January 23, 2005

A Riverside, Calif. neurologist lost a patient to CJD last year and thinks something is fishy at NPDPSC, the US prion watchdog agency. Allegedly the agency ruled out mad cow based on a test not acceptable to neuropathology experts. Now they've "lost" the brain sample and aren't talking to reporters. Now six cows from an infected Canadian herd have disappeared in the U.S. beef supply without a trace. The USDA doesn't seem to be talking to reporters, either.
  • If it wasn't the Wash times I would let my cynicism roam free, but lats face it they dont have a real good record of getting this stuff right...
  • There have been a bunch of suspected and a few confirmed CJD cases in my area over the past several years. (also can be found at http://www.recordonline.com/ but you have to pay to access the archives.) Ever read Mad Cow U.S.A.?
  • Even if it is the Wash Times, if any of this comes as a surprise you haven't been paying attention. All indications are that the North American beef herd is as likely to be riddled with BSE as the British herd was. The USDA has been doing everything they reasonably can to avoid confronting the problem, including prohibiting independent slaughterhouses from testing all their cows for BSE. They won't even prohibit the use of Mechanically Recovered Meat. A ridiculously risky process where an entire cow skeleton is fed into a machine that sucks off any remaining shreds of bone. I've heard the industry reps interviewed and their lame defense is that the machine somehow 'magically' avoids sucking out spinal tissue, even as it sucks out everything else. "It's true", they swear! All that to wring a few extra cents worth of flesh out of the cow for the use in B-grade weiners. It's all about protecting corporate interests - Big Agra. Not the ranchers and farmers, but the huge corporate slaughterhouses and giant feed lot operators who forsee a plunge in the beef market if the public finds out the truth and starts running scared. Of course, they don't want to pony up the cost of BSE tests for all cattle either. These are the same caring companies who, when a market such as pork takes a nose dive due to 'oversupply', somehow manage to avoid passing on any of the savings to your grocery bill, while farmers go out of business and animals are being sold off to the slaughterhouses below cost. Free market at work, my ass! Take heart though - the statisticians claim that they got enough data from the vCJD outbreak in the UK to confidently estimate that the chance of catching BSE from eating meat from an actual contaminated cow at only 1-2%. Of course, now those numbers are being thrown into doubt, but I can't find the link any more :(
  • Yes, the Center for Media & Democracy (which published Mad Cow USA) has done a lot of good work on mad cow disease.
  • Gee, let's see why this got screwed up. First, the government agency sent the sample to a lab with the wrong facilities (note, in the future, don't use 1-800-KRUSTY-THE-CLOWN). Second, no one at either the agency or the lab talked about what they were supposed to be doing. I say this wasn't a vast conspiracy, just a SNAFU due to this being a rare procedure and the government outsourcing something without providing for adequate monitoring and communication.
  • Time to start eating squirrels.
  • Yum
  • Un-yum!
  • How dare you munch upon my fine furred friends! How about time to start eating turnips?
  • Time to start eating squirrels. These are the types of comments that drove away our scuris. *weeps for the little squirrel monkey Anybody hear from him in a while? Last post here was August. Oh, yea, SURE I believe what the gummint tells me--About this or any other subject.
  • A good summary of the whole mess from the CBC.
  • This pisses me off to no end, because, you see, I love beef. I eat it with a ferocity and vigor that disturbs me at times. Burgers, ribs, steak, stew, meatloaf ... mmmm, meatloaf; I love it all. Were I to stop eating beef, I might just very well die of heartbreak (although I'm sure my heart would appreciate the break in all those transfatty acids and cholesterol ... mmmm, cholesterol). I'm not rich enough to eat that fancy shmancy naturally raised organic tree-hugging beef or bison (although I have been incorporating more of it into my budget). And yet, I'm getting ready to go meatless, seeing how these idiots at the USDA can't seem to take this seriously. Well, I suppose I shouldn't be suprised at the search for short term profits at the risk of a market collapse. But I can't stop getting pissed off like all hell. It's like they WANT us to stop eating beef.
  • so this one cow says to the other cow.. "hey, have you heard of this Mad Cow thing"? "yep". "are you worried"? "nope". "why not"? "i'm not a cow, I'm a chicken" "no you're not, i'm a chicken!... hey! where's this conveyer belt going"?
  • GramMa, I believe I saw sciurus still posting on Mefi, but I guess he's not too keen on coming over here to play anymore. *sigh* I am now terrified of eating beef but still eating it. I'm just grateful my folks back home are eating Aussie beef instead. *cross fingers*
  • I love a good piece of meat. I also love raw eggs in my homemade Ceasar/mayo/aoili. However, I guess I'll coddle my eggs (which I always do for guests) and switch to lamb steaks. Or buy ostrich. Has anyone ever tried ostrich? It's the new beef, so they say. Or it was last time I checked.
  • I've tried ostrich. It looks and taste most like beef, but softer. Very nice. Unfortunately, also quite expensive back home, so we didn't buy it much.
  • Coddled eggs drip down tingly spine Scuttled and bemused, I defy thy mind Trembling variations wail and steam Tonight's dinner party serves tartare and brie Say you do not know me, heaven has set still Cooly dancing, donning the hooved white veil Years in advance well-covered and drawn; Bloody coup d'├ętat in your head, dread lest you fall My muse