BSE: Bush Knew
Ian Andrew Bell
fork at ianbell.com
Mon Jan 5 11:37:24 PST 2004
..or more succinctly, on the subject of Mad Cow Disease, Bush doesn't
want to know. And he doesn't want you to know, either.
Of 375 million cattle slaughtered in the United States between 1990 and
2002, fewer than 15,000 were even tested for BSE. If we extrapolate
that the FDA found only one BSE case in 16,250 cattle tested between
1990 and 2004 in America there could statistically have been 25,000
BSE-infected cows put into the food system. If you need any greater
clue that the US FDA doesn't even care to hear the results of testing,
know that even those cows tested are still put into the food
distribution network BEFORE the results come back from the lab.
The U.S. government has continually reduced staffing for testing and
performing quality assurance at slaughterhouses, and in fact by law
U.S. Beef Inspectors cannot make unescorted, unannounced, or
spontaneous inspections of slaughterhouses. They can't even enter the
facilities without first proving that the log books which packers
regularly fake are indeed fraudulent -- how can you prove the log books
are fraudulent if you can't even enter the premises?
A great book on the subject is Schlosser's "Fast Food Nation". He
wrote most of this before BSE so he was mostly writing about E.Coli,
though the lessons still apply.
Effectively, though, even AFTER lessons learned from the BSE outbreaks
in the UK, throughout the EU, and in Canada the Cattle industry in the
US still resists regulation and the Republican congress abets continued
ignorance. For instance, while Cattle are no longer fed the offal of
other cattle they ARE fed the blood of other cattle, and the offal of
chickens, pigs, and fish which have in turn consumed the offal of
cattle. This is because the beef industry likes to feed ruminants like
cows high-protein foods to fatten them up in the final 30 days before
slaughter so they taste better and yield more (though fattier) beef.
BSE can of course jump from species to species so in effect there still
are no laws or practises to prevent the disease from spreading even
Interestingly, BSE may have been rampant in North America for decades
and, if so, has likely been misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's Disease or
other forms of subacute spongiform encephalopathy:
...if you know someone who suffered/suffers from Alzheimer's but is
abnormally young, they probably ate BSE-infected beef and contracted
detox your inbox.
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