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First U.S. mad cow case confirmed in Washington State!

Mmmmm...pass me another burger! "we remain confident in the safety of our food supply" said Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman. Perhaps this will get people to question fast food meat...
From corporate media:

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The first case of mad cow disease in the United States has been discovered in Washington state, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Tuesday.

Further tests will be conducted in the UK to confirm the case, said Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman.

BSE is linked to a similar form of the incurable brain-wasting disease in humans, called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, or vCJD. There have been a small number of cases of vCJD reported worldwide, primarily in the United Kingdom, in people who consumed BSE-contaminated meat.

"A single cow has tested presumptive positive for BSE, commonly known as mad cow disease. Despite this finding we remain confident in the safety of our food supply," said Veneman.

Full Story:  http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/12/23/mad.cow/index.html
old news 23.Dec.2003 16:11

thankfully vegetarian

Mad cow has been in the US for years, always falling under the name "early onset Alzheimer's". Medical institutions could not publicize out of fear of lawsuits from various beef industry corporations and lobbyists.


I'll dig up some more later...

"we grind up the spines n' brains n' bones and feed 'em back to our holsteins" 23.Dec.2003 16:23

this thing here

"then we mix in a little corn 'er somethin' into the meal, put them hormone tags on their ears, inject 'em with antibiotics so they can digest the corn properly, and watch 'em get fat real fast. then they get loaded on them haulers, and driven to the slaughter house, and get that spike fired into their heads, and come out as hamburgers."

is it still dept. of agriculture/FDA policy accross the u.s. to allow the feeding of animal remnants to other animals? if it is, reports of mad cow disease should not be a surprise. even more so after what happened in england, and because that feeding practice has been rightfully banned in europe. if feeding cows to cows can cause prions to rise to unhealthy levels in holsteins in england, it will do the exact same thing to holsteins here. i'm not sure where the ranching industry gets off thinking there's an exception to the rule in america.

canibalism causes natural selection 23.Dec.2003 17:40

aunt sam

cows canibalizing other cows through the use of human force causes human natural selection. Wait we can't have headlines like that! Let's blame it on the cow.... let's call it mad cow disease, yeah that's the ticket.... would you like me to take your order? Please pull up to the next window...fat cow, mad cow, fat cow, mad cow,

soylent green is people!

'first us case' my arse 23.Dec.2003 20:38


"The first case of mad cow disease in the United States has been discovered in Washington state, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Tuesday."

my gawd the hypocrisy! the fact that this story is coming out now, after years of coverup from the media and the same department of agriculture, tends to make one feel it is released now for a reason.

"quick, the saddam hussein thing and the terror alert had no effect on the public. they might still talk about how fucked up george bush is when they go home for the holidays. we need to pull out the big guns, "

who knows where this story will go in the next few days, but it has legs, potentially.

i just have one question: who is the pr/advertising director in the bush white house? s/he is losing control, i think. (that's gotta be a tough job when the lies unravel so fast.)

mad cow disease has been in oregon for several years 23.Dec.2003 21:12


I work in a nursing home, and we've had several cases of mad cow disease. I can't understand why this hasn't gotten any attention. I have heard of other people in other nursing homes as well. They're young people, and are suffering from "a rare disease" which "seems to mimic mad cow disease in every way." It's a mysterious ailment only because no one is fessing up to the epidemic, but I can tell you, it is mad cow disease. I saw the first case of this nearly three years ago.

What is Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease? 23.Dec.2003 21:36

repost from Newsday

To: shhhhh...
.."I work in a nursing home, and we've had several cases of mad cow disease."
Sorry, but I have to question the veracity of your clinical experience, from what you've posted.

Do you know if any licensed practitioner at the nursing home gave a diagnosis for a human patient at the nursing home for "mad cow disease"?

Do you know if anyone was admitted as a patient to the nursing home with a condition of "mad cow disease" in their admittance or medical record?

basalt (reposter)
What is Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease?
Roni Rabin
Staff Writer

December 22, 2003

A horrendous neurological illness, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease is a fatal degenerative brain disorder that runs its course swiftly, usually causing death within a year.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob, or CJD, is as dreaded as it is rare, striking one person in a million annually, with about 200 cases diagnosed each year in the United States, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. There is no cure or treatment, though medication may provide some symptomatic relief.

"It's a tragic, tragic disease," said Dr. Mark F. Gordon, an attending neurologist at Long Island Jewish Medical Center who also teaches neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

CJD has been in the news in recent years because it is one of the family of human and animal diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or TSE's, the most infamous of which is mad cow disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, found in cows. The name "spongiform" refers to the look of brains of infected humans and animals, which become filled with holes and look like sponges when examined under a microscope.The human disease CJD generally appears around age 60, exhibited initially through symptoms such as confusion and failing memory, personality and behavioral changes, impaired vision and lack of coordination. The symptoms may be similar to other neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's or Huntington's disease, but CJD progresses more rapidly.

As the illness proceeds, it causes severe dementia, blindness, involuntary spastic muscle movement and weakness of the limbs, according to the national institute's Web site. Patients often die after slipping into a coma or developing pneumonia.

The vast majority of cases of the illness are sporadic, which means the patient has no known risk factors. In about 5 percent to 10 percent of cases, patients have a family history of the disease, and in less than 1 percent of cases, the disease is transmitted by exposure to brain or nervous system tissue during medical procedures. But there is no evidence CJD is contagious through casual contact, the Web site says.

CJD and other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are believed to be caused by prions, infectious proteins with altered shapes that trigger changes in other normal protein cells, setting up a chain reaction, according to the Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Foundation Web site, cjdfoundation.org.

"The infectious agent isn't quite a virus ... it's a protein that takes over, kind of like a genetic mutation," Dr. Gordon said. "We don't understand much beyond that."

Although there is no direct evidence it is related to "mad cow disease," a string of cases of a new variant of CJD in young people in Britain and France are believed to have been caused by eating beef contaminated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Since 1998, there have been more than a dozen deaths a year in Britain attributed to the new variant of CJD, according to the Web site for Britain's CJD Surveillance Unit.

Copyright © 2003, Newsday, Inc. |  Article licensing and reprint options


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More Mad-Cow Mayhem! 23.Dec.2003 22:24



USDA refused to release mad cow records

By Steve Mitchell
United Press International
Published 12/23/2003 11:05 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Although the United States Department of Agriculture insisted the U.S. beef supply is safe Tuesday after announcing the first documented case of mad cow disease in the United States, the agency for six months repeatedly refused to release its tests for mad cow to United Press International.

The USDA claims to have tested approximately 20,000 cows for the disease in 2002 and 2003, but has been unable to provide any documentation in support of this to UPI, which first requested the information in July.

In addition, former USDA veterinarians tell UPI they have long suspected the disease was in U.S herds and there are probably additional infected animals.

USDA Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced late Tuesday during a hastily scheduled news briefing that a cow slaughtered Dec. 9 on a farm in Mabton, Wash., had tested positive for mad cow disease. The farm has been quarantined but the meat from the animal may have already passed into the human food supply.

The slaughtered meat was sent for processing to Midway Meats in Washington and the USDA is currently trying to trace if the meat went for human consumption, Veneman said.

The fear is mad cow disease can infect humans and cause a brain-wasting condition known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease that is always fatal. More than 100 people contracted this disease in the United Kingdom after a widespread outbreak of mad cow disease in that country in the 1980s.

An outbreak of mad cow disease in the United States has the potential to dwarf the situation in the United Kingdom because the American beef industry is far larger and U.S. beef is exported to countries all over the globe.

"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.

The USDA insisted the case is probably isolated and the US beef supply is safe. "I plan to serve beef for my Christmas dinner," Veneman said, "and we remain confident in the safety of our food supply."

Responded Friedlander: "She might as well kiss her (behind) goodbye, then."

Veneman went on to say she had confidence in the USDA surveillance system for detecting mad cow and protecting the public, noting the agency has tested more than 20,000 cattle for the disease this year.

This represents only a small percentage of the millions of cows in the U.S. herd, however, and experts say current procedures are unlikely to detect mad cow.

The Washington cow was tested because it was a so-called downer cow -- a cow unable to stand on its own -- which is a sign of mad cow disease. However, the United States sees approximately 200,000 of these per year or about 10 times as many animals are tested for the disease.

USDA officials told UPI as recently as Dec. 17 the agency still is searching for documentation of its mad cow testing results from 2002 and 2003.

UPI initially requested the documents on July 10, and the agency sent a response letter dated July 24, saying it had launched a search for any documents pertaining to mad cow tests from 2002 and 2003.

"If any documents exist, they will be forwarded," USDA official Michael Marquis wrote in the letter.

Despite this and a 30-day limit under the Freedom of Information Act on responding to such a request, the USDA never sent any corresponding documents. The agency's FOI office also did not return several calls from UPI placed over a series of months.

Finally, UPI threatened legal action in early December if the agency did not respond.

In a Dec. 17 letter to UPI from USDA Freedom of Information Act Office Andrea E. Fowler, the agency wrote: "Your request has been forwarded to the (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) for processing and to search for the record responsive to your earlier request."

To date, the USDA has not said if any records exist or if they will be sent to UPI.

"It's always concerned me that they haven't used the same rapid testing technique that's used in Europe," where mad cow has been detected in several additional countries outside of the United Kingdom, Michael Schwochert, a retired USDA veterinarian in Ft. Morgan, Colo., told UPI.

"It was almost like they didn't want to find mad cow disease," Schwochert said.

He noted he had been informed that approximately six months ago a cow displaying symptoms suggestive of mad cow disease showed up at the X-cel slaughtering plant in Ft. Morgan.

Once cows are unloaded off the truck they are required to be inspected by USDA veterinarians. However, the cow was spotted by plant employees before USDA officials saw it and "it went back out on a special truck and they called the guys in the office and said don't say anything about this," Schwochert said.

Veneman said the Washington case "does not pose any kind of significant risk to the human food chain."

Friedlander called that assessment, aptly enough, "B.S." Referring to the USDA's failure to provide their testing documentation to UPI, he said, "The government doesn't have records to substantiate their testing so how do they know whether this is an isolated case." The agency also cannot provide any assurance that this animal did not get processed for human consumption, he said.

Schwochert agreed with that, saying the USDA's sparse testing means they cannot say with any confidence whether there are additional cases or not.

Both Schwochert and Friedlander said the report of a mad cow case would devastate the U.S. beef industry.

"It scares the hell out of me what it's going to do to the cattle industry," Schwochert said. "This could be catastrophic."

Only hours after Veneman's announcement, Japan -- the biggest importer of U.S. beef -- and South Korea both banned the importation of American meat.

The American Meat Institute, a trade group in Arlington, Va., representing the U.S. meat and poultry industry, maintained the U.S. beef supply is safe for human consumption.

"First and foremost, the U.S. beef supply is safe," AMI spokesman Dan Murphy told UPI. "We think its safe for U.S. consumers to eat."

This is because infectious prions, thought to be the causative agent of mad cow and vCJD, are not found in muscle tissue that comprises hamburgers and steaks, he said. They are generally located in brain and spinal cord tissue.

However, recent studies have suggested prions may occur, albeit in smaller numbers, in muscle tissue, and bits of brain and spinal cord tissue have been detected in hamburger meat.

Other protective measures have also been put in place that should protect consumers, Murphy said.

Mad cow disease is thought to be spread by feeding infected cow tissue back to cattle -- a practice that was common in the United Kingdom and is thought to have contributed to their widespread outbreak. The practice has been banned in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration since 1997, which should help ensure this is "an isolated case," Murphy said.

A report from the General Accounting Office issued just last year, however, found some ranchers in the United States still violate the feed ban and do feed cow tissue to cattle.

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."


Steve Mitchell is UPI's medical correspondent. E-mail  sciencemail@upi.com

Copyright © 2001-2003 United Press International

Poor cows... we should stop eating them and treating them so badly.
Poor cows... we should stop eating them and treating them so badly.

sorry, poster from Newsday, I'll take Shhh at their word 24.Dec.2003 07:35


I'll take Shhh's word for it at this time! Why? That's a no brainer>>>we, as a nation, are awash
in a sea of lies as it is, so what's one more to be foisted by the cattle industry and McWorld in
order to keep a lid on the "cow pies" mess that now literally is flinging cow shit all over as "bad
press" is mounting, cow stocks are collapsing, and soon...so for McStocks! No, sorry! My un-
shakable faith in KorpAmerika was shattered with Enron, World Com, Halliburton, ect. ect...and
all the daze-inducing reporting by Fox News will not cause me to FORGET!

And as to those cows in field not yet slaughtered...grap your guns and join the fight...stand up
for your rights! Kick a hoof on the Diabold Voting Machine and vote for Dean...reclaim your

meat and greet 24.Dec.2003 08:24


mmmmmmm pass the vegan peanut soup mommy!

Lets Blame the Canadians 27.Dec.2003 10:43

Fred B.

That's a no-brainer! Why not blame the Canadians since they had one show up this last year. With all the mis-information out there why not, yet again, blame some other country to take the heat off of the American government and its continual denial that its never ever done anything wrong!
Why is there no actual documentation concerning what testing for BSE was done in the states??
Why are American farmers still feeding cow tissue back to their animals?
Why are many US veternarians being ignored?
Its time the American government finally fessed up.

first american mad cow 04.Jan.2004 09:34

kold kanuck

I think when americans say the recent and supposedly the first mad cow in u.s. dec 2003
Is a big fat lie! In the past they just called it something else.the whole thing smacks of an immense coverup.
COVERUO in america ?how can that be america is honest to a fault (sarcasm intended)