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US Blames Canada for mad cow

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
Fucking american wankers, first 911 terrorists, then we were responsible for the power failure, now this:

U.S. thinks mad cow came from Canada

Saturday, December 27, 2003 Posted: 1713 GMT ( 1:13 AM HKT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Holstein infected with mad cow disease in Washington state was imported into the United States from Canada about two years ago, federal investigators tentatively concluded Saturday.

Dr. Ron DeHaven, chief veterinarian for the Agriculture Department, said Canadian officials have provided records that indicate the animal was one of a herd of 74 cattle that were shipped from Alberta, Canada, into this country at Eastport, Idaho.

Canada found a case mad cow disease in Alberta in May.

"These animals were all dairy cattle and entered the U.S. only about two or two-and-a-half years ago, so most of them are still likely alive," DeHaven said.

He emphasized that just because the sick cow was a member of that herd, it does not mean that all 74 animals are infected.

Based on the Canadian records, the cow was 6-and-a-half years old -- older than U.S. officials had thought, DeHaven said. U.S. papers on the cow said she was 4 or 4-and-half-years-old.

The age is significant because the United States and Canada have banned feed that could be the source of infection for six years.

Scientists say the incubation period for the disease in cattle is four or five years.

Since 1997, the FDA has banned giving grazing animals feed that contains brain and spinal tissue to prevent the disease from appearing.

Federal officials on Friday quarantined a herd of 400 bull calves, one of which is an offspring of the sick cow. During its life, the infected cow bore three calves.

One calf is still at the same dairy near Mabton, Washington, that was the final home of the diseased Holstein cow. That herd was quarantined earlier. Another calf is at a bull calf feeding operation in Sunnyside, Washington, and a third died shortly after being born in 2001, DeHaven said.

"There is the potential that the infected cow could pass the disease on to its calves," he said. No decision has been made on destroying the herds, he said.

Last May the United States temporarily banned beef imports from Canada after a cow there was found to be carrying the disease.
Beef exports drop 90 percent

Just days after discovering the nation's first case of mad cow disease, the United States has lost nearly all of its beef exports as more than a dozen countries stopped buying U.S. beef as insurance against potential infection.

Gregg Doud, an economist for the Denver-based National Cattlemen's Beef Association, said Friday that the United States, at today's market level, stands to lose at least $6 billion a year in exports and falling domestic prices because of the sick cow.

"We've lost roughly 90 percent of our export market just in the last three days," Doud said.

Keith Collins, the Agriculture Department's chief economist, said the market probably will not see the full economic impact of the mad cow case until trading intensifies after the holidays. He has said that 10 percent of U.S. beef is exported.

Japan, South Korea and Mexico are among the top buyers that banned American beef imports this week after the U.S. government announced it had found a cow in Washington state sick with the brain-wasting illness. An international lab in England confirmed the results Thursday.

As a safeguard, countries usually shut down meat imports from countries where the illness was found.

A U.S. delegation is leaving Saturday for Japan, which takes about one-third of all U.S. beef exports, and possibly other Asian countries that imposed bans on American meat and livestock this week. The Treasury Department said it is monitoring developments.

Mad cow disease, formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, is a public health concern because it is related to a human disease, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob. In Britain, 143 people died of the human illness after an outbreak of mad cow in the 1980s. People can get the disease if they eat meat containing tissue from the brain and spine of an infected cow.

U.S. officials have repeatedly said the food supply is safe because the cow's brain, spinal cord, and lower part of the small intestine -- where the disease is found -- were removed before it was sent for processing.

Authorities are tracing where the meat from the animal was sent and the Agriculture Department has recalled 10,000 pounds of beef slaughtered December 9 at Vern's Moses Lake Meat Co. in Washington state. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said it was an extra precaution.
 

Aeryanna

TRIBE Member
It was only a matter of time before they blamed Canada for this.
The first thing the US does when ANYTHING goes wrong -Good friends that they are is point the finger at us. God forbid that they should actually take responsibility for their own actions. It'll be interesting to see how the PM responds to this, and if he apologizes... well...at least we'll know who likes to kiss ass in Ottawa.
 

Teflon

TRIBE Member
So where did it come then?

Most likely it came from Canada.

I don't see the article stating blame. It's a waste of time blaming us anyways, there's no money in it.

Remember this is politics, when in doubt, follow the rich white man. Ask yourself, if I could make money from this how would I?

When mad cow hit here it made sense to make a big publicity statement about banning our beef and cutting up the quality control in the Canadian beef industry. That did 2 things, firstly it destroyed Canada's credibility in the industry, eliminated competition and made the US beef industry more money. Second it gave the US a chance to "falsley" prove that they had a good protection system in place and to increase public confidence in the system both at home and abroad, also increasing sales.

This is just damage control. Hopefully both countries can work together to eliminate BCE and to put in place better infectious disease controls for the next disease breakout.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Teflon, as with many articles, all people are doing here is reading between the lines. The singificant press the 'came from Canada' headline is getting is in itself a statement of trying to direct the blame light away from the US. The article could have just as easily focused on the fact that the animal failed to be detected by the US dept. Of Agriculture when it arrived 2 years ago regardless of where it came from, but that would do nothing to decrease the shitstorm they are in no doubt getting. Although the article does give hope towards there being less of a threat since the two cases are somewhat related, the article indirectly and untactfully seems to make more of a blame link with where the cow came from rather than how it was able to get there.
 
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PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
You heard it here first: Loads of BSE cases will be found in North America in the next 3 years or so.

As for human variant Creutzfeld-Jacob disease, not so much. Hell, even now, only 500 or so deaths in the past decade... more people have died from lightning strikes.
 

man_slut

TRIBE Member
Worded a little differently:

The Holstein diagnosed with mad cow disease may have entered the United States from the Canadian province of Alberta in 2001 with 73 other cows, an official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Saturday.

Ron DeHaven, the USDA's chief of veterinary medicine, said Canadian records show the herd would have entered the United States at Eastport, Idaho. The cow was part of a herd in Washington state before being sent to slaughter.

He said investigators have matched an ear tag retrieved from the sick cow at the slaughterhouse to records from a Canadian cow.

Dr. Brian Evans, chief veterinary officer with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, said Canadian and U.S. investigators differ on the cow's age.

The owner of the herd in Washington told federal authorities that the cow was 4 to 4-1/2 years old, but Canadian records show that the suspect cow from the Canadian herd was born in 1997, making it at least 6 years old, DeHaven said.

The cow that became ill had had three calves, one of which died at birth, DeHaven said.

Canadians say their cow had only two calves.

Tests to analyze the cow's DNA and determine its herd will not be known for about a week, Evans said.

http://edition.cnn.com/2003/US/12/27/mad.cow/index.html
 

TILT_Lance

TRIBE Member
i knew this one was coming

they need an answer and an easy one quick

its obvious

canada is to blame because our one case out ways the millions in europe

they just don't want to admit that their failure in regulating agriculture is one and the same as their own failure in preventing something like 9/11

now i know everyone is gonna be like "WHAT!?!?"

but it is a security matter and they have to find the source and deal with it.......the easiest out for them is blaming us
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Regardless of if this individual cow was or was not in Canada the Canadian and US herds are highly intigrated. Bull seemen is in regular transit, cattle move from feeding lots in the USA to Canada depending on the quality of the growth seasons and expences involved.

If the disease is in the heard its in the heard, it could be many different things. It could be the feeding of beef protiens (dumb practice), it could also be evidance of elk or deer disease mutation and transmission. Canada's deer and elk heards are both infected with there own versions of this disease. For the density of cattle farming in both nations its actually very amazing that we are sill looking at singular cases.


I think farming density caps need to be created and enfoced. Maximum size, head count and acreage need to be established regional density and water supplys need to be rethought. This is a massive change but the industrial model of farming is no longer in our best interests. We are overpoducing and over consuming and much as I don't like limiting supply I think we can use the oversupply to our advantage in transition.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by TILT_Lance
i knew this one was coming

they need an answer and an easy one quick

its obvious

canada is to blame because our one case out ways the millions in europe

they just don't want to admit that their failure in regulating agriculture is one and the same as their own failure in preventing something like 9/11

now i know everyone is gonna be like "WHAT!?!?"

but it is a security matter and they have to find the source and deal with it.......the easiest out for them is blaming us

Europe and the US barely trade in beef. the beef they do trade is dead.

Canada and the US share feed lots and auction houses. Our cows cross the border easier than we do. The source herd of the disease needs to be established regardless of what country it is in and all decendants culled.
 
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Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by PosTMOd


As for human variant Creutzfeld-Jacob disease, not so much. Hell, even now, only 500 or so deaths in the past decade... more people have died from lightning strikes.

People have become frightened by the wrong things.



(still think the herd should be culled)
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
It's fun listening to the news... they go from "Oh my god, mad cow was found..." to "Oh, the meat from the cow went everywhere, but there's nothing to worry about at all..."

So, what's the big stink, if there's nothing to worry about? So funny...
 

man_slut

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by PosTMOd
It's fun listening to the news... they go from "Oh my god, mad cow was found..." to "Oh, the meat from the cow went everywhere, but there's nothing to worry about at all..."

So, what's the big stink, if there's nothing to worry about? So funny...
This is the part that freaked me out:

"Risk to consumers from the meat was "virtually zero," Petersen said.

"The meat per se, because it did not contain any spinal cord material, we think is a very low risk to consumers," Petersen said, adding that the distribution was "limited." The disease is believed to be present only in nervous system tissue. "

Does meat usually contain spinal cord material?
 
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man_slut

TRIBE Member
MMMMMMMMMMMMM:

December 30, 2003

Hard Time on the Killing Floor
http://www.counterpunch.com/stclair12302003.html
Inside Big Meat
By JEFFREY ST. CLAIR

(The following is an excerpt from Jeffrey St. Clair's new book, Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green to Me: the Politics of Nature, published by Common Courage.)

All is not right at the IBP Inc. plant in Pasco, Washington, one of the nation's biggest slaugherhouses. According to workers, meat at the plant is routinely contaminated with cattle feces because workers on the processing line are not give enough time to wash their hands. Under pressure from aggressive plant managers, meat that falls on the floor, which is often littered with meat byproducts and entrails, is often immediately placed back on the line without being cleansed. Cutting tools and conveyor belts, workers tell CounterPunch, are also regularly coated with pus from abscesses and tumors that haven't been properly cut out of the meat. Meat cutters at the plant also told me that often cows are not rendered unconscious before being sent down the line. Instead, workers say they often hear cows frantically mooing as they are skinned and dismembered alive.

All of these problems are a function of the excessive speed of the meat processing line, a complex and dangerous network of conveyor belts and overhead chains and hooks. "They keep that line moving as fast as possible and they don't want it stopped for any reason," an IBP worker told us. "They don't care about the cows or the cow shit on the meat. They've got quotas to meet." IBP plants, workers say, aren't slaughterhouses so much as meat factories.

Workers say that IBP doesn't give them adequate breaks and cheats them out of pay for the 30 minutes a day it takes to put on and remove the protective clothing, glasses and gloves they must wear to work the cutting line. According to union shop steward Maria Martinez, many workers are often denied bathroom breaks, forcing them to urinate in their pants so they won't fall behind.

The workers know that when they fall behind they risk being fired. Early in the morning on June 4 2000, IBP managers yanked a meat cutter of the cutting line, saying that he wasn't keeping up with the flow of the meat. When his fellow workers saw him be taken away, twenty of them followed him to the plant manager's office. Many of them carried their knives with them. The production line came to a halt.

The workers told the manager that all of them were having problems doing their jobs safely because the pace of the line was too fast. "The velocity of the machines was so fast, we couldn't work properly,:" said Malquiadez Perez, another shop steward. But the manager's didn't want to hear any of this. They told the meat cutters that they had 60 seconds to return to their places on the line or they would be fired on the spot.

Maria Martinez, an organizer with the TDU, told the IBP managers that the group would go back to work if all of them could return, including the meat cutter who had been fired for not keeping up with the pace of the line. The manager told Martinez no, demanded that they workers turn over their knives and told them they were fired.

This action led 800 other workers at the plant to walk off the job as well, carrying their knives with them. The action effectively shut down the slaughterhouse. On June 8, the union voted to go on strike.

The strike was settled on July 7, when after heavy-handed tactics from James Hoffa's national office of the Teamster, workers narrowly approved a new contract on a 276-258 vote. Under the terms of the deal, union members will be given a say in the composition of the plant's safety committee and wages for most workers will be increased by $1.32 an hour. But many union leaders opposed the contract, saying it failed to address the key issues that prompted the walk out.

"This strike was never about money," says Maria Martinez. "It was about worker safety and consumer protection. And we didn't get what we were fighting for."

However, the issue is not over yet. In response to letter from Martinez and others, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service has opened a probe of IBP for possible violations of worker safety, meat quality and animal cruelty laws. The Humane Slaughter Act of 1958, for example, prohibits companies from butchering animals while they are conscious.

For its part, IBP denies all the charges against it. The Dakota Dunes, South Dakota-based company says that it recently installed a "steam vacuum system" that will "sanitize" the meat even if it becomes contaminated by feces and pus on the line. IBP claims that the June 4 walkout was a set up and had nothing to do with the dismissal of the meat cutter. Company spokesman Gary Mickelson says that the IBP security people had "picked up rumors the night before that the workers were planning an action the next day." Mickelson says the entire affair "was staged by the union."

But this is far from the first time the $13 billion company has been accused of shoddy practices and worker safety violations. Indeed, since it's founding in 1960 (then called Iowa Beef Packers), the company has gained a reputation as being fiercely anti-worker and for being quick to call in scabs and violent strikebreakers. In the early, 1969 the company's confrontations with its workers reached a bloody crescendo when it closed down three Iowa plants, increased automation and tried to bust the United Food and Commercial Workers when it demanded a 20 cents an hour pay raise for workers. The following year the Federal Trace Commission hit the company with an anti-trust suit, which prohibited IBP from acquiring any new plants in South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa or Nebraska. As a result, IBP invested in the Pasco plant in Washington and several others in the Pacific Northwest and Texas.

In 1972, IBP's founder and former CEO, Currier Holman, was convicted of paying a New York mob boss $1 million to insure that unions would disrupt the distribution of IBP meat on the east coast. More investigations for monopolistic practices followed, even after the company was acquired by Armand Hammer's Occidental Petroleum in 1981. In 1985, OSHA hit IBP with a then-record $2.6 million fine for manipulating data on the high rate of worker injuries at its plants. Of particular concern for OSHA was the design of IBP's cutting machines, which caused repetitive motion disorders in hundreds of IBP workers.

After Hammer died in 1990, IBP was spun off in a public stock offering. Today, Archer-Daniels-Midland is the IBP's biggest shareholder, owning more than 14 percent of the company. This didn't change the company's practices much. Although IBP executives appeared at a press conference with Clinton administration officials in 1996 denouncing the practice of hiring illegal foreign workers, a few months later the company was busted for employing 64 undocumented meat cutters at its huge pork plant in Storm Lake, Nebraska. But the firm's cozy relationship with high level figures in Congress and the Clinton administration probably save it from prosecution. The IBP board hosts the dreadful Wendy Gramm and JoAnn Smith, Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Meat Inspection during the Bush presidency. Gramm and Smith are handsomely compensated at the tune of $30,000 for a week's worth of work for the company.

Although IBP claims that it pays its meat cutters for a full day's work, factory workers say that they must come in a 5:30 each morning to begin sharpening their knives and putting on the cumbersome gear, about a half an hour before the meat line cranks up. At the end of the day, another half-hour is spent cleaning up the workstations, gear and knives. Workers say they are not compensated for this time nor are they given two 10-minute breaks required by federal law for laborers who work more than an eight-hour day. IBP calculates the "official" workday at 7 hours and 56 minutes and claims it is only required to give the workers one 15-minute break and a half-hour lunch break in the grueling day. In 1997, the Tenth Circuit Court in suit brought by workers at a different plant ruled that IBP was required to pay workers at that plant for the time spent putting on and off the cutting gear and preparing the knives and workstations. A similar suit was recently filed against IBP's Pasco factory.

Allegations about contaminated meat coming from IBP plants has put the company on the defensive and has prompted it to invest heavily a new PR campaign disguised as a "food safety initiative." On May 17, IBP spent $150,000 to start up the "Safeguarding Our Last Links Campaign", which will be run the Food Marketing Institute, the meat industry's trade association. The Last Links campaign will not focus on the growing crisis of e.coli contamination in meat plants, but on teaching consumers how to keep meat "safely" stored in refrigerators and how to clean countertops and silverware. The campaign, IBP's CEO Robert Peterson said, is designed to "help consumers learn safe food handling practices."

Of course, this might be a tough sell, coming from a company whose workers say they are forced to urinate in their pants on the factory floor as they butcher live cows and put meat coated with pus and feces on the packaging line.

Spokane, 2000.
 

Hi i'm God

TRIBE Member
Alberta Leader Slams Finger-Pointing Over Mad Cow


Link

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Alberta's leader, blindsided by speculation that a U.S. mad cow case may have originated in Canada's top beef-producing province, expressed frustration on Monday at accusations and fear surrounding the new crisis.

Alberta's ranchers, feedlot operators and packers have trudged through seven months of closed borders and major financial losses following the discovery of a single case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, in their province.


Canadian officials have said there is no definitive evidence that the infected cow in Washington state, revealed last week, came from Alberta. But the industry is already bracing for huge political and economic fallout.


"There's some damage, but ... the frustrating part is, whether it's an American cow or a Canadian cow, the damage is damage that is caused by perception rather than reality," Alberta Premier Ralph Klein told reporters.


"The reality of the situation is that the risk to human health is so minimal that any one of you could walk out of this building today and get hit by a car -- the risk of that is probably a million times greater than ever getting BSE (news - web sites)."


Alberta is heart of Canadian cattle country, a region where ranching is as intertwined with the culture as it is in Texas.


The province, where cattle outnumber human population of about 3 million by a wide margin, has contributed C$400 million to C$600 million ($300 million to $460 million) in financial aid to farmers, feedlot operators and related industries since the Alberta crisis erupted in May.


Country-wide, the industry has lost an estimated C$3.3 billion due to the closure of international markets that had slowly begun to reopen to some beef products in recent months.


The new case shows that mad cow disease is a North American problem that requires cooperation between Canada and the United States, not accusations, Klein said.


"It caused me a tremendous amount of frustration, because what I saw was ... footage from the 1980s of a mad cow, obviously in the U.K., that had nothing to do with the mad cow in the U.S. and the mad cow that was found here," Klein said.


"I saw nothing on CNN or any of the American news media relative to the minimal risk to humans. I was frustrated to see there was premature finger-pointing."


He said he had yet to talk to U.S. officials about the situation, and would devise a strategy based on advice from the Alberta and federal agriculture ministries.


Last June, Klein met U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) in Washington to push for the border to be reopened to Canadian beef products.
 

ethnik

TRIBE Member
for anyone with a really long memory....this is part of a wonderful little ditty on an old SNL skit with Tom Hanks circa 1987-88 which i found rather appropriate to the slaughterhouse story above...

''the conveeeeeeyor belt 'll run ya...to where a bolt through your skuuuuuuuull 'll stun ya.....and then they'll cut your feet off with hydraulic shears, and they'll take ya to the killin' floorrrrrrrr....wooopy ti-i-o get a long little doggy, they'll take you to the killin' floorrrrr......(cue harmonica solo)''
 

Aeryanna

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by man_slut
All is not right at the IBP Inc. plant in Pasco, Washington, one of the nation's biggest slaugherhouses. According to workers, meat at the plant is routinely contaminated with cattle feces because workers on the processing line are not give enough time to wash their hands. Under pressure from aggressive plant managers, meat that falls on the floor, which is often littered with meat byproducts and entrails, is often immediately placed back on the line without being cleansed. Cutting tools and conveyor belts, workers tell CounterPunch, are also regularly coated with pus from abscesses and tumors that haven't been properly cut out of the meat. Meat cutters at the plant also told me that often cows are not rendered unconscious before being sent down the line. Instead, workers say they often hear cows frantically mooing as they are skinned and dismembered alive.
That's disgusting. If ever there was a reason to be a vegetarian this is it hands down.
 
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SlipperyPete

TRIBE Member
whoopdeedoo
that cow was sired by an American bull, born in Alberta, and only spent its first 2 years of life in Alberta before being sold to an American farm and moved back down there. Our two countries' beef and dairy industries are so integrated its completely childish to start pointing fingers at 'who did it' -- grow the fuck up and fix the problem!
 

exheres

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by SlipperyPete
whoopdeedoo
that cow was sired by an American bull, born in Alberta, and only spent its first 2 years of life in Alberta before being sold to an American farm and moved back down there. Our two countries' beef and dairy industries are so integrated its completely childish to start pointing fingers at 'who did it' -- grow the fuck up and fix the problem!
I second that!:mad: :D :)
 
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