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Corvallis, OR, United States
My personal obsession with prion diseases with smidges of music I like and rescue dog advocacy from a disabled Oregonian.


May 2008 Mad Cow News

The Bush Administration wants to prevent a private company from testing all its cows for mad cow disease or BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy

The Bush administration was cited as urging a federal appeals court on Friday to stop meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease, but a skeptical judge questioned whether the government has that authority. The story explains that the government seeks to reverse a lower court ruling that allowed Kansas-based Creekstone Farms Premium Beef to conduct more comprehensive testing to satisfy demand from overseas customers in Japan and elsewhere. Less than 1 percent of slaughtered cows are currently tested for the disease under Agriculture Department guidelines. Food Safety News Link

Despite the fan in Canada but there are still more cases of BSE occurring there...probably from contaminated feed
In fact, of 12 BSE cases uncovered since May 2003, at least half are BABs -- born after the ban -- a development that raises serious questions about the efficacy of the 1997 feed ban which prohibited the risky practice of feeding rendered cattle parts to cattle.
Banning ruminant-to-ruminant feed reduces the chance of cattle ingesting the abnormal, disease-causing prion that causes the disease. (Feed made for pigs and chickens can still contain some rendered cattle parts.)
Critics say it took too long to get strict compliance with the 1997 ban and it took too long -- four years after the 2003 BSE crisis -- to implement an enhanced feed ban.

Even more alarming is the problems of disposing of BSE contaminated material and

The institute, established in 2005 with a $35-million grant from the Alberta Ingenuity Fund, is looking for ways to reduce the cost of disposing of the huge piles of cattle spines and skulls now being stuffed into private landfill sites by slaughterhouses.
Right now, SRMs are put into clay-lined landfill sites. That's fairly secure, says Moore, but scientists also know that when the abnormal prion bonds with certain minerals in the clay, its infectivity increases by 600 per cent. Edmonton Journal Link

The USDA considers a ban on all "downer" cows to restore consumer confidence in the food safety after video cameras catch slaughterhouse workers forklifting sick animals into slaughterhouse. Unambulatory animals are sick, diseased or injured and should probably be not let into the human food chain.

Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said yesterday that his department wants to ban all "downer" cattle from the slaughterhouse to boost public confidence in the safety of the nation's food supply.
The proposal, which could take effect within a few months, follows the largest beef recall in U.S. history earlier this year, which was the result of secretly recorded videotape that showed California meat plant workers using forklifts and electric prods on animals unable to stand in an effort to get them to the slaughterhouse. Wa Po Link

South Koreans protest the re- importation of US beef.

To street protesters in the South Korean capital, American beef is a menace to be feared — and stopped.
Shin Hae-suk, a 54-year-old housewife, was cited as saying she is convinced that if South Korea resumes importing U.S. beef, the U.S. will send South Koreans meat at higher risk of mad cow disease, adding, "What if my child eats dangerous beef in a restaurant?" ABC News Link
South Korean governmnet will allow older cattle to be imported from the US despite public outcry and the added risk of ingesting older cattle infected with mad cow disease.

South Korea's government was cited as announcing Thursday it is going ahead with a much-criticized deal to resume imports of U.S. beef — a move that could escalate the daily street protests against the plan. CNN Link

Another vidoe surfaces showing sick and downer cows enter the human food chain in several other states.

The Humane Society of the United States released video footage Wednesday of sick and injured livestock the group says were mistreated at auction sites and stockyards where cattle are sold for slaughter.

The group released videos shot during April and May showing downed cows abandoned for hours at facilities in Maryland, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Texas. A video was posted on the group's Web site. Raw Story Link

This may not be BSE related but a pork plant has identified a new neurological illness.

After months of research, doctors at the Mayo Clinic say they can show that the mysterious neurological condition discovered among pork-plant workers in Austin, Minn., is a unique and identifiable disease. Star Tribune Link

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