English farmers ,hoof and mouth disease crisis + " mad cow"

gdunkel at SPAMmindspring.com gdunkel at SPAMmindspring.com
Sun Mar 18 15:39:34 MST 2001

On 18 Mar 2001, at 21:45, David Welch wrote:

> About a dozen people have died from new variant CJD so far, less than
> die from accidents with radio alarm clocks each year, but millions and
> millions of cattle have been slaughtered and the most absurd
> restrictions have been put on consumption of beef. Don't you think
> something might be going on here?

What's going on is in agribusiness' drive to reduce costs and thus
increase profits, it ignored safety.  While it is true that only a small
number of people died from a horrible disease -- Emerging
Diseases (Jan-Feb 2001) gives a figure of around 90 -- nearly all of
these deaths could have been prevented by prompt
medical/epidemological attention.

The real issue is the number of cows infected and the length of
time vCJD takes to incubate.

Emerging Diseases estimates that over 200,000 English cows
were infected.  How much meat from infected cows entered the
food supply is not really known.  Scientists don't know how long
the incubation period is.

If it's five years, most of the deaths have already occured.  If it is 15
years, tens of thousand more will occur.

While the US has been spared so far, the FDA estimates that between
20% and 30% of all feed plants in the US do NOT follow the rules designed
to keep cow parts out of cow feed.

I certainly do think something is going on.  I wrote an article for Workers
World a few weeks ago with more details and analysis. Here's the URL


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