Thu, 30 Jun 2005

Second Case of Mad Cow Traced to Texas

I've gotta wonder what kind of pressure the chief veterinarian of the USDA was put under to get him to say this:

"The animal did not enter the human food chain. The safety of our food supply is not in question," Clifford said in conference call with reporters.

Now, given that the cow was 12 years old, and undoubtedly got the disease from it's feed, which was mixed with parts from an infected animal, what does this tell you?

  1. There was at least one other infected animal in the United States before the 1997 feed ban.
  2. It was ground up for feed.
  3. It was fed to a herd in Texas

Does anybody here think that the feedlot people go around to each individual cow with a separate feed bag? Not hardly - the remains of the infected beast were mixed into a batch of feed on the order of several tons.

Since there were undoubtedly several (perhaps several hundred) cattle that ate the same feed as this one, it stands to reason that some percentage of them were also infected. Since this cow was over a decade old, it's more than probable that some of the cows that were fed this infected batch of cow chow were sold and slaughtered for beef. Several years ago. Quite possibly before 1997.

The veterinarian's statement that this cow didn't enter the human food supply is technically correct: and completely meaningless regarding the safety of the food supply. Other cattle from the same herd, which ate the same feed, almost undoubtedly have entered the human food supply, and were possibly ground up themselves before 1997 to feed other cattle, spreading the disease even further.

We've known "scientifically" since the outbreak in Britain that BSE is spread by feeding cows dead cow. We should've known it was a bad idea forever: cattle are not meat eaters. But we ignored our common sense, ignored the science for several years and are all set to reap exactly what we've sown.

Here's a suggestion for the USDA: covering up will only last so long, and will only serve to deepen the wrath of the public when the cow pie hits the fan. 'Fess up, fellas. Tell us straight what's going on, so far as you know.

AP - The second case of mad cow disease in the United States was a cow born, raised and slaughtered in Texas, Agriculture Department officials said Wednesday.

(link) [Yahoo! News: Top Stories]

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