Animal Writes
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From 26 June 2005 Issue

Second Mad Cow in US is Confirmed
By Greg Lawson – [email protected]

Last week I reported that a second case of mad cow disease was suspected, but that the USDA had been dragging its feet since last November on retesting the animal’s brain with more sophisticated tests. Finally, a few weeks ago, after the USDA Inspector General ordered the department to conduct further tests, the samples were sent to the International BSE Laboratory in Weybridge, England. Confirmation came on Friday from Weybridge. Yes, the animal had bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

US Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said that human health was never at risk. The animal was a “downer,” meaning it was too sick to walk and that such animals are banned from the food supply. True, there is a ban, but somehow I don’t trust the meat industry to always follow the ban. And while the government may keep assuring us that such animals don’t go into the human food supply, they do go into animal feed where the prions that cause mad cow disease are passed on to other animals. Downers do go into pet food, and cats have developed feline spongiform encephalopathy from eating tainted food.

Despite continual assurances from the federal government, our food supply and our companion animals’ food supply is not safe, it hasn’t been for years, ever since the government began allowing the meat industry to police itself.

For more information on mad cow disease, please go to 

Dr. Michael Greger is the Mad Cow Coordinator for the Organic Consumers Association and the Chief BSE Investigator for Farm Sanctuary’s and our guest this week on ACT Radio.

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