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Peter Smalley's profile photoAllen Hall's profile photoJohn Schilling's profile photoIan Le Guillou's profile photo
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No, do not be concerned. I lived through the European scare of the
90´s. I can´t even give blood. The cattle will be tested and the infected will be put down.
 
What I wonder is this: with over 92 million cattle in the US in 2011 (according to the Beef industry), why is the USDA proclaiming the country "BSE-free" while testing only 20,000 animals (0.02%) per year for BSE? And why are they using the post-mortem histopathology or mouse-injection assay rather than a modern multiplex fluorogenic flow cytometry assay (e.g. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20214905)? It seems the USDA is putting its fingers firmly in its ears while repeating over and over "US beef is safe, US beef is safe!"
 
Yes, I do think this is a case of the larger players in the industry controlling the regulations. +Peter Smalley - very interesting info! Much like the FDA's control of non-synthetic sugar substitutes, I think we have lobbying playing a large role here. But, I have nothing to back that up, so it's all hearsay.
 
Good find, +Allen Hall. I was aware of at least one independent testing lab that was shut down by the USDA after they offered a BSE testing service, though that predated the court case your article cites. Must we be so reactive in our regulatory approach, only looking to see if the barn door is closed after the livestock have exited?
 
+Peter Smalley Unfortunately, it appears that this is often the way we operate. [certainly law-enforcement works this way] I'm willing to ignore some of this as long as we are using up to date methods and also allowing for groups to do whatever testing they'd like to. On both these counts we appear to be failing. And, I agree, Peter, it sounds like we're doing this only because if we didn't beef prices might sky-rocket and fear would again arise. But, that doesn't make us safer. It reminds me of the laws for cell-phones that say you can't listen to an FM communication in the 900mhz band. Well, that doesn't stop it from happening, it only makes it illegal. Doesn't make us safer. [that's also really old news. ;) the old cell-band fm analog signals]

I do thank +Bora Zivkovic for helping me to understand the unique BSE case that was found in CA- interesting nonetheless.
 
Can someone explain to me why we cant just ban the feeding of cow to cows? Why on earth would the beef industry even be apposed to such a thing? The dog food industry would love to take the bone marrow off their hands.
 
The first human that comes down with mad cow disease and is widely reported to have caught it from say a hamburger is going to destroy beef sales nation wide. Why take that level of risk for whatever the slight cost increase would be per pound of beef for using a different protein source in feed for cattle?