Refusing to sell American beef is one way to spread fear about mad cow disease, even after the USDA assured consumers not to worry about the one cow in California that was found to have bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and that’s exactly what two major South Korean grocery chains are doing.
If you subsisted on a diet entirely of fish, which would kill you first: mad-cow fish or super tuna? Two stories this week make you wonder. First, Reuters reports on the risk of mad cow disease from farmed fish. Scientists are concerned that the fish, who, curiously enough, dine on pieces of cow, may transmit Creutzfeldt Jakob disease to humans.
First the FAA makes their own inspectors cry in front of Congress and now the Associated Press says that the head of the federal inspectors’ union is alleging that the USDA told him to “drop the matter” when he reported food safety violations at slaughterhouses. When he refused, he was placed on “disciplinary investigative status.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture initiated the largest meat recall in U.S. history today, recalling 143 million pounds of beef from a macabre California slaughterhouse that chopped up downer cows—a rich source of mad cow disease—and sold them to school districts across the nation. The massive recall affects all beef produced by the Westland/Hallmark Meat Company after February 1, 2006.
So-called “downer” cows that are too ill to walk are not allowed into the food supply due to a higher instance of bovine spongiform encephalopathy ( mad cow disease)—which is why an undercover video taken by animal rights activists is causing a stir at the USDA.
The USDA has vowed to safeguard your meat by fighting reckless meatpackers that want to test their dead cattle for mad cow disease. The USDA’s current policy of testing less than 1% of cows is clearly succeeding since none of you have caught Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human variant of mad cow disease.