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NEWS: Farmers evade cow testing, critic says

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posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 11:13 PM
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Concerns have been raised recently over American ranchers and farmers burying dead cattle instead of sending them off to processing plants where the carcasses would be subject to BSE (Mad Cow) testing. According to Department of Agriculture records there has been a 20% drop in the number of farmers reporting cows that have difficulty walking - a symptom that is a cause for alarm. Nearly 400,000 cattle have been tested since June of 2004 but some are saying that evidence is mounting showing that high-risk cows that the USDA claims to be testing are really being disposed of on farms across the country, potentially releasing prions into the environment.
 



desmoinesregister.com
Washington, D.C. - A key lawmaker is raising concerns that farmers and ranchers are burying dead cattle rather than sending them to processing plants where they would be tested for mad cow disease.

U.S. Agriculture Department records show there was a 20 percent drop last year in the number of farms reporting that they have cattle that are unable to walk - the kind of cattle considered at highest risk for the disease.

The disclosure gives ammunition to critics who say the government must do more to protect the public from mad cow disease. The USDA's testing program is missing cattle that may be infected, they say.

"These numbers prove that this voluntary testing program that has little oversight is not working," said Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, the senior Democrat on the House agricultural appropriations sub- committee.

It was just such a so-called downer cow that was recently identified in Texas as the second U.S. case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the formal name for the brain-wasting disease. The cow was set aside for testing when it was delivered last fall to a pet food plant in Waco, Texas.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


The fact that testing for BSE in the United States is already pitifully inadequate is disturbing and frightening enough in itself. Now, with reports of farmers burying their downed cows rather than sending them off to processing plants where they would be tested for the brain wasting disease there is even more to be concerned with. Not only does this prevent cows that could be infected with BSE from being tested, but it can release the prions, which are the cause of BSE, into the atmosphere. This, in turn, could result in other animals being infected with the disease or similar diseases.

It does not appear that the beef industry and those who are supposed to be enforcing the testing of beef care about public safety. For that matter, it doesn't even appear that the public cares any longer what it's consuming. If these most recent reports and allegations aren't enough to send people away from the beef in the supermarket[1], what is? Is it necessary for there to be a case or many cases of vCJD stemming from American born and bred cattle? Is it necessary for there to be a crisis on par with that which the British experienced in the 1980's for people to wake up?

It's important to note the difference in testing standards between the United States, Canada and European countries. In Europe all beef that is being processed must be tested for BSE, or Mad Cow Disease. Every cow, regardless of whether it is one year old or 8 years old. According to the European Commission, In Europe, "The EU will apply such a testing programme on all bovine animals over 30 months of age from 1.7.2001 onwards. Until then, all animals over 30 months which cannot be tested will need to be destroyed." [2] If anything, this should make you feel a little more safe and reassured about the quality of the meat you'll be consuming. Compared to North American testing standards, I wonder how it is that there is still a market for beef at all with all the holes that are so apparent in the system, ranging from the miniscule amount of animals tested to the first US BSE positve cow being found accidentally [3]potential cases being hidden due to fears of the loss of complete herds if a downer cow is reported.

In Canada the Canadian Food Inspection Agency this year (2005) will be testing 30,000 slaughtered cows for BSE, up from 5,490 in 2003[4].

In the United States, only less than 1 % of slaughtered cattle are going to be randomly tested for BSE. [5]

So, how do you feel about your countries supply of beef now?

Not only was the United States using a test that was more prone to yield false positives [6], but the amount of cows actually being tested is a disgrace. It has been observed that there are many problems with the current system and there does not seem to be any change in sight. Combine that with reports and allegations of farmers hiding sick cows from testing, what do you have? A recipe for disaster and at this rate neither Canada nor the United States will never be able to fully assess the Mad Cown situation in their respective countries. The amount of testing being done does not make that possible. What it makes possible is for Mad Cow to continue to remain in herds, as well as potentially get into the food supply without being noticed. The current methods of testing and observation are purely superficial, not allowing for one ounce of a real solution, and only serve to calm and assure the population of safety while at the same time allowing a real problem to fester and grow worse and worse.

Why don't people seem to care about what their own food supply? Is the USDA waiting on the population to demand adequate testing and further enforcement of the feed ban? Are they waiting for a huge crisis to get moving on this?

What are you waiting for?

[1]Beef Sales Not Affected by 2nd BSE Case in USAl
[2]European Commission
[3]Cow's Downer Status Disputed
[4]CFIA
[5]National Cattleman's Beef Association
[6]ELISA testing Results in More False Positives

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
All about Mad cow disease
Mad Cow Disease confirmed in 2nd case in US
NEWS: Japan Confirms Case of Mad Cow Disease in a Human
SCI/TECH: Obesity and Mad Cow Disease




posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 11:23 PM
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Thats a disgrace, I would think this would be a major concern and that our testing would be a lot more rigorous. I loves the beef this makes me feel uneasy to my stomach you know?

Beef paranoia

Those people we get the disease man, I much rather die so many other ways than have to suffer like that. I just want a decent steak with no damn fear attached!



posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 11:50 PM
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something you have to do is put yourself in the farmers shoes. now think about what a test realy means to you. ONE even false possitive can litteraly ruin you. you stand to loose everything that you and very possibly your ancesters have worked so hard for. you can loose it ALL just because of something that you have apsolutely no controll over. can you now understand why they might do everything they can not have tests done? especialy when the test being used to a big extent is KNOWN to produce false possitive results. just one possitive can mean the wipeing out of an entire heard of cattle. how can a farmer (most farmers tread on the edge of finantual ruin at the best of times), then afford to replace those cattle IF they are even alowed to? trust me no matter how worried most of us are about mad cow, it scares faermers even worse. and a scared person does not always react in what we would call a ballanced way. just think of the number of people that have killed just out of fear. that fear is very real to them.

now how can this problem be solved? well the first step would be to use the most acurate test available hopefully one that yeilds NO false positives. but even that honestly won't stop it. in fact the only real way to keep them honest so to speak would be to FULLY reinburse them for ALL lost value at FULL market prices. now if there is also the non alowable use of the land for future farming of cattle then you would either then have to continuasely pay them every year or give them equil land as well (guess what if a farm has been within a family for generations then even that would not work). now do you think the government can affort to outlay all that cash? not a hope in hell of that. so the question remains how to stop the problem. come up with a realy good answer and i'm sure the government would love you.

yet again fear is a major driveing force. on the farmer's part they are afraid to loose everything that they hold dear, not to mention finantual ruin. those doing the testing are probably afraid as well because guess what if ONE case is found the entire area faces loss of everything. it's not even just limmited to one farm. just look at what happeneds when ONE animal is even suspected of haveing this nasty disese. it can have a devistateing effect on the ENTIRE industry.

poulty is next. how long before the first case of avian flu is found here? it will be the exact same thing all over again.

forget nukes, forget dirty bombs, forget anthrax or any other bio-weapon. forget crashing aircraft into buildings. the most effective terror weapen would be to just introduce a couple of cases of mad cow or avian flue to our livestock and watch the terror it creates. in fact i often wonder if the mad cow problem is just that a terror attack on us. possibly by the now normal suspects or groups like peta. yup we certainly live in uncertain time all right. isn't it so nice to have thoughts like that?



posted on Jul, 7 2005 @ 06:04 AM
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Most excellent work! Thank you for putting in the time and effort to bring this situation together for us. I can't say that any of this surprises me - but denying it might happen was kind of blissful.



posted on Jul, 7 2005 @ 09:30 AM
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I was up at the local VA hospital the other day going through my semi annual physical when I was asked if there was an history of CJD (I can't even begin to spell it) in my family and I replied that other than my half-sisters, there were no mad cows in my family!


This article shows once again the depths of reality adversion this country has sunk. Instead of actually dealing with the issue now, we hide the evidence and claim nothing is wrong, (sounds alot like global warming huh?) instead of dealing with it now, no matter how expensive it may be we deny, deny, deny until it becomes a major health crisis and costs 100's of times more than it would have originally. It also highlights the selfishness and shortsightedness profits first, public health be damned thinking that is rampant in this country, especially in conservative circles. Civic wellfare has fall by the wayside and in the long run all of us pay.

Also consider the fact that if we actually allowed cattle to eat what they are biologically set up to eat, i.e. grasses instead of processed feed which is how mad cow is passed (CJD or mad cow, or scabies, whatever you call it occurs spontanously in a steady 1 in a million cases and dies out with it's carrier unless that carrier is somehow eaten, either by say cannibals in New Gunina or in the form of processed feed in England, Europe or America), doing so may result in an increase of prices of beef by a few cents a pound, but so what, better safe than sorry!!!

Finally we don't need a scapegoat for things like this, not Al Qeada, or PETA or Earth First. We do this crap to ourselves out of shortsightedness, greed and expediency. Who ever said that the bottom line is profits lied. People are the bottom line, without your customers you won't have any profits. Turkey burger's anyone?



posted on Jul, 7 2005 @ 10:05 AM
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Originally posted by drogo
something you have to do is put yourself in the farmers shoes. now think about what a test realy means to you. ONE even false possitive can litteraly ruin you. you stand to loose everything that you and very possibly your ancesters have worked so hard for. you can loose it ALL just because of something that you have apsolutely no controll over. can you now understand why they might do everything they can not have tests done?


I can understand the feelings farmers might have, because you're right, any positive, false or not can have absolutely devastating effects. But you know what else will? Burying potentially infected carcasses allowing the prions to be released into the environment to be picked up by other animals. You know what else? Not addressing a real problem by not insisting on the testing of all animals, and not even submitting to meager random testing! All this is just disastrous! Despite the fear and threat of financial ruin that is there, you must also consider that in the 400,000 cows tested recently there have only been only three positive rapid tests found, and only one confirmed. Even though the test is more prone to false positives, when you look at those numbers it's hardly a huge risk and the risk certainly should not make people hide potential cases.

Given the testing problems that occured with the second confirmed positive cow in the US the USDA will now be utilizing a different test, hopefully the Western blot, which is far more sensitive.

Read this:


"Now we've tested just under 400,000 animals and we've found one case," Rogers said. "Now we're very confident to say if it's here, it's an extremely low level."

Experts Don't Expect Any More Cases of BSE

Can they really say this? They've tested 400,000 animals. Wonderful! 400,000 out of 65 million! How the hell can they say that?



now do you think the government can affort to outlay all that cash? not a hope in hell of that. so the question remains how to stop the problem. come up with a realy good answer and i'm sure the government would love you.


Test all the animals. The problem may not be huge, I suspect it's certainly bigger than anyone is letting on, but who knows. We can't at present, not enough testing is being done!



it can have a devistateing effect on the ENTIRE industry.


It sure can/ The beef industry in Canada is still reeling from the American ban on Canadian beef and cattle. It's been over 2 years since the border was closed to Canadian beef and billions of dollars have been lost. Now the US is experiencing closed borders to their beef. In the future this could be prevented if they can ensure a safe meat supply. How to do that? Test! Get rid of afflicted cattle, rigorously enforce the feed ban! But consider this: Will all this matter if afflicted cattle are buried and hidden, allowing their prions into the environment when ther are not properly disposed of?

Yes, and covering up potential cases and positive cases, they don't seem to do anything to the market! Perhaps it's because no one has any REAL idea of the situation because the government, in all their glory, is doing just enough to keep people satisfied with their efforts and nothing more. Nothing substantial.

You're right, money is essential here. It all costs money. but in the long run the money dished out may be worth it considering how much can be lost in light of positive cases.


poulty is next. how long before the first case of avian flu is found here? it will be the exact same thing all over again.


Avian flu was found in poultry in North American last year. Not H5N1, but avian flu nonetheless.



posted on Jul, 7 2005 @ 10:09 AM
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Originally posted by grover
doing so may result in an increase of prices of beef by a few cents a pound, but so what, better safe than sorry!!!


The same goes for testing of each and every animal. It would raise the prices only slightly, but hell, I'd be more than willing to pay it for ensured safety.



posted on Jul, 7 2005 @ 11:14 AM
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I have a sneaking suspicoun that the same is happening up here north of the boarder...



posted on Jul, 7 2005 @ 11:36 AM
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And so Farmer Bubba Mclean becomes the most haneous mass murderer since Pohlpot... causing death and suffering for years and years...

comeon... we can't let this happen...

They need to start requiring ranchers and farmers that carry cattle to be required to learn about this disease... then they would not take chances...

Also...Who do I report to in regards to a well known cattle producer that supplies a certain fast food chain for 8 states
They actually give cash bonuses to ranch hands that locate downed cattle and then MAKE SURE they get to the meat processing plant?

I had a coworker who told me about this on his last job... it astounded me...
I haven't eaten at that food chain since...
I would love to tell you all who it is, but I am sure that a mean libel suit would be slapped on me the next second...
lets just say it is a BIG one, that is supplied by a cattle producer in Oklahoma.
This was also about 8-10 years ago, so maybe they have cleaned up SINCE THEN

also just for a point of absudity:
there is a restaurant in Oklahoma called "the Mad Cow"
I informed them that it was a bit like having a salmonela fried chicken restaurant... they didn't get the analogy.



posted on Jul, 7 2005 @ 02:10 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
I have a sneaking suspicoun that the same is happening up here north of the boarder...


So do I, sardion. Things are hardly any different up here when it comes to testing, and when other farmers saw what happened when the cow was discovered in Alberta, I don't doubt one bit they're scared as hell to have it happen to them...



posted on Jul, 7 2005 @ 02:14 PM
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Originally posted by LazarusTheLong
Also...Who do I report to in regards to a well known cattle producer that supplies a certain fast food chain for 8 states
They actually give cash bonuses to ranch hands that locate downed cattle and then MAKE SURE they get to the meat processing plant?


If there was any grounds to that claim at all I would think you would have figured out who to report it to 8-10 years ago, huh?

But, it could also be taken another way - they are tested at meat processing plants. Perhaps they had people being paid to find the downed cows to make sure they'd go to the plant to be TESTED.



posted on Jul, 7 2005 @ 02:34 PM
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Ive talked about this issue before alot. I think my threads on the subject say enough.

All I ask is that people know the facts before putting any blame on farmers. Its all I ask.

You have to realise that feed restrictions have changed, it takes years for the disease to form, cattle known to have had the disease have been 8+ year old DAIRY cattle that NEVER go into the food chain. Animals found to have the disease contracted and developed the disease BEFORE the feed restrictions.

The beef you eat doesnt even age long enough to develop the disease.

If you are still paranoid, stop eating brains and spinal cords. Go on a spinal cord diet, I dunno. Geez.

How many confirmed human cases of BSE have there been around the world?

Go ahead do the research.

Do farmers hide BSE cattle? Ive talked about this before. The answer? Yeah probably some do. Do they have BSE? Could be, but other ailments are involved.

You have to understand 1 cow ruined the entire Canadian beef industry.


Should testing be upgraded. Yes. Its a fact that certain areas test all of their cattle (japan). Should we (North America) do it? Yes, even the price it takes is worth it to calm the fears.


You also have to realise that any (legit) slaughterhouse will not take a cow that is shaking and falling over and make it for human consumption, at least I hope the wont.

But then again you cannot blame the farmers because its not their responsibility after the cattle are sold for slaughter.


All I ask is that people understand the facts before bashing agriculture. If you still dont like it, grow your own food, stop eating brains, etc.

Its quite simple.



posted on Jul, 7 2005 @ 03:31 PM
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Originally posted by parrhesia

Originally posted by LazarusTheLong
Also...Who do I report to in regards to a well known cattle producer that supplies a certain fast food chain for 8 states
They actually give cash bonuses to ranch hands that locate downed cattle and then MAKE SURE they get to the meat processing plant?


If there was any grounds to that claim at all I would think you would have figured out who to report it to 8-10 years ago, huh?

But, it could also be taken another way - they are tested at meat processing plants. Perhaps they had people being paid to find the downed cows to make sure they'd go to the plant to be TESTED.


My co-worker actually quit the same day due to the announced bonuses...
so I doubt it was related to testing... (he was only concerned about the maggots contaminating the meat)

and as to you doubting my situation... Mad cow has only been known to be an issue for the last few years... berfore that it was the infamous boogeyman that never was seen... If I knew then, what I know now, I would have diffenatly reported it, instead of just avoiding the restaurant that uses it...

as of now, the company that I am talking about is owned by a very respected and powerfully connected individual...
If I report to the wrong agency, then they "lose" the info...
I need a agency that is beyond corruption to report this to...

or next to that, an insider that is willing to talk... maybe if an Oklahoman ATSer that needs a job is available, this could be a chance to find out if they are still doing it.



[edit on 7-7-2005 by LazarusTheLong]



posted on Jul, 7 2005 @ 08:47 PM
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Your cut beef is going to be from cattle less than 24 months old and been is a feed lot, so don't be scared. There is no conspiracy.

Hell, downers show up at the sale barn for older cattle, then the state vet. is called. Some do make it to a packing plant and then go down but all downers are checked.

You need to understand that a old cow is sent to the packer, usually a plant that handles aged cattle.

Now if you are a Vegan' or a PETA person then this hysteria promotion gives you a soapbox and a political agenda.

Roper



posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 10:27 AM
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Now if you are a Vegan' or a PETA person then this hysteria promotion gives you a soapbox and a political agenda.


Tsk tsk tsk Roper, the people mostly complaining about the BSe risk are those people like me who love meat and eat it on a daily basis. You seem to not know the risks of BSe so here is a link for you to properly educate yourself about this potential crises.

en.wikipedia.org...




Unlike other kinds of infectious disease which are spread by microbes, the infectious agent in BSE is a specific type of protein. Misshaped ("misfolded") prion proteins carry the disease between individuals and cause deterioration of the brain. BSE is a type of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). TSEs can arise in animals that carry a rare mutant prion allele, which expresses prions that contort by themselves into the disease-causing shape. Most TSEs, however, occur sporadically, in animals that do not have a prion protein mutation. Transmission can occur when healthy animals consume tainted tissues from others with the disease. In the brain these proteins cause native cellular prion protein to deform into the infectious state which then goes on to deform further prion protein in an exponential cascade. These aggregate to form dense plaque fibers, which lead to the microscopic appearance of "holes" in the brain, degeneration of physical and mental abilities and ultimately death.


www.fsis.usda.gov...



How long can BSE be in an animal before it shows signs of the disease? The incubation period (the time from when an animal becomes infected until it first shows disease signs) is from 30 months to eight years with only a few rare exceptions in younger animals. Following the onset of clinical signs, the animal's condition deteriorates rapidly. This process usually takes from two weeks to six months. Most cases in Great Britain occurred in dairy cows between three and six years of age.



posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 03:18 PM
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when a farmer does send a cow back for processing and testing, does he have to pay for the tests, shipping, processing and certification? I know many times farmers are shafted a lot for various testing procedures, and the smaller operators don't have the overhead to pay yet another "tax" to the Feds whenever there's a scare.

I still don't see how Mad Cow disease can be a problem unless you fail to cook the thing, or eat the brain. Most Americans don't touch that part, so the concept of destroying an entire ranch, family and career for such a thing seems overkill.

What's funny is how hard it seems that the Media and overseas governments *want* to find Mad Cow in English and American beef. Anyone so stridently checking India's sacred cows?



posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 03:40 PM
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What's funny is how hard it seems that the Media and overseas governments *want* to find Mad Cow in English and American beef. Anyone so stridently checking India's sacred cows?


I think they are worrying more about bird flu ttytt. And their rearing practices may be different or they just do not care(the latter is much more likely)

This is not a subject that should be swept under the rug and written off as a "scare". It's a serous threat as is that H5 flu virus currently edging towards western civilization, our current agricultur practices are not prepared lets face it. Phugedaboudet you did check the two links I posted above right? You did see the amount of BSe Britain had to put up with right? In case you missed it(or more likely didn't even checkout the articles I posted) the official number was 183,803 cases, and cooking the meat doesn't kill prions as prions aren't alive as we know it. Does cooking kill the proteans in the meat we need to be healthy? NO it doesn't, Prions are very similiar but misshapen that's why they are so dangerous.

www.sciencentral.com...



When digested, PrPSc prions can lead to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human equivalent of mad cow. While normal PrP is easily destroyed with heat, their malformed cousins can survive conventional food sterilization techniques like freezing, steam, and chemical detergents. Meyer believes he's discovered their weak spot. "High pressure does act on the protein," he says. "So, if there are coils in the protein, it causes the coils to unravel and re-ravel again and when they re-ravel, they re-ravel differently. The new form can't cause other prions in your brain—normal prions—to bend so you've stopped the action of the abnormal prion."


So if you read the whole article the only method right now to make sure that cut a beef you're hypothetically about the chow down on is Prion free then it has to be pressure treated as nothing else has been proven effective...

[edit on 8-7-2005 by sardion2000]



posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 03:45 PM
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What is so dangerous about mad cow...
ask soficrow...

she is more educated on this topic than most doctors...
I know... she taught my stepmother (doctor) quite a few things....

Doctors don't even consider the simple facts that prions CAN NOT BE DESTROYED BY FIRE... they are a protein...
so unless that cow you are eating is so thouroughly cooked that it contains NO protein left... then the prion disease still can reside there...

at beef packing plants... if one cow has the disease... every cow cut with the same saw after that also spreads the disease... (ah hah... didn't consider that did ya?)
it only takes ONE PRION to cause the disease to develop years later...

the reason these farmers are getting into trouble for burying cows is because those prions then can get into the water table or soil that is used in gardening...

prions are wierd, and even very knowledgable scientists will tell you that they learn something new everyday about them...

did you now that prions might be responsible for many other diseases that afflict thousands of PEOPLE every year...
they might actually be a main cause of artery hardening...(which is why some people can eat fatty foods with no problem and some can't)

this is about half supposition based on best science... the other half is proven, but not known by the medical community as a whole yet.
(my stepmother did confirm many of the statements that soficrow made)

at this time, there are several diseases that are being investigated to see if they are actually caused by an unknown (until now) prion.



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