Why the Latest Mad Cow Beef Recall Should Make You Happy

FSIS recalls beef due to possible mad cow disease
There’s a lot of news about the recall of more than 4000 pounds of beef from Fruitland America, a meat slaughterhouse in Missouri. Americans love their beef, and the news of a recall due to the possibility of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), which is commonly called “mad cow disease,” is of great concern to a large number of people. What this news should do more than anything, however, is give you peace of mind that the inspection system for this disease is working well.

The key words that everybody should be focusing on is the “possible” contamination of the beef. The reality of the situation is contamination of the beef is small at best, but the US government stepped in when they found the beef had been slaughtered in a way which violated the protocol meant to prevent mad cow disease from occurring. In fact, The USDA has classified this as a Type 2 recall which is meant to signify what occurred presents a “remote possibility” of health problems to people who may have consumed the meat.

The cows themselves showed no sign of having the disease when slaughtered. The issue was the age of the cows when they were slaughtered, and special regulations which must be adhered to when a cow is 30 months or older. According to the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the cow’s root ganglia (part of the spine) may not have been removed as dictated by the special regulations which requires it to fully be removed in cattle older than 30 months during processing. Consumption of spinal tissue by humans is considered to be a rick factor in the transmission of BSE.

Fruitland America has stated the processed meat was correctly slaughtered because the cows in question were actually no more than 28 old, and the entire issue is due to clerical errors. In a news release, the USDA has said, “The problem was discovered by FSIS during a review of company slaughter logs. The problem may have occurred as a result of the way some company employees were recording information and determining the age of various cattle.”

What this all says is that the process put in place to prevent mad cow disease from spreading in the US, and the checks to make sure these processes are being followed are working. Instead of being something to worry about, it should put people’s mind at ease that the system is working the way it’s supposed to be working. The recall was implemented on the side caution, and that’s exactly the type of monitoring we want to see.

While there’s really no reason for anyone to be worried about this, for those who still feel unease with this latest episode, and the possibility of getting mad cow disease in general, the best course of action is to stop eating beef. Recent studies have indicated this can be beneficial to women’s health, and it could also be beneficial to your grocery budget. Beef prices are currently at a 27 year high, and there is little prospect that they will fall in the near future. Substituting beef with other sources of protein (fish, poultry, etc.) will help ease your mind and your food budget at the same time.

(Photo courtesy of USDA)

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28 Responses to Why the Latest Mad Cow Beef Recall Should Make You Happy

  1. David the great says:

    I love being a vegetarian!

  2. m johnson says:

    I’ll second that!

  3. Mooochelle Obama says:

    I love eating vegetarians!!

  4. Jay says:

    Vegetarian, an old Indian word for bad hunter.

  5. Jeff F says:

    This article is propaganda from the beef industry. What should be discussed is how cattle are treated to maximize profit and the effect it has on the environment. Even if you don’t feel sorry for them, the meat that we get at the major grocery chains is absolutely bad for us. Combine that with mutated crap that Monsanto is responsible for, and you have a nice explanation why Americans have more diabetes and autism that any other country. Do the elite who are responsible for this, feed their children this garbage? I think not.

  6. TooMad says:

    I’ll second that!

  7. Jeff's Good Buddy says:

    Sorry Jeff, but methinks if you read the last paragraph it’s pretty certain this is definitely not propaganda from the beef industry, but more likely from someone in the anti beef lobby. Not too obvious?

    As to why Americans have a higher incidence of diabetes it’s more likely because they eat too much, and not so much what they eat, eh? Even fat vegans who only eat organic foods have a higher incidence of diabetes ya know.

  8. gcgoheen says:

    Have some more Koolaid

  9. ana says:

    They probably do. Not sure how you figure eating beef causes autism. The scientists certainly haven’t said that. My grandfather was a farmer and cattle certainly were not mistreated. They grazed the pasture and had a barn to sleep in at night. They lived better than some people. I suppose you are one of the PETA people who think cattle farts are responsible for the thinning of the ozone.

  10. Maximus says:

    In America we have a booming medical industry and that is largely due to the fact that there are a lot of people in ill health. The American diet, rich in meat and fructose (HFCS), is the culprit. Those that emigrate to America and adopt our diet begin to take on our maladies.

    The malady that is most distressing is one of ignorance. Why should we be happy that our policies concerning the detection of “Mad Cow” are working? It seems we are still willing to risk a few deaths, that small percentage of prion infected meat that makes it way to the public, for a “Happy Meal” (the policies and enforcement measures of the FDA are far from perfect). Meat is poison, especially at the rate at which most Americans consume it.

    Sadly, I’ll have to watch the consumers as they are consumed by the age old illness of consumption.

  11. GP says:

    Just a clerical error? If they’re admitting they can be off by that much in their recordkeeping, the USDA should recall everything they claim was 27 or 28 months old too — those animals could just as easily be 30 months in reality.

  12. David the great says:

    hey, I’m not Soylent’alicious!

  13. Healthy Vegan says:

    I am so much healthier and happier not eating animal products. Now I enjoy my food without worrying about things like mad cow disease, resistance to antibiotics, etc. and happy that I am not taking some poor animal’s life for a meal.

  14. Jacob Stagg says:

    Being shrewd business folks they probably will grind it and sell it to fast food stores.

    It would be an extension of what the US has done for decades. Every time a pesticide or herbicide is outlawed, production remains the same and the products are sold to South America to be used on the food sent here every day.

    Making a buck is important. Keeping people alive and well, not so much.

  15. sunshine says:

    Awesome. But something must die for you to live. So as long as you are living something else is dying. Your dietary choices leave more for those of us who do consume animals. Thanks. Enjoy your GMO and pesticide laden veggies. Peace out.

  16. Nathan says:

    I’ve never met a healthy vegan male. Females seem to do better but vegan males all look so scrawny and weak. Hard to really place it as one single symptom, more like the impression of death. Like when you look at someone and feel the need to ask if they are alright.

    I’ll stick to as much meat as I can afford. Less pesticides that way. ; )

  17. Eat nothing and be healthy says:

    The 2006 E. coli outbreak involving bagged spinach had five fatalities about 200 people became ill.
    The 1919 botulism outbreak caused by canned ripe olives, had a death toll of 19.
    In 1911 raw milk delivered door-to-door in the Boston area was responsible for a strep outbreak and 48 people died.
    The unofficial count is 36 deaths in 2011’s outbreak caused by Listeria-contaminated cantaloupes.
    In 1985 Mexican cheese made by a Los Angeles company sickened mostly Hispanic women, many who were pregnant and 28 died.
    In 2008-2009 peanut butter contaminated with Salmonella caused at least 714 illiness in 46 states and 9 died.

  18. Deborah says:

    Maybe we lable more children autistic. Maybe if Americans would eat less processed food and food with high fructose in, we would have less diabetes.

  19. John says:

    What makes me happy is that Whole Foods was involved. I hope people see the abject stupidity of eating organic. It doesn’t protect you and it may harm you. Furthermore, there are no real FDA standards that qualify something as organic. Nobody is inspecting the farmers to make sure they are not using insecticides or feeding their cows bone meal made from cows. Eat Whole Foods, pay extra, and get nothing for it but mad cow disease. Haha.

  20. VegetarianAthlete says:

    uh, guess where most of those pathogens came from, yes, you guessed it, meat or cattle or chickens or other parts of the meat industrial complex, so nice try, but wild failure….

  21. human says:

    Cannabilistic ignorant person suffering from mad cow disease = YOU!

  22. human says:

    well, I’m vegeterian so I can’t get the disease and you can. hahahahahahahh

  23. human says:

    killing is bad. killing animals is bad. you will realize after you are admitted to hospital for madcow disease. hahahahahahahahhahaa
    Poor maggots that will eat your body when you die. hahahjahahahahahhahahahaha

  24. human says:

    me too. and so do the billions of cows and chickens and pigs and fish that are alive thanks to you. keep it up!

  25. I am the Ag-Man says:

    Wow! It’s hard to believe that it took an hour for Monsanto to be blamed for this. You guys are slipping up.

    Jeff F, I wonder how many farmers you know. Conventional farmers who supply food for the rest of us, not the guy with a 2 acres of organic vegetables. But the farmer with 1,000 acres of wheat, rice or pastureland. The farmer with 50 acres of tomatoes, peppers or beans. These are the people feeding the world.

    As for your comment on Monsanto, I will tell you that this company is far more responsible for feeding the world population than the sum total of all organic growers. Since January 1, we have gained 37 million people on our planet.

    Food safety, security and supply is something that is very important to the US farmers who produce it. Most organic growers are in it for one thing – profit. Just like the conventional growers. As soon as sustainable organics is truly economically feasible on a macro-scale operation, they will all adopt that model. It won’t be here anytime soon.

    As for the effect on the environment, the producers who ranch the millions of acres of pastureland in America are much more responsible for environmental stewardship of than the rest of us. The green space they manage is responsible for supplying a clean and safe groundwater supply. The endangered and rare species that inhabit our land don’t live in your 5,000 square foot back yard. They live on the privately owned ranches and in the conservation easements set aside by conventional agricultural producers.

    And yes, these farmers’ families eat what they grow with the pesticides they applied to the safe food they supply. And they do it while not hating people for being vegetarians or preferring an organic diet. They do this while not attacking organic growers for their efforts. They are too busy feeding our world!

    Overall the information in this article regarding the safeguards in place was good and on point. Disappointed in the last paragraph, but then, this isn’t the website I turn to for advice on health and diet anyway. Beef is a great source of protein and can be a lean, healthy part of your daily diet. If you don’t like it, don’t eat it. Just that simple.

  26. Don r says:

    From the comments so far I am glad to be a meat eater. The amount of ignorance is proof positive vegans lack the b12 fo proper brain development. Our bodies are designed for the intake of meat and veggies. Didn’t see any meat eaters celebrating the latest salmonella outbreak on vegetables.

  27. I am the Ag-Man says:

    Yes, I recall reading the complex labels of the fertilizer and pesticides that I applied having beef, chicken, whale, baby seal and polar bear meat in list of the active ingredients. Either you are poorly misguided and ignorant about agriculture or you are blatantly lying. The use of treated animal waste and by-product is very limited in food used for human consumption.

  28. I am the Ag-Man says:

    “Eat nothing” – you forgot to list the organic chia seed powder that was the cause of the 21 cases of salmonella to date that happened way back in…Oh I’m sorry, that just happened yesterday!

    And the 2012 campylobacter outbreak that sickened 148 people which was traced back to raw milk from a dairy.

    With all of this said, far more food safety issues arise from improper handling at home and in restaurants than from the farm.

    I’m certain it’s Monsanto’s fault anyway.

    In all sincerity, I pray for those affected to have a speedy recovery and that the breakdown in the link of safety will be found quickly. Again, without these food safety measures and recalls in place, this would have the potential to be much worse.

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