Author Topic: Mad Cow Disease (BSE)  (Read 44114 times)

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Mad Cow Disease (BSE)
« on: July 16, 2000, 02:40:00 PM »
Los Angeles Times, 7-15-2000:

Mad Cow Disease Found in Vermont Sheep

The Agriculture Dept. on Friday ordered 376 imported sheep to be destroyed after tests showed they might be infected with a sheep equivalent of mad cow disease.

Tests of 4 slaughtered sheep found evidence of a version of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the scientific name for the always fatal mad cow disease, officials said.

The tests mean the animals could have had the same disease that killed 53 people and devasted the beef industry in Britain in 1995.

"Even the remotest possibility that it could be that, I think that we have to take all precautions," said Linda Detwiler, the department's senior staff veterinarian.

Los Angeles Times, 7-15-2000

British Town's 'Mad Cow' Deaths Prompt Inquiry

British health officials said Friday that they are investigating a cluster of deaths resulting from the human form of 'mad cow' disease around a small town in central England.

4 people who lived in or near the village of Queniborough, in Leicestershire county, have died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or CJD, in the last 2 years, and a fifth is believed to have contracted the illness, the government revealed.

Medical authorities said such a cluster is rare and they hope the inveswtigation will shed light on the transmission of the disease. They told villagers not to worry, but they were unable to say whether the outbreak signaled more cases to come.

The victims are believed to have contracted the disease from eating infected meat more than a decade ago, before strict controls were imposed on cattle feed and beef sales, according to health officials.

The incubation period for CJD can be as long as 15 years, and new cases are on the rise in Britain, with 12 registered since January, compared with 13 in all of 1999.

CJD is a fatal brain disorder caused by an abnormal protein called a prion. It is rare, hitting only 1 in a million people  each year. There is no known cure.

An outbreak of a related disorder--bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly called mad cow disease--devasted Britain's cattle industry druing the late l990s. Researchers believe BSE can be transmitted to humans.... (--end of article.)

Brothers and sisters, our "early warning system" (the Spirit of Prophecy), warned us over 100 years ago that "disease in cattle is making meat eating a dangerous matter. The Lord's curse is upon the earth, upon man, upon beasts, upon the fish in the sea; and as transgression becomes almost universal, the curse will be permitted to become as broad and as deep as the transgression. Disease is contracted by the use of meat. The diseased flesh of these dead carcasses is sold in the market places, and disease among man is the sure result.

" There is no safety in the eating of the flesh of dead animals, and in a short time the milk of cows will also be excluded from the diet of God's commandment-keeping people. In a short time it will not be safe to use anything that comes from the animal creation." --Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 411.

Sr. Suzanne

[This message has been edited by Suzanne Sutton (edited 07-16-2000).]

Avalee Lohman

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Re: Mad Cow Disease (BSE)
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2000, 04:47:00 PM »
Thank you for this information.


Liane H

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Re: Mad Cow Disease (BSE)
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2000, 05:55:00 PM »
I am not surprised. If what I read is correct that this disease is caused by certain animals such as cows, sheep and pigs eating meat byproducts pellets mixed in their grain, what would such a thing do to an animal that primary food is vegetation.

I will try to find where I read it, I have printed it along with all my other stuff on bio-genetic foods folder.

Oh, by the way, I wrote a letter to Elder Cavaness, the president of the Southern California conference about Kellogg and their buyout of Worthington products and the e-mails I got from them that said they are going to continue using bio-genetic soybeans and corn products. In my letter I asked for Elder Cavaness to spread the word to the church body here in Southern California so that our church memebers could have an informed buying knowledge.

I was told that he put my letter in his monthly newsletter to the pastors in the region to inform the church people about the buyout of Kellogg of Worthington Products and the bio-genetic processing of our foods.  I was amazed.  People need to be aware of what is going on around them, whether they have a problem or not about bio-genetic altering of foods, but they at least need to have labeling of the products as such and with what so they can make an informed choice.


Liane, the Zoo Mama
Romans 8:19   For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.


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Re: Mad Cow Disease (BSE)
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2000, 06:11:00 PM »
I hope Richard won't mind my putting this here, but for those who would like to understand the history of BSE (mad cow disease), a book by Richard Rhodes traces its history from the 1950's to the the time publication (1997)  The book is titled "Deadly Feasts."  In this book I learned that mad cow disease has been in the USA for decades.  I heard some news months ago that when the brains of people who have died with Alzheimer's disease is autopsied, one university discovered that 15% of the patients actually had CJD and at another univeristy, the rate was 8% with CJD.  There is not doubt that the disease is in the US, but we don't know how prevelant it is.


O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. Jeremiah  10:23-24


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Re: Mad Cow Disease (BSE)
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2000, 11:36:00 PM »
There is a major difference between CJD and Alzheimer's disease.  While external symptoms are very similar, Alzheimer's lasts for many years while CJD is over in just a few months.  I doubt that an autopsy can tell the difference, but the time element surely would.  

When symptoms of CJD became evident in my first wife, I attended some of the Alzheimer support group meetings, but I gave that up when I realized that the rapid deterioration of my wife's condition was making other care givers feel worse.

Bob Lee

Gerry Buck

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Re: Mad Cow Disease (BSE)
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2000, 05:41:00 AM »
My son-in-law was in England during the late 80's early 90's. His dad was Air Force,just this last month, he received a letter from the Red Cross stating that he was placed on a list of people no longer able to give blood.

They stated it was because of his being in G.B. during the Mad Cow outbreak.

I didn't know the incubation period of this infection.

I hope there is some way of testing for it, and will be e-mailing this page site to them.

Abstain from ALL  appearence of evil. 1Thess.5:22
Gerry B.

Examine me, O LORD, and prove me: try my reins and my heart.Ps.26:2
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Re: Mad Cow Disease (BSE)
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2000, 08:15:00 AM »
This information comes from the CJD Foundation.


How Is Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Diagnosed?

A diagnosis of CJD should be considered when an adult patient develops a rapid dementia and myoclonus [uncontrolled jerking and spasms  of the body]. Unfortunately, confirming a diagnosis of CJD has historically been difficult as traditional laboratory tests have been ineffective in detecting CJD. The disease does not induce a fever or other systemic manifestations. The cerebrospinal fluid most often appears normal, except for an occasional elevation in the protein content. Magnetic resonance imaging ("MRI"), position emission tomography ("PET"), and x-rays have not been helpful in diagnosing CJD. A computed tomography ("CT") brain scan is usually normal, but may show some atrophy, a nondiagnostic finding seen in many other neurological conditions. The most helpful test has been the electroencephalogram ("EEG"), which measures brain wave activity. The EEG often shows a characteristic abnormal pattern, typically observed in later stages of the disease, but the EEG does not confirm a CJD diagnosis.
Accordingly, a definitive diagnosis of CJD has traditionally required a brain biopsy or autopsy which can detect the characteristic changes in the brain tissue caused by the disease. Moreover, a brain biopsy may sometimes produce a false-negative result if the biopsied area was unaffected by the disease. At the present time, however, a new test is being developed to diagnose CJD by examining the cerebrospinal fluid. Additional tests proposed to confirm a diagnosis of CJD include identifying the presence of the deadly prion protein, identifying the prion gene mutation, and transmitting the disease from the human patient to animals.

The difficulties involved in diagnosing CJD may have prevented the indentificaton of the disease in some cases. Because brain biopsy for diagnosing CJD is invasive, costly and risky, it is often not performed. Additionally, some physicians may not even consider the possibility of a CJD diagnosis since the disease is deemed to be rare and the clinical symptoms of CJD can often be attributed to other ailments. Consequently, CJD may be mistaken for a variety of psychological illnesses and other neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease, Pick's Disease, Huntington's Disease, cerebral hematomas and vascular irregularities. The extent to which such misdiagnosis may have occurred is presently unknown.

END QUOTE_______________

There is specutation that there is probably a significantly higher rate of CJD in the USA that previously thought, because it is so difficult to diagnose and many physicians are not familiar with it.


O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. Jeremiah  10:23-24

Joan Rügemer

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Re: Mad Cow Disease (BSE)
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2000, 04:16:00 AM »
Linda and you all...
.....this is a very valuable discussion. I am so glad you're going on with this theme. Last night on the British SkyNews special report was a showing of how inferior parts of animal carcass was scraped down from the spinal cord area for scraps for sausages and baby food products. They referred to this practice being done in the 1980's. It is forbidden now. The new cases of people breaking out with the disease have been 'historied' at 20 years incubation story. They showed a graph on the Tv where the average is 14 to 18 cases breaking out per year. The interviewed Doctor says all is in a preliminary stage before it might reach an epidemic stage.

(I have Satelitte receiver. 25 German, 23 English, 15 other channels. I still am glued to the History and Discovery English channel)
I do know how to select from the tvguide and am very strict in consume and control of what I see. Alfie never ever watches Tv. He doesn't read newspapers,magazines or listen to radio. He expects me to keep him updated to what's important. Otherwise he is a nature boy and can't be bothered with world problems.

Richard Myers

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Re: Mad Cow Disease (BSE)
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2000, 09:42:00 AM »
Prior to the human deaths and the British government's acknowledgment that Mad Cow disease (BSE)was crossing the specie barrier, we did a one hour interview with an expert in the field. Dr. Virgil Hulse, now deceased, was a board certified preventive medicine specialist. He was a Seventh-day Adventist and was educated at Loma Linda University Medical School. He held masters degrees in environmental health, milk and food technology and cancer epidemiology.  He had 14 years experience as a milk inspector in California.

In this one hour interview we brought to light the situation with Mad Cow disease and the danger posed to humans from eating the flesh of animals and any other animal product including milk. We were happy to have gone on record prior to the government's acknowledgment of the animal to human transmission.

Jesus loves us and has given us great light. How many are rejecting this light and to what consequence?  How many in the world are going unwarned because we have not done that which it has been our responsibility and privilege to do?  

We have a wonderful opportunity to reach the lost with the message of God's love. The medical missionary work is the right arm that will open the door for the reception of the gospel. Can we not see the great opportunity that exists? Where are the workers? Why are there so few? Most Seventh-day Adventist physicians have joined with the world and are partaking of the flesh pots of Egypt. Most, if not all of our hospitals are feeding animal products to their patients.

There are many physicians and others that are holding the banner high. Shall we not join with them in giving this light to the world? I don't see how God could make it any plainer. If many Seventh-day Adventists continue to ignore the counsels given and continue to consume animal products, they will not give the third angel's message and they will reap the consequences of eating cancer and other such diseases, they and their children.

Let us walk in the light as He is in the light and we will receive the blessings He desires to impart.

In His love and grace,    Richard

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.


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Re: Mad Cow Disease (BSE)
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2000, 10:44:00 AM »

Germany, Portugal's Azores Islands, Spain, and  France have each recorded new cases of mad cow disease. Authorities in Switzerland have halted the import of all breeding cattle; Greece announced a ban on T-bone steaks from France, following similar bans by Italy, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Russia and the Czech Republic. Indeed, sales of beef have dropped throughout the 15-nation European Union as fear spreads about this disease. Scientists believe eating infected meat can cause a similar ailment in humans, the usually fatal Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

Nowhere is the phobia over red meat or other suspect foods as acute as in France, where 125 instances of mad cow disease have been detected this year. This crisis has joined  that country's concern about hormone-fed cattle and genetically engineered crops such as corn and soybeans, imported from the United States.

The mad cow crisis and other highly publicized products recalls and hygiene scandals has shaken the confidence of the French in their own agribusiness sector, which is second only to that of the U.S. as an exporter of food. In the Dordogne region in southwestern France, 23 tons of rotten duck meat were seized by inspectors. In another town, a producer recalled 2 tons of a beef- and lamb-based sausage, after detecting strains of listeria, a potentially deadly bacteria.

Last year it was revealed that some French farmers were purchasing processed human waste from water-treatment plants to feed their pigs, fish and poultry....

One Frenchman pointed out that "...Even in restaurants, I don't eat meat anymore...Already, we all were dying of cancer, so why make things worse?"

The spinal cord of cattle, believed to be one means of transmission of mad cow disease, now must be removed by law at the slaughterhouse. That's another delicacy gone: known as amourette, the rubbery white spinal cord of calves, served pan-fried, is thought by some to enhance one's lovemaking powers.

...For French politicians, mad cow disease and the other food scares could have fateful consequence. In neighboring Belgium, a scandal last year over the use of dioxin-contaiminated feed for chickens led to consumer panic, followed by outrage at an official cover-up and an election that threw out the government.

France has imposed a moratorium on the use of feed enriched with bone marrow, offal and other slaughterhouse waste. Such fodder is thought to be the origin of the mid-1990s outbreak of the disease in Britain. The malady is believed to be a mutation of an ailment that affected sheep, and scientists hypothesize that it spread to cattle when the meat and bone of diseased animals were ground up and used to enrich feed.

The British destroyed 4.5 million head of cattle in an attempt to stem the spread of the disease, but they have still registered over 1,000 new cases this year. Other Europeans believed the risk to them was over when the EU outlawed exports of British beef and feed in 1996. But the subsequent testing on the Continent revealed scores of infected animals, whose owners may have given them tainted feed before the ban.

In a bid to snuff out mad cow disease once and for all, agriculture ministers of European Union nations agreed last week to a 6-month moratorium on feeding meat and bone meal to livestock and poultry, and also to the destruction of all cattle over 30 months old being sold for meat unless the animals have been found to be healthy. The extraordinary measures could cost the taxpayers of the 15 countries up to $3.5 billion.

The French are experiencing the downside of decades of industrialization and concentration in agriculture and the food business, according to some.  Supermarket chains squeezed out independent butchers by cutting costs, even if that meant turning grass-eating cattle into cannibals by giving them feed enriched with the remains of other cows and bulls.

"They started to produce meat like they produce cars--it's not natural," an Orleans butcher said. "If God doesn't hold us back, what do we do next, give iron bars to livestock to eat?"   --adapted from the Los Angeles Times, Dec. 11, 2000.

[This message has been edited by Suzanne Sutton (edited 12-14-2000).]

Dugald T Lewis MD

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Re: Mad Cow Disease (BSE)
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2000, 02:52:00 PM »
Dear Sister Suzanne,

The facts are clear. Thanks for posting this. This is no time for our people to be feeding meat to their families.



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Re: Mad Cow Disease (BSE)
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2001, 08:56:00 AM »
Brothers and sisters, this is from the Riverside, Calif. Press-Enterprise, Jan. 12, 2001.


Hundreds of animal feed producers are violating rules intended to keep mad cow disease out of the United States, prompting the government to warn that companies must shape up or expect shutdowns, even prosecution.

The food supply remains safe despite the violations because no cases of mad cow disease have been found in U.S. cattle, the Food and Drug Administration said.

The livestock industry in 1996 voluntarily banned sheep and certain other animal parts from U.S. feed. The next year, the FDA formally banned any proteins from cows, sheep, goats, deer or elk--animals that get similar brain-wasting diseases--from feed for cows, sheep or goats. Poultry and pigs can still eat those proteins, but feed must be labeled "do not feed to cows or other ruminants" and companies must have systems to prevent mixing up the feeds.

Yet FDA inspections found hundreds of renderers and feed mills that handle risky feed lacked warning labels and/or had no system to prevent feed mixups. --end of article.

Unfortunely, it seems to be just a matter of time before the mad cow epidemic affects this country. It is obvious that we cannot trust the cattle barons, meat producers, etc. to comply with FDA rules banning the feeding of animals remains to cattle, and other livestock. These are the very products that caused the epidemic in the first place. Yes, it is grossly unnatural and dangerous to feed blood and other animal parts to herbivores (cattle, sheep, etc.) Can the flesh of such animals, forced to eat like scavengers, be called "clean meat?" Hardly! We are what we eat holds true even in the animal kingdom. Garbage in; garabage out!

"We cannot now do as we have ventured to do in the past in regard to meat eating. It has always been a curse to the human family, but now it is made particularly so in the curse which God has pronounced upon the herds of the field, because of man's transgression and sin. The disease upon animals is becoming more and more common, and our only safely now is in leaving meat entirely alone. The most aggravated diseases are now prevalent,...It is in eating meat so largely in this country that men and women are becoming demoralized, their blood corrupted, and disease planted in the system. Because of meat eating, many die, and they do not understand the cause. If the truth were known, it would bear testimony it was the flesh of animals that have passed through death. The thought of feeding on dead flesh is repulsive, but there is something besides this. In eating meat we partake of diseased dead flesh, and this sows its seed of corruption in the human organism...." --Ellen White, "Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 412.

[This message has been edited by Suzanne Sutton (edited 01-14-2001).]

Dugald T Lewis MD

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Re: Mad Cow Disease (BSE)
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2001, 11:30:00 AM »
Thank you Sister Suzanne for making us more aware of the need to cease from the eating of flesh. Let us pray that God's people would recognize that they should not ask God for healing from disease if they continue to pursue the eating of flesh.


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Re: Mad Cow Disease (BSE)
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2001, 01:22:00 PM »
       the story is here in Canada too where ELK (Venison) meat is a substitute for beef. This story also state there was another cow found with the disease in Germany in December 2000. So even for those who use other meats thinking they are "safe", look out.

Monday December 18 5:47 PM ET
Elk Slaughtered to Halt Mad Cow-Like Disease
By Jeffrey Jones
CALGARY (Reuters) - About 1,500 domesticated elk on ranches in western Canada have been slaughtered to stop the spread of an illness closely related to the mad cow disease afflicting livestock in Europe, officials said on Monday.
The elk, from half a dozen farms in the province of Saskatchewan, were killed over the past six months after 14 were found to be infected with the debilitating illness called chronic wasting disease. It has been dubbed ``mad elk'' disease.
The outbreak of the disease, for which there is no cure, is believed to have originated with one elk imported to a Saskatchewan farm from South Dakota several years ago, said Brian Peart, senior staff veterinarian with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which ordered the slaughter.
``It stayed pretty much on that farm until probably 1995, and all the animals that we have found so far have come from that source farm,'' Peart said.
There have been no cases of the protein-borne illness reported outside Saskatchewan, he said.
Chronic wasting disease is related to mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the brain-wasting illness that has hit the European livestock industry. Both are spread by prions, mysterious proteins that attack part of the animal's brain by killing cells.
Symptoms in elk include the inability to swallow properly, which can result in food being lodged in the lungs, as well as disorientation and severe weight loss. Eventually, they die of starvation.
Canada's first reported case of chronic wasting disease was in 1974, when a mule deer at Toronto's zoo was diagnosed.
The affliction is only believed to affect domesticated elk and deer, and Peart said no cases have been found in the wild. There is no evidence of a human form of the disease. The fatal human form of mad cow is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
Elk ranching is a burgeoning industry in Canada, generating annual revenues of more than C$1 billion ($660 million). Elk are raised for their venison, a substitute for beef.
They are also prized for the velvet on young antlers, which is used in herbal remedies around the world, especially Asia, where derivatives have been used as aphrodisiacs for centuries.
There are about 54,000 domesticated elk across Canada, nearly 40 percent of them in Saskatchewan.
Game farmers are to get about C$4,000 per elk slaughtered under the program -- about half their value. But industry officials said they agreed with the mass killing, despite the financial hit.
``If we did not take care of this, the impact would be much greater,'' Serge Buy, executive director of the Canadian Cervid Council, the industry's umbrella group, told Reuters. ``The industry is responsible. We've had an issue, we've dealt with the issue and the issue has been solved. The animals are dead now.''
In Germany on Monday, officials found a second cow in two weeks infected with the brain-wasting mad cow disease, and said they feared more cases would be detected. Mad cow disease, first detected in England in the mid-1990s, has spread to other countries in Europe, including France and Spain.
Peart said government agencies and farming groups were stepping up efforts to eradicate the elk disease in Canada.
``A regulation is currently going through the process to make chronic wasting disease a reportable disease, and producers are expected to notify both their own practicing veterinarian and their federal veterinarian if an animal has the signs,'' he said.

[This message has been edited by Curt (edited 01-14-2001).]

FAITH - As God's blessed sons & daughters we are to attempt the impossible to the extent that we will fail unless God steps in.   Keep the faith


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Re: Mad Cow Disease (BSE)
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2001, 03:21:00 PM »
More on the mad cow scare:

Riverside, Calif. "Press-Enterprise," Dec. 12, 2000

Thailand's Food and Drug Administration has imposed a ban on imports of beef from 7 European nations to prevent the spread of mad cow disease. This country has blocked imports of British beef since 1996 when the epidemic started. The additional countries from which beef imports are now banned are Portugal, France, Ireland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

Los Angeles Times, Jan. 10, 2001:

2 German Ministers Are Forced to Resign Over 'Mad Cow' Crisis

Berlin--Germany's "mad cow" crisis felled its first victims Tuesday, as Health Minister Andrea Fischer and Agriculture Minister Karl-Heinz Funke were forced to resign for failing to halt the spread of the disease to this country after at least 80 people had died of it across Europe.

...the shocking revelations that Germany is tainted after years of official assurances to the contrary have shaken public faith in government and in the purity of some of the nation's favorite foods...The near-hysteria among the public about the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE is not likely to be abated soon.

...Germans and many other Europeans have responded to the crisis by forsaking beef in dramatic fashion. Even in neighboring Poland, were there has yet to be a single BSE case reported, beef sales are down as much as 50 percent in most stores. In Italy, restaurateurs have been seeking to assure patrons that their meat entrees are BSE-free on the strength of the fact that no Italian cattle have yet been found with the disease. Throughout Europe food industries dependent on beef sales, like the McDonald's hamburger chain, have been touting 100 percent pork alternatives like the new "McFarmer" sandwich.

Most of the 80 deaths tied to BSE have occurred in Britain, where the mad cow scare began in earnest about 4 yrs ago. But human infections of the fatal disease that destroys the brain hava more recently been discovered in France, where dozens of cases of BSE were found in livestock last year and triggered public outcries and a crisis in the meat industry. 5 cases of infected livestock have also been discovered in Spain recently, and Danish authorities reported their third tainted cow just a few hours before the political fallout hit Germany....
--end of article

Comment: To substitute pork for beef is tantamount to "jumping out of the frying pan into the fire."  Indeed, Inspiration points out that "Pork, although one of the most common articles of diet, is one of the most injurious. God did not prohibit the Hebrews from eating swine's flesh merely to show His authority, but because it was not a proper article of food for man...The eating of pork has produced scrofula, leprosy, and cancerous humors. PORK EATING IS STILL CAUSING THE MOST INTENSE SUFFERING TO THE HUMAN RACE."  Ellen White, "Counsels on Diet and Foods," pp. 392,393.

[This message has been edited by Suzanne Sutton (edited 01-15-2001).]


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Re: Mad Cow Disease (BSE)
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2001, 01:16:00 PM »
Mad Cow Disease Continues to spread!

Los Angeles Times, Jan. 16, 2001:

ROME--A suspected case of mad cow disease in Italy was found at a slaughterhouse that supplies meat to McDonald's restaurants in Italy and elsewhere in Europe.

The slaughterhouse in the northern Lombardy region, belongs to the Cremonini group, the exclusive meat supplier for the American fast food giant's restaurants across Italy.

Until the Saturday, when the case was discovered, Italy had been considered mad cow-free. The only two cases reported there were in 1994, in two cows imported from Britain.

"We expected it, Italy could not be the exception," Maria Caramelli told an Italian TV station. She is part of the team testing brain tissue from the cow. Final results of the tests, to be released soon are expected to confirm earlier tests.

McDonald's which has 295 restaurants in Italy serving 600,000 customers daily, recently put up signs in outlets across the country to reassure consumers about the origin of its beef. It stood by its Italian supplier asserting that the "quality, traceability and safety" of its beef fully protect consumers.    -end of article.

[This message has been edited by Suzanne Sutton (edited 01-18-2001).]

Dugald T Lewis MD

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Re: Mad Cow Disease (BSE)
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2001, 03:49:00 PM »
I got this article from MSNBC news

Mad Cow Disease: U.S. Experts Work to Stop It Before It Starts

Spread to This Country Isn't Expected, But We're Ready Just in Case

By Denise Mann
WebMD Medical News

Reviewed by Dr. Jacqueline Brooks

Jan. 26, 2001 -- We haven't seen it here yet, but the U.S. is ready for mad cow disease if it should find its way into our cattle supply. The FDA and other health agencies, including the American Red Cross, are watching, waiting, and planning as they work to stave off the epidemic that is spreading across Western Europe.

Even though there has never been a case here, import restrictions on cattle from the U.K. have been in place since 1989, and efforts at active surveillance of our cattle supply started in 1990.

In the most recent development, federal health officials quarantined 1,000 heads of cattle in Texas because a feed mill announced it may have broken the rules governing the preparation of cattle feed. Under these regulations, cows and sheep are not to be fed products containing animal parts, in order to prevent the spread of the disease. But the feed company told the FDA that some of the livestock could have eaten bone meal made from other U.S. cattle. It is just a potential risk, since mad cow disease hasn't been reported in this country, but officials want to investigate.

The FDA has reported that this is not an isolated incident, however, as hundreds of feed makers have been violating the regulations in making their products. Members of the cattle industry will be meeting with the government on Monday Jan. 29, in order to get more businesses to step up their compliance to the rules.

The FDA has also been investigating the risks of contracting the disease in other ways. Researchers are not sure if mad cow disease can be transmitted through blood transfusions, for example. But an advisory committee to the FDA recently recommended widening a ban on blood donations to include long-term residents of France, Ireland, and Portugal to make sure mad cow disease stays out of the U.S. blood supply.

Anyone who lived in any one of these countries for 10 years or more from 1980 on should not be allowed to donate blood for the time being, according to the advisory panel. This committee stopped short of recommending a similar ban for all of Western Europe.

The FDA doesn't have to follow recommendations of its advisory councils, but it usually does. About one year ago, the FDA banned blood donations from any American who spent just six months or more in Britain from 1980 to 1996. Some critics say that restricting who can donate blood may do more harm than good, because our blood supply is already low.

There has also been concern in the U.S. that certain vaccines and/or dietary supplements that use animal protein or glandular extracts, respectively, may be contaminated. The FDA already has issued warnings that supplement makers and pharmaceutical companies should vigorously monitor this to prevent contaminated products from reaching U.S. consumers, but the companies may not be honoring these recommendations or following them as closely as they should. Therefore, the FDA is considering cracking down on regulations that are already in place.

Mad cow disease is the common name for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also called BSE. It is a degenerative, central nervous system disease that was first diagnosed in cattle in Great Britain in 1986. Affected animals act crazy, or "mad," displaying changes in mood such as nervousness or agitation and having difficulty standing up. Such cattle usually die within two weeks to six months.

Eating infected beef has been linked to a human version of the disease called new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. This has struck more than 80 people in England and about three people in France.

The disease also has been confirmed in domestic cattle in Belgium, France, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Switzerland. Worldwide, there have been more than 178,000 cases since the disease was first found in the U.K.

Ed Curlept, a spokesperson for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, based in Riverdale, Md., is fairly confident that the U.S. has safeguards in place to stop the disease from entering this country's food supply, or to at least find it before it becomes widespread.

"This has been on the top of our priority list for 10 years," he says. "We have looked at over 12,000 animal brains, and we continue to look for BSE in this country by looking at 'downer' cows that can't move."

"We have more than 250 veterinarians that respond to suspicious foreign animal diseases in the U.S.," Curlept tells WebMD. "We are fairly confident, but we are not complacent, and are trying to learn as much as we can from Europeans. If BSE is here, we can either stop it or find it before it becomes widespread."

The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis in Boston had been working under a USDA grant to evaluate the situation in the U.S. should mad cow disease arise here.

George Gray, director of the program in food safety and agriculture there, tells WebMD, "I consider there to be a very small risk to human health or cattle for the U.S. I haven't changed my diet. I still eat beef."

But an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, he says.

Gray credits the safety of the U.S. food supply to the preventive vigilance of the FDA/USDA. "They have taken a lot of action in a situation where we haven't had the disease," he says. "Europe is scrambling to do what we are already doing [after they've already found the disease there]."

For example, the U.S. has instituted the measure that bans the use of animal protein in animal feeds meant for ruminants, or animals that chew cud. "This is a pretty amazing step for a country without the disease to take," says Gray.

There have also been a lot of efforts taken to do determine if the disease is here, he says. "We have been looking pretty hard for seven or eight years and haven't seen it," he says.

But, will mad cow disease ultimately find it's way into the U.S. food supply?

"Never say never," he says. "It's extremely unlikely, [but] that's not to say we won't have a sick cow. We could. In the U.K., they still don't know where it came from, so it is entirely possible that we can have a case."

If this occurs, "U.S. reaction may be out of proportion. The government could do a better job of telling people just how much they are doing," says Gray. "The Germans said 'BSE will never happen here,' and it did; and people went berserk."

The bottom line is that "if we had a sick animal in the U.S., it would not be a good time to be in the hamburger business," says Gray, "[but] whether that's an appropriate response is questionable."

"Panic is a good word for what's going on [because] there has never been a case of [mad cow disease] in this country," says Ruth Kava, RD, PhD, director of nutrition at the American Council on Science and Health in New York City. "It has never been seen here. We don't have it. So I don't see a real reason for widespread fear."

"All that the FDA is doing is just precautionary," she tells WebMD. "There is no evidence that it can be transmitted through blood and no evidence that it can be found in dietary supplements."

The recent FDA actions may be related to mistakes made at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. "Early on in the epidemic, we thought it could not be transmitted through blood, so donors were not screened," she says.

But "much to our surprise and chagrin, we found that [AIDS] was blood-borne, and that gets our antenna quivering," she says.

There has been concern that dietary supplements may contain imported extracts from brains, testicles, and other organs of cattle -- and whether the cattle were exposed to mad cow disease is unknown.

"People who take dietary supplements with glandular extracts should consider what they are doing," she says. "Some glands, like tonsils, could carry infected material but not necessarily mad cow."

© 2001 WebMD Corporation. All rights reserved.


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Re: Mad Cow Disease (BSE)
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2001, 09:39:00 AM »
The mad cow disease scare is indeed everything that we know it to be. And many feel that it's just a matter of time before it hits North America. Not a pleasant thought.

But alas, the ill effects of a meat-centered diet are already felt in this country as well as around the world. Even if food animals are healthy, (a rarity), eating them is not. Study after study clearly demonstrates that beef, pork, poultry and lamb, even when untainted by disease, contain massive amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol, thus helping to clog arteries, hospitals and cemeteries worldwide.

Mounting evidence likewise links meat consumption with strokes, cancer, diabetes, gout, osteoporosis and a host of other infectious and inflammatory diseases.

Speaking of poultry, Alex Hershaft, Ph.D., writing in "Vegetarian Voice, Vol. 21, No. 4, warns: "Chickens are fed more infected animal protein than cows--and are likely carriers of the disease (mad cow)--they just don't live long enough to exhibit symptoms. We must convince consumers that chicken is not a 'health food,' but a reliable source of saturated fat, cholesterol, salmonella--and perhaps 'Mad Chicken Disease.' "

A further warning comes from Neal Barnard, M.D., writing in "Good Medicine, (Spring 1996): "Research has shown beyond any reasonable doubt that meat is to your digestive tract and arteries what tobacco is to your lungs. Meat contributes to colon cancer, heart attacks and other risks that run neck in neck with the toll brought on by tobacco." it is obvious that we in this country are already suffering from the ill effects of a meat diet--mad cow disease aside. Let us do what so many have done and enjoy the good health offered by a correct vegetarian diet.


[This message has been edited by Suzanne Sutton (edited 01-28-2001).]


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Re: Mad Cow Disease (BSE)
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2001, 02:43:00 PM »

The city zoo in Berlin's Kreuzberg district has reported that many of their geese, ducks and hens have vanished in recent days. It seems that the staff have eaten them.

What a scene, as Germans confronted by empty shelves at the supermarkets, go foraging for food. With BSE beef already off the menu, along with sausages and now pork, filling a German belly is becoming nearly impossible.

Dwindling meat options are producing near panic. Even those still willing to risk steak are finding that restaurants are no longer serving it, while meat counters have at best only token display of browning beef.

After the first mad cow scare in November, shoppers switched to game. Now they are being informed that venison is also suspect because deer in German forests are apparently fed on the same kind of contaminated meal fodder that has brought BSE to cattle.

Lamb, too, should be avoided, scientists warn, because of scrapie. Battery chickens come laced with salmonella and occasionally dioxin. Cats and dogs, in case anyone should fancy them, are out because of the low-grade beef they are fed.

Other pets, such as hamsters and guinea-pigs, are equally unwholesome because they, too have been unwittingly munching on the remnants of animal carcasses for years.

That, more or less, leaves fish, largely unknown to German cuisine apart from the roll-mop variety. Fresh fish, in any case, is hard to find.

There was also pork, of course, prepared in hundreds of ingenious ways from the humble fried chop to Helmut Kohl's beloved Saumagen, or stuffed pig stomach. No German would starve while there was pork around in abundance.

But, alas, officials discovered last week the millions of Bavarian pigs have for years been fattened up with the help of illegal drugs, including the same kind of anabolic steroids that enabled East German female athletes to swim as fast as men, at the price of growing hair on their chests.

To those who do not wish to repeat the feat, pork is looking rather unappetizing.

It is bad news for most Germans, who would rather die than become vegetarian. What are they going to eat? That is the question preoccupying much of the nation's media, with TV channels scheduling special programs daily in search of the elusive answer.

The German parliament's canteen appears to have banned both beef and pork--it latest offerings being cabbage stew, elk ragout and organic vegetarian cannelloni.

Beef has also been declared verboten in the armed services, presumably on the grounds that you cannot have mad soldiers. Pork is still allowed.

Everyone else must get used to elk, reindeer, ostrich, crocodile and other exotic meats which have recently turned up at the shops, or go hunting. --end of article

(Excerpts adapted from an article by Imre Karacs, in Berlin).

[This message has been edited by Suzanne Sutton (edited 02-05-2001).]


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Re: Mad Cow Disease (BSE)
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2001, 03:17:00 PM »
Brethren, info regarding Mad Cow disease continues to be published. Here is an item from the "Los Angeles Times," Feb. 3, 2001.

WASHINGTON--The United States on Friday followed Canada's lead in temporarily suspending imports of Brazilian beef gravy, corned beef, geletins and other processed beef products as a precaution against 'mad cow' disease and its deadly human variation.

The U.S. ban came less than a week after the Food and Drug Administration quarantined a small Texas feedlot for violating rules that forbid using feed containing ground-up bits of cattle.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that although there was no evidence of mad cow disease in Brazil, it was concerned that certain Brazilian beef products might have come into contact with beef from Europe, which has been hit with an outbreak of the brain-wasting disease.

"This decision is a tmeporary action pending the release of requested data to complete a bovine spongiform encephalopathy risk assessment," the USDA said in a statement, referring to the disease by its official name. The department said further action would be taken if needed to keep the disease out of the U.S.

BSE, as the disease is also known, is believed to have spread from Britain when the bones, spinal cord and other remains of diseased cattle were ground up for use in livestock feed.

Nearly 90 people in Britain, France and Ireland have died of or been stricken with the human version.

[This message has been edited by Suzanne Sutton (edited 02-05-2001).]