Mad Cow: It's What's For Dinner

The Denver Post reports that "livestock organizations are launching a $5.5 million media campaign to promote domestic demand for beef in the face of mad-cow concerns. A $4 million series of television ads will launch Monday. They were originally scheduled to start January 12, but the beef groups decided to delay the campaign for two weeks while news coverage of mad cow disease eased up. ... 'From a marketing perspective, consumers watching (mad cow) news clips followed by 'Beef, it's what's for dinner' was not what we wanted,' said Mark Thomas, vice president of global marketing for the [National Cattlemen's Beef Association]. U.S. beef exports have been virtually shut down since the mad- cow case, causing wholesale prices to fall 25 percent. ... The new $5.5 million beef campaign includes $1.3 million from the industry's "crisis fund" to help sway public opinion. The crisis fund will help launch a radio advertising and promotional campaign that will piggyback on the new TV ads." The US government still refuses to take the only steps known to control mad cow disease, a total ban on feeding slaughterhouse waste to livestock, and the testing of millions of cows. In the past month more than 70,000 people have downloaded a free copy of Mad Cow USA, our 1997 investigation of this issue, and 25,000 people a day are getting their mad cow information from the website of the Organic Consumers Association.