Efforts to Contain Mad Cow Disease Fall Short

In 1997 Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber wrote Mad Cow USA, warning that that mad cow type diseases were possible in the U.S. Even now, in the face of North America's first case of mad cow disease in Canada, the powerful livestock industry and their friends in government are refusing to adopt the strict British standards regarding animal feeding and testing. USA Today editorializes that "Lax federal regulation and enforcement have left the U.S. beef supply and consumers' health unnecessarily vulnerable to an outbreak of mad cow... . ... The 1997 partial ban does not include cattle blood, which is fed to calves as a replacement for milk. ... A total ban on animal additives in animal feed would greatly reduce remaining risks. ... But the cattle industry and the FDA argue that a ban on animal products in feed is unnecessary because adequate safeguards against mad cow already are in place. ... That argument hides the industry's economic incentive to keep low-cost sources of animal protein in the diets of cattle."