S. Korea Bans US Meat Imports- Mad Cow Disease
South Korea is the first country to ban US meat imports until further investigations are conducted to ensure the complete safety of American meat. These are the consequences of an outrageous USDA system of testing only rendering plant cows, and not the slaughter houses.
Consumers Union reports that the USDA, or FDA are not testing the human food chain, only the cows that are used for other purposes -other than human food. This incident of Mad Cow disease once again threatens US food exports and will send shock waves around the world.
People don’t want to buy meat that is tainted and/or if they are suspicious that their government is not being thorough enough, on testing foods for pathogens and diseases. Japan also imports US meat and have said they are not banning the meat yet however, that can change at anytime.
Earlier today, the USDA confirmed Mad Cow Disease was found in a California rendering plant or so it was reported. However, other reports found Mad Cow in four cows and information is lacking on exactly where the other three cows were found.
The mainstream media reports are not giving any details on what company, where, how many and why this information is being kept from the public and other countries.
South Korea is the first country to ban US meat imports until further investigations are conducted to ensure the complete safety of American meat.
Now instead of the USDA inspecting meat products, and the processes used at US meat factories, foreign countries have to inspect US meat for Mad Cow. Although the USDA head, Tom Vilsack assures the public that “all is well and safe” in US agriculture, he has lost all credibility with the Pink Slime episode weeks ago.
It wasn’t until former USDA scientists revealed that “dog food scraps from the same rendering plants” were used in hamburger meat. Vilsack once again insured that the Pink Slime was safe although it had to be doused with ammonia to kill the e.coli bacteria first.
Mad Cow or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or BSE is a deadly disease that strikes the brain of humans and renders them into sponge like consistency and it is deadly.
The disease is also deadly to other cows and can infect a herd of cows through their feed if it consists of body parts of other dead animals especially brain or spinal cord. A person can be infected with Mad Cow and never even know it, for the bacteria can lie dormant for quite some time.
The USDA believes that testing only 40,000 cows in a country that slaughters 35 million cows in one year. Elisa Odabashian, Director of the West Coast Office of Consumers Union says he USDA is not testing enough and therefore they are not finding it because they are not looking hard enough she said on CNN.
If truth be told the USDA is not sampling enough, and last week Tom Vilsack announced that he was laying off food inspectors, allowing factory farms to inspect themselves. This incident could be considered a “lucky break” for the USDA that the disease was not caught in the human food chain, however they are not off the hook as far as removing inspectors, lowering standards and allowing corporate profits to rule over consumer safety.
For More Information see: Consumers Union
Consumers Union is seriously concerned by the announcement today of a new case of mad cow disease in a cow from Central California. This raises three important questions about the safety of US beef.
First, the USDA testing program for mad cow disease is way too small. USDA only tests some 40,000 cows a year of the millions slaughtered annually. So we really don’t know if this is an isolated unusual event or whether there are more cases in US beef. Our monitoring program is just too small.
Second, detection of BSE is needlessly hindered by the fact that USDA prohibits private companies from testing their own beef. Private testing could augment USDA testing and provide an extra measure of monitoring and assurance of safety to consumers.
“The USDA only tests cattle that are sent to the rendering plants and doesn’t test at slaughterhouses. We find it hard to understand why USDA prohibits private companies from testing.” end quote
A cow suffering from Mad Cow Disease was usually infected by eating parts of another animal, especially brain and nervous system parts that carried the same infection. Animal farmers do not see the disease until it is too late and the cow is struggling to stand up.
More News on this Topic:
Radio Australia: Indonesia Bans Some US Meats- Mad Cow Disease
Wikipedia: US Sales to South Korea- Mad Cow Disease
References to consistent Mad Cow Disease found in US meats exported in 2006, 2012.
Xinhuanet News: S. Korea Hold Rally Against US Meat Imports- After Mad Cow Case