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Are all US doctors this stupid?

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Bill

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Enjoy your holiday burger, regardless of its source
Sunday, July 03, 2005
Huntsville Times
This Fourth of July weekend will allow many of us to get together with family members and friends. There'll be fireworks in the sky and burgers on the grill.

Other than maybe eating too much, most of us won't have any concerns about the beef on our plate. We probably won't wonder if it's safe to eat or where it came from. The only concerns I'll have will be if it's cooked right and hoping that there's plenty of it.

We won't worry about mad cow disease. Should we?

Dr. Macon Landers says he enjoys eating a hamburger or a steak as much as anyone. The current safety of beef and other dairy foods in the United States isn't a major concern for him.

It's the cattle from Canada and other countries that scares him. It scares him a lot.

"The United States has a tight surveillance program,'' Landers said last week. "We've tested more than 400,000 animals (since 2004) and have found only two cases of mad cow in the U.S. But there are other things we need to do to contain this. One of those things is we don't need to let Canadian beef products or dairy products in here.''

But now, other countries may be wary of importing U.S. beef.

The U.S. confirmed its second mad cow case last week. It was the first time the disease has been confirmed in a U.S.-born cow. The other was in a dairy cow imported from Canada.

When the first mad cow case was discovered, the U.S. banned Canadian beef. There has been an effort to lift that ban by the Department of Agriculture, but that has been fought because of lingering mad cow fears. Canada reported its third case of mad cow disease in January.

Now with a case being confirmed to a cow born in Texas, the roles may be reversing.

That makes sense if the same problem is found here.

Tyson Foods said Thursday that the discovery will likely delay Japan's easing of a ban on U.S. beef, imposed when our country found its first case of mad cow in 2003.

Bloomberg News reported Thursday that Tyson President John Tyson said Japan may "hit the pause button'' in negotiations over beef trade.

Still, Landers contends that the United States has the safest beef and the safest measures to prevent mad cow. However, he has been appalled that the Department of Agriculture would consider the importation of possibly tainted beef into this country.

Landers, a medical doctor from the Shoals, has taken the issue on as a personal campaign. He's sent letters to Sens. Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby and Rep. Bud Cramer. He went to the state medical association last week urging its support in keeping the borders closed to Canadian beef.

They're not doing anything like we are to catch this mad cow beast,'' Landers said.

Regardless of whether the disease comes from cows born in the U.S., Canada or other countries, the fact is mad cow is a brain-wasting disease that must be contained. It is always fatal when transmitted to humans.

Mad cow, also known as bovine spongioform encephalopothy, is caused by prions. Cows are believed to get the disease from consuming parts of other cattle with the disease - likely through contaminated feed. Humans can get a related illness, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, if they eat infected tissue.

And the prions are extremely infectious. Landers said that if a surgical instrument comes in contact with the prion in a human, there is no way to sterilize it. Landers said the instruments are tossed in a furnace and melted down - if known to be contaminated.

"But if surgeons don't know a person has it and they are still using the same instruments on the next people down the line, these people can be contaminated,'' he said.

Landers referred to a study in the British medical journal, Lancet, that reported that 237 people per million in Great Britain may have they disease.

When that ratio is compared to the number of residents where Landers works, "that means there may be 15 or 20 people walking around here that don't even know they have mad cow.''

Two cases of mad cow in the United States isn't going to cause a lot of panic, and it shouldn't. But the issue of preventing the disease and the spread of it is one we should be concerned with for the future.

"We don't need it to destroy our trust in food safety,'' Landers said. "I don't want babies to get this stuff from eating a jar of baby food.''

America's beef industry could hinge on keeping its product safe and having it viewed as such. More importantly, the health of our children and grandchildren could be at risk if stringent safety measures aren't enforced - regardless of whether a cow is born in the U.S. or not.
 

Mike

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You got to understand Bill. This Dr. probably graduated from the University of Alabama.
This is the same school that invented the "Toothbrush" as opposed to the "Teethbrush".

:wink:
 

mrj

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Look on the bright side, Bill. This fool is "ours" and not "yours"!

I would trade you an open border if you would accept all such "experts" as him and all the R-CALF members as new Canadian citizens.

Not really, that border should be open to normalize the cattle trade, and I wouldn't wish such a bunch of Luddites on anyone!

MRJ
 

Bill

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MRJ said:
Look on the bright side, Bill. This fool is "ours" and not "yours"!

I would trade you an open border if you would accept all such "experts" as him and all the R-CALF members as new Canadian citizens.

Not really, that border should be open to normalize the cattle trade, and I wouldn't wish such a bunch of Luddites on anyone!

MRJ
No but Thanks anyways MRJ. We have enougjh of our own nutcases up here. For some reason they just seem to get more attention in the US.
 
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