Newswise – Daily News Central reports that US ranchers are stillfeeding their cattle things that could help transmit Mad CowDisease to humans, such as the blood of other cattle. MadCow Disease was a major news headline, but once the publicwent on to other things, like the Michael Jackson trial, USranchers reverted to their old ways. The Bush administrationvowed over a year ago to pass laws against feeding cattleparts of other cattle, but that promise appears to have beenforgotten.
John Stauber, author of “Mad Cow USA: Could the NightmareHappen Here?” says that once the media coverage ended, “it’sbeen business as usual: no real reform, just keep feedingslaughterhouse waste?The entire US policy is designed toprotect the livestock industry’s access to slaughterhousewaste as cheap feed.”
Now another case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (MadCow Disease) has turned up here. The cow in question hadbeen tested in November and was declared free of disease,but new tests came up positive. Meanwhile, its meat may haveentered the food chain, although the US Department ofAgrulture claims that it did not.
After eight months of “investigation,” USDA claims that itstill does not even know which herd the affected animal camefrom.
The FDA promised to implement new feeding rules shortlyafter the first case of mad cow disease was discovered inthe US, in a Washington state cow in December 2003. But FDAcommissioner Mark McClellan, who was consulting with aninternational team of Mad Cow experts, has recently beenreplaced by Lester Crawford, who is following Bushpro-business policies. Democratic House member Rosa DeLaurocalls Crawford’s policies “A lot of talk but no action.”
With our current weak government regulations, the only hope foreliminating Mad Cow may be to alter the shape of theprion, rendering it harmless. Most prion infections beginwhen their normal shape, for reasons unknown, spontaneouslychange into the infectious form that kills brain cells.
Discovered only 25 years ago, and so tiny that they cannotbeen seen, even with the electron microscopes, scientistshave learned that prions come in two forms: a normal(non-infectious) shape and the abnormal structure thatoccurs that causes Mad Cow Disease, scrapie (a prion diseaseof sheep), kuru (a disease cannibals get from eating thebrains of humans) and several other brain infections.
New studies of what makes prions infectious may also improveour understanding of Alzheimer’s Disease, in which braincells gradually “silt up” with structures similar to prions,that lead to the death of brain cells.
Art credit: http://www.freeimages.co.uk
Will Mad Cow Disease and Alzheimer’s ever be defeated? We’dall like to take alook intothe future, but in today’s world, the only thing we candepend on is change. But the good news is that we can learnto awaken our natural divinatory abilities. How to do it?Consult the Kitchen Witch!
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