Mad Cow Disease

Almost twenty years ago, the disease Transmissible Sponsoring Encephalopathy’s (Tees), a virus that first affects the brain, was revealed in Great Britain. The discovery was also made that not only livestock, but humans were susceptible to the Illness (Becker 2006). Scientists have never been able to trace the origin of the disease, but many believe that a protein called Prior Is the cause for TTS. The Prior Is a complicated little protein, as It develops In several shapes. The Prior has the ability to move over to the adjoining protein, and causes It to change Its structure.

What purpose the Prior plays in the brain has not been discovered to this point. Some scientist believe that a substance found in and around the brain in some way affect the part of the brain that produces memory (Environmental Literacy Council 2006). In 1996, a possibly connection was made between the BEES in animals and the vice in people. According to the Environmental Literacy Council, one should be informed about the process of spreading the disease. The prior, that causes the disease does not move through the air as the cold virus does.

To be infected with TTS, the infected art of the diseased animal must be consumed, either by humans or animals (2006). A common speculation among scientist Is that cattle consume feed produced by mixing bone meal, and left over waste from the slaughterhouses-Another theory still relates to the feed, but also uses human remains of people possibly Infected with Cuddliest Jacob Diseases (Hodges 2005). The outbreak of the Mad Cow Disease in Great Britain was attributed to the feeding of protein comprised of scrapings from areas that had previously housed infected sheep (Environmental Literacy Council 2006).

American people were unaware of the dangers they faced as no warning had en issued from the united States Department of Agriculture. Some activist claimed that the information was deliberately kept from the public. Others stated that the people were finally informed due to the discovery of the disease in one animal in the united States. Statements given by veterinarians, who had worked for the government earlier, reported that for at least 20 years It was suspected that the disease was In the United States.

The staggering figures that have emerged since 1986, show that at least 187,000 cattle have been afflicted with BEES and over 1 50 humans (Becker 1-6). N et states Department AT education Increased ten under AT cattle Delving tested, but still only approximately . 01 percent of the slaughtered cattle were targeted. The remaining beef, not tested, was either consumed by people or animals. In 2004, the USDA made several changes concerning the regulation of meat. The major changes banned the use of brains, spinal cords, and some tissues from livestock over the age of thirty months.

Public opinion has not been favorable concerning the government’s accountability system. Some complaints questioned the time it had taken to get the news to the public. Others felt that faster action was needed to restrict materials that could be used in animal’s feed. The method of sampling and reporting also came under fire (Pennants 2002). Howard Lyman, former cattleman, appeared on the nationally televised Opera Wineries afternoon television show telling the viewing audience that they were being exposed to the Mad Cow Disease.

Statements made by Lyman and Winfred on the program that day caused ranchers from Texas to bring a lawsuit against the two. Although the Texans lost the lawsuit, the beef industry did manage to give the public mom information that lay to rest some worries about the consumption of beef. People do not get the Mad Cow disease by eating a portion of an infected cow. The disease is transmitted by actually eating the diseased part, such as the brain, spine, or some part of the nerve system. Products that require grinding and mixing other parts into the meat were more at risk (Lyman 2001).

As feared by the United States, when news of the Mad Cow Disease reached the public, events began that led to major economic losses around the world. In 2004, the United States had approximately 96 million livestock. Although only one case of the disease was found in the United States, Japan and many other countries around the world either restricted, all or some part of ,beef imports from the United States (Becker 2006). The United States stopped imports from Canada as reports of the Mad Cow Disease began there (Poplin 2003).

The greatest impact was felt due to loss of exports. In Great Britain over 37,000 infected animals were destroyed. A domino effect began. As people began to panic, they ate approximately 30% less beef. In an attempt to help the beef farmers, the government began to give subsidies. In the IANAL count, 45,000 people were facing unemployment as a result of the fallout of the disease. An estimated two billion dollars was either lost or spent by Great Britain to combat the outbreak (World Health Organization 2002).

As the disease progressed to other countries around the world more cattle were killed, less beef made its way to market causing a shortage, and more people lost their Jobs. The U. S. Exports of beef decline about ninety percent. Although, the beef supply was limited in the United States and across the world, beef prices fell about nine percent in one month as the fear of contacting the disease rose. The average price for live cattle fell approximately seven percent in the same month’s time, December 2003 until January 2004.

Based on research results, the impact to the United States economy was described as: Approximately eleven percent unemployment in meat packing business as a result of the Mad Cow Disease Approximately fifteen to twenty three percent unemployment in the cattle industry Approximately five percent loss of income, or forty one million dollars in beef related business (Openings 2001). Purina Mills Incorporated, announced Tanat teen may nave meal cow meat and, Done meal Into ever 22 tons of feed made by one of the company mills in Gonzales, Texas.

The company explained that the mixture was shipped to a location other than the intended one. This announcement resulted in the recall of all the feed from that batch, but not before some had been sold to a feed lot in Texas. The herds of over twelve hundred, which may have been fed banned feed were quarantined (Poplin 2003). Food producing companies and industries that revolved around the livestock industry were hit hard as the New York Stock Exchange opened their board for trade the day after the report was released.

McDonald’s Corporation reported their stock had dropped thirty nine cents a share, and Arkansas based Tyson Foods fell fifteen cents a share on the New York Stock Exchange in early trading (Goldstein & Wilson). In 2005, the Honorable Tom Harkin, Ranking Member of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, United States Senate, requested an investigation of the feed industry. The function of the committee was to explore methods now being used to produce feed, and identify materials and substances that were deemed to be the source of the disease.

These substances would then be banned room feed production, and prevention of the disease should be simple. The report to congress sent a scathing message to the USDA and the FDA of their duties: USDA is primarily responsible for detecting the disease in cattle, and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is primarily responsible for preventing its introduction and spread through animal feed. Both industries recognized the importance of preventing BEES in the United States-not only to protect the safety of the U. S. DOD supply, but also to protect the economic viability of the seventy billion dollars U. S. Beef industry. Robinson et al. 2 ) By taking a more proactive step, the United States hoped to prevent any further outbreaks, and also put into place rules and regulations that meet the requirements of countries that still banned U. S. Beef. There were three major parts: imports. Since 1989, USDA has prohibited the importation certain cattle products from other countries where BEES is (Robinson et al. 2) “Controls over of live cattle and known to exist”. “Animal Surveillance.

Since 1990, to detect BEES, USDA has been testing brain tissue, primarily from cattle that exhibit neurological symptoms and adult cattle that IEEE from unknown causes, as well as from cattle slaughtered for meat”. (Robinson,et al. 2) “Feed ban. In 1997, FDA banned the use of most proteins derived from mammals in feed intended for cattle and other ruminants to keep potentially infectious tissue out of cattle feed”. (Robinson, et al 2) Manufactures of feed were required to have on every pound of feed that left the company, a warning that let the consumer know that the product is not intended for consumption of cattle, sheep, and goats.

Items that were banned from the feed formula were: product s that were produced from dried blood milk products that could be manufactured from milk products skull, and spinal cords blood brain Allotment components Implemented to prevent ten ailment, Ana also stop ten spread were the testing component for animals that were slaughtered. Diagnostic procedures included drawing a sample of blood from the animal and submitting it to a laboratory for analysis.

If an animal died without the cause being identified, producers were required to send the head to a laboratory, designated by FDA, to check the brain of said animal for the disease (Robinson, et al). To monitor the rules and regulations enacted by Congress, thirty eight states contracted or made agreements with FDA to ensure the compliance by implementing a uniform system, and using a new data system, states now have in place a way to document the inspections, follow the laboratory results, and if found, track infected animals until they were completely destroyed (Robinson, et al).

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