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 Another Mad Cow Case

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danimal15

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Another Mad Cow Case Thu, 11/18/04 11:37 AM (permalink)
USDA says it may have found another case of Mad Cow disease in the U.S., although meat from the animal didn't enter the food chain.
 
#1
    alesrus

    • Total Posts: 292
    • Joined: 8/19/2003
    • Location: Franklin, NJ
    RE: Another Mad Cow Case Thu, 11/18/04 11:42 AM (permalink)
    This is very disturbing. Even though it did not get into the food chain it still makes me look at beef a little differently.
     
    #2
      tmiles

      • Total Posts: 1908
      • Joined: 10/1/2004
      • Location: Millbury, MA
      RE: Another Mad Cow Case Thu, 11/18/04 12:26 PM (permalink)
      Very bad for the beef industry. The only bright side is the new quick way that new cases are discovered and tracked. Let's see if they can isolate and control the problem.
       
      #3
        tiki

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        • Location: Rentiesville, OK
        RE: Another Mad Cow Case Thu, 11/18/04 2:26 PM (permalink)
        Got the opinion of a good man i met here in Okla, he is a large animal vet,a part itme rancher,heck of good custom butcher and barbeque man extrodinaire---among other things--anyway--he says-- after some serious investigation into subject from alot of angles-- that if you avoid commercial ground beef---and MOST big chains use it ALOT--you will most likely never have a proplem with Mad Cow Disease---so---get a grinder and make your ground beef from cuts that are butchered by HAND--avoid stuff that is "Meat mechanical removed from the bone" ---nerve tissue caught up in this product is THE problem area. So---find a butcher!
         
        #4
          tonemonster2

          • Total Posts: 187
          • Joined: 5/21/2003
          • Location: NORWALK, CT
          RE: Another Mad Cow Case Thu, 11/18/04 2:35 PM (permalink)
          A colleague of mine got the human form of this disease about a month ago. He is not expected to live thru this weekend.
           
          #5
            renfrew

            • Total Posts: 696
            • Joined: 4/29/2003
            • Location: Providence, RI
            RE: Another Mad Cow Case Thu, 11/18/04 2:49 PM (permalink)
            quote:
            Originally posted by tonemonster2

            A colleague of mine got the human form of this disease about a month ago. He is not expected to live thru this weekend.


            well that is certainly sobering.

            I just find it more than a little coincidental that all of these supposed one off cases of mad cow are always caught before they entered the food chain.

            Not really a conspiracy type of person, but it just seems way too convenient.
             
            #6
              michaelgemmell

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              • Joined: 3/17/2004
              • Location: San Francisco, CA
              RE: Another Mad Cow Case Thu, 11/18/04 3:09 PM (permalink)
              Tiki, what do you think of buying ground chuck from a local small grocer with a meat department that grinds it themselves onsite? All their meats are some of the best in the city, and their ground chuck tastes MUCH better than what you buy at Safeway et al.
               
              #7
                danimal15

                • Total Posts: 1092
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                • Location: Chicago, IL
                RE: Another Mad Cow Case Thu, 11/18/04 4:52 PM (permalink)
                quote:
                Originally posted by tonemonster2

                A colleague of mine got the human form of this disease about a month ago. He is not expected to live thru this weekend.


                Tonemonster2:

                Unless you live in the UK, it's probable that your colleague has CJD, or Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. This is a very rare and always fatal brain disease, but probably has nothing to do with the consumption of beef. It's been around for decades if not centuries. It's only in the last decade that humans (in Europe) have gotten a variant form of CJD from eating beef from cows with the bovine form of the disease. There haven't been any cases of that variant form of CJD transmitted by eating beef in the U.S.

                Dan
                 
                #8
                  Bushie

                  • Total Posts: 2902
                  • Joined: 4/21/2001
                  • Location: Round Rock, TX
                  RE: Another Mad Cow Case Thu, 11/18/04 5:23 PM (permalink)
                  I've switched to locally-grown, grass-fed beef. Yummy and good for ya, too!

                  If you can find it, I highly recommend it. More and more, people are returning to the "old" ways, and the more we support them, the more the good stuff will be available.

                  This is the place where I get mine: www.rossfarm.com

                  Check in your own areas. Chances are, there is a farm nearby that you don't even know about!
                   
                  #9
                    TJ Jackson

                    • Total Posts: 4482
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                    • Location: Cincinnati, OH
                    RE: Another Mad Cow Case Thu, 11/18/04 5:37 PM (permalink)
                    Just wanted to add a link for anyone wanting to read about this
                    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6520847/
                     
                    #10
                      BT

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                      • Location: San Francisco, CA
                      RE: Another Mad Cow Case Thu, 11/18/04 6:11 PM (permalink)
                      The confirmatory tests have not yet been done and there have been other recent suspicious cases that turned out not to be positive. But I have to say that IMHO the US beef industry is asking to be destroyed. In Japan, ALL beef is tested and no "ruminate" products or byproducts are allowed in animal feed. Here, industry pressure has kept testing limited only to cows that appear sick and, while beef products are banned in cattle feed, they are still put in feed for other animals that is sometimes fed to cattle by stupid/greedy/desperate farmers.

                      The result, I believe, is that it's inevitable that "mad cow" will eventually get into US beef herds and then US beef exports will evaporate as will a large part of domestic sales, wrecking the industry--and they deserve it.
                       
                      #11
                        BT

                        • Total Posts: 3589
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                        RE: Another Mad Cow Case Thu, 11/18/04 6:18 PM (permalink)
                        quote:
                        Originally posted by tiki

                        Got the opinion of a good man i met here in Okla, he is a large animal vet,a part itme rancher,heck of good custom butcher and barbeque man extrodinaire---among other things--anyway--he says-- after some serious investigation into subject from alot of angles-- that if you avoid commercial ground beef---and MOST big chains use it ALOT--you will most likely never have a proplem with Mad Cow Disease---so---get a grinder and make your ground beef from cuts that are butchered by HAND--avoid stuff that is "Meat mechanical removed from the bone" ---nerve tissue caught up in this product is THE problem area. So---find a butcher!


                        I don't buy it. It IS true that nervous system tissue is the focus of the "prion" infection that causes "mad cow". But nobody really knows whether it's possible for other tissues to contain stray prions or minute quantities of nervous tissue. I still think, aside from the measure suggested here, we ought to be testing EVERY animal that goes into the food chain (either for humans or for other animals) and we ought not to be putting ruminate meat or byproducts in animal foods.
                         
                        #12
                          BT

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                          RE: Another Mad Cow Case Thu, 11/18/04 6:25 PM (permalink)
                          quote:
                          Originally posted by michaelgemmell

                          Tiki, what do you think of buying ground chuck from a local small grocer with a meat department that grinds it themselves onsite? All their meats are some of the best in the city, and their ground chuck tastes MUCH better than what you buy at Safeway et al.


                          Michael:

                          Taste is irrelevent here. What matters is can you be sure the cows from which the meat came have NEVER been fed with feed containing byproducts or meat from other ruminate animals (like cows) and/or can you be certain NO nervous system tissue found its way into the meat. I'm guessing you are getting Niman Ranch beef or something like it. I don't know what they feed their cows, do you? But possibly more importantly, sometimes even the best producers do not raise all their cattle themselves--they buy young cattle from sources as far away as Canada, then raise them on their ranch. It thus becomes a question what those cattle were fed before being purchased by the source you trust. And I still say we could all rest a lot easier if every cow was tested before the meat was released for human or animal consumption.
                           
                          #13
                            tiki

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                            RE: Another Mad Cow Case Thu, 11/18/04 10:05 PM (permalink)
                            quote:
                            Originally posted by michaelgemmell

                            Tiki, what do you think of buying ground chuck from a local small grocer with a meat department that grinds it themselves onsite? All their meats are some of the best in the city, and their ground chuck tastes MUCH better than what you buy at Safeway et al.

                            Any GOOD butcher at a local shop is a good idea--as long as the locals actually CUT the meat---alot of places are now buying everything in bulk and THATS where your dealing with automation--that burger may be mixed with 100s of lbs of meachanically harvested bit of meat stripped from bones---lots of nerve tissue--guess where alot of that goes---school lunch programs,,,,,,,,anyway--buy good meat thats actually cut up buy a butcher--besides--any good home food processor will chop exactly how much you want and at what fat content--and to what grind!!!---I like it a little course for burgers---finer for meat balls or meatloaf.
                             
                            #14
                              danimal15

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                              RE: Another Mad Cow Case Fri, 11/19/04 10:17 AM (permalink)
                              I agree with what others have said here regarding the need to test every animal and to avoid mass-produced ground beef. However, I'm being extra careful. I hardly eat ground beef at all anymore - including hamburgers and hot dogs. You just don't know what might be in there. On the few occasions when I have had a hot dog recently (I can't go cold turkey - no pun intended), I buy the Kosher ones. Not that I'm sure they're safer, but the people making this meat do take extra care. And I've switched to using ground turkey in my chili and tacos - I realize that's not a perfect solution, but I haven't heard of anyone getting ill from eating poultry- yet. There is something kind of gross about eating ground meat of any kind, if you think about it. All the stuff gets squashed together from thousands of different animals. Who knows what else gets stuck in there from the cutting room floor. When I do eat beef these days, I usually keep it to steak.
                               
                              #15
                                Paulie

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                                • Location: Bristol, CT/ Westerly RI
                                RE: Another Mad Cow Case Fri, 11/19/04 10:58 AM (permalink)
                                While it's great to say, Lets be 100% safe and test every animal, I wonder how practical that is. Does anyone know how many animals that would be and whether it would actually be physically possible to test every one of them while still maintaining any semblence of a beef industry?
                                 
                                #16
                                  BT

                                  • Total Posts: 3589
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                                  • Location: San Francisco, CA
                                  RE: Another Mad Cow Case Fri, 11/19/04 11:30 AM (permalink)
                                  quote:
                                  Originally posted by danimal15

                                  I agree with what others have said here regarding the need to test every animal and to avoid mass-produced ground beef. However, I'm being extra careful. I hardly eat ground beef at all anymore - including hamburgers and hot dogs. You just don't know what might be in there. On the few occasions when I have had a hot dog recently (I can't go cold turkey - no pun intended), I buy the Kosher ones. Not that I'm sure they're safer, but the people making this meat do take extra care. And I've switched to using ground turkey in my chili and tacos - I realize that's not a perfect solution, but I haven't heard of anyone getting ill from eating poultry- yet. There is something kind of gross about eating ground meat of any kind, if you think about it. All the stuff gets squashed together from thousands of different animals. Who knows what else gets stuck in there from the cutting room floor. When I do eat beef these days, I usually keep it to steak.


                                  If you will eat unground beef--steaks etc.--then there is a straightforward solution: Grind your own beef. That's what I have bee doing. I can usually find some kind of decent looking unground beef on sale at the market. I trim it carefully and I grind it myself. I use either an electric grinder (I bought mine from Wal-Mart.com, around $80) or an attachment for a KitchenAid mixer, but there are inexpensive hand grinders that work fine also. Generally, I buy and grind up 2 or 3 pounds at a time--usually when I need a pound or two for a recipe, then I freeze the extra. The hardest part of all this is just cleaning the grinder, which has to be taken apart and cleaned meticulously, but it's worth it. Not only is it safer, but you'd be amazed how much better freshly ground STEAK tastes.

                                  PS--When it comes to hot dogs, I've never gone for the "all beef" ones. I just prefer regular dogs which, these days, are made from pork, turkey and chicken.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    BT

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                                    RE: Another Mad Cow Case Fri, 11/19/04 11:34 AM (permalink)
                                    quote:
                                    Originally posted by Paulie

                                    While it's great to say, Lets be 100% safe and test every animal, I wonder how practical that is. Does anyone know how many animals that would be and whether it would actually be physically possible to test every one of them while still maintaining any semblence of a beef industry?


                                    Like I said, they do it in Japan. It would add to the cost of beef. But ask Merck how much it would have cost them to take Vioxx off the market earlier (answer: a lot, but since they didn't, the survival of the company is at stake). I'll predict right now that eventually mad cow will be loose in American herds which will end beef exports and result in lawsuits that will devestate the beef industry. They are being very shortsighted.
                                     
                                    #18
                                      michaelgemmell

                                      • Total Posts: 673
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                                      • Location: San Francisco, CA
                                      RE: Another Mad Cow Case Fri, 11/19/04 12:30 PM (permalink)
                                      When I first got out of college (1977) I tried grinding my own ground beef. I had a Dormeyer mixer that's quite powerful--my brother still uses it. I was never satisfied with the result. The market to which I referred is Tower Market on Portola here in SF (Sorry, not much help if you don't live in The City), and while I don't think they use Niman Ranch beef, I mentioned taste as why I doubt they use the commercial product because it simply doesn't taste like what comes from Safeway et al. This is a good thread because we must take our safety into our own hands these days, and I thank all for your suggestions.
                                       
                                      #19
                                        danimal15

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                                        • Location: Chicago, IL
                                        RE: Another Mad Cow Case Fri, 11/19/04 3:18 PM (permalink)
                                        quote:
                                        Originally posted by BT

                                        quote:
                                        Originally posted by danimal15

                                        I agree with what others have said here regarding the need to test every animal and to avoid mass-produced ground beef. However, I'm being extra careful. I hardly eat ground beef at all anymore - including hamburgers and hot dogs. You just don't know what might be in there. On the few occasions when I have had a hot dog recently (I can't go cold turkey - no pun intended), I buy the Kosher ones. Not that I'm sure they're safer, but the people making this meat do take extra care. And I've switched to using ground turkey in my chili and tacos - I realize that's not a perfect solution, but I haven't heard of anyone getting ill from eating poultry- yet. There is something kind of gross about eating ground meat of any kind, if you think about it. All the stuff gets squashed together from thousands of different animals. Who knows what else gets stuck in there from the cutting room floor. When I do eat beef these days, I usually keep it to steak.


                                        If you will eat unground beef--steaks etc.--then there is a straightforward solution: Grind your own beef. That's what I have bee doing. I can usually find some kind of decent looking unground beef on sale at the market. I trim it carefully and I grind it myself. I use either an electric grinder (I bought mine from Wal-Mart.com, around $80) or an attachment for a KitchenAid mixer, but there are inexpensive hand grinders that work fine also. Generally, I buy and grind up 2 or 3 pounds at a time--usually when I need a pound or two for a recipe, then I freeze the extra. The hardest part of all this is just cleaning the grinder, which has to be taken apart and cleaned meticulously, but it's worth it. Not only is it safer, but you'd be amazed how much better freshly ground STEAK tastes.

                                        PS--When it comes to hot dogs, I've never gone for the "all beef" ones. I just prefer regular dogs which, these days, are made from pork, turkey and chicken.



                                        What kind of steak do you recommend for grinding? (not that I'm going to go out and buy a grinder - I've got enough cleaning up to do already with two boys under the age of five) I'm just curious.
                                         
                                        #20
                                          Danmel

                                          • Total Posts: 193
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                                          • Location: Long Island, NY
                                          RE: Another Mad Cow Case Fri, 11/19/04 4:10 PM (permalink)
                                          With respect to kosher meat- generally speaking the main difference between kosher meat and non kosher meat with respect to something like Mad Cow is that sick animals DO NOT make it into the kosher food supply. They are not allowed to be used- they don't make the grade, so to speak.

                                          I don't know if they are fed any differently in small companies- Hebrew National is now owned (along with most of the rest of the world) by ConAgra. I imagine the cows all eat the same stuff- they are just slaughtered diffeent;y and then soaked and salted to be kosher. Perhaps in smaller Glatt Kosher companies, the animals are not fed feed made with other animal products.

                                          It's always safer to grind your own meat, or failing that, to avoid ground meat from large operations that might contain thousands of animal's parts in one big batch, making it harder to ensure that all the meat is frim healthy animals.
                                           
                                          #21
                                            BT

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                                            RE: Another Mad Cow Case Fri, 11/19/04 4:22 PM (permalink)
                                            quote:
                                            Originally posted by danimal15 What kind of steak do you recommend for grinding? (not that I'm going to go out and buy a grinder - I've got enough cleaning up to do already with two boys under the age of five) I'm just curious.


                                            Well, chuck, ribeye or sirloin are probably ideal, but like I said, I usually find something on sale (often some form of chuck). Obviously, if it's boneless that's easiest. Round, brisket, skirt steak an so on work, but I like a little more fat than they contain.
                                             
                                            #22
                                              UncleVic

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                                              RE: Another Mad Cow Case Sun, 11/21/04 10:13 PM (permalink)
                                              Well, just seen this story on Yahoo and thought I'd pass it on...
                                              (Tied in with a recent US death related to Mad Cow)
                                              http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=541&ncid=541&e=1&u=/ap/20041122/ap_on_he_me/woman_s_death
                                               
                                              #23
                                                danimal15

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                                                RE: Another Mad Cow Case Mon, 11/22/04 12:29 PM (permalink)
                                                quote:
                                                Originally posted by UncleVic

                                                Well, just seen this story on Yahoo and thought I'd pass it on...
                                                (Tied in with a recent US death related to Mad Cow)
                                                http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=541&ncid=541&e=1&u=/ap/20041122/ap_on_he_me/woman_s_death


                                                I'm a journalist who used to write quite a lot about the U.S. beef industry, and I doubt she had the variant form. There just isn't much proof that cows in the U.S. herd have this in numbers widespread enough to pass it on to humans. There was a case in Indiana about seven years ago in which people claimed that a man died of "Mad cow disease" but it turned out to be traditional CJD on second look. The same thing is likely to happen here. The article says traditional CJD causes 10,000 U.S. deaths a year - that is inaccurate. Sounds way too high, though I don't know the actual number. Probably several hundred at most.

                                                If this does turn out to be a case transmitted by beef, that will force a major revolution in the U.S. meat industry. It might mean similar steps to the ones taken in England, in which hundreds of thousands of animals were slaughtered. It would be a disaster for U.S. beef producers.
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  UncleVic

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                                                  RE: Another Mad Cow Case Mon, 11/22/04 12:41 PM (permalink)
                                                  quote:
                                                  Originally posted by danimal15

                                                  quote:
                                                  Originally posted by UncleVic

                                                  Well, just seen this story on Yahoo and thought I'd pass it on...
                                                  (Tied in with a recent US death related to Mad Cow)
                                                  http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=541&ncid=541&e=1&u=/ap/20041122/ap_on_he_me/woman_s_death


                                                  I'm a journalist who used to write quite a lot about the U.S. beef industry, and I doubt she had the variant form. There just isn't much proof that cows in the U.S. herd have this in numbers widespread enough to pass it on to humans. There was a case in Indiana about seven years ago in which people claimed that a man died of "Mad cow disease" but it turned out to be traditional CJD on second look. The same thing is likely to happen here. The article says traditional CJD causes 10,000 U.S. deaths a year - that is inaccurate. Sounds way too high, though I don't know the actual number. Probably several hundred at most.

                                                  If this does turn out to be a case transmitted by beef, that will force a major revolution in the U.S. meat industry. It might mean similar steps to the ones taken in England, in which hundreds of thousands of animals were slaughtered. It would be a disaster for U.S. beef producers.


                                                  Lets then cross our fingers and hope it's of the traditional strain...
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    danimal15

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                                                    RE: Another Mad Cow Case Tue, 11/23/04 10:07 AM (permalink)
                                                    Forget for a minute about mad cow disease and think about other terrible stuff transmitted through ground meat such as e-coli (remember the Jack in the Box deaths 10 years ago?). My older boy is going to be five in February. He has never had a hamburger (or ground meat of any kind). I don't plan to start either of my boys on hamburgers (despite the fact that my younger son would eat anything that doesn't move and some things that do). Maybe I'm being alarmist, but why take the risk?
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      tmiles

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                                                      RE: Another Mad Cow Case Wed, 11/24/04 1:49 PM (permalink)
                                                      I saw in the paper today that it was a false positive. Beef futures took a big jump a few hours before the announcement. There should be an investigation.
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        BT

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                                                        RE: Another Mad Cow Case Wed, 11/24/04 7:52 PM (permalink)
                                                        quote:
                                                        Originally posted by danimal15

                                                        Forget for a minute about mad cow disease and think about other terrible stuff transmitted through ground meat such as e-coli (remember the Jack in the Box deaths 10 years ago?). My older boy is going to be five in February. He has never had a hamburger (or ground meat of any kind). I don't plan to start either of my boys on hamburgers (despite the fact that my younger son would eat anything that doesn't move and some things that do). Maybe I'm being alarmist, but why take the risk?


                                                        The difference is that "the other terrible stuff", at least the infectious stuff (not so much the hormones, antibiotics and other trash they feed most cattle these days--but that isn't limited to ground meat), can be avoided by (a) cooking your burgers thoroughly OR (b) grinding your own beef as I do. This is because the contamination, disgusting as it is to think about, is mostly from contamination by feces in the slaughtering process. After the meat is butchered, this material remains on the surface and, in the case of whole cuts, can be washed off--if necessary by YOU (or ME) before the meat is ground. But if the meat is ground before we get it, the contamination gets mixed in and cannot be removed--but the germs can be killed by cooking IF all of the burger--right to the center--is cooked to a high enough temperature.

                                                        When it comes to mad cow, there's not much the consumer can do. The prions that cause it are NOT killed by cooking. Again, grinding your own meat may help by avoiding (or minimizing) inclusion of the nervous system tissue that the prions mainly call home. But there may be small nerves in even good cuts of steak and I don't think it's certain that prions cannot exist in any other tissue.

                                                        BT, M.D. (but not, by any means, a mad cow expert)
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          BT

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                                                          RE: Another Mad Cow Case Wed, 11/24/04 7:58 PM (permalink)
                                                          quote:
                                                          Originally posted by tmiles

                                                          I saw in the paper today that it was a false positive. Beef futures took a big jump a few hours before the announcement. There should be an investigation.


                                                          An investigation? Why? This is not the first time this has happened. Screening tests for mad cow--tests that have a fairly high SENSITIVITY (so as not to miss cows that ARE infected) but a low SPECIFICITY (meaning a fairly high rate of false positives)--are used in the field, presently on sick-appearing cows only in The US as I understand it. When a cow tests positive, a confirmatory test with a higher specificity is done, but that takes a while (about a week I think--during which the meat is quarantined). This whole scenario went according to plan, and it will happen again.
                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            Adjudicator

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                                                            RE: Another Mad Cow Case Wed, 11/24/04 8:10 PM (permalink)
                                                            quote:
                                                            Originally posted by BT

                                                            quote:
                                                            Originally posted by tmiles

                                                            I saw in the paper today that it was a false positive. Beef futures took a big jump a few hours before the announcement. There should be an investigation.


                                                            An investigation? Why? This is not the first time this has happened. Screening tests for mad cow--tests that have a fairly high SENSITIVITY (so as not to miss cows that ARE infected) but a low SPECIFICITY (meaning a fairly high rate of false positives)--are used in the field, presently on sick-appearing cows only in The US as I understand it. When a cow tests positive, a confirmatory test with a higher specificity is done, but that takes a while (about a week I think--during which the meat is quarantined). This whole scenario went according to plan, and it will happen again.


                                                            Oh well. Maybe if we as a nation were not so in the RED in our finances... Just maybe (??) that we would have a realistic approach to this pending fiasco. A dream on my part, of course.

                                                            Yes. You bet. IT WILL happen again!
                                                             
                                                            #30
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