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Medicine United States

Mad Cow Disease Confirmed In California 274

New submitter wave9x writes "The United States Department of Agriculture confirmed today that the nation's fourth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, sometimes referred to as 'mad cow disease' was found in a dairy cow in California. The animal has been euthanized and the carcass is being being held under State authority at a rendering facility in California and will be destroyed."
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Mad Cow Disease Confirmed In California

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  • American Culture (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @09:20PM (#39790225)

    It is completely telling that news of this appeared in the Business Section [] (currently the second hit on Google News) before it appeared at all in the Health Section [].

  • Re:Don't eat T-Bones (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lil'wombat ( 233322 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @10:24PM (#39790705)

    Absolutely. A random test of a cow supposedly not destined for the food supply gets tested positive. And we are to believe everything else is OK? I think a new guy on the job didn't get the memo and tested the wrong cow. Lets see how quickly they expand the testing. All QC policies I've worked under, allowed for decreased sampling until a defect was found, then a full statistically sample had to be pulled and tested.

  • Re:Whew... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by No, I am Spratacus! ( 2281684 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @10:45PM (#39790819)

    Yeah, perhaps the American Red Cross will now allow people from Europe or who have lived in Europe to donate blood.

    As of now, people who have "spent (visited or lived) a cumulative time of 5 years or more from January 1, 1980, to present, in any combination of country(ies) in Europe" are ineligible to donate; the time is even shorter (3 months) for the UK, all because of mad cow paranoia.

  • Re:American Culture (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tmosley ( 996283 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @10:49PM (#39790851)
    The same protein is present in human brains, and it is absolutely transmissible to and between any mammal (or at least any mammal that uses that protein, or one similar enough to be similarly affected). My great aunt died from it decades ago. She contracted it in England as a child, apparently.
  • Re:American Culture (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @01:01AM (#39791461)

    BSE is poorly tested for in the USA (regulations not adhered to or relaxed) , this is why many US beef products are/were unwelcome in Japan.
    Human infection is understated, symptoms and diagnosis can take 10 years to manifest. There are postmortem studies performed in the 90's that indicate over 25% of diagnosed dementia and Alzheimer's victims were actually BSE infected individuals.

    These studies were not widely distributed and testing has been allowed to become relaxed for purely economic reasons. ... See the UK incidence.

  • by NotSoHeavyD3 ( 1400425 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @01:15AM (#39791551)
    By American beef. If you actually read the report from the CDC the 3 people diagnosed in the US all are believed to have been infected when they were living outside of the US. (If I remember correctly 2 were British and it's expected they were infected when they lived in the UK and the 3rd was a Saudi that got infected in Saudia Arabia.) IE worry more about dying from bad spinach or contaminated tap water.
  • Re:American Culture (Score:5, Interesting)

    by davester666 ( 731373 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @02:14AM (#39791845) Journal

    You mean "of course, we are just starting to appear to look for it".

    The industry has actively resisted increasing testing for BSE for two reasons:
    1) it costs money
    2) it finds cows with BSE

    Of course, the USDA has required insanely higher levels of testing for cows/beef from Canada.

  • Re:American Culture (Score:5, Interesting)

    by robthebloke ( 1308483 ) on Wednesday April 25, 2012 @05:40AM (#39792593)

    In my mind, that makes BSE less dangerous than... well, just about everything.

    Yes, but what you are failing to understand is that whilst there may have been 180,000 cows who caught the disease, that is a small drop in the ocean compared to the number of animals who were put down to prevent any possibility of transmission. After the disease devastated the export market for British beef, it devastated the beef industry as a whole, and put countless farmers out of business (with numerous reports of farmers taking their own lives). It took decades for the industry to recover. It's a hideous disease.

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe