News Release

Mad Cow Disease: Who’s Being Protected?

JOHN STAUBER
Coauthor of the book Mad Cow USA (now available in PDF at http://www.prwatch.org/books/madcow.html), Stauber is executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy. He said today: “The USDA’s latest steps on mad cow disease are pathetic. The U.S. government is repeating the mistakes Britain made 15 years ago. The British have since defeated mad cow disease with a total ban on feeding slaughterhouse waste to livestock and testing millions of cattle before consumption. This is what the U.S. must do, but the political will to confront the powerful meat industry is lacking. Today in the U.S. farmers legally feed billions of pounds of slaughterhouse waste to cattle, and even wean calves on cattle blood protein. I suspect the recent cases of mad cow disease in the U.S. and Canada are just the tip of an iceberg, one that will continue to grow until dangerous feeding practices are completely banned.”
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HOWARD LYMAN
Author of the book Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat, Lyman and Oprah Winfrey were taken to court for the alleged crime of “food disparagement” after raising questions about the safety of beef in the United States.
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MICHAEL GREGER, M.D.,
The chief BSE [bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease] investigator for Farm Sanctuary and mad cow coordinator for the Organic Consumers Association, Greger said today: “In Europe, where they test one out of every four cows, and Japan, where they test 100 percent of all cattle bound for human consumption, they have found a number of cases of mad cow disease in animals who appeared perfectly healthy…. France, which has only a fraction of the U.S. cattle population, tests more cattle in a single week than the U.S. has tested in a decade.”
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SIMON CHAITOWITZ
Chaitowitz is communications director of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. She said today: “Three years ago, we submitted a list of recommendations to the U.S. government regarding mad cow disease — none were implemented. We believe the USDA has not instituted these protections because many of its top staffers come from the meat and dairy industries and they care more about protecting cattle industry profits than public safety. For example, Dale Moore, the chief of staff under Ann Veneman, the agriculture secretary, used to be executive director for legislative affairs at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association….”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167