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Is this enough publicity?

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Bill

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This should get the consumers attention and make the R-Calfers happy.


NYT editorial:

August 13, 2005
Copyright The New York Times

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.
 

Mike

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What I can't believe is that cattlemen aren't marching and protesting in Washington right now because of the major BS that the USDA has been blowing, AND getting caught at too!

I'm ashamed to know these people are protecting my livelihood.
:oops:
 

CattleCo

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"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. "


GIVE ME A BREAK! DO you realize how much of this you would have to eat to cause you a problem???? I guess it is safer to have some "nose hair" in your "Happy Meal"! :roll:
 

CattleCo

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"I'm ashamed to know these people are protecting my livelihood. "


Mike, I suppose you moved out of the US when Bill CLinton was Pres?!
 
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Anonymous

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CW said:
:roll: Who wrote this article?

I have no idea who wrote it- but they apparently did their homework...Consumers are starting to become educated to the real world out there, rather than AMI's and NCBA's tell them only what we want them to know version......Like how was it "sound science" to close the border 2 years ago, but now it is "sound science" to reopen it --- but nothing in the scientific studies of BSE has changed.... :???:

And Mike I agree- if NCBA really cared about promoting cattle and beef- they should be standing side by side with R-CALF and every cattleman in the country on the Capitol steps fighting the feeding of chicken sh*t, table scraps, and blood products to cattle- a policy that should be outlawed if for no other reason than the public perception.........
 

Mike

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CattleCo said:
"I'm ashamed to know these people are protecting my livelihood. "


Mike, I suppose you moved out of the US when Bill CLinton was Pres?!

Depends on what the meaning of "OUT" is. :wink:
 

Kato

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So don't feed it. Just because it's allowed doesn't mean anyone needs to feed it. If no one buys it, then it will go away. Boycott the stuff and make a big noise about doing it. Take a page from the activists notebooks and use the media as a tool just like they do.
 
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Anonymous

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Kato said:
So don't feed it. Just because it's allowed doesn't mean anyone needs to feed it. If no one buys it, then it will go away. Boycott the stuff and make a big noise about doing it. Take a page from the activists notebooks and use the media as a tool just like they do.

Kato- Who owns the chicken houses and also owns or are tied into the feedlots that use it- plus own a huge part of the packing industry...
I had never even heard of chickensh*t being fed to cattle until I read it on the ranchers.net a couple years ago- can't believe anyone would do it...

But some industry people will do anything for a dollar---Good big business- Bigger is always better :???: :? And NCBA sits there and says no-no, not nice, bad boy, pooh pooh,-- and then go right ahead and support the big money influenced USDA and FDA that allow it......

Until we get the Big packer influence out of the USDA and NCBA I trust nothing they say........
 

CattleCo

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"And Mike I agree- if NCBA really cared about promoting cattle and beef- they should be standing side by side with R-CALF and every cattleman in the country on the Capitol steps fighting the feeding of chicken sh*t, table scraps, and blood products to cattle- a policy that should be outlawed if for no other reason than the public perception........."

NCBA and R-CAlf standing side by side........................ROFL


:roll:
 

Sandhusker

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A rancher's future depends on the consumers receiving a quality wholesome product that also is perceived as such. Anybody who threatens that should be vigorously opposed by ranchers and ranching orginizations. Some don't realize that feeding chicken ****, table scraps, blood, etc... threatens both perception and safety. Lowering standards in the face of disease does the same. Yet, who not only is not opposing those practices but is endorsing them? Hmmmmmmmm.
 

Bill

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CW said:
:roll: Who wrote this article?
The editorial was NY Times Staff written and appeared in Saturday's paper so I would imagine MILLIONS of Americans read it at their leisure with their morning cup of coffee.

NCBA's response:
NCBA Advisory - Call to action – New York Times BSE editorial

On Saturday morning, August 13, The New York Times published a staff-written editorial on Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in the United States. The piece contained many misstatements. Because the Times is a thought leader for publications across the country, we expect this editorial to spawn additional coverage in major papers nationwide. We suggest you watch news media in your state carefully.

The Times editorial appears below.

Key actions we are pursuing in response:

A face-to-face meeting with the editorial board at the Times as well as several other major papers, to discuss the facts about BSE
An opinion editorial placement in the Times
Request that USDA and FDA respond to the specific accusations in the Times editorial
Mobilize people from across the country – from producers to consumers – to write letters to the editor
Call to action:

To the last point, we strongly encourage producers and consumers to write letters to the editor in response to the large body of misinformation in this opinion piece. We are providing talking points below that could serve as a starting place for such letters, and also for providing a response if you are asked for comment on this issue. Comments on Times editorials may be emailed to [email protected] or faxed to (212) 556-3622. Please be aware, the Times limits publishable letters to 150 words. The letter must refer to an article that has appeared within the last seven days (so you have until Friday, August 19 to submit a letter), and must include the writer's address and phone numbers. No attachments to emails are allowed, so please include the entire letter's text in the body of the email. The letter must include an address and phone number so the Times may confirm the letter-writer's identity. If you or a producer in your state decides to submit a letter, please consider sharing the letter with us so we have a good idea of the level of response.

If you are asked for comment:

Protecting Public Health

Because of the progressive steps taken by the U.S. government throughout the past 15 years, U.S. beef is safe from BSE.
The interlocking firewall system, which includes a ban preventing any part of an animal that could carry the disease from entering the human food supply, continues to protect public and animal health from this disease. This process happens every day with every animal to ensure this diminishing disease has no affect on public health.
BSE infectivity is not found in beef such as steaks, roasts and ground beef. It exists in nervous system tissues such as the spinal cord and brain of older animals with this rare disease, and USDA now mandates that these materials are removed prior to processing.
The multiple firewall approach ensures this diminishing disease has NO affect on public or animal health.
Firewalls in Place

The government has built and maintained strong firewalls to help ensure that U.S. beef remains safe from BSE. Among them:
In 2003, USDA strengthened its food safety program by banning from the human food supply any cattle that are unable to walk or show signs of possible neurological disease. The USDA also prohibits from the food supply parts of the animal that could carry the BSE agent.
In 1997, the FDA banned feeding ruminant-derived protein to cattle. The feed ban is designed to break the cycle of BSE and, with full compliance, assures the disease will be eliminated.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association launched a voluntary feed ban in 1996, which established an industry standard against feeding ruminant-derived protein to cattle.
BSE is an animal disease that is not contagious; the only way scientists believe it can be spread is through now-banned feeding practices.
FDA reports feed ban compliance exceeds 99 percent.
In 1990, the United States was the first country in the world without BSE to begin a BSE Surveillance and Testing program.
Targeted Surveillance Program

The USDA's expanded BSE surveillance program is designed to assess the prevalence of BSE in this country.
The number of animals tested and the targeted focus of this surveillance make it a statistically valid measure of the risk of BSE to our cattle herd.
Since June 2004, the government has already tested more than 432,000 (as of 8/12/05) animals in the high-risk category.
The expanded testing program is based on surveillance experience in Europe that targeted animals showing neurological symptoms, non-ambulatory and ill animals. Older animals are also a target for sampling since BSE manifests itself in a detectable way in cattle older than 30 months of age.
The surveillance plan has been reviewed and supported by the International Review panel of BSE experts and the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. Harvard has been analyzing the risk of this disease since 1998.
While it is possible the enhanced surveillance program may identify additional cases, you can be assured the beef supply is safe from BSE.
Everyday, cattlemen play a significant role in the protective steps against BSE that take place throughout the entire chain.

We are stewards of cattle and we play a pivotal role in protecting animals every day – watching their behavior and health, along with ensuring animals under our care are fed a nourishing and wholesome diet that does not contain ruminant-derived protein.
In addition, every day at packing plants throughout the country, a government inspector checks every animal for illness before slaughter.
As a final safeguard, USDA prohibits from the food supply any part of an animal that could carry BSE infectivity.
Producing the safest beef in the world is the number-one priority of America's beef producers. We understand that the beef we produce is not only served in homes around the globe, it is served in our own homes to our own families.

Providing the safest beef in the world has always been our number one priority as America's beef producers.
Cattlemen, along with others in the beef chain, take pride and ownership in contributing a wholesome and safe beef supply to the worlds' dinner tables. For generations, our livelihood has depended on providing safe, wholesome and nutritious beef.
That's why we have worked for more than 15 years to build, maintain and expand the safeguards that today are protecting consumers and our cattle from BSE.

......... and what is R-Calf doing to refute the editorial?
 
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Anonymous

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Sandman: "So did Mike Johanns. So did George W. Bush."

GWB and Mike Johanns didn't contradict what they had said the day before like R-CULT did.


R-CULT before we had a native born case of BSE in the U.S................

"USDA has not gone far enough to assure the safety of our beef"

"USDA does not care about food safety"


R-CULT after we had a native born case of BSE in the U.S...............

"We have the safest beef in the world"

"We have these firewalls in place that assure the safety of our beef"


Don't insult my intelligence by comparing GWB to Bill Bullard.


The 9th Circuit pulled Bullard's pants to his ankles and I don't know if he's got them pulled back up yet.

"Well, ah, gee, ah, they weren't privy to all the evidence that Cebull was privy to"

WELL WHO'S FAULT IS THAT BILL??? DUH!

More deception!


~SH~
 
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Anonymous

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Sandhusker said:
~SH~ said:
I thought R-CALF said we have the safest beef in the world?



~SH~

So did Mike Johanns. So did George W. Bush.


I saw some international articles the other day that were criticizing Johanns and USDA for making light of the BSE issue- they commented that his standard response of late when questioned about beef safety-" I had beef for dinner today"....Apparently this was the same response and action taken by the British Ag minister 20 years ago- before all hell broke lose.....
 

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