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Bill

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It doesn't appear that R-Calf has had much success in getting their fearmongering message to the US consumer. Maybe some of us have overestimated the impact they have had and they are in fact being dismissed as the radical fringe group they are. Hopefully the appeal hearings will now see BSE for what it is, a manageable, non-contagious beef disease that is in both countries at extremely low levels with little if any risk to human health.


Brisket, hamburgers still on the July 4 menu for many
By JAMIE STENGLE
Associated Press Writer

LEWISVILLE, Texas — Irene Carey wasn't worried about the latest mad cow scare as she loaded up on beef for the Fourth of July weekend.

"I got a brisket and ribs and hamburger meat, so I don't think it concerned us a lot," said Carey, of Lewisville, one of several customers stocking up this week at the Old Town Market in this Dallas suburb. "You trust that things are in place to be protective, just like you do with medicine."

Customers said they had heard the news that the nation's first home-grown case of mad cow disease was traced to a 12-year-old Texas-born cow, but they also heard officials say the food supply is safe.

"It seems like they tell us that it's OK, you have to believe somebody," said Ed Burgan, 70, of Lewisville, as he carried a beef brisket.

Peggy Bridges, 64, of Lewisville, said she knew the cow was an older cow that wouldn't have made it into the food chain.

Beef sold in stores comes from cows that are 24 months old or younger when slaughtered, said Beverly Boyd, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Agriculture. But older animals can be slaughtered. As long as a cow is ambulatory, not a "downer" unable to walk when it goes to slaughter, it will be accepted.

The diseased cow, which was destroyed in November, was a downer. The government banned downer cows from the food supply just days after the first case of mad cow disease turned up in the United States in 2003 in a dairy cow imported from Canada.

Marsha Grant, manager of the Old Town Market, a small store selling assorted fresh cuts of meat, said mad cow's not a concern.

"Business is booming," Grant said. "It hasn't affected our business at all. We have faith in the USDA — and I think everybody does — that they're going to keep it out of the food supply."

Officials have said the most recent infection most likely started with contaminated feed eaten before August 1997, when the United States and Canada began banning cow parts in cattle feed.

Mad cow disease, medically known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, is a brain-wasting cattle illness believed to be spread when a cow eats meal that contains spinal or brain tissue of an animal infected with BSE. Humans can get a related illness, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, if they eat infected tissue.

Old Town Market owner Dickie Grant said he has educated customers enough that they have confidence in the beef.

"I'll have one of the biggest weekends of the year this weekend," Grant said.

The Fourth of July holiday is arguably the country's busiest grilling holiday.

"The only decision I'll have to make is if I have a hamburger or a ribeye," said Richard Wortham, executive vice president of the Texas Beef Council. "I'm 100 percent confident in the U.S. beef supply."

Roland Dickey Jr., vice president of Dickey's Barbecue, which has 65 restaurants in six states, said the company didn't see any decrease in business after the first mad cow case and doesn't expect one now.

"It hasn't been a blip on our radar screen," Dickey said.

___

Associated Press Writer Betsy Blaney in Lubbock contributed to this report.
 

Bill

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WHOOPS! Here is a different take on it. Maybe it will be more clear after the media gets done covering the 2 appeal court hearings and R-Calf has had another couple of attempts influencing US consumers to switch to chicken or pork.

Mad Cow Scare May Affect July 4 Cookouts
Friday July 01, 2005 2:03pm


ST. LOUIS (AP) - There will be no ribs or steaks on the grill this Fourth of July weekend at the Brown house. Worried by the latest confirmed homegrown case of mad cow disease (news) in the United States, the Browns plan to cook up some chicken. "They said the cow was destroyed, but how do we know that's true?" said Barbara Brown, 54, who was packing groceries into her mother's car. "We've been cutting back on beef, but this has colored the issue even more."

But at a butcher shop in New York City, Al Wilson, 60, bought a pound of ground beef and planned to grill up hamburgers along with spare ribs for Independence Day. Mad cow disease, he said, is "in the back of my head, but I think the numbers are in my favor."

"Maybe I shouldn't be so trusting," he added, but "it's unlikely to affect me."

Just days before one of the grilling weekends of the year, U.S. authorities announced that mad cow disease has been found in a beef cow from a Texas ranch - the first documented case of the brain-destroying malady in U.S.-born and -raised livestock. The only other known case of the disease in the United States turned up in 2003 in Washington state, in a dairy cow that had come from Canada.

The reaction at supermarkets and butcher shops around the country has been mixed.

Mad cow disease, formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, causes sponge-like holes in the brain. In people, a rare and deadly form called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease has been linked to eating infected tissue from cows.

Mad cow disease in Britain in the 1980s and 1990s has been blamed for the deaths of 150 people. But there has never been a documented case of the human illness from the eating of contaminated beef in the United States.

Officials said the Texas case poses no new threat to the health of people or animals. "Downer" cows that cannot walk, such as this one, are banned from the food supply.

In addition, the government requires the removal of the brain, spinal column and other nerve tissue from cattle older than 2 1/2 years when slaughtered. Many scientists believe that mad cow proteins are confined to nervous system tissue.

Also, the infected cow was 12 years old, born well before the government's 1997 ban on animal feed containing ground-up sheep and cattle parts, which can transmit the disease.

"In terms of science, there is no risk," said Steven Cohen, spokesman for the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (website - news) . He said he could not name a cut or type of meat product that would be at risk of carrying the mad cow protein.

Beef industry officials and producers said they do not believe customers will shy away from burgers, steaks or kabobs. Jennifer Whitman, a spokeswoman for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, said: "We haven't seen any decrease in demand at all."

In Texas, the No. 1 cattle-producing state, customers streamed into the Old Town Market in the Dallas suburb of Lewisville, stocking up on hamburger, ribs and brisket for the big weekend. "You trust that things are in place to be protective, just like you do with medicine," said one customer, Irene Carey.

Roland Dickey Jr., vice president of Dickey's Barbecue, which has 65 restaurants in six states, said that they did not see any drop-off in business after the first case of mad cow was found in the U.S. and do not expect a decrease this time either.

"I think that the American public knows that basically the food supply is completely safe," he said.

Nevertheless, Carol Brandt of Prunedale, Calif., drove 60 miles to stock up on $80 worth of grass-fed filets and T-bones for the holiday weekend. Brandt buys her beef directly from PL Bar Grass-fed Beef, a family-run ranch in Gonzales, Calif., where owner Frank LaMacchia's cattle feed on 11,000 acres of clover.

"I don't care what it costs," said Brandt, 61. "It's worth it because I know that there have been no bad things given to the cows. No insecticides, hormones or ground-up dead cows getting fed to them."

As for the mad cow news, "I was so glad that I've been eating grass-fed beef for so long that I didn't have to worry about that getting in my food chain," Brandt said. "Frank said one of these days it's going to happen, we're not going to want to be associated with the mainstream beef."

---

Associated Press writers Elizabeth LeSure in New York, Jamie Stengle in Dallas and Garance Burke in San Francisco contributed to this repor
 

Murgen

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Business is booming," Grant said. "It hasn't affected our business at all. We have faith in the USDA — and I think everybody does — that they're going to keep it out of the food supply

And which groups are attacking the USDA right now? Consumers have faith, ranchers and RCALF don't, so who will win the consumer's hearts with this court case coming up?

If I was an RCALF member, I'd sure be wondering if I want to win in July?
 

Sandhusker

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"They said the cow was destroyed, but how do we know that's true?" said Barbara Brown, 54"

"The Los Angeles Times took the USDA’s beef policy to the woodshed this morning in a harshly worded editorial. Calling it a “Mad Beef Policy,” the writer led off with this scathing comment: “The more federal officials downplay mad cow disease, the scarier things get.”


Murgen, "... Consumers have faith"

Murgen, does Mrs. Brown's statement lead you to believe she has faith". Is the LA Times editorial approving of the USDA? The truth is some folks have faith, some don't. The fact that some don't because of the USDA's actions and inactions should tork cattlemen off.
 

Bill

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Sandhusker said:
"They said the cow was destroyed, but how do we know that's true?" said Barbara Brown, 54"

"The Los Angeles Times took the USDA’s beef policy to the woodshed this morning in a harshly worded editorial. Calling it a “Mad Beef Policy,” the writer led off with this scathing comment: “The more federal officials downplay mad cow disease, the scarier things get.”


Murgen, "... Consumers have faith"

Murgen, does Mrs. Brown's statement lead you to believe she has faith". Is the LA Times editorial approving of the USDA? The truth is some folks have faith, some don't. The fact that some don't because of the USDA's actions and inactions should tork cattlemen off.
So what's the best approach Sandhusker? R-Calf's, trying to make a huge spectacle of this in the courts and hold USDA's head to the fire while imports continue to increase from countries other than Canada? OR........work with the USDA, Canada and others to improve the system to actually ensure and insure that beef remains a choice for the North American consumer.
 

HAY MAKER

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Let's get one thing straight now boys,R CALF is simply stating the facts to any and every one that has enough common sense to listen.IF anyone is fear mongering its the ones that keep twisting R CALFS statements ,thats not good for any of us.................good luck
 

HAY MAKER

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Kato said:
I don't remember ever reading an R-Calf statement that was ever good for US...ever. :shock:

Could you please post one for us so we can print it and frame it? :D

Get your frame ready,R calf has repeatedly said the testing in Canada is inadequate,I just hope for the canadian cattle mans sake they are wrong.................good luck
 

Bill

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HAY MAKER said:
Kato said:
I don't remember ever reading an R-Calf statement that was ever good for US...ever. :shock:

Could you please post one for us so we can print it and frame it? :D

Get your frame ready,R calf has repeatedly said the testing in Canada is inadequate,I just hope for the canadian cattle mans sake they are wrong.................good luck
Yes R-Calf has repeatedly said things that are wrong or outright lies. Canada's system ain't perfect but it's better than what we have seen coming out of the US. If R-Calf wants to lie in front of the appeal court so be it but rest assured that there are interveners that will be ready to correct them. The gloves will be off on this one and the inadequacies within the US will unfortunately take centre stage. R-Calf and their followers will be exposed for the liers they are.
 

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