AR-News: (US-tx) Mad c ow – symptom of a system

Animalconcerns info at
Thu Jan 22 14:26:45 EST 2004

[opinion from East Texas Review]

The discovery of Mad Cow disease on a Washington farm has touched off a
firestorm about U.S. regulations to prevent this deadly disease. But Mad
Cow represents much deeper perils of a global industrial food system,
accelerated by recent trade agreements. It is Mad Cow making the headlines
today, but in the last year it has also been e coli, salmonella,
antibiotic resistance, foot and mouth disease, and obesity. The question
is whether we are going to address each crisis as it comes along in a
patchwork of regulations, or re-think our food and farming system?
Amid the roar of the industrial food system is a movement driven primarily
by consumers to re-connect with our food producers. Farmers markets have
grown nearly 80 percent over the last ten years. State-labeled food
products, such as “Minnesota-Grown,” are seen more and more on supermarket
shelves. In November, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and
the Global Resource Action Center for the Environment (GRACE) launched a
simple Web site to help consumers find local farmers who produce
sustainable meat and poultry. To our surprise, the site
( got over 8 million hits in the first month.
Hopefully, the discovery of Mad Cow disease in the United States — the
product of an industrial, global food system — will spawn a new discussion
about what kind of food system is best for farmers, consumers and our
rural communities. It’s about more than just one cow.

Mark Ritchie is president of the Minneapolis-based Institute for
Agriculture and Trade Policy. IATP, headquartered in Minneapolis, is a
policy research center committed to creating environmentally and
economically sustainable rural communities and regions through sound
agriculture and trade policy.

full story:

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