Mad Cow - US Ban On Feeding
Animals To Animals A Fraud
By Ronnie Cummins
BioDemocracy News #31 (Jan. 2001)

Sandra Blakeslee of the New York Times reported on Jan. 11 that the US Food and Drug Administration's supposed 1997 ban on feeding rendered animal protein to cows and other ruminant animals is full of loopholes, and moreover that the so-called ban is not being enforced among the thousands of companies involved in the $3.2 billion dollar rendering industry and the $20 billion dollar animal feed industry. As Blakeslee wrote: "Among 180 large companies that render cattle and another ruminant, sheep, nearly a quarter were not properly labeling their products and did not have a system to prevent commingling, the FDA said. And among 347 FDA-licensed feed mills that handle ruminant materials--these tend to be large operators that mix drugs into their products--20 percent were not using labels with the required caution statement, and 25 percent did not have a system to prevent commingling. Then there are some 6,000 to 8,000 feed mills so small they do not require FDA licenses. They are nonetheless subject to the regulations, and of 1,593 small feed producers that handle ruminant material and have been inspected, 40 percent were not using approved labels and 25 percent had no system in place to prevent commingling."
In other words millions of US cows, sheep, game farm deer and elk, and pigs (pigs and cow's blood were inexplicably exempted in the so-called FDA feed ban of 1997), not to mention household pets, are still being fed billions of pounds of animal feed or pet food containing meat and offal from ruminant animals--despite the obvious danger to human and animal health and despite the fact that the FDA and the USDA for the past three years have been reassuring the public that this was no longer happening.
But the story gets scarier. In the Times on the front page of the Sunday Jan. 14 edition, (tucked under a misleading headline "Stringent Steps Taken by US on Cow Illness") Blakeslee drops the bombshell. Not only has the US Mad Cow feed ban been a joke, but apparently US feed companies, pet food companies, pharmaceutical firms, and nutritional supplement manufacturers have been carrying on with business as usual by importing large quantities of possibly contaminated bovine parts and rendered animal protein--no doubt at bargain basement prices--in 1989 and 1997. It appears that the same thing that has European consumers' blood boiling, that their government and industry stupidly or greedily imported tons of likely contaminated rendered animal protein from Britain since 1989 has also been happening in the United States, and likely other nations as well. After British authorities made it illegal to feed rendered animal protein to ruminant animals in their own country, the UK feed industry simply sold it overseas.
As Blakeslee states, quoting from export records, "British export statistics show that 20 tons of 'meals of meat or offal' that were 'unfit for human consumption' and probably intended for animals were sent to the United States in 1989. And 37 tons were exported to the US in 1997, well after the government banned imports of such risky meat." Blakeslee goes on to point out what BioDemocracy News and other critics of industrial agriculture have been saying for years, that even if the US hadn't been importing 57 thousand tons or more of suspect British offal in the 1990s, there is mounting evidence that US rendered animal protein and bovine, sheep, deer, and elk parts are themselves likely carriers of BSE and other Mad Cow-like diseases. As Blakeslee relates, scientists have generally agreed that BSE or BSE-like diseases "spontaneously" appear in "one out of every million humans, cows, sheep and many other mammals. "Since 36 million cattle are slaughtered annually in the United States, about 36 cows spontaneously infected with mad cow disease could be entering the nation's food chain each year." Thirty-six domestic US Mad Cows a year being ground up and fed back to other animals may not sound that alarming until you consider the fact that an average cow, pig, chicken, game farm deer, elk, fish farm fish, or household cat and dog--because of the commingling of many different animals' body parts at the rendering plant and the feed mill--will be consuming the body parts of literally thousands of different animals in their feed over their lifetime.
Mad Sheep, Deer, & Elk
And in fact the story gets worse. Scrapie or Mad Sheep Disease has been endemic in US sheep herds since 1947, and the government has done little or nothing to eradicate it. Significant numbers of scrapie-infected sheep have undoubtedly been ground up every year and fed back to other animals. In addition the US currently has a raging epidemic of Mad Deer Disease and Mad Elk Disease (technically called Chronic Wasting Disease) in parts of Colorado and Wyoming. There are already several documented cases of young deer hunters in their 20s and 30s dying from CJD, the human equivalent of Mad Cow. Mad Elk Disease has recently spread into Saskatchewan, unnerving elk ranchers and the nutritional supplements industry, who sell three billion dollars worth of supplements each year (mainly to Asia) made from elk antlers. Consider the fact that at the height of the first Mad Cow crisis in Britain 1-2% of all cows were being diagnosed with BSE, while the Times reports that up to 18% of mule-tail deer in the Fort Collins area of Colorado are now carriers of Chronic Wasting Disease. Hunters that kill deer in Colorado are required to turn in the heads of these animals so that they can be tested for CWD or Mad Deer Disease. Officials tell hunters not to eat the meat of infected animals, (lab tests can take as long as six weeks) but have stubbornly refused to ban hunting or eating venison, despite calls from consumer groups such as the Center for Food Safety and the Organic Consumers Association to do so. Meanwhile several million people are eating venison and venison sausage every year in the US, while several million more in the US and overseas are taking "glandular supplements" or body-building hormones which contain concentrated brain and pituitary material from US, British, and European cows. For the full Jan. 14 Blakeslee article see <
Another FDA Ban?
The FDA warned US drug companies, cosmetic companies, and nutritional supplements firms Dec. 6 to stop using European bovine parts in most of their products as of Jan. 1. It may already be too late. As Blakeslee points out, even this ban--assuming it actually gets enforced--still has loopholes. As she writes, nutritional supplements "must have labels listing ingredients like bovine pituitaries and adrenals, but manufacturers are not required to list the country of origin. Other beef byproducts that are still allowed in the country include milk, blood, fat, gelatin, tallow, bone mineral extracts, collagen, semen, amniotic fluid, serum albumin and other parts of European cattle that are widely used in vaccines and medicines."
For more information on Mad Cow and Mad Cow-like diseases see our website < as well as the following sites < and <
The best book on the threat of Mad Cow in the US is the book by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton called Mad Cow USA: Could the Nightmare Happen Here? You can order hardback copies of the book from the Organic Consumers Association for only $10 (this includes shipping). Or you can access the entire book for free on the internet by going to the excellent website of the Center for Media and Democracy <
America and the world's 50-year experiment with chemical-intensive industrial agriculture and genetic engineering may soon be moving into its final, terminal stage. Mad Cow Disease and the growing global opposition to factory farming and genetic engineering may turn out to the harbingers of a new era of sustainable living and organic agriculture. One can only hope that we make the necessary transition to organic farming and ban the most dangerous practices of genetic engineering and industrial food production before it is too late. In the meantime, stay tuned to BioDemocracy News and the Organic Consumers Association website < for the latest news and analysis.
By the way you can still get to the OCA website by going to < We're now using < as our primary internet address simply because our adversaries have set up a counterfeit internet site, filled with lies and industry propaganda, at < Take a look at this site if you want to see what we're up against. Keep in mind, however, that the "Bad Guys wouldn,t be doing this except for the fact that we're winning the battle.
Organic Consumers Association - <

This Site Served by TheHostPros