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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:11 PM

12. Playing "Either/Or" some mo', though.....

...your conclusion may be premature.

Mad Cow disease -- whatever the ultimate verdict on pink slime -- still looks like it merits attention.

Here's another recent article on that subject, which also reflects generally on U.S. food safety practices:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/04/26/americas-mad-cow-crisis/

In the United States, dairy calves are still taken from their mothers and fed the blood and fat of dead cattle. This is no doubt a way to infect them with the mad cow disease that has now been incubating here for decades, spread through such animal feeding practices. No one knows how the latest dairy cow was infected, the fourth confirmed in the United States. Maybe it was nursed on cows blood. Perhaps it was fed feed containing cattle fat with traces of cattle protein. Or perhaps there is a mad cow disease in pigs in the United States, which simply has not been found yet, because pigs are not tested for it at all, even though pigs are fed both pig and cattle byproducts, and then the blood, fat and other waste parts of these pigs are fed to cattle.

All these U.S. cattle feeding methods are long banned and illegal in other countries that suffered through but eventually dealt properly with mad cow disease. Here, rather than stopping the transmission of the disease by stopping the cannibal feeding, mad cow is simply covered up with inadequate testing and very adequate public relations.


Reading further down, a very simple conclusion is drawn, and the reasons for it explained:

The prevention of mad cow disease is relatively simple. If your country has it, test each animal before it goes to slaughter to keep the diseased animals out of the food chain. Cheap, accurate and easy tests are now available in other countries but illegal here. Testing cattle both identifies the true extent of the disease, and keeps infected animals from being eaten in your sausage or hamburger. In this manner countries like Britain, Germany, France and Japan have controlled their problem through testing and a strict ban on cannibal feed.

Once mad cow disease moves into the human population of a country, all bets are off as to what could happen next. Its a very slow disease, it develops invisibly over decades in someone who has been infected, and it is always fatal. Well know a lot more in fifty years, but the future looks worrisome. In Britain people are dying from mad cow disease, people who never consumed infected meat. They used medical products containing human blood, and that blood was infected because it was from infected people. There is no test to identify infectious prions, the causal agent, in blood.

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