BSE USA

Surprise? From Fast Food Nation, p202:

About 75 percent of the cattle in the United States were routinely fed livestock wastes – the rendered remains of dead sheep and dead cattle – until August of 1997. They were also fed millions of dead cats and dead dogs every year, purchased from animal shelters. The FDA banned such practices after evidence from Great Britain suggested that they were responsible for a widespread outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as “mad cow disease.” Nevertheless, current FDA regulations allow dead pigs and dead horses to be rendered into cattle feed, along with dead poultry. The regulations not only allow cattle to be fed dead poultry, they allow poultry to be fed dead cattle. Americans who spent more than six months in the United Kingdom during the 1980s are now forbidden to donate blood, in order to prevent the spread of BSE’s human variant, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. But cattle blood is still put into the feed given to American cattle. Steven P. Bjerklie, a former editor of the trade journal Meat & Poultry, is appalled by what goes into cattle feed these days. “Goddamn it, these cattle are ruminants,” Bjerklie says. “They’re designed to eat grass, and maybe, grain. I mean, they have four stomachs for a reason – to eat products that have a high cellulose content. They are not designed to eat other animals.”

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “BSE USA

  1. st1

    Food FUD

    You’re still a veggie then?

  2. Anonymous

    bacon plants

    That book came *very* close to making me a veggie as well. In Britain the meat is terrible enough anyway.

    Unfortunately vegetables aren’t exactly well grown in the US either (plants have to be “fed” as well). And poisoned. And picked.

    Reefer madness is also a good read.

    Now if they made a plant that tasted like bacon wrapped shrimp that supplied 100% of needed nutrients, I would be VERY happy :-)

  3. Anonymous

    Blame Canada!

    The other amusing thing about this incident is the instant blame of Canada. The Canadians say “wait and see, check your facts”, but the government here always has to blame someone else.

    Exactly the same thing happened with the east coast power cuts. The blamed Canada, and it wasn’t until a month later that the cause was traced to a branch on the line (in the US) and a the monitoring systems at a power company (in the US) being down due to a virus particularly effective against an operating system (from the US).

    I have yet to see a retraction.

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