US Fights Mad Cow Disease with PR, Not Prevention

The United States has spent millions of dollars on PR convincing Americans that mad cow could never happen here, and now the US Department of Agriculture is engaged in a crisis management plan that has federal and state officials, livestock industry flacks, scientists and other trusted experts assuring the public that this is no big deal. Their litany of falsehoods include statements that a "firewall" feed ban has been in place in the United States since 1997, that muscle meat is not infective, that no slaughterhouse waste is fed to cows, that the United States tests adequate numbers of cattle for mad cow disease, that quarantines and meat recalls are just an added measure of safety, that the risks of this mysterious killer are miniscule, that no one in the United States has ever died of any such disease, and on and on. The latest spin is to blame the United States mad cow crisis on Canada.