It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


All about Mad cow disease

page: 1

log in


posted on Jun, 25 2005 @ 01:38 AM

I see this as a major topic in our near future, and I just thought that it needs to be discussed with applied knowledge. Alot of people make assumptions about the cases and problems associated with the issue. Lets look at it in detail.

What causes BSE?

The exact cause of BSE is not known but it is generally accepted by the scientific community that the likely cause is infectious forms of a type of protein, prions, normally found in animals cause BSE. In cattle with BSE, these abnormal prions initially occur in the small intestines and tonsils, and are found in central nervous tissues, such as the brain and spinal cord, and other tissues of infected animals experiencing later stages of the disease.

Such claims that X country got the disease from Y country is quite rediculous when you really look at it. This disease can form anywhere with little or no notice for many years.

Does BSE affect people?

There is a disease similar to BSE called Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (CJD) that is found in people. A variant form of CJD (vCJD) is believed to be caused by eating contaminated beef products from BSE-affected cattle. To date, there have been 155 confirmed and probable cases of vCJD worldwide among the hundreds of thousands of people that may have consumed BSE-contaminated beef products. The one reported case of vCJD in the United States was in a young woman who contracted the disease while residing in the UK and developed symptoms after moving to the U.S.

According to that, only 155 cases world wide. Not much cause for alarm considering how massive it could be.

What additional measures are being taken to ensure food safety in the U.S. from BSE?

Since 1989, the FDA and other federal agencies have had ongoing regulatory measures in place to prevent BSE contamination of U.S. food and food products. Following the identification in a Washington state dairy herd of a BSE-positive cow imported from Canada, USDA issued new regulations containing additional safeguards to further minimize risk for introduction of the BSE agent into the U.S. food supply. See USDA's website for further information..

Similarly, FDA has prohibited the use of the cattle materials that carry the highest risk of BSE in human food, including dietary supplements, and in cosmetics. FDA's rule prohibits use of the following cattle material in human food and cosmetics:

* cattle material from non-ambulatory, disabled cattle,
* cattle material from organs from cattle 30 months of age or older in which infectious prions are most likely to occur, and the tonsils and small intestine of cattle of all ages,
* cattle material from mechanically separated (MS) (beef), and
* cattle material from cattle that are not inspected and passed for human consumption

FDA's rule also requires that food and cosmetics manufacturers and processors make available to FDA any existing records relevant to their compliance with these prohibitions. FDA has also published a proposal requiring manufacturers and processors of food and cosmetics made with cattle material to establish and maintain records demonstrating that their products do not contain prohibited cattle material.

Heres one that should calm your milk fears.

Is cow's milk a source of BSE?

Scientific research indicates that BSE is not transmitted in cow's milk, even if the milk comes from a cow with BSE. Milk and milk products, even in countries with a high incidence of BSE are, therefore, considered safe.

When and how did BSE in cattle occur?

BSE in cattle was first reported in 1986 in the United Kingdom (UK). The exact origins of BSE remain uncertain, but it is thought that cattle initially may have become infected when fed feed contaminated with scrapie-infected sheep meat-and-bone meal (MBM). Scrapie is a prion disease in sheep similar to BSE in cattle. The scientific evidence suggests that the U.K. BSE outbreak in cattle then was expanded by feeding BSE-contaminated cattle protein (MBM) to calves. The definitive nature of the BSE agent is not completely known. The agent is thought to be a modified form of a protein, called a prion, which becomes infectious and accumulates in neural tissues causing a fatal, degenerative, neurological disease. These abnormal prions are resistant to common food disinfection treatments, such as heat, to reduce or eliminate their infectivity or presence. Research is ongoing to better understand TSE diseases and the nature of prion transmission.

What countries have reported cases of BSE or are considered to have a substantial risk associated with BSE?

These countries are: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia, The Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan, and United Kingdom (Great Britain including Northern Ireland and the Falkland Islands).

Canada (May 2003) and the U.S. (December 2003) each have recently reported one BSE-positive cow but remain countries considered to have a low risk. The U.S. BSE-positive cow reported in December 2003 was confirmed to have been imported from Canada in 2001.

This page is going to have to update its material.


Learn about infected countries here:


Some more great info

What measures has the US government taken to ensure that people are not exposed to the BSE agent in foods?

The USDA is responsible for the health of US livestock. To prevent BSE from entering the country, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has, since 1989, prohibited the importation of live ruminants from countries where BSE is known to exist in native cattle. On December 12, 1997, APHIS stopped the importation of live ruminants and most ruminant products, including meat, meat-and-bone meal, offals, glands, etc. from all of Europe. FDA is responsible for animal feeds in the US. In August 1997, FDA prohibited the use of most mammalian protein in the manufacture of animal feeds given to ruminants. Following the discovery of one cow with BSE in the US, the USDA and FDA have announced additional measures to enhance protections against the spread of BSE in US cattle and to minimize human exposure to bovine materials that may contain the BSE agent. USDA has issued an interim final rule (Federal Register January 12, 2004 Vol. 69, Number 7) removing downer animals and specified risk materials and tissues from the human food chain; requiring additional process controls for establishments using advanced meat recovery (AMR); holding meat from cattle that have been targeted for BSE surveillance testing until the test has confirmed negative; and prohibiting the air injection stunning of cattle ( In January 2004, FDA proposed additional safeguards including: excluding brain, spinal cord, gut and eyes of older animals from human food and from rendered material in animal feeds, eliminating poultry litter, cow blood and processed plate waste as feed ingredients for cattle, labeling requirements for pet food, and additional control measures to prevent cross contamination of feed and feed ingredients at feed mills. In addition, since 1990, the USDA has led an interagency surveillance program for evidence of BSE in the US. USDA has tested 20,000 animals annually for each of the last 2 years, and approximately 75 percent of these were downers at slaughter ( A BSE risk assessment performed by Harvard University’s Center for Risk Analysis at the School of Public Health concluded that even if BSE were to occur in the US the measures already taken would largely prevent its spread to animals or humans, and the disease would gradually disappear over a number of years (2001,

Answers to many more questions can be found here.


Here is a BSE related time line of events.


Another timeline.

Source: provides excellent coverage of the mad cow issue and has a great timeline that is detailed.

Source: also provides an excellent story from the Canadian standpoint.


Imagine your business being ruined by an external force that you have nothing to do with. Its kind of like a fire in a row of buildings. One is to blame, but many go down with it.

I leave you with this.

In August, the U.S. reopened its borders to some Canadian beef, but the border was still closed to live cattle. By this time, a cow that would have normally sold for $1,300 was selling for $15.


posted on Jun, 29 2005 @ 06:24 PM
Second Case of Mad Cow Traced to Texas

The second case of mad cow disease in the United States was a cow born, raised and slaughtered in Texas, Agriculture Department officials said Wednesday. The department's chief veterinarian, John Clifford, said the 12-year-old cow was killed last November at a pet food plant after it was determined to be unfit for human consumption because it couldn't stand on its own feet.

Im glad it has nothing to do with Canada.

USDA announcement

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 01:07 AM
So this pet food...where did it go and can this spread to other animals such as dogs, horses, ect?

posted on Jun, 30 2005 @ 01:10 AM

Originally posted by krt1967
So this pet food...where did it go and can this spread to other animals such as dogs, horses, ect?

Thats a good question. Im not sure how it would react in other animals.

posted on Aug, 16 2005 @ 03:14 AM

Inspectors have found more than 1,000 violations of rules aimed at preventing mad cow disease from reaching humans, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday.

No contaminated meat reached consumers, the agency said. The rules were created in response to the country's first case of mad cow disease in December 2003.

They require that brains, spinal cords and other nerve parts - which can carry mad cow disease - be removed when older cows are slaughtered. The at-risk tissues are removed from cows older than 30 months because infection levels are believed to rise with age.

The sad thing is, R-CALF still wants to keep Canadian beef out of the United States because they say it has a risk to the American consumers.

But the United States has BSE itself !

posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 10:36 AM

Originally posted by krt1967
So this pet food...where did it go and can this spread to other animals such as dogs, horses, ect?

Yes they can be as the prions are not living things. I had read this before here are some links to show that other animals can get "mad cow disease" BSE.

It seems though that reading these that dogs seem to be the only ones not affected by BSE "mad cow". Yet cats are very vunerable to it. I'ld like to see some thing that says why dogs can't get it. nicle/archive/2004/01/05/EDGAC40NM01.DTL

Most of those seem to be from being feed infected beef.
But these claim pet food to be safe.

posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 12:24 PM
Great thread so far - transmission via transfusion vector.

"Animal experiments have shown that BSE can be transmitted by blood transfusion"

The Dutch are due to enact some new legislation this fall - about their blood services.

Does anyone believe the increased reporting of Alzheimers is only about Alzheimers?... heh heh.

Remember the AIDS - blood product contamination - that got the Canadian Red Cross out of the blood biz?

This is way, way worse.

Didn't "Titor-ites" have some stuff to say about blood and vCJD?

Some folks say that pre-prionic protein (precursors) can be killed by the heat of pasturization - I think not.

Ever wonder why Los Alamos was/is working on blood replacement synthesis?

posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 01:00 PM
Tons of info out there on this... prionic and pre-prionic materials are carried by blood - OK. BSE status quo says transmission by ingestion - Hmmm.
What do mosquitos do... that can spread West-Nile? Malaria?
I can't prove anything [(has anyone ever cracked a tough nut on ATS yet?)- forgive my ignorance if someone has] - but it does make one wonder huh?
Try this - go to give blood - tell them that you've had travels to a "Malaria country" - see what happens.
Now go to another centre and tell them what they want to hear.
See the problem?
Prions must have an effect of some sort between RNA, mRNA, rRNA and ribosomal transcription to use the organisms own mechanisms to spread in a non-lytic fashion differentiating it from virii.
Dulcimer is right - at some point this'll break big and soon - if most accounts are correct and things started revvin' up in '86 we should see evidence in a big way in the next couple of years (assuming a 12 - 15 year incubation period).

posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 06:59 PM
I think last week it was reported in the UK A dog died of BSE.
It did originated from cattle feed produce on mainland Europe like Holland France and Belgium in the mid 80’s.
France hid there outbreak for years by not reporting it .
And if you die from it in the UK you are bagged up 3 times in body bags before funeral.

posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 08:40 PM
You got a link to this Masterspy?

Not that I doubt you but every thing I read so far said dogs could not get it.
I found that odd though that only they could not.
Still would like to see the article

posted on Aug, 19 2005 @ 12:41 AM
This is the closest thing I could find to the dog / BSE issue.

But its not BSE.

posted on Aug, 19 2005 @ 01:07 AM
Ive decided to update the thread with some BSE related reading.

BSE Investigators Look into Dog Food

"Our investigation has indicated that meat and bone meal potentially containing material from the infected cow was used in the production of dog food," Brian Evans, Canada's chief veterinary officer, said during a briefing earlier today. "Health Canada has advised that there is no risk to human health from handling this product."

A list of the dog food brands potentially containing rendered material from the infected cow is available from the CFIA's website, here.

Can Dogs get BSE?

The short answer is "no".

But in reality, it appears that we really don't know for sure. What we do know, is that we have not found any evidence of a canine version of this disease. One of the problems is that there is no way to test for this disease on a live animal. The only way to test is to open up the brain and spinal cord, and perform an examination. It could very well be that if a canine version exists, the visible symptoms may be very different than those with cows, and as such gets misdiagnosed. On the other hand, cats are very much susceptible. There is a feline version called, appropriately enough, "Feline spongiform encephalopathy" (FSE).

Feline Information

The cause of FSE is an infectious agent called a prion, and prion protein accumulates in the brain tissue as a substance called amyloid. It is probable - though not proven - that affected cats contract the disease by eating contaminated bovine meat.

Related FSE:
FSE Diagnosis
In a captive Cheetah

BSE factsheets
This link will provide you with a ton of information

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Factsheet of Canadian Safeguards

BSE UK Report
Possibly the most indepth information on the subject.

posted on Aug, 19 2005 @ 07:53 AM
On the blood issue (sorry, sorry, I'm late arriving to the thread

I can't donate blood in the US; I was born/raised in England and as I spent many years there after 1983 (the cut-off date, I believe), I'm ineligible.

Then again, I tell the truth when asked....

There's no guarantee that everyone would do so...but wouldn't a potential donor be a little more altruistic perhaps, and actually not want to risk the lives of any recipient?

posted on Aug, 19 2005 @ 11:38 AM
Here is something else to be worried about. Think of all the items made from cow parts. Lotion and shampoos with collegen, lipstick and lip gloss, gelatin, power bars use part of the hide for the protien. Things you would never think of but could carry mad cow disease if the cow they made it from were infected.

posted on Aug, 19 2005 @ 12:07 PM
Good point - yes I'm quite sure that responsible folks would not willingly donate blood that was "dirty". However in America it is legal to pay a donor for blood - people who need money to survive do "flexibly principled" things; folks who get money from transfusions can afford to eat or buy drugs - sad but true - and it's all quite legal.
Here's a couple of more references to keep folks thinkin':
Dairy Farmers are more likely to develop the human form of the disease:
But this is old news...
How about vegetarians? Think they could be safe? Uh, apparently not:
Young Clare Tomkins of Kent -
CJD - appears spontaneously in the elderly - appears Alzheimer or Parkinson like.
vCJD - is early onset stuff - teenagers and young adults - so much for the incubation period "rules" - I think the announced incubation period is well - - optimistic;

But this too is old news...
The really scary stuff is in the vector mechanism - prions are blood-borne assemblies of amino acids - tiny by protein standards - and they do not de-nature (break down) anywhere near as easily as a functional protein - think of the relationship between basic concrete, bricks, and a building - easy to demolish a building, a little harder to bust up bricks and darn near impossible to destroy concrete dust.

No this BSE is bad mojo - gone live and writ large:
Forget about the species barrier, that is drop the first letter - keep the last two - Spongiform Encephalopathy - loosely translated - pudding brain.

The PrP gene set (prion) is a pan species beasty that causes SEs.
Want canine? Feline? Want insect? Want rodent? Want transmission experiments from one species to another and back? Look here:

The PrP gene "set" once expressed guarantees ribosomal "errors" - they're the little factories in your cells responsible for protein synthesis.
My guess is it affects rRNA, mRNA and maybe tRNA.
This stuff is the ultimate "bio-hack" - and almost all human activity is giving it a larger venue.

My mantra? Neither a lender or borrower be when it comes to blood and blood factors - the whole she-bang should be considered "dirty" and verboten until proven clean and since pre-prions and prions are not screened for yet well you figure it out.

This stuff may be the answer until then:

Also there's nano-aerosol sphericals that may someday help clean up blood and get this - the atmosphere. (I'm following this but it's still in the brainiac egg-head university "hot houses" yet)

I'm waiting for the Dutch report and legislation due this fall to blow the lid off this issue and show that transmission is primarily from inoculation not ingestion.

My big fear is the mosquito vector - I live in Canada - I quite likely get bitten
dozens of times per year.

For more fear and loathing search "The New Jersey Cherry Hill Cluster" - now there's a snow job of Himalayan proprtion.

posted on Aug, 19 2005 @ 07:49 PM
Thanks Dulcimer thats the first I had seen a case with a dog. All the others like the link in your next post said they could not get it. Maybe it's just very hard for them to contract it. I'm going to have to read more about it.

Thanks again

posted on Aug, 19 2005 @ 09:23 PM
You seem very bright. Read between the lines on this one.
Wanna get scared? Humans can now synthesize designer prion material (PrP). The Prusiner crew has had a breakthrough. Makes you wonder huh?

Also on Alpha and Beta amyloid "plaques" dig this; they self-assemble (pi-stack) and can ID receptor glyco-proteins, lipo-proteins and of course regular old functional proteins. Very smart folks in Tel-Aviv:

[edit on 19-8-2005 by highgroundsys0p]

[edit on 19-8-2005 by highgroundsys0p]

posted on Aug, 19 2005 @ 09:31 PM
Thats a great find highgroundsys0p

Ill have to read through it when I get the chance.

posted on Aug, 23 2005 @ 01:04 AM

Canadian animal inspectors violated U.S. mad cow disease regulations when they accidentally approved the export of a 31-month-old cow to the United States, a U.S. Agriculture Department official said.

As a result, a Wisconsin meat plant voluntarily recalled 1,856 pounds of beef that could contain part of the imported cow.

USDA officials say some of the meat could have been consumed already, but that even if it had, the risk of someone getting sick is slim.


The protectionist group r-calf jumps all over this in the future...

posted on Aug, 31 2005 @ 03:27 AM

The government closed its investigation into the nation's first domestic case of mad cow disease Tuesday, saying it could not pin down how a Texas cow was infected with the brain-wasting ailment.

another related article

top topics


log in