Mad Cow

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by ziggy, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. ziggy

    ziggy New Member

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    An Alabama cow is the third U.S. animal to test positive for the disease, and America is still only testing 1% of animals, as opposed to 35% in Europe and 100% in Japan. Additionally, the USDA does not have a sophisticated system to track the herd of an infected animal.


    I'm so pissed about this I can't stand it. You can have this disease for years before it starts causing swiss cheese-like holes in your brain. The symptoms start out like dimentia and then progress into convulsions. It's a horrible way to die.

    The proteins that cause it CANNOT BE CLEANED from the equipment used in slaughter. Nothing will kill or destroy it except some ungodly heat of 800 degrees or something like that.

    I am going to quit eating any beef unless I buy the free range fully tested stuff from Whole Foods or something.

    They feed dead cows and cow's blood to cows along with poultry droppings. Yummy.

    Why are we so stupid?
     
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  3. LinasK

    LinasK Verified insider- Mark Dribin case

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    Hey Ziggy, just posted on another thread, we gave up all beef about 2 years ago due to the risk of Mad Cow. We get along just fine with turkey, lamb, chicken, fish, and now pork/ham. I don't miss beef that much.

    There is a beef industry/USDA conspiracy to keep the real prevalence of Mad Cow under wraps IMO. Robin Cook even wrote a scary novel about it.
     
  4. deanws

    deanws Former Member

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    <walking away from the burger I was eating for lunch>:eek:
     
  5. indigomood

    indigomood Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    Morningstar Veggie burgers work for me!!
     
  6. deanws

    deanws Former Member

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  7. BhamMama

    BhamMama Former Member

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    At least this cow wasn't yet used for food. It was a 10 year old beef cow that wasn't slated for slaughter.

    U.S. regulators in 1997 banned the use in cattle feed of any meat and bone meal from animals susceptible to brain-wasting illnesses—cows, sheep, goats, deer and elk. Cattle protein can be used in hog, horse and poultry feed, however.

    So I wouldn't think I was safe to eat pork or poultry if that is the case. Not sure, but if it can kill a human surely it would harm a hog or chicken in the same way.

    From the reports I've heard in the past few days, the animals that have been caught with this disease are the older ones, before 1997, and were prolly fed with that diet that is now changed.

    But how many are slipping by? I agree we need a tougher review system.
     
  8. indigomood

    indigomood Active Member

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    LOL :D

    right click on it and save to your computer, you never know when you'll need a mad cow emoticon :blowkiss:
     
  9. BillyGoatGruff

    BillyGoatGruff New Member

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    It depends on how the pork and poultry is first prepared then cooked.
    If its ground, you need to super-cook it. If its in strip format, there's not much to worry about. And skip the organs altogether.
    The mad cow in England was as virulent as it was because the Brits do tend to eat a lot of ground up organ meat: brains, tongues, eyes, livers, kidneys, blood etc.
     
  10. concernedperson

    concernedperson Former Member

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    Well, thank goodness that isn't me. I over cook everything. And I won't eat those other parts. I am so glad I have had dinner or it would all be over for me.
     
  11. BhamMama

    BhamMama Former Member

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    Out here in the sticks alot of folks eat a lot of tripe, chitlins, chicken livers, tongue, head cheese etc. Some I'm sure are safe, they raise their own beef cattle, chicken, pigs and goats and I know for a fact that they only feed organic...others I'm not so sure about. I'll def pass along the info about the organs.
     
  12. ziggy

    ziggy New Member

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    Yes, correct - provisions were put in place but apparently they are not being followed or enforced and we are still feeding cows to cows.

    I can't understand why herbivores (sp?) need the animal protein. Also, why feed the poo of animals to other animals that we eat? There is something very wrong about that. Eventually, they say the bird flu will go through the droppings and may be passed onto the beef etc.

    I think I might have to buy a farm and raise my own :doh:
     
  13. lynie

    lynie New Member

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    A friend of mine is from a cattle family and she has said that the worst thing you can do is buy the hamburger that comes in the plastic chubs. Those are processed at the slaughter house and prepackaged before transport to the stores.

    A couple of our local stores grind their own ( it may not be on site, but like a co-op) and know exactly where their cows come from...

    And you are right, really it is only the ground meat or organs that carry the disease. Steaks, roasts etc seem to be okay...We are definatly a red meat family so I have searched out the options!

    And I love Morningstar Farms too!!! I am not a vegetarian but love their corndogs, burgers and sausage patties. Very tasty and healthy! I never would have guessed....

    Lynie
     
  14. Marine Mom

    Marine Mom New Member

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    This REALLY surprised me. Thanks for the info.
     
  15. BillyGoatGruff

    BillyGoatGruff New Member

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    Remember--mad cow can occur spontaneously as well. You don't need to feed a cow a diseased cow (or in Britian's case, diseased sheep) for it to occur.
     
  16. BillyGoatGruff

    BillyGoatGruff New Member

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    Ever watch cows out in a field? They eat each others poop all the time--especially if its on top of a tasty patch of grass.
     
  17. BillyGoatGruff

    BillyGoatGruff New Member

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    You're more in danger from ecoli than mad cow from burger in a tube. That's because with ground meat the outside of the cow (that includes poop that didn't get hosed all the way off in the cleansing process) can find itself mixed throughout the hamburger. Steaks and other cuts are fine once you've run them under the tap and the outside of a steak tends to get seared, which will kill any remaining bacteria.
     
  18. luckyevan93

    luckyevan93 New Member

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    Mad Cow Disease: Frequently Asked Questions



    How does mad cow disease threaten human health?

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, also known as mad cow disease) has surfaced in Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Canada, Spain, Germany, Japan, Russia, and, as of December 22, 2003, in the United States. Health authorities consider it to be the most likely cause of a new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), a fatal brain disease that has affected more than 130 people worldwide.

    How do humans become infected with vCJD?

    It is believed that vCJD results from contact with prions in tissues of cattle with BSE. Prions are proteins that are normal in their molecular makeup but abnormal in their shape, like springs that have been bent out of configuration. These prions in turn distort normal proteins in human brain and nerve cells. Only minuscule amounts of prion-tainted tissues are required in order to transmit the disease. Prions concentrate in the brain and spinal cord, but also have been found in blood and muscle tissue.

    What are the effects of vCJD?

    vCJD, like other transmissible encephalopathies, robs an affected individual of mental faculties and muscle coordination, eventually leading to coma and death. There is no cure.

    Can consumers protect themselves from vCJD by cooking meat thoroughly?

    No. Prions, the misshapen proteins that cause vCJD, are very difficult to destroy, even by the chemical or heat disinfectant methods used in hospitals.

    Hasn't the federal government monitored cattle to ensure the safety of the meat supply?

    The fact is that Department of Agriculture officials have not been seriously looking for BSE cases. Data from the National Veterinary Sciences Laboratories BSE Surveillance program from 1990 to 2000 show that, of approximately 900 million cattle slaughtered, only 11,954 brains (approximately 1 in 75,000) were examined for BSE. In fiscal year 2002, the USDA tested only slightly more—19,990—cattle for BSE.

    Further, brain examinations have generally been prompted by the presence of neurological symptoms. However, the symptoms of BSE do not commonly manifest in cattle until about five years of age, which is after the usual age of slaughter. For example, most U.S. dairy cows are slaughtered before four years of age, when even a prion-infected cow is likely to appear healthy.

    In sharp contrast, Japan tests every slaughtered cow for the disease.

    Aren't consumers protected by legal restrictions on what can be fed to cattle?

    Unfortunately, U.S. feed producers are blatantly violating restrictions on feed production. Despite a 1997 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ban on the feeding of most mammalian remains to ruminants, a January 2001 FDA report showed that, of 180 renderers, 16 percent lacked warning labels on feeds designed to differentiate those intended for ruminants from those for nonruminants and 28 percent had no system to prevent the actual mixing of these feeds.

    Does the FDA feeding ban have other flaws?

    There are crucial loopholes in the FDA-mandated protections against mad cow disease, including the following:

    • There are no limits on the use of non-ruminant, such as pig or horse, remains in feeds, due to an exemption in the 1997 ban. Because prions are so difficult to destroy, if the remains of BSE infected cow are fed to a pig or horse and then the pig or horse remains are fed to cows, the cows may subsequently be infected. Similarly, ruminant remains can be fed to poultry and, in turn, poultry feces are routinely used in cattle feed.
    • There are no limits on the “recycling” of beef or other meat products in the form of garbage from restaurants or other institutions for use in animal feeds.
    • There is no restriction on the use of animal byproducts, including blood and blood products, gelatin, milk, and milk products, in feeds through which prions may be transmitted.
    If the regulatory system is so flawed, why hasn't anyone in the U.S. been infected with vCJD?

    There is simply no way of knowing whether vCJD has begun in the United States or not. Death certificates from 1979 to 1998 show that 4,751 people were identified with CJD in the United States. While the presumption is that they had the “classical” form of the disease, rather than the new variant form that is believed to come from animal tissues, this remains uncertain. While most victims were older (a sign of classical CJD), a small number were surprisingly young. The reported cases are probably underestimates due to the problems of misdiagnosis and underreporting.

    Transmissible encephalopathies are not yet reportable diseases for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Individuals showing signs of dementia due to such a condition may be misdiagnosed as suffering from Alzheimer's disease or stroke, and most dying with neurological illnesses are never autopsied, so their brains are never examined.

    How could the government truly protect consumers?

    The following are PCRM's recommendations to the government for protecting the public against vCJD:

    • Ban the use of animal-derived livestock feeds for any species, given the likelihood that animal byproducts will, in turn, be recycled to ruminants (that is, cows, sheep, and goats).
    • Ban the slaughter of downed animals, animals too sick to stand, for human food. The Washington state cow that tested positive for mad cow disease in December 2003 was a downed animal.
    • Prohibit animal byproducts in all medications, supplements, or cosmetics.
    • Label all foods containing animal byproducts (such as gelatin or “natural flavorings”), indicating both the presence of animal byproducts and the species of origin.
    • Provide warning labels on all foods that carry a risk of vCJD, using standards similar to those for tobacco and alcohol products.
    • Institute comprehensive monitoring programs to check for diseased animals and humans in the United States. Monitoring programs for BSE and other encephalopathies in animals should include but not be limited to testing all suspect animals (rather than a fraction of them) and holding back the carcasses of tested animals from the food supply until the test results are known. For humans, monitoring programs should be implemented that require all states to report CJD cases and dementia of unknown cause (especially in young individuals) to the Centers for Disease Control so that any cases where vCJD is suspected can be confirmed or dismissed by autopsy.
    ...this from www.pcrm.org....
    eat carefully :)
     

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