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FACTOIDS AND RESOURCE LINKS
Mad Cow Disease
Vegetarianism
The Environment
Human Health
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NEW MAD COW DISEASE FACTOIDS INDEX


DEFINITIONS

"In 1907, Dr. Alzheimer published a treatise about a disease that would one day carry his name. He had two young colleagues who worked with him, Dr. Creutzfeldt and Dr. Jakob, and they too identified a similiar brain-wasting disease that now has Europe in a panic. The brains of cows turn into a sponge-like mass and their behavior is called "mad." The human variant of Mad Cow Disease has been named Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease, or CJD. The protein causing CJD has no DNA, and has been described as more like a crystal than cellular material. In labs, 1000 degree Fahrenheit heat does not destroy this protein particle. Some scientists say that once infected, the incubation period can last anywhere from one month to thirty years. As the human brain turns into a sponge, this spongioform encephalitic condition physically debilitates those so infected." http://www.notmilk.com/m.html

"Mad cow disease is a member of a family of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or TSEs, seen in various animal species including humans, sheep, cows, mink, deer and cats. TSEs are known by different names in different animals - for example, Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease (CJD) in humans, scrapie in sheep, chronic wasting syndrome in deer and elk, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE in cows. Whatever animal is afflicted, however, the diseases have similar characteristics. They attack the central nervous system, causing disintegration of the brain; they have a long incubation period between the time when infection first occurs and the appearance of symptoms; they are always fatal; and they are transmitted by the eating of animals or animal parts, especially brains and spinal cords." "Mad Cow Disease, Parts One and Two," Rachel's Environment and Health Weekly, July 9 and July 16,1998 [02.06.27:01]

"The new cases of the human form of mad cow disease are called new variant Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease (nvCJD)." Scott, Michael, et al, "Compelling transgenic evidence for transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy prions in humans," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dec 21, 1999, pg 15137-424 [02.06.27:02]

"Meat is a lush medium for pathogenic bacteria and germs; it can harbor parasites, toxic chemicals, and metal contaminants. And now it can bring death by brain-rot." (Steve Bjerklie, Executive Editor, Meat Processing magazine) [02.06.27:03]

"The infectious agent of mad cow disease remains infective even after exposure for an hour to a temperature of 680 degrees Celsius - enough to melt lead - and can withstand antibiotics, boiling water, bleach, formaldehyde, and a variety of solvents, detergents and enzymes known to destroy most known bacteria and viruses." Rampton, Sheldon, and Staubcr, John, "Mad Cow U.S.A.: Could the Nightmare Happen Here?' PR Watch; See also Institute of Food Science and Technology (UK), "Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE): part 1/6, part I of a 6-part position paper, http://www.ifst.org/hottop5.htm [02.06.27:04]

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HISTORY

[Posted 01/27/04]: (01/06/04): "Mad Cow In Canada & USA Timeline"
[Superb chronology summarizing 1992 to Jan. 6, 2004:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/madcow/timeline.html

[Posted 01/27/04]: (12/29/03): "A Crisis For Britain"
[Great summary of BSE in Britain and Europe:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/madcow/britain.html

[Posted 01/27/04]: (12/30/03): "Mad Cow USA: The Nightmare Begins: In March, 1996, when the British government reversed itself after ten years of denial and announced that young people were dying from the fatal dementia called variant CJD - mad cow disease in humans - the United States media dutifully echoed reassurances from government and livestock industry officials that all necessary precautions had been take long ago to guard against the disease. Those who did read "Mad Cow USA" when it was published in November, 1997, however, realized that the United States assurances of safety were based on public relations and public deception, not science or adequate regulatory safeguards. We revealed that the United States Department of Agriculture knew more than a decade ago that to prevent mad cow disease in America would require a strict ban on "animal cannibalism," the feeding of rendered slaughterhouse waste from cattle to cattle as protein and fat supplements, but refused to support the ban because it would cost the meat industry money.

It was the livestock feed industry that led the effort in the early 1990s to lobby into law the Texas food disparagement act, and when an uppity Oprah hosted an April 1996, program featuring rancher-turned vegan activist Howard Lyman, she and her guest became the first people sued for the crime of sullying the good name of beef. Oprah eventually won her lawsuit, but it cost her years of legal battling and millions of dollars. In reality, the public lost, because mainstream media stopped covering the issue of mad cow disease. As one TV network producer told me at the time, his orders were to keep his network from being sued the way Oprah had been.""
[Very edited from the superb & comprehensive article at:
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17466

[Download a copy of "Mad Cow USA:"
http://www.prwatch.org/books/mcusa.pdf


"More than 167,000 British dairy cattle died from the bovine form of this disease, popularly known as mad cow disease, between 1985 and 1995." Hansen, Michael. "The Reasons Why FDA's Feed Rule Won't Protect Us from BSE," Genetic Engineering News, July 1997, pg 4, See also, Al Lawrence, "FDA Proposal Would Ban Using Animal Tissue in Feed," New York Times, Jan 3, 1997, pg A14 [02.06.27:05]

"During this entire time, British health officials adamantly maintained that there was nothing unsafe about eating British beef. Even as evidence mounted to the contrary, the government held stubbornly to this position. Then, in 1996, a panel of government scientists told Parliament that the "most likely explanation" for new cases of the human form of mad cow disease was that BSE had moved from cows to people. By that time, more than one million infected cows had been consumed in Britain.

In the next few years, more than 2.5 million British dairy cattle infected with mad cow disease were killed and incinerated at extremely high temperatures in an attempt to eradicate the disease." Darnton, John, "Britain Ties Deadly BrainDisease to Cow Ailment," New York Times. March 21, 1996, A1 [02.06.27:06]

"In 1999, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Canadian health authorities recommended that blood centers refuse blood donations from people who have spent six or more cumulative months in England during the past 17 years, because anyone who spent substantial time in England during this period is potentially infected with the human form of the disease, and it can be transmitted through blood." "Frequent travelers to UK banned from donating blood," Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Oct 1, 1999 [02.06.27:07]

"Months after the Oprah Show that the FDA formally banned the practice of feeding cow meat and bone meal back to cows: 16." [02.06.27:08]

"Practice still remaining legal and widespread in the U.S. in 2000: Feeding pigs and chickens the bones, brains, meat scraps, feathers and feces of their own species." Rampton, Sheldon, and Stauber, John, "One Hundred Percent All Beef Baloney: Lessons From the Oprah Trial," PR Watch: http://www.prwatch.org/prwissues/1998Q1/oprah.html [02.06.27:09]

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