Disaster News Network Print This
 

Mad cow has quick impact

While Bush Administration officials urged Americans to enjoy beef for Christmas dinner, at least 11 nations had banned exports of U.S. beef within 24 hours after the first case of U.S. mad cow disease was discovered.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | December 24, 2003

While Bush Administration officials urged Americans to enjoy beef for Christmas dinner, at least 11 nations had banned exports of U.S. beef within 24 hours after the first case of U.S. mad cow disease was discovered.

Although federal officials were still tracing the life of a Washington state cow that tested positive for the disease on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman said: "We remain confident in the safety of our food supply."

Agriculture officials in other states did not share Veneman's confidence, and by Wednesday morning the three largest importers of U.S. beef Japan, Taiwan and Mexico had banned U.S. beef.

Investigators trying to trace the disease were focusing on finding out where the cow was born. The brain-wasting disease formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy is usually transmitted through contaminated feed, and has an incubation period of four to five years.

Tissue samples from the diseased cow were sent to England for a conclusive diagnosis, which will be available in three to five days.

The animal, which was slaughtered Dec. 9, was removed from a herd of 4,000 cows near Yakima, in southern Washington state. The herd has been quarantined and, if a confirmed mad cow diagnosis is reached, the other cows will likely be destroyed.

Parts of the infected cow went to three processing plants in Washington state. But Veneman said there was no danger to the food supply because "muscle cuts of meat have almost no risk."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, announced Vern's Moses Lake Meat Co. in Moses Lake, Wash., voluntarily recalled some 10,000 pounds of raw beef that may have been exposed to tissues containing mad cow. The beef was produced on Dec. 9 and shipped to several establishments for further processing.

People can contract the human form of mad cow disease by eating infected beef or nerve tissue. Mad cow disease has killed 143 people in Britain and 10 in other countries, none in the United States.

Federal officials also said the incident was not terrorist-related.

Before Tuesday's discovery, the U.S. beef industry was flourishing, in part because imports from Canada dried up after a single case of the mad cow disease was found there last spring and in part because of the popularity of the Atkins high-protein diet.


Related Topics:

Mold is long-term flood issue

Hurricanes promote Zika spread

Antiviral proteins could halt next pandemic


More links on Disease

Find this article at:

http://www.disasternews.net/news/article.php?articleid=1659

Advertisers:

DNN Sponsors include:

Advertisements: