AR-News: (US) Dangerous cow parts still enter food supply
info at animalconcerns.org
Mon Feb 16 08:03:36 EST 2004
[from Seattle Times]
Even before the nation's first mad-cow case, few Americans chose to dine
on cow brains, spinal cords or intestines.
Learning that those parts are most likely to carry the disease only
strengthens the aversion.
But despite new rules adopted in December to keep the riskiest tissues out
of the food chain, some of the unsavory ingredients can still wind up on
the table, hidden behind innocuous labels like "beef flavoring" or as
accidental contamination in taco filling or processed meat.
People can get a fatal, human version of the disease by eating tissue from
infected animals, though no one knows what dose it takes.
Cows can become infected by eating less than one-thousandth of an ounce of
brain tissue from a sick animal, a panel of international experts said in
a report to the U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this month.
And in the Feb. 5 New England Journal of Medicine, British mad-cow expert
Christl Donnelly said the government can do more to protect the public,
though the odds anyone will contract the disease are low.
"Consumers should press authorities to test more cattle, to strengthen the
regulations on feed production and to extend the ban on brain and spinal
cord in food for human consumption to include cattle younger than 30
months," she wrote.
Sandi Doughton: 206-464-2491 or sdoughton at seattletimes.com
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