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Test EVERY Cow in the Food Chain

Test EVERY Cow in the Food Chain
Like Other Countries Do

Friday, October 24, 2008

Canada Close to Live Testing Methods

Canadian and German scientists have discovered that a single protein can accurately distinguish between healthy cows and those with mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). This finding should hopefully lead to the development of a test for diagnosing BSE in live cattle, says lead researcher David Knox from the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg.

First detected in the UK in 1985, BSE is a degenerative neurological disease that affects cows. Like scrapie in sheep and Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease (CJD) in humans, BSE is a type of a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) disease, caused by the build-up in the brain of an abnormal protein known as a prion.

Following the BSE epidemic among UK cows in the 1980s and 1990s and the discovery that humans could contract the so-called new variant CJD by eating BSE-infected meat, many countries implemented monitoring programmes to detect cows with BSE. This usually involves testing for the presence of prions in the brains of all cows older than a certain age or showing possible signs of BSE.

Understandably, this kind of test can only be conducted after the cows have been killed, which is sort of shutting the stable door after the cow has bolted. In contrast, a test that could detect BSE in live cows would permit the routine testing of all cattle. This would allow any BSE outbreak to be detected at an earlier stage and give much greater confidence that a country's cow population was entirely free of BSE.

Unfortunately, although prions are found at high concentrations in brains and spinal cords, they're present at much lower concentrations in easily testable bodily fluids such as cerebrospinal fluid, blood and urine. This has helped to stymie attempts to develop just such a live test.

But detecting prions is not the only way to diagnose BSE. Like any other disease, BSE induces a whole host of biochemical changes in infected cows, which should be reflected in the presence of characteristic protein biomakers in their bodily fluids. So Knox and his colleagues set out to find these biomarkers.

Using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, they searched for proteins present at different concentrations in urine from four healthy and four BSE-infected cows. Finding that 56 of the over 1,300 protein spots on each of the subsequent gels were present at different concentrations in the two groups, Knox and his colleagues then used a range of multivariate statistical techniques to determine which spots were best at distinguishing between healthy and infected cows.

This uncovered a single protein spot that was able to distinguish between the two groups with perfect accuracy. Analysing this protein using mass spectrometry revealed it to be the glycoprotein clusterin, which is commonly found in a wide range of different biological tissues. Unfortunately, high concentrations of clusterin have already been linked to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, suggesting that it might not make a particularly specific BSE biomarker.

However, Knox and his team actually detected two versions of clusterin in cow urine, perhaps reflecting two different post-translational modifications of the protein, and only one of these versions was able to distinguish between the healthy and infected groups. This raises the possibility that this particular version of clusterin could make a more accurate biomarker.

Furthermore, by analysing proteins in the cow urine at six different times during the course of the BSE infection, Knox and his team discovered that changes in the concentrations of 16 of the protein spots accurately matched the progression of the disease.

'Our work shows that it is possible to identify biomarkers in urine that could be useful in the diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression in BSE,' says Knox. In addition to developing a live BSE test, Knox hopes that this work will lead to live tests for other TSE diseases, including CJD

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tracking Down The Cause Of Mad Cow Disease: First Synthetic Prion Protein With An Anchor

ScienceDaily (Oct. 10, 2008) — The cause of diseases such as BSE in cattle and Creutzfeld–Jakob disease in humans is a prion protein. This protein attaches to cell membranes by way of an anchor made of sugar and lipid components (a glycosylphosphatidylinositol, GPI) anchor. The anchoring of the prions seems to have a strong influence on the transformation of the normal form of the protein into its pathogenic form, which causes scrapie and mad cow disease.

A team headed by Christian F. W. Becker at the TU Munich and Peter H. Seeberger at the ETH Zurich has now “recreated” the first GPI-anchored prion in the laboratory. As they report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, they have been able to develop a new general method for the synthesis of anchored proteins.

The isolation of a complete prion protein that includes the anchor has not yet been achieved, nor has it been possible to produce a synthetic GPI-anchored protein. The function of the GPI anchor has thus remained in the dark. A new synthetic technique has now provided an important breakthrough for the German and Swiss team of researchers.

The sugar component of natural prion GPI anchors consists of five sugar building blocks, to which further sugars are attached through branches. Details of the lipid component have not been determined before. As a synthetic target, the researchers thus chose a construct made of the five sugars and one C18-lipid chain and worked out the corresponding synthetic route. First, the anchor was furnished with the sulfur-containing amino acid cysteine. The prion protein was produced with the use of bacteria and was given an additional thioester (a sulfur-containing group). The centerpiece of the new concept is the linkage of the protein and anchor by means of a native chemical ligation, in which the cysteine group reacts with the thioester. This allowed the prion protein to firmly attach to the vesicle membranes by way of the artificial anchor.

This new concept will allow production of sufficient quantities of proteins modified with GPI anchors for in-depth studies. Experiments with the artificial GPI prion protein should help to clarify the influence of membrane association on conversion of the protein into the pathogenic scrapie form. This should finally make it possible to track down the infectious form of the prion.

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Mad Cow Ban Cost US $11 Billion in Beef Exports

By Christopher Doering

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. ranchers and processors lost almost $11 billion in revenue between 2004 and 2007 after major importers barred U.S. beef following the discovery of mad cow disease in the United States, according to a government report issued on Tuesday.

The International Trade Commission said trade restrictions put in place because of mad cow disease cost the U.S. beef industry between $1.5 billion and $2.7 billion in annual revenue between 2004 and 2007. Japan and Korea were responsible for $9.4 billion of the $11 billion estimated in total lost revenue.

Beef shipments from the United States were virtually halted after it found its first case of mad cow disease in December 2003 in Washington state.

Global U.S. beef sales have been edging higher, but not quickly enough for the Bush administration, or for the beef industry, which complain of age restrictions and inflexible import rules.

The ITC said that, while governments will immediately close their borders when food safety concerns arise, it can take several years before the restrictions are lifted.

"The U.S. (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) incident provides an example of this imbalance between imposing and relaxing trade restrictions," the ITC said in a 279-page report.

U.S. officials had hoped a decision last year by the World Organization for Animal Health, which gave the United States a "controlled risk" status for beef safety, would boost beef exports significantly, but it has been slow going.

The U.S. Agriculture Department and others have encouraged trading partners to adopt international beef guidelines by accepting U.S. bone-in beef and meats from cattle of all ages.

Currently, Japan accepts beef from cattle 20 months old or younger, while South Korea limits imports to under 30 months of age.

Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, who heads the Senate Finance Committee, said more needs to be done by the United States to fully resume beef exports to major trading partners.

"While I'm pleased that Korea is accepting some U.S. beef, it is clear that USDA and (the United States Trade Representative) must redouble their efforts to fully open markets in Japan, China and the rest of the world to safe, delicious U.S. beef," said Baucus, who requested the report from the ITC. "Removing these barriers must be a top priority."

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Mexico Lifts Ban on Canadian Cattle

Mexico has lifted a two-month ban on live cattle imported from Alberta, says Canadian Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

Mexico imposed the ban after Canada found its 14th case of mad cow disease in August, but trade in breeding cattle born after January 1999 has resumed, the Department of Agriculture said in a statement yesterday.

Mexico is not a major market for Canadian breeding cattle, but it is Canada's second largest export market for beef after the United States.

Canada found its first native-born case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, in 2003, sparking trade bans with major buyers.

The country has since introduced strict measures to prevent the disease from being spread through livestock feed, and has been deemed a "controlled risk" country by international animal health officials.

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UK Announces New Blood Test for Human BSE (CJD)

The first ever diagnosis for variant CJD, which is currently undergoing clinical trials and could be available within 18 months, is seen as an important step in finally stamping out the incurable disease and preventing it from becoming endemic in society.

But medical experts on an advisory committee to the government are worried that the test may have an unexpected downside including reducing the number of blood donors. There are also fears it could increase insurance premiums.

The doctors worry that donors will be reluctant to give blood if they risk being told that they have the possibility of developing the disease which causes an agonising death.

“You would think that the development of a test was a good news story ,” said John Forsythe, chair of the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood Tissues and Organs (SABTO) and a transplant surgeon at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

“But its does have a significant downsides. There is a worry it could put anyone off from donations.”

Despite fears that the disease could become widespread in the UK, only four of the 167 people who have died from variant CJD caught it through infected blood.

However, surveys suggest that one in 4,000 people carry the infection and although 95 per cent of them may never actually develop the full blown disease, being told you have the disease would be a terrifying blow.

Mr Forsythe said that the problem is compounded because around one per cent of the positive tests could be wrong. With two million people donating blood every year that could amount to 250 people being told they have the infection, and up to three or four of them falsely diagnosed.

Professor Marc Turner, who is also on SABTO, said that both legally and ethically the donors would have to be told they are incubating the disease even though only a few could develop it fully.

“They would have to be told that they could develop a really rather horrible condition,” he said.

It is not the first time vCJD has had an impact on blood supplies.

Four years ago the number of blood donors dropped by 52,000 when anybody who had received blood transfusion in the previous two decades was banned.

At the moment blood is screened for HIV, syphillis and hepatitus B and C, but a number of companies are on the verge of developing a blood test for vCJD.

The difference is that vCJD is not curable or even treatable and many donors may prefer to not know they could develop an ultimately fatal progressive degenerative brain disease.

At present vCJD is tested for by performing post mortem biopsies on the brain.

Professor Turner said that blood donations were currently sufficient because of better management of supplies.

“We can survive a small reduction but a substantive hit would give us major problems,” he said.

SABTO, which is holding a major meeting today, is also expected to recommend that those receiving blood donations be asked for consent for the first time.

A spokesman for the Association of British Insurers said: “The industry looks at any medical development and individual companies will make their own decision.”

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Vermont Firm ReCalls Beef

Vermont Firm Recalls Ground Beef Products Due To Possible E. Coli Contamination
Approximately 2,758 pounds of ground beef products are being recalled by Vermont Livestock, Slaughter and Processing Co., LLC, a Ferrisburg, VT, because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. The following product is subject to recall:

5-pound approximate weight vacuum packages of "VT BURGER CO GROUND BEEF."

These packages of ground beef products bear the establishment number "EST. 9558" inside the USDA mark of inspection as well as a lot code of "090508A," "090808A," "091208A," "091908A" or "092208A." This product was shipped two packages per box, intended for restaurants, food service and institutional use and not available for direct retail purchase.

These ground beef products were produced on Sept. 5, 8, 12, 19 and 22 and delivered to distribution centers intended for restaurants and institutions in Vermont and Plattsburgh, N.Y.

OCT-20-08: Vermont Firm Recalls Ground Beef Products Due To Possible E. Coli

The FDAs "Back-Door Dealings" w/ BigPharma & YOUR Kids!

FDA makes back-room deal on cold medicine?

With the election so close, I'd hate for a good piece of political theater to go unnoticed. Recently, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association – a shill for the drug companies – announced that it was voluntarily adding language to cough medicine labels advising they not be used for children under 4.

It was heart-warming to see Big Pharma stepping in to protect our youngsters. But knowing, of course, that they'd never voluntarily do such a thing, I immediately smelled a rat.

Little did I know, the rat was our own government.

A report has just surfaced claiming that the voluntary warning on cold medicines only happened after the drug companies had a closed-door meeting with the FDA to arrive at some compromise on the issue. Which, of course, makes me ask:


The agency that is supposed to police the drug companies is actually giving them an equal seat at the table. Instead of just instituting a policy on these medicines that the FDA finds safe and reasonable, it first has to bring in the drug companies and get their say on the matter.

And here's the worst part – some FDA researchers and advisors are claiming that the science suggested that these medicines were of no benefit for kids under 12. The under-4 age limit was a compromise with the drug companies, who make $280 million a year selling cold medicines taken by kids.

It's not the FDA's job to compromise with big business. The FDA is supposed to be protecting us from the excesses of Big Pharma – not treating them as a partner. This agency is officially so out of hand and off-mission, it's hard to have confidence in anything they do any more.

I'm glad to see some people who witnessed this insanity coming forward and reinforcing what I truly believe – the under-4 limit on these medicines is wholly inadequate. If you have a child or grandchild with a cold, the oldest remedy is still the best – lots of fluids and plenty of rest.

*Click on title above to hear more from "The Coountry Doctor," Making HouseCalls to Your Home EveryDay!"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

FDA Bans Brains & Spinal Cords from Petfood

It is well to remember that the nasty little mal-formed pirons that are generally concentrated in the brains and spinal cords of infected animals,---have also been known to show up in the meat and muscle of some of them. Therefore, banning these parts from the food chain ALONE is NOT enough: studies show its in the meat of the animals too!


Effective April 23, 2009, the FDA has banned a series of
cattle products from all animal feed and pet food in attempt to
prevent the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also
known as mad cow disease.

BSE is a fatal, degenerative disease of the brain cause by defective
proteins known as prions. These prions can be acquired by consuming
the flesh of infected animals and lead to a similarly fatal human
version of the disease, known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

Federal regulations already prohibit using ruminant protein as part of
the feed given to other ruminants. These measures were instituted in
the United States and Canada in 1997, after a mad cow outbreak in the
United Kingdom.

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STAPLES supports this:

Monday, October 13, 2008

USDA Tests NO COWS in USA Food-Chain!

USDA guilty of endangering our lives?

Currently the USDA screens less than 1 percent of the cattle slaughtered each year for BSE, and this 1 percent is comprised of only downer cows-despite the fact that downers are already supposedly banned from the food chain. Therefore, not a single piece of beef destined for human consumption in the United States is tested for BSE.

Click on title above for full article, "In Deference to Big Beef," by Linda Faillace

EEE: The Nature of the Disease & Its Effect on People

Mosquito-caused encephalitis. In the U.S., perhaps the worst danger from mosquitoes is encephalitis. There are certain viruses - carried by mosquitoes - which cause encephalitis in people and sometimes horses. These diseases are collectively called the encephalitides. They are essentially animal diseases, called "zoonoses", which only occasionally get transmitted to people. Most of them circulate among birds or small mammals by way of mosquito bites. Humans (or horses) get infected by accident - and thus are called "accidental hosts". All encephalitides more or less cause similar symptoms in humans, although with great differences in severity. Some of them are extremely mild with a 1% or less mortality rate, while others may kill as many as half of the people infected. And, making matters worse, even for the survivors, there are sometimes long-lasting effects such as memory loss, personality changes, etc. Below is a breakdown of the common mosquito-carried encephalitis viruses in the United States and some characteristics of each one.

West Nile encephalitis. West Nile virus (WNV) was identified for the first time in the Western Hemisphere in New York in 1999. Apparently, it was accidentally brought to the U.S. in an infected mosquito (maybe inside an airplane), an infected animal (perhaps a bird), or an infected person (traveling from an international location). By the end of the year, the virus had caused encephalitis in 62 people and numerous horses in and around New York City, resulting in 7 human and 10 equine deaths.10-11 The virus continued to spread in 2000, and now evidence of WNV has been found in at least 12 states and the District of Columbia. WNV will likely eventually occur throughout the eastern United States. As far as severity of the disease, WNV is no more dangerous than SLE (one of our "native" encephalitis viruses), with a mortality rate of 3-20%. Like SLE, WNV is more dangerous to older patients. A lot is yet unknown about the ecology of WNV in the U. S., but we do know the virus causes a bird disease, and is transmitted by mosquitoes. WNV is believed to be transmitted to humans by Culex pipiens, Cx. restuans, Cx. salinarius, and possibly Aedes japonicus.

Eastern equine encephalitis. Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is generally the worst strain, being severe and frequently fatal (mortality rate 30 to 60%). It is especially bad in children. Fortunately, large and widespread outbreaks are not common; between 1961 and 1985 only 99 human cases were reported in the U.S.5 EEE occurs in late summer and early fall in the central and northcentral U.S., parts of Canada, southward along the coastal margins of the eastern U.S. and the Gulf of Mexico, and sparsely throughout Central and South America. The life cycle of EEE is poorly understood. The virus circulates in wild bird populations by bird-feeding mosquitoes, but the exact mechanism of spread to humans is largely speculative. It is believed to be transmitted to humans by the mosquitoes, Aedes. sollicitans, Coquillettidia perturbans, and possibly Ae. vexans and Anopheles crucians.

St. Louis encephalitis. St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) produces lower mortality rates than EEE (3 to 20%), but occurs occasionally in large epidemics over much of the U.S. In contrast to EEE, SLE is worse in older people. But, like EEE, most cases occur in late summer. In 1933 there were 1,095 cases in the St. Louis area with more than 200 deaths.6 In 1975-76 there were over 2,000 cases reported from 30 states, primarily in the Mississippi valley.6 SLE is transmitted by Culex tarsalis (western and southwestern U.S.), Cx. quinquefasciatus (central and southeastern U.S.), and Cx. nigripalpus (southeastern U.S.).

Western equine encephalitis. Western equine encephalitis (WEE), occurring in the western and central U.S., parts of Canada, and parts of South America, has occurred in several large outbreaks. There were large epidemics in the north central U.S. in 1941 and in the central valley of California in 1952. The 1941 outbreak involved 3,000 cases. During 1964-1997, there were 639 human WEE cases reported to the CDC, for a national average of 19 cases per year.7 WEE is generally less severe than EEE and SLE, with a mortality rate of only 2 to 5%. Cases appear in early to midsummer, and are primarily due to bites by infected Culex tarsalis mosquitoes.

LaCrosse encephalitis. LaCrosse encephalitis (LAC) is a California group encephalitis which primarily affects children in the midwestern states of Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Cases have also occurred in the southern states, but certainly not to the extent that they have in the midwestern U.S. The mortality rate of LAC is less than 1%, but infection often leads to seizures. In fact, that is one of the main symptoms - seizures in infants and children. The national average for LAC cases is 73 per year.7 Most cases occur in July, August, and September. LAC is transmitted to humans by the tree hole mosquito, Aedes triseriatus. Interestingly, the virus may be transferred from adult female Ae. triseriatus to her offspring through the eggs. Some amplification of the virus takes place in nature through an Ae. triseriatus, wild vertebrate cycle.

Other California group encephalitis. Although LAC (above) encephalitis is probably the most notorious, several other California group encephalitis viruses exist. North American forms include California encephalitis (CE), Jamestown Canyon (JC), Jerry Slough (JS), Keystone (KEY), San Angelo (SA), Trivittatus (TVT), and others. Viruses in the California serogroup are primarily pathogens of rodents and rabbits. They are transmitted to people by several species of mosquitoes, but especially the tree-hole, floodwater, and snow pool Aedes spp. California group encephalitis viruses generally produce only mild illness in humans (mortality rates 1% or so).

Venezuelan equine encephalitis. Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) is relatively mild in humans and rarely affects the central nervous system, but it will be included here. VEE is endemic in Mexico and Central and South America; epidemics occasionally reach the southern U.S. Cases generally appear during the rainy season. Although the mortality rate is generally <1%, significant morbidity is produced by this virus. In an outbreak in Venezuela from 1962 to 1964, there were more than 23,000 reported human cases with 156 deaths.8 In 1971, an outbreak of VEE in Mexico extended into Texas resulting in 84 human cases.9 There has been a relatively recent outbreak in Colombia and Venezuela during the summer of 1995 with at least 13,000 human cases.

Cause for Future Concern

It appears that we are in a precarious situation. The entire ecosystem - including plant and animal life on earth - is being affected by humans. People once lived in far-removed, relatively isolated groups. Now we are all essentially one large community. Further, things such as population increases, building cities in/near jungles, and widespread and frequent air travel are providing the opportunity for a great plague. For example, the number of international departures from U.S. airports doubled from 20 million to nearly 40 million between 1983 and 1995.12 A person hiking in the Amazon jungles today might be in New York City tomorrow. Should one or more new "emerging" mosquito-borne diseases begin to spread, control of the epidemic would be difficult. If the disease agent is a virus, specific treatments are unavailable (or, at least, untested against the arboviruses). The only way to stop a viral mosquito-borne illness is to kill the mosquitoes to a low enough level to interrupt virus transmission. Since mosquitoes can fly, control of an epidemic is even harder. Compounding all of this, many mosquito species are resistant to many of the currently available (older class) insecticides used to control them.

New! Sound Check for Mad Cow?

If only the USDA would let us!
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Sunday, October 12, 2008

EU Dining on USA EEE Infected Equines?

October 10, 2008

Two Texas Horses Test Positive for EEE;
Horses Need Protection Against Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Texas has joined at least five other states this year in reporting cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis infection in horses. In Houston County, in the southeast corner of the state, a horse with clinical illness has tested positive for the disease, and in the north central Texas, in Denton County, a vaccinated horse also tested positive and exhibited clinical signs of disease. EEE, which can be transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes, also has been reported this year in horses in Georgia, Florida, Maine, Tennessee, and New Hampshire­and in Ontario, Canada.

"Infected horses are a `sentinel´ or warning that infected mosquitoes are in the area, and measures should be taken to protect humans against exposure to the dangerous pests," said Dr. Andy Schwartz, state epidemiologist for the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), the state´s livestock and poultry health regulatory agency. "Protect yourself and your horses with a mosquito spray containing DEET, get rid of stagnant water, and avoid being outside at night, when mosquitoes are more active."

"Horses with mosquito-borne encephalitic viruses, such as EEE, Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE) or West Nile Virus (WNV), may stagger, appear confused, and act erratically. Owners should contact their veterinarian immediately, if their equine animals exhibit clinical signs of these diseases. About half of infected animals may be saved, with the appropriate supportive care," said Dr. Schwartz. Although EEE, WEE and WNV are not regulatory diseases, they are reportable to the TAHC and to the Texas Department of State Health Services, due to their potential to cause human disease.

"Vaccines are readily available to protect equine animals against mosquito-borne encephalitic diseases, but they must be given according to the manufacturer´ s" directions, and it takes at least a week to 10 days after vaccination for protective antibodies to develop. Booster shots also must be given as needed. Heed your veterinarian´ s advice," he said. "As good as vaccines are at protecting against infection, there are rare times when a vaccinated animal will still contract disease. That is no reason to avoid vaccinating your animals."

Dr. Schwartz noted that, in 2002, when West Nile Virus was first detected in Texas, 1,699 equine animals were stricken with infection. West Nile vaccine has helped cut those case numbers from 716 in 2003 to only two cases in 2008. "Vaccinating against mosquito-borne diseases has to be a part of routine equine health care," he said. "Don´t stop, just because case numbers drop."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tell FDA / USDA "No" to Import of Chinese Milk & Dairy Products! Children are Dying!

Sadly, children in China are dying from Melamine-contaminated infant formula, the same ingredient that was found to have helped kill thousands of pets in the U.S. last year.

The scandal is growing as we are finding Melamine now on grocery shelves in the U.S.

Urge the Food and Drug Administration to stop the import of dairy ingredients from China until this situation is under control >>

We didn't learn our lesson last year and imported million of pounds of casein and other powdered milk proteins - ingredients that are used in many processed foods such as cookies and chocolates - from China.

And according to USDA figures, this year the U.S. has already imported 2 million pounds of casein and other powdered milk proteins from China. This includes 293,000 pounds that were imported in July, when some Chinese authorities were aware of the Melamine contamination yet failed to act!

While other countries are moving to ban the Chinese dairy products, the U.S. has not. With your help, we'll fix that. Keep deadly chemicals out of your food - tell the FDA to block dairy imports from China >>

With gratitude,
Robyn E.
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

P.S. Having troubles seeing the links in this email? Simply click on title above or cut and paste the following URL into your browser address bar:

PCRM Studies Say: No Meat is Safe, Including Equine!

From "The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine" (PCRM) Report;

It should be recognized that the consumption of livestock products is clearly linked to a much higher risk of serious and sometimes fatal diseases, apart from the risk of transmissible encephalopathies. These diseases include coronary artery disease, colon and possibly other forms of cancer, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and infection with salmonella, campylobacter, and E.coli O157:H7, among others. Making meat “safe” is not a realistic or attainable goal. Ironically, while the feeding of animal remains to other animals is now acknowledged as a dangerous practice that is restricted in some countries, the feeding of animal remains to humans is encouraged by government programs and massive industry efforts.

Click on title above to see full report and references;

Mad Sheep: The True Story of the USDA's War on a Family Farm

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USDA Mad Sheep Mystery Still Veiled

We may never know;

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Mad Cows & Computer Models: Study Shows USA Response to BSE Inadequate

New studies show USDA relies on flawed "computer models" to judge risk factors of BSE;

Monday, June 16, 2008
Mad Cows and Computer Models: The U.S. Response to BSE
NEW SOLUTIONS: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy

Issue: Volume 18, Number 2 / 2008 Pages: 145 - 156

Mad Cows and Computer Models: The U.S. Response to BSE

Frank Ackerman and Wendy A. Johnecheck


The proportion of slaughtered cattle tested for BSE is much smaller in the U.S. than in Europe and Japan, leaving the U.S. heavily dependent on statistical models to estimate both the current prevalence and the spread of BSE. We examine the models relied on by USDA, finding that the prevalence model provides only a rough estimate, due to limited data availability. Reassuring forecasts from the model of the spread of BSE depend on the arbitrary constraint that worst-case values are assumed by only one of 17 key parameters at a time. In three of the six published scenarios with multiple worst-case parameter values, there is at least a 25% probability that BSE will spread rapidly. In public policy terms, reliance on potentially flawed models can be seen as a gamble that no serious BSE outbreak will occur. Statistical modeling at this level of abstraction, with its myriad, compound uncertainties, is no substitute for precautionary policies to protect public health against the threat of epidemics such as BSE.,5,18;journal,1,41;linkingpublicationresults,1:300327,1

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Study Shows New Forms of BSE

And its NOT JUST COWS anymore!

The study shows that a distinctive neurological disorder of cattle which has some clinical similarities to BSE, is associated with abnormal PrP accumulation in brain but the pathology and biochemistry of IBNC are distinct from BSE. The study is important either because it raises the possibility of a significant increase in the scope of prion disease or because it demonstrates that widespread and consistent PrP alterations may not be confined to prion diseases. Transmission experiments are needed to establish whether IBNC is a condition in which prion protein is abnormally regulated or is yet a further example of an infectious cattle prion disease.

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More Bad Beef in USA

Frozen Beef Trim Recalled For Possible E. Coli Contamination

Beef Originated in Nicargua

A.C.S. Meyners Ltda, of Ponte Verde, Fl, is recalling approximately 20,460 pounds of frozen beef trim that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

The recall involves 60-pound bulk boxes of “BM-95 BONELESS BEEF.” Each shipping container bears the establishment number “Nicaragua 4” inside the Nicaraguan mark of inspection. The shipping label bears the item number “00003,” and pack date of “8-19-08.”

The frozen beef trim products were produced on August 19, 2008, and were exported to the United States and then sent to distributors and establishments in New York and Pennsylvania. These products were sent to establishments for further processing and will likely not bear the establishment number “Nicaragua 4” on products available for direct consumer purchase.

OCT-09-08: Nicaraguan beef trim recalled in the U.S. [USDA: FROZEN BEEF RECALL]

FDA 2 Say No Label 4 "FrankenMeat?"

If the Wall Street bailout was hard to swallow, the government is preparing a Halloween trick that just may be impossible to stomach.

The Food and Drug Administration is opening the way for grocery stores to sell food made from genetically engineered animals. And the agency is proposing that these products, called “Frankenfoods” by some, be sold to you without your knowledge.

Sign our online petition demanding that food from genetically engineered animals be labeled. We have the right to know what we are eating!

Genetically engineered animals are not a far-off, exotic concept. It’s happening right now. Goats are engineered with spider genes to produce silk in their milk. And pigs carry mouse and bacterial DNA to improve their digestion.

The jury is still out on whether food from these animals is safe for humans or the environment. And the ethics of such changes have yet to be considered.

The FDA says they will conduct a safety review before these foods can be sold for human consumption. But consumers won’t know if they’re buying genetically engineered food, because the agency isn’t going to require a label.

We know what’s in the can of soup we buy because the label tells us. Shouldn’t we know if the meat we buy comes from a pig with another animal’s genes, or whether our milk has insect DNA in it?

Sign our petition and show the FDA that Americans want to know what’s in their food!

We have until Nov. 18 to collect signatures. Please forward this email on to others so they can sign too. Let’s stop this Halloween trick before it starts.

Jean Halloran
A project of Consumers Union
101 Truman Ave.
Yonkers, NY 10703

Sunday, October 5, 2008

UN Reports Says Meat-Industry Biggest Polluter

UN Study Reports Meat Production Biggest Enviromental Polluter

And is also a major source of land and water degradation

In the report, senior U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization official Henning Steinfeld reports that the meat industry is “one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems" and that "urgent action is required to remedy the situation."

"Livestocks Long-Shadow," Environmental Issues & Options" by Sr. UN Food & Agricultural Organizations' (FAO) Henning Steinfield

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