"Meat-industry trade groups were scurrying during the recent holiday season to coordinate key messages and media lists as they responded to reports of mad cow disease rearing its head in the Western US," PR Week's John Frank writes. PR staffers at the American Meat Institute and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, working with PR giant Burson-Marsteller, handled a flood of media calls over the Christmas holiday.
Mad Cow Disease
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.
Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber's 1997 book Mad
Cow USA warned that unless the US adopted the same strict regulations implemented in Britain, including a ban on feeding rendered slaughterhouse waste as animal feed, mad cow disease would eventually emerge in the US. The US failed to act and late Tuesday the Secretary of Agriculture
After Seattle, Washington TV station KIRO-TV aired an investigation last year into the cattle industry's continuing sale of downer cows for human consumption, the station came under attack from the industry as well as state and national government regulators.
"Why isn't the F.D.A. adopting the same rules as the European Union to
protect Americans from Mad Cow Disease? Since 1996, Chicago Life readers have been learning about a very serious human and animal health issue, Mad Cow disease spurned by most media. The facts surrounding this issue are being heavily spun by government agencies and
Sludge researchers, activists, and rural residents exposed to land applied sewage sludges across the nation are boycotting today's summit at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town, in Alexandria, Va., organized by the EPA, the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) and the New England Biosolids and Residuals Association (NEBRA). "We are boycotting this conference because its real purpose is to create an illusion that EPA and the sludge industry are concerned about people getting sick from sludge spreading.
USA Today examines the threat of mad cow disease in the U.S. asking "did you know ... that calves, instead of drinking their mothers' milk, are fed formula made from cows' blood? ... Says John Stauber, [co-]author of Mad Cow USA: Could the Nightmare Happen Here?: 'What we need to do is obvious but economically painful for the livestock industry.
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.
In 1997 Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber wrote Mad Cow USA:
Nightmare Happen Here. To further public education the book is now available free on our website as a HREF="https://www.prwatch.org/books/madcow.html" target="_blank">PDF
download. It predicted that Mad Cow
Disease and similar ailments were likely to emerge in North America since
the US (and Canada following its lead) refused to ban all feeding of
Wisconsin's huge deer herd is infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD), a deadly dementia that is a mad cow-type disease in deer, filling their brains with swiss cheese-like holes and plaque. The best available scientific evidence indicates that CWD, like British mad cow disease, could infect and kill humans. Rather than learn from Britain's mistakes and take a precautionary approach, Wisconsin has launched a PR and advertising campaign to belittle human health concerns and promote hunting.