Mad Cow Disease Found in California

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, known as mad cow disease, was discovered in a California dairy cow. The finding could have major implications for the state’s meat industry, even though officials insist the human food supply is safe.

Mad cow hasn’t been found in U.S. since 2006. The disease dealt a crippling blow to the industry, especially when foreign countries refused to import American beef when mad cow was first uncovered in 2003.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture tests about 40,000 cows a year in its effort to catch the disease.

In California, cattle ranching takes up about 38 million acres, according to the California Cattlemen’s Association. There are about 620,000 beef cows on 11,800 California ranches. The state also hosts 1.84 million dairy cows, according to information compiled by the California Beef Council.

Nationally, California ranks fourth behind Texas, Kansas and Nebraska in total cattle numbers.

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that causes a spongy destruction of brain tissue and the the spinal cord. BSE has a long of about 30 months to 8 years, usually affecting adult cattle at a peak age onset of four to five years.

The agent is believed to be a specific type of misfolded protein called a prion. Prion proteins carry the disease between individuals and cause deterioration of the brain. The prion is not destroyed through normal cooking, as is the case with bacteria. This results in protein aggregates, which then form dense plaque fibers, leading to the microscopic appearance of “holes” in the brain, degeneration of physical and mental abilities, and ultimately death.

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9 Responses to Mad Cow Disease Found in California

  1. mdmbl says:

    Thanks for blogging this, Christopher. I can vividly remember the outbreak in England in 2003. As a healthcare professional, I was stunned and extremely concerned mad cow would appear in the USA. I have never of a prion-based disease before this. I have also never heard of a disease that can’t be killed through the heating process of cooking. I have not eaten beef since 2003. Nor have I allowed my daughters to eat beef. My husband is another matter.

  2. Eric Equality Kuntz says:

    I have long suspected the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy is a military experiment gone terribly wrong.

    Before anyone tells me to take off my tin hat, I ask you to consider this. What more effective way to bring down an entire population than to poison the food supply? This would render an enemy nation helpless.

    I don’t trust the U.S. Pentagon.

  3. The Real Adam says:

    The symptoms of BSE or Mad Cow Disease are identical to Alzheimer Disease.

    I simply don’t believe doctors aren’t aware of the connection. The question I ask is, why isn’t the medical community connecting the dots? Skyrocketing cases of Alzheimer Disease in nations with high levels of beef consumption isn’t an accident. This is the price paid for eating beef.

  4. ajihani says:

    Evidently, the mainstream media hasn’t been given permission by their corporate masters to report this story. Today is all-Romney-all-the-time.

  5. DMason says:

    Mad cow is like something from a bad sci-fi movie except mad cow is real. Get it and you die.

  6. retahyajyajav says:

    David – You say sci-fi but I wonder if the mad cow prion came to earth on an astroid?

  7. Joe in Colorado says:

    Once this prion gets into the food chain, the proverbial Genie is out of the bottle. I wish the Federal government would allocate less money to war and more to protecting the American people. They can begin by making sure the food chain is safe.

  8. Seabec says:

    Joe is correct. The FDA budget was slashed during the Bush administration and President Obama has done little to reverse this dangerous trend. We’re a nation of 310 million and I think it is perfectly reasonable to expect the government will keep our food and drugs safe.

  9. nimo says:

    Looks like there is ablackout on yahoo news on this topic this morning. the video was moved from the spot allocated to it so that news would not spread….

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