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Mad Cow: A Different Perspective

Discussion in 'Legal' started by jimpeel, Jan 3, 2004.

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  1. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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  2. Pendragon

    Pendragon Member

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    So - because some guy in 1890 - when they were JUST begining to understand the microbial world - comes up with a postulate to identify an infectious agent, now that is the infelxible standard?

    I'm sorry, but I think that postulate will only work for bacterium. Virii leech RNA off a host cell - a "culture" would have to consist of cellular matter with RNA accessible by the virii. If I remember my 10th grade biology that is.

    As for prions, the theory behind them is that they are not an infectious agent, but a defective building block. Bacterium "infect" by multiplying within a host - it is usually the metabolic waste and the immunological response of the host that causes the damage.

    Prions are believed to be defective proteins that the body tried to use to manufacture new cells - they do not "fold" properly and problems ensue.

    If some people want to think that prions do not exist or that nvCJD is not caused by them, that is their perogative, If the prion vectors are still considered "theoretical", then its a pretty compelling theory.

    There are other prion diseases - sheep get "scrapies" but the prion in sheep is not believed to be transferable to humans. The prion diseases have very specific vectors they can take from one species to another.

    There is also a primitive tribe - oh crap I think in Australia, but I don't remember for sure - they have a practice of eating the brains of their dead relatives. Anyway - they have a similar disease that appears to be prion based and is passed on through this practice.

    There always seems to be people who want to turn what is the conventional wisdom on its ear - that is fine if you can prove it, but usually they just offer deflection and innuendo and speculation - on this and on vaccines and on other issues as well.

    If they think it is so safe, why don't they demonstrate their confidence in their beliefs and eat some brain tissue from a cow with the disease?

    Of course, it is believed to take about 10 years to "incubate" - not rally the proper term of course, but people understand what is meant by it.

    I am not really worried about the beef supply, but I think the disease deserves to be taken notice of and precautions need to be taken.
     
  3. glocksman

    glocksman Member

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    This is the problem

    We should simply go back to feeding cows grain and other plant matter. After all, they're herbivores by nature, not omnivores or carnivores.
     
  4. Cool Hand Luke 22:36

    Cool Hand Luke 22:36 member

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    I would gladly pay higher prices for milk and beef if it meant I could get those products without the low levels of synthetic growth hormone and antibiotic residue that are the current byproducts of modern beef and dairy production.

    If the USDA would act to clean up beef and dairy production by outlawing some current practices like the use of synthetic hormones or the use of antibiotics in feed there'd be more jobs in the beef and dairy industries as well as a healthier product.

    For example, it makes no sense for the USDA to approve the use of possibly unsafe synthetic hormones to boost milk production at the same time they are spending tax money to buy up dairy herds and encourage dairy farmers to get out of the business due to oversupply.
     
  5. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    Venison tastes better all the time. :D

    Actually, when we do buy beef, it usually comes from a local shop that does their own butchering of local beef.

    You can also buy a steer on the hoof and have it custom processed by a local butcher.
     
  6. Sergeant Bob

    Sergeant Bob Member

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    I've heard about that. Saw something on the Discovery Channel (I think) about it. The disease was what they referred to as "Kuru" IIRC, but I believe it was in South America.
    I don't know if venison is such a good alternative anymore. Some deer are contracting "Chronic Wasting Disease", which is similar to Mad Cow, I believe, and not too much is known about it yet.

    Buying local beef could be hazardous also, if it has been fed commercial feeds or nutritional supplements (which is how some think it might the disease might be transmitted), much of which contain products rendered from dead cows (guts, hooves, bones, brains), road kills (including deer), and old meat (out of date sausage, hamburger, resturaunt scraps).

    On the other hand, most pet food is made with products from rendering plants. Has anyone heard of houshold pets contracting the disease?
    I've read that too. If true, it must not apply to cows though. Very few cows make it to ten years of age (aged beef does not refer to how many candles were on a steers birthday cake :D ) and even dairy cows are seldom kept for over 4 or 5 years. If so, how could they exhibit the symptoms? Don't know if it is still practiced or not, but Micky D's used to buy slaughtered dairy cows for their "McLean" burgers. The meat from dairy cows is very lean, as most of the fat goes into milk production.
    Not sure, but doesn't the ban only address the use of the byproducts of "infected" cows?
     
  7. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    CSpan showed a discussion of this; bunch of scientists and reporters. The gist is that since prions aren't found in muscle tissue, eating the meat won't give you Mad Cow Disease. (Unless you eat the brain, etc.)

    The incubation period is three to six years. Most feedlot steers are slaughtered at around age one+ year or so. They buy feeder calves at around 400 pounds, mas o menos, and feed them out toward 1,000 pounds.

    The hazards--including e. coli, etc.--mostly seem to come from the introduction into our food supply of aged cattle that have much of their meat turned into hamburger. Hard to tell, really, but my impression from various news articles is that these animals don't get the same sort of handling care as "Prime Beef" animals. (Don't take this as gospel.)

    Art
     
  8. Harry Tuttle

    Harry Tuttle Member

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    mechanically separated meat products are high risk items

    maybe the beef jerky market will take a dive,
    making more table space available at gunshows

    if this thread is still alive on Monday, i will post some Prion research surf, i ran last year
    There were a few threads on TFL:
    http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=54971
    http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=138112

    The deer herd CWD is thought to come from farm raised deer.
    Anyone wonder what they fed Bambi?
    Soylent Green?
     
  9. sm

    sm member

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  10. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    Not if I buy it from my neighbor and it comes right in off the grass ...

    :D
     
  11. tyme

    tyme Member

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    Mr. Steven Milloy (aka journalist extraordinaire) doesn't appear to know what he's talking about. The first link SM posted has pretty much a complete explanation of what prion researchers believe is going on. This site's also pretty good:
    http://www.tulane.edu/~dmsander/WWW/335/Prions.html
     
  12. telomerase

    telomerase Member

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    Most pets are carnivores, and their enzymes probably quickly cut the prions into amino acids.

    Of course if you have a pet cow that you feed dog food, you should worry.
     
  13. telomerase

    telomerase Member

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    >As for prions, the theory behind them is that they are not an infectious agent, but a defective building block.

    No, "prion" means "Proteinaceous infectious particles". They are infectious just as viruses are; injection of foreign prions into an organism causes misfolding of the native proteins in the host.

    Koch's postulates are still relevant today... not that there's always time to use them.
     
  14. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    The cow came from Alberta, Canada.
     
  15. manwithoutahome

    manwithoutahome member

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    I'm one of the people in one of the states that got this "beef" and I bought it at Winco.

    The "scientist" said that everything should be good for maybe expect ground beef....

    I loved the Chili I made with it, and the hamburgers where pretty good also.

    I guess in 5 or 6 years, I could get CJD....

    Oh well, I'll probably be dead from something else before then anyway...

    (all said tougne in cheek, I just think this is more hype then anything else. In England, since 1987 (their first case), 149 people died from CJD. Their systems are still not as good as ours and ours will get better.... I like my steak, and dammit, I ain't goin' let the peta folks keep me from a good meal).

    That being said, I need to thaw out another steak for tonight... bought this Dec 03.... :D.

    M
     
  16. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    The reality is that pig farmers contract with restaurants for their garbage, not cattle farmers. Pig farmers also contract with grain and bread manufacturers for their unsold "day-olds".

    Why has this disease not cropped up in the pork industry? Pigs and pig farmers participate in all of the activities that are attributed to the cause of the disease. Are they in some manner immune and, if so, -- with the similarities of pig tissue to human tissue and the compatibilities that allow pig heart valves to be used in humans without rejection -- is there ongoing research to find the reason for this immunity -- if such immunity exists -- that could benefit humans?
     
  17. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    Since this thread is of a nature that includes the furtherance of government interference into our daily lives through further control of the food supply and; it is of a highly informative nature as evidenced by the number of links already posted by members and; since this issue will become a hotbed of Congressional political activity and; a moderator has been participating in the discussion and; there is not much chance of the thread going off in a contentious direction: I don't think it will get closed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2004
  18. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    Cow ID System May Be Delayed

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/01/health/main591089.shtml

    There is also a video at the webpage but I don't know how to link to it

     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2004
  19. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    So what's going to be the penalty for possessing an unregistered cow ...? :rolleyes:

    I bet some outfits don't even know how many animals they own.

    Is BATFE going to be BATFEFA (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives, and Farm Animals ????

    Are my neighbors going to be subject to no-knock raids to make sure they don't flush a cow down the toliet ?????????????????
     
  20. Pendragon

    Pendragon Member

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    Ok, thanks for clarifying.

    My understanding of prion disease is based on extensive reading during the problems in the UK about 7 years ago.

    After reading some of the links posted, I see that it is considered to be "infectious".

    Details aside, I am amazed that the author just discounts the whole situation as he does.
     
  21. Adam

    Adam Member

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    Sorry I don't have a lot of time to read all this article, but all I know is that mad cow hysteria is totaly stupid thing. We had here the same problem few months ago, and everything is ok now. No one start panic here like in Western Europe and after some time mad cow problem disappear. Probably in few years someone will find mad chicken disease...so what?
     
  22. tyme

    tyme Member

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    Telomerase,[blockquote]Most pets are carnivores, and their enzymes probably quickly cut the prions into amino acids.[/blockquote]Is that true? I had assumed that non-affected animals simply didn't have proteins susceptible to misfolding, or at least not by any known common prions. We're carnivores too, and we can't break certain prions down. I assumed things like sheep prions didn't affect us not because we can break them down, but because they can't misfold any of our proteins. Even a large amount of prion in consumed meat can only plaque-to-death a limited number of cells.

    But I'm not a bioresearcher, so I don't pretend to be right. :)
     
  23. Jeff Thomas

    Jeff Thomas Member

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    What I find interesting in all of this is our high dependance upon government to save us here.

    So far in life, I have never been let down by assuming government is incompetent. There are some notable, general exceptions such as the U.S military and local LEO's around here. But otherwise ... I assume incompetence, and then I am pleasantly surprised when it works.

    Having the Agriculture Department tell me that everything is just peachy doesn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy. There appears to be plenty of debate out there.

    Remember back to the beginning of Aids? We were told by the CDC and the medical community that the only folks who could get Aids were in the "4H Club" ... Haitians, heroin users, hemophiliacs and homosexuals.

    Yep, government, and the medical community ... always quick to tell us everything is just peachy. We'll see.

    Regards from TX
     
  24. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    Its my understanding that:
    1. Prions are found in the nervous tissues of afflicted animals.
    2. mice injected with prions from an afflicted mouse do not contract spongiform encephalopathy.
    3. certain parasites or microorganisms might be able to change normal proteins to prions.


    Its my belief that:
    1. Prions are a symptom not a cause of wasting type diseases.
    2. The idea that spongiform encephalopathies are transmitted by prions is based on junk science, or at best incomplete research and lack of data on the diseases.
    3. very few people in the media could explain the difference between a prion and a retrovirus, and even fewer if any could explain what either of them does. Every time mad cow disease or chronic wasting disease comes up in wild game, the media as in newspapers and television put up nifty little graphics on how prions can transmit disease.
    4. I live in Wisconsin where there is a serious epidemic of chronic wasting disease in whitetail deer. Once agian, everytime its described by the media, prions come up as the cause, on the other hand the DNR describes the cause of the disease and transmission of it unknown.
     
  25. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    My questions to everyone:

    How many cases of CJD have been positively linked to eating meat from infected livestock or game? How many deaths have been caused by E. coli or Salmonella infections from eating tainted meat?


    I for one have a friend who damn near died last year after eating E. coli contaminated meat.
     
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