcher live cows and put meat coated with pus and feces on the packaging line.