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Mad Cow Disease now in the U.S.


alacarte
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"Shares of McDonald's, the world's biggest restaurant chain, tumbled to $24.20 on Instinet from their close of $25.28 on the New York Stock Exchange after the news broke Tuesday evening."

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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That's just on Instinet. It will be interesting to see what happens to stocks tomorrow. Might be a good day to buy some cheap stocks, since betting against beef can't possibly be long-term viable as an investing position.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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BTW Japan has apparently suspended the importation of American beef pending the outcome of the test of the affected cattle.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...apan_us_mad_cow

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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And, beef futures and prices have fallen accordingly. My family in cattle country, Nebraska, are all wishing they bought some short futures last week. They're also counting their lucky stars that they don't own cattle anymore.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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BTW Japan has apparently suspended the importation of American beef pending the outcome of the test of the affected cattle.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...apan_us_mad_cow

Oh dear!

I wonder what is going to happen to the restaurants here in Japan that only serve 100% American Beef, like the huge yakiniku chain Gyukaku......

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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This is real serious stuff, as most of you know.

Basic rules for raising animals have been ignored in our modern world but until the farming industry changes we should demand;

Do not feed cows (or vegetarian animals) meat.

Do not give a cannibalistic diet to animals.

Do not pump animals with drugs for promoting growth.

A safe food supply is essential. Bad food production practices can destroy our health and can destroy our economy.

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Do not feed cows (or vegetarian animals) meat.

Do not give a cannibalistic diet to animals.

Do not pump animals with drugs for promoting growth.

Only one of these three has been suspected to cause mad cow disease. That one -- feeding the remains of cows to other livestock -- has been illegal in the US since 1997.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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One possibility is that it's idiopathic (spontaneous). This isn't an explanation that will satisfy many people, though, so even if it turns out to be the most probable explanation you'll likely see some theory or another stated as fact. The early news reports are full of the usual theories stated as fact, which I suppose is to be expected.

Another possibility is that some contaminated feed made it through in violation of the law. We know that in FDA spot checks there is occasionally feed discovered with bovine remains in it. At least one of the early news reports on this incident indicates some of that feed was discovered in Washington, where the animal in question resided.

In other news, Korea and Singapore are following the Japan example. One assumes, if and when the test results are confirmed in the UK, that most of our trading partners will follow suit. What goes around comes around.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Understandable, sure. The public is totally hysterical about the issue, so it would be politically disastrous for anybody to say "Hey, you know, it's just one isolated case -- it's probably an overreaction to ban all beef imports from a country the size of the US as a result of this."

At the same time, that's what I think would be the most sensible reaction. When one case of mad cow was discovered in Canada, the reactions took a $3.3 billion toll on the Canadian economy. And in the end, it hardly seems all those bans on importation accomplished anything other than costing Canada $3.3 billion. A lot of good can be accomplished with an additional $3.3 billion in a nation's economy. These bans aren't cost-free. They can be economically disastrous. That needs to be weighed against the risk of any bovine or person contracting a disease from the beef supply of a nation where a single case of mad cow disease has been detected.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I also think that the bans should be revoked once it becomes clear that there is no more mad cow disease in a particular country. But I think it would be pretty difficult for, say, Japan to ban only cows from a particular region of Washington state. I guess that I prefer overreaction to underreaction, but I admit that may be illogical on my part, and your points on economic damage are well taken.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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[PanPosted on Dec 23 2003, 11:01 PM

So how do they think this cow got the disease? Still investigating, I'd imagine, but I hope we get a followup]

It is illegal to feed cows to cows. However, it is perfectly legal to feed chickens and pigs feed made up of the cast off remains of cow. It is also very legal to feed cattle food that contains the remains of chickens and pigs. Our civilisation is a mess.

Edited by jcsaucey (log)

cook slow, eat slower

J.Chovancek

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What is reassuring is how quickly, decisively and transparently this was handled. After the recent Canadian experience, there was no doubt that announcing the discovery of a single case of mad cow was going to have serious and expensive consequences, but no one delayed or equivocated.

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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BSE could have, may have already been in the USA for years, and we probably never gave it second thought, always trusting the gov't, and industry's "scout's honor" to safeguard the food chain for us? also add to the fact that only a tiny percentage of cattle are tested before slaughter leaving behind a huge hole which potential BSE could enter the food chain.

""We're talking about billions of people" around the world who potentially have been exposed to U.S. beef, Lester Friedlander, a former USDA veterinarian who has been insisting mad cow is present in American herds for years, told UPI." http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20031223-103657-3424r

"The GAO concluded: "While (mad cow disease) has not been found in the United States, federal actions do not sufficiently ensure that all (mad cow)-infected animals or products are kept out or that if (mad cow) were found, it would be detected promptly and not spread to other cattle through animal feed or enter the human food supply."

"In discussing the case of mad cow disease apparently found in Washington State, Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman said yesterday that her department tested 20,526 cattle for mad cow disease last year. But that is only a small percentage of the 35 million commercially slaughtered each year.

Because no domestic cases of mad cow disease have been found before, the United States has never put in place the kind of stringent testing done in Japan and some European countries, where every animal is supposed to be tested before humans can eat it. " http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/24/science/24INSP.html

Edited by jeff29992001 (log)
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We are the instruments of our own destruction. Don't know who said it but it fits. In school, my first animal nutrition class curriculum--?-- had a chart we had to get pretty intimate with about TDG's (total digestable proteins) and pounds to weight ratio,blah,blah,blah....anyway, two of the highest scores were chicken feathers and litter, and animal fats. Back then,whenever I read that, it would literally make me gag. The weirdest shit my cows have ever eaten- and still do-is hardware. But they also eat magnets,too.

We are understandably in high alert in Montana and it makes a main news topic in an area with so much tied to cattle. I believe, unless I'm wrong, the Canadian cow that resulted in the quarantine was headed here (MT). We also have to remember something else- 60% of Canadian beef gets exported, 10% of American. So the Canadian producer is a lot more nervous. The small producers I know who bring in fresh stock have an entirely different spin- they are hoping that they do not end up destroying a herd that has a geneology that runs right along with their own.

Edited by Mabelline (log)
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