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Old 13-08-2005, 11:36 AM
Beach Runner
 
Posts: n/a
Default NY Times US Meat Does not meet standards of health

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/13/op...html?th&emc=th

The New York Times
August 13, 2005
Safer Beef

Fears of another case of mad cow disease in the United States have faded
for the time being because tests on the most recent suspect animal came
back negative. But that is no reason to feel confident about the
American beef supply. American cows still eat food that can potentially
infect them with mad cow disease. American meatpackers use dangerous
methods that other countries ban. And the United States Department of
Agriculture does not require enough testing to ensure that American beef
is completely safe.

U.S.D.A. officials and spokesmen for the meatpacking industry argue that
the public is protected by current safety procedures. The chance of
human infection is indeed very low - but the disease that mad cow
induces in human is always fatal, so extreme caution is warranted. The
Agriculture Department is hamstrung by its dual and conflicting mission:
to promote the nation's meat industry and to protect the consumer. It's
clear which is winning.

In April, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns suggested that the mad cow
rules might even be relaxed to allow companies to sell some cows too
sick to walk for use in human food. Instead of reacting to the
confirmation of a case of mad cow in June by fixing the remaining
loopholes in the system, Mr. Johanns announced that he had eaten beef
for lunch.

Mad cow disease lurks in the animal's nervous system, and cows contract
it by eating infected tissue. While cows are naturally herbivores, the
beef industry turned them into cannibals by making meal ground from beef
and beef bones a staple of the industrial cow's diet. In the wake of the
British mad cow epidemic, the Food and Drug Administration banned beef
and bone meal as cow feed.

But it is tempting for farmers and feedlots to violate the feed ban
because the meal is a cheap protein source and can be kept on hand to
feed chickens and pigs. Cows are fed at a million different sites in
America, and the Government Accountability Office criticizes the
F.D.A.'s inspection regime as insufficient and ridden with loopholes.

In addition, cattle blood, which is suspected of being able to carry
infection, can legally be given to calves as part of a milk substitute.
Industrial cows are also still fed material scooped from the bottom of
chicken cages. The chicken manure is the safe part - spilled chicken
feed, which can include the same beef and bone meal that has been banned
as cow feed, is more dangerous.

After the first case of mad cow disease was found in America in 2003,
the U.S.D.A. tightened the rules to remove some potentially infective
nervous system tissue from slaughterhouse processing lines so it
wouldn't slip into the food supply or contaminate other meat. But some
nervous system tissue is still permitted, as long as it comes from cows
under 30 months old.

This is not a perfect cutoff point - there have been cases of younger
cows with mad cow disease in Britain and Japan. Nor can we be certain of
a cow's age because the United States has no mandatory animal
identification system, like the tattooing or ear tags used in other
nations. Each slaughterhouse has workers who check cows for molars that
erupt around 30 months. They also watch processing lines for brain and
spinal cord tissue.

The U.S.D.A. says its inspectors can ensure that companies protect the
beef supply. But whistle-blowing meat inspectors contend that they lack
the power to do their job, and that the agency lets companies pile up
violations without any penalties.

Boneless steaks and roasts are probably safe to eat. The riskiest meats
are ground beef, hot dogs, taco fillings and pizza toppings - the things
children love. These products can come out of "advanced meat recovery"
machines: rubber fingers that strip a carcass clean. These machines are
banned in Europe and Japan, and some American meatpackers have stopped
using them.

Still, there's no law against them, even though a U.S.D.A. study in 2002
found that only 12 percent of the plants it examined consistently
produced meat from these machines that was clean of nervous system
tissue. Regulations have been tightened, but they still allow the use of
these machines to include nervous system tissue as long as it comes from
young cows.

Washington relies on its rules to keep mad cow disease out of the meat
supply. But it doesn't test enough cows to know whether they work.
America tests about 1 percent of the slaughtered cows, and recent
experiences don't inspire confidence in the testing regime. The
Agriculture Department initially said its tests on one of the two
American cows found to be infected had shown the cow was healthy. The
positive result came out only after the U.S.D.A.'s inspector general
required British tests that the U.S.D.A. had said were unnecessary.

European countries test all animals over a certain age, and until
recently, Japan tested every cow. More than 60 countries have completely
or partly banned American beef, including Japan, the largest importer.
Wider testing would probably open these markets. Creekstone Farms, a
Kansas slaughterhouse, announced last year that it wanted to test all
its cows. The U.S.D.A., which controls the mad-cow testing kits, said
no; apparently major slaughterhouses feared that universal testing by
Creekstone would create pressure on them to do the same.

Instead of winning other nations' trust by improving safety, Washington
relies on clout. President Bush has personally lobbied Japan to accept
American beef. Beef producers need not improve their safety practices
when the Agriculture Department acts as their marketing arm. It is time
for Americans to have the protection of a food safety agency separate
from U.S.D.A.

* Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

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Old 13-08-2005, 11:43 AM
Beach Runner
 
Posts: n/a
Default

The basic problem, as McCain points out is that lobbying groups and
industry have too much power in American politics, so instead of working
for public good, they follow their wallets.

Beach Runner wrote:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/13/op...html?th&emc=th

The New York Times
August 13, 2005
Safer Beef

Fears of another case of mad cow disease in the United States have faded
for the time being because tests on the most recent suspect animal came
back negative. But that is no reason to feel confident about the
American beef supply. American cows still eat food that can potentially
infect them with mad cow disease. American meatpackers use dangerous
methods that other countries ban. And the United States Department of
Agriculture does not require enough testing to ensure that American beef
is completely safe.

U.S.D.A. officials and spokesmen for the meatpacking industry argue that
the public is protected by current safety procedures. The chance of
human infection is indeed very low - but the disease that mad cow
induces in human is always fatal, so extreme caution is warranted. The
Agriculture Department is hamstrung by its dual and conflicting mission:
to promote the nation's meat industry and to protect the consumer. It's
clear which is winning.

In April, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns suggested that the mad cow
rules might even be relaxed to allow companies to sell some cows too
sick to walk for use in human food. Instead of reacting to the
confirmation of a case of mad cow in June by fixing the remaining
loopholes in the system, Mr. Johanns announced that he had eaten beef
for lunch.

Mad cow disease lurks in the animal's nervous system, and cows contract
it by eating infected tissue. While cows are naturally herbivores, the
beef industry turned them into cannibals by making meal ground from beef
and beef bones a staple of the industrial cow's diet. In the wake of the
British mad cow epidemic, the Food and Drug Administration banned beef
and bone meal as cow feed.

But it is tempting for farmers and feedlots to violate the feed ban
because the meal is a cheap protein source and can be kept on hand to
feed chickens and pigs. Cows are fed at a million different sites in
America, and the Government Accountability Office criticizes the
F.D.A.'s inspection regime as insufficient and ridden with loopholes.

In addition, cattle blood, which is suspected of being able to carry
infection, can legally be given to calves as part of a milk substitute.
Industrial cows are also still fed material scooped from the bottom of
chicken cages. The chicken manure is the safe part - spilled chicken
feed, which can include the same beef and bone meal that has been banned
as cow feed, is more dangerous.

After the first case of mad cow disease was found in America in 2003,
the U.S.D.A. tightened the rules to remove some potentially infective
nervous system tissue from slaughterhouse processing lines so it
wouldn't slip into the food supply or contaminate other meat. But some
nervous system tissue is still permitted, as long as it comes from cows
under 30 months old.

This is not a perfect cutoff point - there have been cases of younger
cows with mad cow disease in Britain and Japan. Nor can we be certain of
a cow's age because the United States has no mandatory animal
identification system, like the tattooing or ear tags used in other
nations. Each slaughterhouse has workers who check cows for molars that
erupt around 30 months. They also watch processing lines for brain and
spinal cord tissue.

The U.S.D.A. says its inspectors can ensure that companies protect the
beef supply. But whistle-blowing meat inspectors contend that they lack
the power to do their job, and that the agency lets companies pile up
violations without any penalties.

Boneless steaks and roasts are probably safe to eat. The riskiest meats
are ground beef, hot dogs, taco fillings and pizza toppings - the things
children love. These products can come out of "advanced meat recovery"
machines: rubber fingers that strip a carcass clean. These machines are
banned in Europe and Japan, and some American meatpackers have stopped
using them.

Still, there's no law against them, even though a U.S.D.A. study in 2002
found that only 12 percent of the plants it examined consistently
produced meat from these machines that was clean of nervous system
tissue. Regulations have been tightened, but they still allow the use of
these machines to include nervous system tissue as long as it comes from
young cows.

Washington relies on its rules to keep mad cow disease out of the meat
supply. But it doesn't test enough cows to know whether they work.
America tests about 1 percent of the slaughtered cows, and recent
experiences don't inspire confidence in the testing regime. The
Agriculture Department initially said its tests on one of the two
American cows found to be infected had shown the cow was healthy. The
positive result came out only after the U.S.D.A.'s inspector general
required British tests that the U.S.D.A. had said were unnecessary.

European countries test all animals over a certain age, and until
recently, Japan tested every cow. More than 60 countries have completely
or partly banned American beef, including Japan, the largest importer.
Wider testing would probably open these markets. Creekstone Farms, a
Kansas slaughterhouse, announced last year that it wanted to test all
its cows. The U.S.D.A., which controls the mad-cow testing kits, said
no; apparently major slaughterhouses feared that universal testing by
Creekstone would create pressure on them to do the same.

Instead of winning other nations' trust by improving safety, Washington
relies on clout. President Bush has personally lobbied Japan to accept
American beef. Beef producers need not improve their safety practices
when the Agriculture Department acts as their marketing arm. It is time
for Americans to have the protection of a food safety agency separate
from U.S.D.A.

* Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

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Old 13-08-2005, 10:28 PM
usual suspect
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Beach Runner wrote:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/13/op...html?th&emc=th

The New York Times
August 13, 2005
Safer Beef

Fears of another case of mad cow disease in the United States have faded
for the time being because tests on the most recent suspect animal came
back negative.


Two positive BSE cattle in all of US history. That's two cattle out of
~120,000,000 in just the last three years, or a known infection rate of
0.000001667% over that period. Any fears over such infinitesimal odds
are irrational.
  #4 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 13-08-2005, 10:29 PM
usual suspect
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Bumbling Bob replied to his own post:
The basic problem,


Why do you reply to yourself so often, dummy?
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Old 14-08-2005, 07:28 AM
Beach Runner
 
Posts: n/a
Default



usual suspect wrote:

Beach Runner wrote:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/13/op...html?th&emc=th

The New York Times
August 13, 2005
Safer Beef

Fears of another case of mad cow disease in the United States have
faded for the time being because tests on the most recent suspect
animal came back negative.



Two positive BSE cattle in all of US history. That's two cattle out of
~120,000,000 in just the last three years, or a known infection rate of
0.000001667% over that period. Any fears over such infinitesimal odds
are irrational.


Ignored over the fact is that whistle blowers offer to take lie detector
tests, to show that the tests are farces and don't meet standards. They
also wouldn't allow an importer of Japanese beef to test each animal to
meet their safety standards.

It is also well known that many cattle feeders are either ignorant of
the law, or simply disobey to increase profit. It's not the biggest
danger, cancer and heart disease are much larger dangers.


  #6 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 14-08-2005, 12:16 PM
usual suspect
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Beach Runner wrote:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/13/op...html?th&emc=th

The New York Times
August 13, 2005
Safer Beef

Fears of another case of mad cow disease in the United States have
faded for the time being because tests on the most recent suspect
animal came back negative.


Two positive BSE cattle in all of US history. That's two cattle out of
~120,000,000 in just the last three years, or a known infection rate
of 0.000001667% over that period. Any fears over such infinitesimal
odds are irrational.


Ignored over the fact is that whistle blowers offer to take lie detector
tests,


A polygraph exam, its results, or even an offer to take one, isn't
_prima facie_ evidence of anything.

to show that the tests are farces and don't meet standards.


The tests aren't a farce: without them, you'd have ZERO cases of BSE in
the US to hang your hat upon rather than the two you do have.

They also wouldn't allow an importer of Japanese beef
to test each animal to meet their safety standards.


The issue or situation isn't as you present it. There is *one* beef
producer, Creekstone Farms, which wants its own separate, private
testing regime of EVERY head it produces which would serve as a
*MARKETING TOOL*, not as scientific verification of its safety. That's
the primary objection by the USDA.

The every-cow test issue is also a NON SEQUITUR: Japan banned ALL beef
from the US, including beef from Creekstone. The testing regime
Creekstone wants would not allow it or anyone else's meat back into
Japan. If Japan were to fall for this MARKETING GIMMICK, it would
establish a dangerous and expensive precedent whereby all cattle would
have to be tested prior to export (and possibly of domestic sale). It's
an unwise and unsound policy because there's no justification for
testing 100% of cattle for BSE -- a point the Japanese themselves agreed
was unwise with respect to US beef. Ultimately, it would likely scare
away consumers because of the high incidence of initial false positives
(such as the last "suspected" case, which was found to not be BSE).

http://www.meatnews.com/index.cfm?fu...le&artNum=7273

It is also well known


Logical fallacy of appealing to popularity. Likewise, the rest of your
BS was non sequitur.


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