April 24th, 2012
04:30 PM ET
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The nation's fourth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), sometimes referred to as "mad cow disease," has been confirmed in a dairy cow in central California, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Tuesday.

The carcass was at a Baker Commodities Inc. rendering facility in Hanford, California, according to Executive Vice President Dennis Luckey.

The company renders animal byproducts and had randomly selected the animal for testing last Wednesday, he said.

"We are in the business of removing dead animals from dairies in the Central Valley," he told CNN in a telephone interview. "As part of that program, we participate in the BSE surveillance program."

Public health officials said the risk to public was extremely low.

The sample was sent to UC Davis for initial testing, which came back inconclusive. It was then sent to the USDA's laboratory in Ames, Iowa, where it tested positive, the agency said.

The carcass was in quarantine Tuesday night. "We're waiting now for USDA to tell us how to dispose of it," Luckey said.
Luckey would not divulge on which farm the animal was found. He said his company tests 1,000 to 2,000 animals a year, which he described as "a small percentage" of the overall number of animals it renders.

Had it been rendered, it could have been turned into an element of a number of products, including chemicals or feed for poultry or livestock, he said.

But it would not likely have spread the disease, since USDA regulations prohibit high-risk parts of the cow, such as brains and spinal cords, from entering the food chain.

Eating contaminated meat or some other animal products from cattle that have bovine spongiform encephalopathy is thought to be the cause of the fatal brain disease in humans that is called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

The fatal disease was blamed for the deaths of 150 people in Britain, where there was an outbreak in the 1980s and 1990s.

In people, symptoms of the disease include psychiatric and behavioral changes, movement deficits, memory disturbances and cognitive impairments.

BSE can cause infected animals to display nervousness or aggression, difficulty in coordination and standing up, decreased milk production or loss of body weight, according to the agency.

It is usually transmitted between cows through the practice of recycling bovine carcasses for meat and bone meal protein, which is fed to other cattle. In this case, the USDA reports that it was a rare form of BSE not likely carried by contaminated feed.
The USDA said it remains confident in the health of the national herd and the safety of beef and dairy products.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the odds of a person contracting mad cow disease, even after consuming contaminated products, are less than one in 10 billion.

California Department of Public Health Director and Public Health Officer Dr. Ron Chapman issued a statement Tuesday saying residents do not need to take any specific precautions.

Unlike most other meat-borne illnesses, such as those caused by E.-coli bacteria, cooking does not kill the infectious agent that causes mad cow disease.

Consumers who wish to exercise extra caution can follow the advice presented by the Web-based consumer advocacy group Consumeraffairs.com, which advises the avoidance of brains, neck bones and beef cheeks, bone marrow and cuts of beef that are sold on the bone. The group also says to choose boneless cuts of meat and ground beef only if it has been ground in the store.

"Evidence shows that our systems and safeguards to prevent BSE are working, as are similar actions taken by countries around the world," said John Clifford, the USDA's chief veterinary officer.

Last year, 29 cases of BSE were reported worldwide, down 99% since the peak of 37,311 cases in 1992. "This is directly attributable to the impact and effectiveness of feed bans as a primary control measure for the disease," he said.

"A case of a single cow with bovine spongiform encephalopathy is not a reason for significant concern on the part of consumers, and there is no reason to believe the beef or milk supply is unsafe," said Sarah Klein, food safety attorney for the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

"If the cow were exposed to the typical strain of BSE via animal feed - and the government says that's not the case here - that would have represented a significant failure."

But she said the government would have had a difficult time tracking down other cattle that may have been eaten the same feed because the nation lacks an effective animal ID program.

Posted by: ,
Filed under: Food Safety • Health News • Mad Cow • Tainted Food

soundoff (501 Responses)
  1. unowhoitsme

    We're paying the price for not "listening" to Mother Nature...if all creatures are given their natural diet, they'd all be healthy, including human beings!!!

    April 24, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • PantyRaid

      But then how would doctors and big pharma stay in business?

      April 24, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Deedit

      I, for one, pay very close attention to my nature and eat only what it tells me to. For instance, I eat cheeseburgers because my body tells me it is a pleasurable experience (I salivate when I smell them, the flavor-processing parts of my brain reward me for doing so, etc.). On the other hand, I have never eaten an old car tire, or a putrid, moldy tomato, or a box of nails. So far, this policy of allowing nature to determine what I eat has worked out very well for me and my family, so I heartily concur with your advice.

      April 24, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
  2. Neutronstar

    "mad cow disease, was found in a dairy cow in California" – Too bad they euthanized it, that cow was well qualified to hold a political office in California.

    April 24, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • Have another look

      The artivle said there were 2 diagnosed cases. One was a cow, the other was Gov Jerry Brown.

      April 24, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Rod C. Venger

      They neglected to say that the diseased old cow was named "Nancy".

      April 24, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
      • Mchael

        Actually it turns out this case cut in half the number of Tea Party members in that county.

        April 24, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
  3. Sharp

    What really worries me is the thought that sloppy, underfunded inspections might NOT have caught a carcass or two. If you want a safe food supply you are going to have to pay the taxes to have that. People are not going to inspect your food for free out of the goodness of their hearts & Big Agriculture can't be trusted to do the job instead of the government. GROW UP.

    April 24, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Rod C. Venger

      What was the last time you saw a purple stamp on a pad of fat on a roast or steak? They don't seem to exist anymore.

      April 24, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  4. saiyan25

    See what happens when people eat contaminated meat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zmbey7cZQcw

    April 24, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
  5. Captain Obvious

    F***, they know what causes this. Have known for years but corporate profits outweigh public health concerns.

    April 24, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
  6. cyg

    Watch Soylent Green anyone? You should – because you are next.

    April 24, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • Burbank

      With the world population at 7 billion and counting, now would be a good time for a remake of that movie.

      April 24, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
      • Sharp

        Humans are now by far the most common large animal on the planet. Every time I think about that I get a real bad feeling.

        April 24, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
      • runs with cows

        Burbank, while I am riding your thought train, can you imagine how the germ-o-phobic, uber PC, lightweights would run screaming in the streets after seeing such a movie – re-made or not? LMAO. The imbeciles who fear for their very lives because some company put beetles in their strawberry creme beverage so more of them would buy it more often would cause comment boards all over the internet to explode ... hmm ...

        April 25, 2012 at 8:01 am |
    • Rod C. Venger

      Why do you think that Taco Bell and McDonald's are so cheap?

      April 24, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • peridot2

      'Watch Soylent Green'? There's no such thing. The film was called THE OMEGA MAN, lackwit.

      April 24, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
      • jackrabbitewing

        Lacwit? Oh my what a dummy. 'Soylent Green' was a movie in 1973 about eating processed people.... Omega man was the same actor, but totally different movie released in 1971.

        April 24, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
      • Patricia

        hahaha, wow, i was born in the 80's and i know about Soylent Green.... dont call other ppl names when u look like the fool

        April 24, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
  7. Dreamer96

    Don't worry people just elect a good Republican like Mitt Romney, and any news reporting like this to the public will be illegal, because it is bad for business..punishable by a death sentence...

    April 24, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Sharp

      Republicans & children; Lost in Magical Thinking.

      April 24, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
      • KopyriTe

        and most people sadly...

        April 24, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  8. Dreamer96

    If they would stop feeding these cows, feed made from ground up dead cow parts and scraps...maybe they would never have another case of mad cow...some of the things they feed these cows just to save a few bucks is disgusting..

    April 24, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • cyg

      You are absolutely right – only a human would be dumb enough to feed an a plant eater meat (soylent green for most part) and expect nothing bad would happen.

      April 24, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • TEL

      Cows were designed to eat grass, hello??!!! Buy grass fed, organic beef, steers castrated the old fashioned way instead of getting an injection that shrinks the testis and give the steer a growth hormone.

      April 24, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • Sharp

      Not to worry; Big Agriculture will just take all those parts & scraps, make them into 'Pink Slime' & feed them to us instead. Big Agriculture is your best friend. They are always looking out for your welfare. Why can't you just trust them?

      April 24, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • What?

      Once again – as previously stated in all this uneducated hoopla – it has been illegal to include ANY ruminant "by-products" in cattle feed for at least 5 years. But don't let the facts get in your way . . .

      April 24, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
      • Hank the cowdog

        What? – you are correct, it's illegal to feed meat and bone meal to cattle and has been since 1995 in the U.S. Cows are not forced to eat cows – that's totally innaccurate. Further, this animal was nowhere near a human food processing plant. It was dead at a rendering plant. It never would have passed visual inspection at a human food processing plant. Our food supply was never in danger of being contaminated by this animal.

        April 24, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
      • Patricia

        they are allowed to use "certain parts" of the cow in feed, just not the brain, spinal colum, etc... u have to read the actual law and not the abridged what-they-want-us-to-know parts.

        April 24, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
        • What?

          Aside from blood and blood products and milk and milk products – if you consider those "parts" – and, in some cases, certain types of tallow (pure fat), exactly what "certain parts" are allowed?

          April 25, 2012 at 12:00 am |
  9. wavejump1100

    "The Centers for Disease Control reports that the chance of contracting mad cow disease, even after consuming contaminated products, is less than one in 10 billion, if at all. " i find this statistic very hard to believe. i think its a mistake and they meant to say million not billion.

    April 24, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Sharp

      ANY chance at all is too much when we are talking about human lives.

      April 24, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • Dreamer96

      Just look at Agent Orange and our Vets, Gulf War Syndrome, and our Vets, incredible increase in Autism, contaminated foods, some times the government lies to us, partly because they mean to lie, partly because they don't have a clue..

      April 24, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • Boosoo

      Eventually, the Jihadists will get a BSE carcass and use it to spread the disease through NYC and other infidelburgs. Just a matter of time The governmen sould work on a cure for BSE instead of wasting money on AIDS research.

      April 24, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
  10. Sharp

    Just remember "Pink Slime" & firing all the government chicken inspectors are both good for you. Big Agriculture says so & they are buying up congressmen as fast as they can to speed up the changes.

    April 24, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • TEL

      Watch Documentary Food inc. Corporate farming is big business and not really interested in America's health. We need to revolt and go back to locally raised food or organic raised food. I would rather pay a little more for healthy food and skip the late' candy and soda.

      April 24, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
  11. wavejump1100

    i find it very disturbing that we allow our cows to be turned into cannibals. cows are not carnivorous and should never be fed meat byproducts. cows should only be fed grasses and grains. why do we let this happen? i would gladly pay a little more money if i knew the beef i buy was raised properly. come on USDA lets make this disgusting practice illegal!

    April 24, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Sharp

      Totally agree with you but Big Agriculture can make an extra buck here & their vote on the matter is much bigger than a mere citizen's.

      April 24, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
  12. lsj401

    Aaaand yet another reason to not eat meat

    April 24, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Chuggers


      April 24, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • Mahna Mahna

      You mean yet another reason to buy local organically raised meat, right? Oh you silly fool, you get your English confused.
      Anyway, all you have to do is contact a local farmer or University (many of which raise and butcher their own) or raise something yourself. Food is something you don't skimp on. You wouldn't drink sewer water when clean spring water were available, right? Then why would you eat garbage? If you can't spend the extra buck and eat healthy, then you're supporting these death farms. And don't kid yourself as a vegan - you're causing more damage than most meat eaters by supporting an unnatural homogenous agricultural system where whole ecosystems are destroyed just to grow soy. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1250532/Being-vegetarian-does-harm-environment-eating-meat.html
      The fact is that we are too numerous a species, we are invasive and destructive. It doesn't matter if we all ate our own feces and nothing else - we would still be destroying the planet we live on. Eventually we'll reach critical mass and disease, war and other disasters will do their job, maybe a meteor. Either way, eating anything would be good for the environment if we were in balance with nature, which we aren't. You don't see people forcing bears to stop eating meat and honey and only eat berries and roots. They wouldn't live very long.

      April 24, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  13. Sarah

    Beef is safe to eat, we didn't bust our butts protecting everyone to start freaking out. The cow was Dairy first of all, seco d it was never introduced to our food supply. I will continue to eat beef, eat cheese, drink milk, even from California, and I'm from Iowa, because it is just as safe as it was yesterday and it will be even two days, months and even years from now. There is no need to freak out. Drama is for teenagers and two year olds. If you think about it, this isn't a crisis. We have a good system for trackig animals now, better than the last time this happened. We are a smart country and we are not a bunch of babies, we can still remain calm and set an example for the rest of the world.

    April 24, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • lsj401

      You're from Iowa, enough said

      April 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
      • Chuggers


        April 24, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
        • lsj401

          I say that because Iowa is one of the largest farming and agri-business states in the country, not because I'm a "bigot". Try some intelligent input next time instead of inane name calling.

          April 24, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Sharp

      Lets make all these downer cows into "Pink Slime" & YOU can eat your fill.

      April 24, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  14. Kibi

    Mad cow disease can lead to zombifacation if not seen. This is a matter of life and death people! .-.

    April 24, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Sharp

      What does the deaths of a few peasants matter when Big Agriculture can add a few million to their bottom line?

      April 24, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
  15. Asian Guy

    "Pets such as cats and dogs are not at risk for the disease."

    Did a Korean write this article?

    April 24, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Bobby

      it says pets, so I would have to say no...

      April 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • MiaMath

      .....I don' get it.....God, I'm such a ditz.......

      =u= <- le me, ditzing out.

      April 24, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  16. Leaf

    Good, now the rest of the world can ban Merican beef, just like your hick cowboys lobbied to ban other countries when they had an outbreak. What comes around goes around Merica.

    April 24, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
  17. larry

    That explains a great deal about California. Immigration in other states is a federal responsibility but states (aka CA) can pass laws legalizing drugs which the Federal government prohibits?

    April 24, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Jason Ibarra

      Youre comparing apples to peaches genius. Also, the Federal Government has been basically at war against even medicinal marijuana clubs since we passed that law. You aren't from here, so stick to things you actually know about.

      April 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
  18. Primal

    Gogole Joel Salatin, read and watch everything you can, then eat accordingly. Best move you will ever make.

    April 24, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Disbelief of media

      Way to go Primal!! :-) I'm right there with you. I bought Joel Saletins book several months ago. I hope all agriculture will eventually learn from him and put his practices in action. He is a true American hero!!

      April 24, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
  19. rohan

    They are fed in this way because everyone wants cheap meat. We live on a false economy for eating all kinds of meat. People should stop being ignorant to this real fact of life.

    April 24, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
  20. Primal

    Stick to pastured grass fed and finished beef and you will never have to worry about. Say goodbye to feedlot beef garbage forever.

    April 24, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Disbelief of media

      Yes I agree. I only buy grassfed beef when I do buy it. I also make sure I buy raw muil from grassfed cows that have never been injected with hormones or antibiotics

      April 24, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
      • Capt Mike

        You understand that no beef you buy is entirely grassfed. Prion were introduced into the bovine food system by people that took sheep bones and made bone meal out of them and fed them to cows. Cows are herbivors, never meant to eat animal protein. Be aware that all beef cows, and this cow that is infected is a dary cow, are sent to feed lots and prepared for market with corn other grains and all sorts of other products.,natural and artificial. Better you do some research on Prion disemination in mammals and that will scare the pants off you.

        April 24, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
        • Sharp

          By all means read up on Prions. They are devilish things. Sort of like a near indestructible alternate DNA system which acts like a virus. Special sterilizing procedures had to be invented; LIVE STEAM doesn't even faze Prions. There are probably many types of Prions that are still unknown to science. Who knows what diseases they are causing. There is a hundred years of research that will have to be done before we will really understand them.

          April 24, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
        • Jason

          That's not true. You can find completely grass fed and finished beef. I know because I bought a half steer from the farm where the shorthorn was raised. The small herd is rotated daily on grass pasture, no grain or bonemeal. If more people would see where their food is grown and get to know the people who grow it we would be better off.

          April 24, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
        • NauticalMan

          Look for 100% grass fed beef, NOT finished on grain. It is slightly more expensive, but the demand is bringing a bigger supply all the time. Even my local supermarket here in MA recently started carrying it, at least ground beef. Much of the beef in Europe and South America is grass fed also. In Europe, if I am not mistaken, all beef cattle are tested for Mad Cow. Here, it is about one out of a thousand or less. The European Union pays $150M a year in fines so as not to have to import American beef. Cattle evolved to eat grass, that's why they have multiple stomachs. Grain can make them sick, so they pump them full of antibiotics in their feed, not to mention growth hormones. Grass fed cattle also have a much better balance of Omega 3 fats than grain fed cows, and your chances of getting E. Coli and other diseases is much less. Bison, or buffalo, is another alternative, but make sure it is 100% grass fed, not grain finished. Also try an ancient breed of cattle called Criollo, supposedly brought here by Columbus and naturally tender, and which I can vouch for personally.

          April 24, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
        • What?

          So I take it you've never seen a cow eat her own placenta (after-birth) after delivering a calf, have you? Maybe you should get out in the "real world" more often.

          April 24, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  21. wjmknight

    I see Sarah Palin is residing in California now...

    April 24, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • ventg4fun

      Kudos to you, and I'm sure we'd all be healthier if we did convert. I eat vegetarian about 3 times a week. However, with all the recalls with produce over the last few years, fresh, or raw fruits and vegetables aren't exactly a safe haven from nasty toxins, like e.coli, et. al. A few of those recalls were even traced to the organic farming industry.

      April 24, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Sharp

      The original "Mad Cow." The brain disease she causes is incurable too.

      April 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  22. Arnicka

    I became vegetarian in '98 to try to avoid crap like this.

    April 24, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  23. B

    I like beef, but I try not to eat it too often. I just don't like how it "digests" within myself when I eat it often. I do enjoy a nice tasty hamburger or steak every once a while. Tasty!

    April 24, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • oceanluvver2

      so is colon cancer-nothing like pooping out of a bag to set the mood of romance.

      April 24, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
      • Primal

        Properly raised beef will never give you colon cancer.

        April 24, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
  24. frank thomas

    local news just reported cow was found on a ranch near fresno ca. now all animals at this dairy are being checked

    April 24, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  25. Dupper

    This reminds me of a child's poem (Nursery ryme) about the black plague called ring around the rosy, and one we seem to have forgotten about; mary had a little lamb.

    April 24, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
  26. My-Call

    Don't bother posting last comment...let me re-phrase....

    April 24, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  27. Disbelief of media

    please see the following:


    Regulatory failures

    In February 2001, the USGAO reported that the FDA, which is responsible for regulating feed, had not adequately enforced the various bans.[46] Compliance with the regulations was shown to be extremely poor before the discovery of the Washington cow, but industry representatives report that compliance is now total. Even so, critics call the partial prohibitions insufficient. Indeed, U.S. meat producer Creekstone Farms alleges that the USDA is preventing BSE testing from being conducted.[47]

    The USDA has issued recalls of beef supplies that involved introduction of downer cows into the food supply. Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company was found to have used electric shocks to prod downer cows into the slaughtering system in 2007.[48] Possibly due to pressure from large agribusiness, the United States has drastically cut back on the number of cows inspected for BSE.[49]

    April 24, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  28. DanoRoo

    I so glad to see we're getting our moneys worth from the FDA. Your tax dollars at work!

    April 24, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • oceanluvver2

      The meat supply is not safe-do your homework and only eat humanely raised beef, pork and chicken. Factory farmed animals put you at risk for e-coli, salmonella, MRSA and a host of other illnesses. Do you really think they get a good scrubbing before they are slaughtered?? They are forced to stand, lay, and sit in their waste all day. They are fed hormones and antibiotics to speed up growth and keep infections at bay. Hmmm....don't you think that ingesting these meds on a regular basis is going to eventually cause some harm?? If you don't want to change for yourself, do it for your children, grandchildren, etc. Take control over the quality of food that you eat-send factory farmers and Big Ag a message. Or just sit by and get sick. I feel better since I gave up meat in 2006. I don't drink milk, limit my cheese inake to organic or vegan. My stomach and intestinal system are much happier. :) Think before you eat....

      April 24, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
      • traks44

        Every kind of food can hurt you if its not cooked or cooked properly even organic or natural or whatever. Organic means nothing BTW. If a USDA organic labeling makes you feel warm and fuzzy and you like paying more money for your food then by all means. But if you could really show me reputable citation where it shows organic potatoes or healtheir than regular potatoes or organic beef nexts to natural beef I would love to see it?

        April 24, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
        • Theresaeileen@hotmail.com

          Spoken by the ignorant....do you have any idea what you are talking about?
          Here is one of many...do some research and all the things you asked will be proven and answered

          April 24, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
        • Yuck

          It does not matter if you cook this disease... it is a prion disease and does not die off if you char it to death. Anyone who eats factory farmed animals is killing themself – so so vile!

          April 24, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
      • traks44

        and your mis infromed so called "big ag" represents a small percentage of where your food comes from.

        The avg size of the american cow herd is like 50 animals per farm or rancher. Ag is big in the vertical intergration and therefore you get to buy your food cheaper. I guess we could grass fatten the nations beef supply and I promise it would atleast double the price people are currently paying at the grocery store.

        April 24, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  29. Rogue351

    The Tea Party and the Republican Party need to take note of this story. The Tea Party wants to remove agencies that keep an eye out for things exactly like this. They say we do not need government protection. Well if the government is not going to do it and keep us informed that just opens the door to anyone selling anything and having no consequences. And I suppose the Tea Party Republicans say a "private" entity could run this. Corruption will make it's way into private and government entities alike. The plus side of having the government run it is that its findings are made public. A private company does not have to disclose anything unless under court order. The way it should work is the government runs it. Citizens become involved for over sight and laws are put in place to punish corruption. Seems simple enough but when money comes into play everything changes and common sense goes out the window to save a few dollars which intern could potentially affect alot of people in a very negative way just some a another big corporation or rich individual can make a few more bucks. And you want to put a gut that is going to spend 600 + million dollars into getting elected to get rid of things that protect you and your family so they can save a few bucks ? Greedy Tea Party Republicans.

    April 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  30. Criminy

    Pilar Sanders, have your blood checked.

    April 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  31. Peter Emery

    Living in Australia, I really don't care. We have no Mad Cow or such diseases out here, so it isn't a problem at this stage.
    If it becomes a problem then I'll switch to eating kangaroo meat which is readily available, it's much healthier anyway and roos do not add methane to the atmosphere due to a particular micro-organism in their gut.

    April 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Marlin Perkins

      'Roos don't fart; a duck's quack doesn't echo; male seahorses get pregnant; Obama will be the next POTUS. What a truly amazing world we live in.

      April 25, 2012 at 7:38 am |
  32. S One

    Chances to contract the disease is one in 10 billion. Yet, I still cannot donate blood as I lived in the UK during the outbreak there in the early 90s.

    April 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • old542000

      1/ 10 billion?:


      April 24, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  33. Ryan

    "In humans, symptoms of vCJD involve psychiatric symptoms and behavioral changes, movement deficits, memory disturbances, and cognitive impairments." OH YEAH, AND GUARANTEED DEATH!

    April 24, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  34. Will

    Well I guess Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia and other countries should impose a ban on U.S. beef imports. Didn't the U.S. and these other countries do this to Canada when a mad cow was found there.

    April 24, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  35. My-Call

    Naturally, in the equally rare occurrance that this happens to bovine in Canada, the reaction from the U.S. is "Canada is contaminated!!! Avoid all meat products (Heck...might as well be vague so Americans reject chicken and pork from Canada, too) or expect to DIE!!!! No need to lay out the stats/facts in these cases.....

    April 24, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
  36. SixDegrees

    There's a very simple, sure-fire solution to this problem that's readily available: start raising cows that have been genetically modified to not produce prions. A breed like this was genetically engineered in 2006.

    April 24, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Nophah Kingweigh

      Interesting, please cite your source. Doesn't sound possible to this food scientist.

      April 24, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
      • traks44

        Call the USDA and ask them about bone meal and its current uses. Food scientists doesnt mean anything as most of them dont understand the production side anyway. As someone who helps feed the world and understands these operations yea I can tell you there wasnt bone meal being used.
        I am not even a dairy men.

        April 24, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
      • FormerPrionScientist

        I don't know the specific example SixDegrees is citing, but it does seem possible to engineer a cow less susceptible to BSE from other cows. BSE is transmitted by prion protein from an infected animal starting a chain reaction in the protein of the animal who eats it. If you make a cow whose protein is sufficiently different, you reduce the risk of that chain reaction being kicked off. Likewavise, the article is probably not correct when it says dogs and cats can't catch prion disease from a cow – it's less likely for sure, but all mammals he similarities in their proteins and thus it is possible.

        April 24, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
      • SixDegrees

        The company is Hematech. Cited in the Washington Post, here: washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/31/AR2006123100672.html

        April 24, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Sabinaa

      I have an even simpler solution yet! I don't eat beef – period! Healthy, slim and happy works for me ;)

      April 24, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
  37. traks44

    "BSE is usually transmitted between cows through the practice of recycling bovine carcasses for meat and bone meal protein, which is fed back to other cattle. In this case, the USDA reports that it was an atypical, rare form of BSE not likely carried by contaminated feed."

    Ill say it again this is not a factual statement. I guarantee you 100% there was no bone meal fed to this cow. Do a little research and you will see that most areas of the world have banned the use of it except in dog and cat food and as a fuel.

    April 24, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Nophah Kingweigh

      Your "guarantee" is worth nothing. Thanks anyway!

      April 24, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
      • traks44

        Dairy cows are fed only the highest quality feed available because if they are not milking at peek production they are costing the dairymen money instead of making him money. These dairys cant even get their hands on bone meal if they wanted to besides the audits and inspections from third partys it would cost them huge fines and possibly their entire operation. So yea I can guarantee you because I am actually know how these things work and the current rules and regs. Why do you think so many dairy have gone under the last 5 years? Again they couldnt get their hands on it if they wanted to. Before you make stupid posts about things you dont know do a little research.

        April 24, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
      • nephiaz

        Trakk is actually right, it's banned. That question came up during my reading of the article as I had just learned that the practice was banned.

        April 24, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
  38. Michelle

    Wonder how long before the R-Calf whiners start blaming Canada for this mad cow case too.

    April 24, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  39. Dupper

    you should all be smart enough to google the experts and see what they are saying now

    April 24, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  40. Anomic Office Drone

    Here's a thought: stop feeding cows to cows.

    April 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • erin


      April 24, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  41. Dupper

    Nonetheless, a British BSE expert has pointed out that at least one human case suggests passage of prions in milk. A Japanese woman dying of CJD was found
    Transmitting Prion Diseases In Milk

    Scrapie " A PRION illness" can be transmitted to lambs through milk, according to new research. The study provides important information on the transmission of this prion-associated disease and the control of scrapie in affected flocks. Scrapie is a fatal neurodegenerative disease of sheep and goats. Clinical signs include itchiness, head tremor, wool loss and skin lesions as well as changes in behaviour and gait

    April 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  42. Rob Pearce

    Alzheimers is being listed as the cause for dementia in a lot of patients, CJD is fast acting as is Mad cow, A doctor told us at the Veterans hospital that a lot of cases were being mis diagnosed as Alzheimers even though the progression of symptoms was a lot faster then what happens to Alz patients. In our case a seemingly normal guy who owned a car restoration garage was suddenly posting notes to himself on where to find his bathroom, he lived in Oregon and ate a lot of wild venison. he Died 3 months after starting to lose his memory.

    April 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Criminy

      I pretty much wish you would have finished your story... the point of it got away from me.

      April 24, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Greg

      My Dad was treated for mild alzheimers ,About 3 mths later Dad was Falling on the ground And didn't have a clue who he was, Dad was just Going thru the motions, Heck my Mother! would Yell at him as Dad was Driving(Saying JIM) Take a left now go straight ,Right Jim Right. Dad worked at Texas Instruments till he retired early and moved to Florida(My Mothers PPL lived There Not Dads)
      Next= I went to help my Dad a no nonsense old fashion Values, He would work 3 jobs to take care of his family, My Mother Worked Very Little Public Work, But she raised 4 boys =a full time job. In April=Funny were talking about CJD in April? Dad was relaxing in April of 2005 (Having a Beer with my Cousin Kenny) Days later my dad was falling ,My mother couldn't pick dad up, She had to get a young man to help(Very Embarrasing) My dad was Sooooo Self Supporting ,Dad had so much pride, This Misdiagnoised Disease Was a Total Botched ,Butchered, Mocked,Abused by these Dr's in Bradenton ,Fl I personaly overheard two top Doctor Heads of Brain disorders, disease etc in the hospital totally Knowing it was CJD discussing all forms of using dad as a Lab Rat to further there studies, Then 2 weeks later Dad Passed, Only then for the first Time our family Knew Dad had died of CJD. We had been told it was Alzheimers right up to his death. The Scary part is the dr's knew it was CJD months B-4 dad passed, The Dr's had drew fluid from his spine, Finding the 14? Sided Protiens found only in CJD, But kept it a Secret from our family, So the Dr's could do more Test .

      April 24, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
      • Greg

        I Have been watching the news(CNN) There saying theres only like one case in 2006, My dad Died in 2005 of CJD- Oh and my Dad never ate Squirrel Brains Nor was Dad Ever in another country!!, Dad mainly ate Salad. Bradenton,Fl 2005 Dad Passed. I traveled from Kentucky to Bradenton Fl, To help my mother with Dad. I was there till his passing, I watched the Nero Dr's Talk to each other at a whisper, They had Drawn Spinal Fluid from Dad and knew of the 14 sided protien Found in CJD Patients, But over a mth or so The Family is still being told its Alzheimers, Not till dad Passed and my mother gets the death certificate Does Mom Notice something strange=The cause of Death CJD=Long word- Not Alzheimers. My mother had to look the word up to find out what the heck it was? To the Familys Surprise was this Terrible Disease CJD. We don't know how dad contracted it. But I will tell everyone=You cannot cook the disease out of meat, Even if its totally Burn't. It's a Awful thing to watch your tough dad who had no bad habits, Dad was stout, Dad ate Salad everyyday for his meal. I miss my father alot everyday, The sad part was the Lying and Abuse my father was subjected too by the Dr's.

        April 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • Tana

      I lost my mom last August to CJD. We also live in Oregon. While we were in the hospital we heard from two nurses of three other patients with the same disease. They say it is very rare. I think not.

      April 24, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
      • What?

        You folks seem to have a problem realizing that "classic CJD", although closely related, is not the same disease as that attributed to 'mad cow'.

        April 24, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  43. traks44

    The use of feed deriving from animals such as bone meal is completly outlawed and has been for some time in the USA. The same goes for US dairy cows. None of these cows were fed any type of animals by products. Only the highest quality alfalfa, silage and corn....

    April 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      Well, no. The ban is only partial, and allows several other byproducts from ruminant slaughter to be used in cattle feed.

      And fwiw, cows have a very hard time digesting corn; it isn't part of their natural diet, and it gives them ulcers. I'd suggest reading "The Omnivore's Dilemma" for a very detailed look at American farming techniques, from CAFOs to organic to hunting.

      April 24, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Disbelief of media

      It may be that bone meal was outlawed but please see this entry found at Wikipedia regarding enforcement:


      Regulatory failures

      In February 2001, the USGAO reported that the FDA, which is responsible for regulating feed, had not adequately enforced the various bans.[46] Compliance with the regulations was shown to be extremely poor before the discovery of the Washington cow, but industry representatives report that compliance is now total. Even so, critics call the partial prohibitions insufficient. Indeed, U.S. meat producer Creekstone Farms alleges that the USDA is preventing BSE testing from being conducted.[47]

      The USDA has issued recalls of beef supplies that involved introduction of downer cows into the food supply. Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company was found to have used electric shocks to prod downer cows into the slaughtering system in 2007.[48] Possibly due to pressure from large agribusiness, the United States has drastically cut back on the number of cows inspected for BSE.[49]

      April 24, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  44. Charlie

    Read the article people: "chance of contracting mad cow disease, even after consuming contaminated products, is less than one in 10 billion, if at all" You are more likely to win the lottery and then get struck by lightning after marrying a super model.

    April 24, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • PaulMN

      I'd settle for just the Super Model.

      April 24, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  45. www.twitter.com/hlmelsaid

    The meat,dairy supplies still safe.

    April 24, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  46. trex

    ......NEWS FLASH.......fox News has reported that Romney will SLASH the FDA and CDC budget as soon as possible.

    April 24, 2012 at 6:42 pm |

      contributor TREX has been eating burgers made with high concentrations of brains, neck bones and beef cheeks, bone marrow.
      News at 11.

      April 24, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  47. ventg4fun

    Well.... Since the scotus recently ruled that big ag is no longer required to exclude 'downer' steers from slaughter for the market, I'm sure we'll be seeing more of these as well many more toxins in our meats, along with more recalls. Thoughtful of em, wasn't it?

    April 24, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
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