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Mon Apr 30, 2012, 10:35 AM

Why You Should Be Worried About the California Mad Cow Case

from Mother Jones:



Why You Should Be Worried About the California Mad Cow Case

—By Tom Philpott
| Fri Apr. 27, 2012 10:50 AM PDT


Move along, nothing to see here.

That sums up the USDA's public reaction to news that a downed California dairy cow was discovered to have contracted bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as mad cow disease. The cow had an "atypical" case of BSE, one that likely doesn't come from BSE-infected feed, but rather from a genetic mutation, the agency insists.

Moreover, it never came close to entering the food supply, USDA stressed—it had shown up dead at a rendering facility, where it was randomly chosen for testing as part of the USDA's BSE-testing program. USDA chief Tom Vilsack, ever ready to jump to the meat industry's aid at a time of need, declared on CNN, "I'm having beef tonight for dinner. And that's no lie."

.....(snip).....

Let me raise two uncomfortable points about this case.

• The idea that the discovery of this BSE-stricken cow proves that the US "surveillance system is working" is, well, ludicrous. The cow showed up at Baker Commodities, a California company plant that buys spent cows from California's vast dairy industry and renders them into various pet and livestock feed products.

"We randomly pick a number of samples throughout the year, and this just happened to be one that we randomly sampled," Baker Commodities executive vice president Dennis Luckey said. "It showed no signs" of disease.
....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/04/mad-cow-california



31 replies, 3844 views

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why You Should Be Worried About the California Mad Cow Case (Original post)
marmar Apr 2012 OP
Egalitarian Thug Apr 2012 #1
rdking647 Apr 2012 #2
ProdigalJunkMail Apr 2012 #5
XemaSab Apr 2012 #7
rdking647 Apr 2012 #9
Liquorice Apr 2012 #25
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #10
rdking647 Apr 2012 #11
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #13
marmar Apr 2012 #12
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #14
bvar22 Apr 2012 #15
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #16
bvar22 Apr 2012 #18
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #19
bvar22 Apr 2012 #20
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #24
bvar22 May 2012 #26
4th law of robotics May 2012 #30
WeekendWarrior Apr 2012 #22
may day 2012 May 2012 #28
Ruby the Liberal May 2012 #29
NYC_SKP May 2012 #31
Kalidurga Apr 2012 #3
RebelOne Apr 2012 #17
lapislzi Apr 2012 #4
xchrom Apr 2012 #6
CanSocDem Apr 2012 #8
flvegan Apr 2012 #21
panader0 Apr 2012 #23
may day 2012 May 2012 #27

Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 10:39 AM

1. Nothing to see here, move along. K&R n/t

 

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 10:41 AM

2. fear mongering

how many people in the US have been killed by mad cow.
the fact is everything in life has risks. nothing is 100% safe.
Ill take my chances

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 10:45 AM

5. I personally knew 1...

disease likely acquired in UK 15+ years ago.

sP

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 10:47 AM

7. My aunt's mother-in-law died from mad cow

Instead of saying "I'll take my chances" why aren't you demanding that the meat supply be made safe?

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Response to XemaSab (Reply #7)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 11:09 AM

9. worldwide there have been 280 cases of variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob worldwide

which is the human form of mad co of which 3 have been in the US

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bovine_spongiform_encephalopathy

that compares to 54 deaths a year from lightning.



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Response to rdking647 (Reply #9)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 09:51 PM

25. CJD is being misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's

disease:

"Several studies, including the one by Manuelidis, have found autopsies reveal 3-percent-to-13-percent of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's or dementia actually suffered from CJD. Those numbers might sound low, but there are 4-million Alzheimer's cases and hundreds of thousands of dementia cases in the United States. A small percentage of those cases could add up to 120,000 or more CJD victims going undetected and not included in official statistics..."
http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2003/12/30/Mad-Cow-Linked-to-thousands-of-CJD-cases/UPI-47861072816318/

Of course the meat industry is very motivated to keep this information out of the public eye. Once it becomes widely known, I think there will be a lot more vegetarians/vegans.

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Response to XemaSab (Reply #7)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 11:09 AM

10. Our food supply is quite safe

 

this case of BSE was a spontaneous mutation that was caught and isolated. The USDA did its job.

Shall we outlaw mutations?

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 11:12 AM

11. some people like to spread fear to advance their own agenda

im no more afraid of mad cow than i am of being struck by a meteor

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 11:16 AM

13. Pretty much

 

there really is no other reason why this story keeps popping up with dire warnings attached to it.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 11:13 AM

12. ........



"Altogether, the USDA program tests about 40,000 cows a year for mad cow—a tiny fraction of the millions that are slaughtered or otherwise die each year. (Bloomberg puts the portion tested annually at "less than 0.1 percent of the U.S. cattle herd." By contrast, in the European Union, all sick or downed cattle over the age of 4 years old, all healthy cows over six years, are tested before being slaughtered or rendered. The California cow, the USDA said in its Thursday statement, was 10 years and seven months old—so it would have been automatically tested in Europe."


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Response to marmar (Reply #12)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 11:16 AM

14. I guess that's why people are dying from mad-cow all the time here

 

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #14)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 01:47 PM

15. Do you KNOW how many die from "Mad Cow",

....and how many are just rubber stamped "Alzheimer's" or "Senile Dementia"?

The fact that one cow was discovered through "random" testing indicates that others had escaped detection.
Rendering Plants process the carcasses into products that can re-enter the food chain legally as bone meal, pet foods, and other products, and perhaps even as Pink Slime additives after a shell game of re-packaging.

The Factory Food Production, Harvesting, Processing, Packaging, and Distribution System in the USA is hopelessly contaminated and corrupt.



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Response to bvar22 (Reply #15)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 02:39 PM

16. Ah yes, it's all a conspiracy run by the vast assisted living-steakhouse complex

 

so powerful it makes the military industrial complex look like a childs tea party.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #16)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 03:58 PM

18. No.

Its the [font size=3]"Anything for a good Quarterly Profit, a dividend for the 1%, and Fuck Everybody Else because Greed is Good"[/font] Conspiracy.
I'm not surprised you don't know about it.

You know the old saying that if you can't spot the SUCKER at the Poker Table, it is YOU?
Well,....


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Response to bvar22 (Reply #18)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 04:10 PM

19. So thousands of doctors are fraudulently diagnosing people with Alzheimers to product the profits

 

of the beef industry, with which they are not associated?

Fascinating.

Or maybe just every doctor in the country is too incompetent to successfully diagnose Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease?

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #19)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 07:21 PM

20. Almost every post that begins with...

"So...." followed by something that no one has said is a Logical Fallacy called a Strawman.
Your post perfectly illustrates that point.
When you find yourself backed into a corner,
and start flailing around composing a post that begins with "So..." followed by something from your imagination that nobody has said,
it would be less embarrassing to just walk away without posting anything.

No charge for the lesson.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #20)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 09:30 PM

24. Point by point

 

15. Do you KNOW how many die from "Mad Cow",....and how many are just rubber stamped "Alzheimer's" or "Senile Dementia"?


-A vast conspiracy requiring the cooperation of thousands of doctors.

The Factory Food Production, Harvesting, Processing, Packaging, and Distribution System in the USA is hopelessly contaminated and corrupt.

-profits for the beef industry.

Do you deny writing these words? Or do you think beef-industry folks are now giving medical diagnoses?

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #24)

Tue May 1, 2012, 12:59 PM

26. Lame.

Mad cow disease may be misdiagnosed as dementia or Alzheimers

Colm Kelleher has authored a book about mad cow disease which manifests itself in humans as Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease or bovine spongiform encephalopathy. He believes that many deaths from Alzheimer’s and dementia may actually be misdiagnosed cases of BSE. He backs this statement up with research findings from Yale University and the University of Pittsburgh.[

http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/news/mad_cow_disease_may_be_misdiagnosed_as_dementia_or_alzheimers.htm



Mad cow disease is being misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's


Over the last 20 years the rates of Alzheimer's disease in the United States have skyrocketed.[60] According to the CDC, Alzheimer's Disease is now the eighth leading cause of death in the United States,[61] afflicting an estimated 4 million Americans.[62] Twenty percent or more of people clinically diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, though, are found at autopsy not to have had Alzheimer's at all.[63] A number of autopsy studies have shown that a few percent of Alzheimer's deaths may in fact be CJD. Given the new research showing that infected beef may be responsible for some sporadic CJD, thousands of Americans may already be dying because of Mad Cow disease every year.[64]

Nobel Laureate Gajdusek, for example, estimates that 1% of people showing up in Alzheimer clinics actually have CJD.[65] At Yale, out of a series of 46 patients clinically diagnosed with Alzheimer's, six were proven to have CJD at autopsy.[66] In another study of brain biopsies, out of a dozen patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's according to established criteria, three of them were actually dying from CJD.[67] An informal survey of neuropathologists registered a suspicion that CJD accounts for 2-12% of all dementias in general.[68] Two autopsy studies showed a CJD rate among dementia deaths of about 3%.[69,70] A third study, at the University of Pennsylvania, showed that 5% of patients diagnosed with dementia had CJD.[71] Although only a few hundred cases of sporadic CJD are officially reported in the U.S. annually,[72] hundreds of thousands of Americans die with dementia every year.[73] Thousands of these deaths may actually be from CJD caused by eating infected meat.

http://current.com/green/89114038_mad-cow-disease-is-being-misdiagnosed-as-alzheimers.htm



Could Mad Cow Disease Already be Killing Thousands of Americans Every Year?


Autopsy rates have dropped in the U.S. from 50% in the Sixties to less than 10% at present.[83] Although one reason autopsies are rarely performed on atypical dementia cases is that medical professionals are afraid of catching the disease,[84] the primary reason for the decline in autopsy rates in general appears to be financial. There is currently no direct reimbursement to doctors or hospitals for doing autopsies, which often forces the family to absorb the cost of transporting the body to an autopsy center and having the brain samples taken, a tab that can run upwards of $1500.[85]

Another problem is that the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center itself remains underfunded. Paul Brown, medical director for the National Institutes of Health, has described the Center's budget as "pitiful," complaining that "there isn't any budget for CJD surveillance."[86] To adequately survey America's 290 million residents, "you need a lot of money." UK CJD expert Robert Will explains, "There was a CJD meeting of families in America in which... [the CDC] got attacked fairly vigorously because there wasn't proper surveillance. You could only do proper surveillance if you have adequate resources."[87] "I compare this to the early days of AIDS," says protein chemist Shu Chen, who directs the Center's lab, "when no one wanted to deal with the crisis."[88]

Andrew Kimbrell, the director of the Center for Food Safety, a D.C.-based public interest group, writes, "Given what we know now, it is unconscionable that the CDC is not strictly monitoring these diseases."[89] Given the presence of Mad Cow disease in the U.S., we need to immediately enact uniform active CJD surveillance on a national level, provide adequate funding not only for autopsies but also for the shipment of bodies, and require mandatory reporting of the disease in all 50 states. In Britain, even feline spongiform encephalopathy, the cat version of Mad Cow disease, is an officially notifiable illness. "No one has looked for CJD systematically in the U.S.," notes NIH medical director Paul Brown. "Ever."[90]

The animal agriculture industries continue to risk public safety, and the government seems to protect the industries' narrow business interests more than it protects its own citizens. Internal USDA documents retrieved through the Freedom of Information Act show that our government did indeed consider a number of precautionary measures as far back as 1991 to protect the American public from Mad Cow disease. According to one such document, however, the USDA explained that the "disadvantage" of these measures was that "the cost to the livestock and rendering industries would be substantial."[91]

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0107-07.htm



Much like the banks have captured their regulatory agencies,
the Meat & Food Industry has captured the FDA and the Department of Agriculture.
It doesn't take a "vast conspiracy" to capture Washington or the Regulatory Agencies.
All it takes is money and greed.
Just open your eyes.
Are you aware that Monsanto is powerful enough to place their man in the White House Cabinet as the Secretary of Agriculture?
Google: "Vilsack Ties to Monsanto"

Now, back to my original post.
I asked a question. (Hint: see the question mark).
[font color=blue]"Do you KNOW how many die from "Mad Cow",....and how many are just rubber stamped "Alzheimer's" or "Senile Dementia"?[/font]

You responded with a couple of laughable Strawmen and bluster,
but the correct answer is,
"No. You do not."
I have thoroughly documented the possibility and probability of mis-diagnoses above,
and thankfully, at least the Scientific Community is exploring this frightening scenario.

If you are counting on the Industry to regulate itself,
or for the anemic and captured regulatory agencies of the US Government stepping up to protect their citizens,
well...
Ask Oprah what happens if you question the Beef Industry.


"Don't worry!!
They're just venting a little steam."

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #26)

Tue May 1, 2012, 07:16 PM

30. This is pretty classic conspiracy stuff

 

you have a study that shows CJD and mad cow have similar pathenogesis.

One of those diseases is poorly understood but far too common.

So one author declares "Aha! A must be caused by B! What other explanation could there be?"

Toss in a healthy dose of "well if you don't know exactly what's causing it then it must be what I said" and general paranoia about some large industry and bam, you have the next health scare.

Your first source is an opinion piece.

The 2nd links CJD to alzheimers, but not mad cow to CJD (well not the study quoted, the opinion of the op-ed writer is that it's mad cow, but that's not from the peer-reviewed literature).

Your third is based around conjecture: we haven't done enough autopsies, meaning we wouldn't find it if it was there, meaning it's there, meaning it's caused by mad cow.

/this is the exact same pattern for the Vaccines = autism folks. Do you know what causes autism? And what caused the sudden spike? Aha! It must be vaccines and if you don't agree it's because you're paid off by big-pharma.

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 07:55 PM

22. +1

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #2)

Tue May 1, 2012, 01:02 PM

28. Oh goodie!

 

You'll take your chances on eating dead flesh!

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Response to may day 2012 (Reply #28)

Tue May 1, 2012, 01:03 PM

29. Welcome back

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Response to Ruby the Liberal (Reply #29)

Tue May 1, 2012, 08:18 PM

31. May Day 2012. The day I almost met L.G.!

 

but alas, the MIRT and Elad were too wise, too swift with their nuke....

PPRed.




(but... she will be back...)

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 10:42 AM

3. I quit eating meat in January...

the rest of my family still does. I am trying to get them to quit. I am very uncomfortable with the USDA and the FDA. They no longer seem to be looking out for consumers best interest. And all this stuff that is supposed to be reassuring is actually making it worse. The cow didn't get sick it was a mutation and it was randomly selected. That really isn't making a case that it isn't as bad as it seems. It is making a case that things are worse than they look. Between this and pink slime, it makes me more determined to stay away from eating meat.

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Response to Kalidurga (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 02:53 PM

17. I quit eating meat 15 years ago.

Not because of any fear of Mad Cow disease, but for humane reasons. At least, I don't have to be freaked out about these scare tactics in the news all the time.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 10:43 AM

4. In a related story...

Fox proclaims hen house "safe for chickens."

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 10:45 AM

6. du rec. nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 11:07 AM

8. Not to 'fan the flames'....

 



...but, as the article points out, detecting the disease illustrates, not the success of the screening process, but the unfathomable luck of the industrialized food industry.

Removing ground beef and/or the fast-food industry from the American culture is too big a deal to be affected by the occasional victim of lax safety standards.

.

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Response to marmar (Original post)


Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 08:04 PM

23. The mad cow was from Hanford California

I worked in Lamoore, about ten miles away, for two months recently and ate in Hanford many times. I've got my fingers crossed.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 01:01 PM

27. How about not eating the dead flesh of tortured, slaughtered animals?

 

That might do the trick...

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