6 thoughts on “Mad cow disease

  1. Spot checks. IIRC a beef grower tried to get every one of his animals tested to break into the Japanese premium beef market and the Bushies, at the behest of the beef industry, refused to do so. Despite the prime cattle involved, the Beefies were scared that 100% testing would find the disease.

  2. You shouldn’t worry if you don’t eat parts from the central nervous system. Probably a good idea to avoid sausage and ground beef.

    I wouldn’t get too worried about it. Once the prion is in your brain, you can’t do anything about it anyway.

  3. From the article:

    This is the fourth BSE case found in the U.S. herd, and the first since March 2006. Clifford said the age and the source of the animal in the latest case were being investigated. [My note: Chips carrying lifelong data have been proposed — to be able to test other herds where the animal might have been….] Luckey said the animal was at least 30 months old and the disease was discovered as part of random testing conducted to meet USDA quotas. He said it’s possible that a diseased animal could be processed without being tested.

    Scientists say the disease is spread through feed that contains brain or spinal-cord tissue from infected animals. People can get it from eating products containing such tissues, such as head cheese. Since 1997, feed made from mammals has been banned from cattle rations, and high-risk materials such as brains have been kept from the human food supply.


    The latest BSE case was “atypical,” Clifford said, meaning that its disease form is very rare and not generally associated with an animal consuming infected feed. Such cases can occur spontaneously in older animals, said Guy Loneragan, an epidemiologist and professor of food safety and public health at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. (My emphasis)

    So, how old is this animal? If this form appears in “older animals,” that seems somewhat important. And saying it’s at least 30 months old seems to indicate a relatively young cow, or…?

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