Is There More To Mad Cow Disease Than The U.S Department Of Agriculture Is Telling?

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Factory farming in the U.S. engages in practices which compromises the safety of the food supply.

The British and European outbreaks of BSE ignited because the industry turned cattle — natural vegetarians — into cannibals, feeding them the remains of cattle and other animals. U.S. farmers did the same, but Britain had a huge incidence of a related disease in sheep called scrapie, and many scientists believe that was the source of the massive cattle outbreak. Although experiments showed that BSE could infect monkeys and other animals, it was not until the first human infections that anyone realized the threat it poses to people. The human form of the disease, first discovered in Britain in the 1980s, has been blamed for the deaths of at least 280 people worldwide, with 175 in the UK alone.
How could the California cow have been infected with feed? Following the British outbreak, ranchers in the U.S. and most of the rest of the world stopped feeding cattle the remains of cattle, sheep and other mammals. But a farmer’s feed still could get contaminated by other means. The USDA still allows chickens to consume the remains of cattle. Chicken litter, containing urine and feces, is fed to cows. That could theoretically transmit the infection to cattle.

U.S Department Of Agriculture Serves Our Children

The “pink slime” as it’s being called has caused quite the furor on the internet.

Parents and activists are alarmed to find out that this combination of meat by-products and ammonia hydroxide is being served to children in school lunches because the U.S Department of Agriculture continues to purchase it.

This “high risk product” has not passed food inspection findings, however, the U.S.D.A. commissioned a separate study to assess the safety of BPI’s “Lean Beef Trimmings” to make it appear safe.

Custer said he first encountered the product — which gained fame recently as “pink slime” in part due to the efforts of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver — back in the late 1990s. Despite voicing his concerns to other officials at the food inspection service, however, the USDA ruled that Lean Beef Trimmings were safe. “The word in the office was that undersecretary JoAnn Smith pushed it through, and that was that,” Custer said.

Appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1989, Smith had deep ties with the beef industry, serving as president of both the Florida Cattlemen’s Association and the of the National Cattlemen’s Association.

“Scientists in D.C. were pressured to approve this stuff with minimal safety approval,” Zirnstein said.

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