Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Mad Cow: Someone's Food Supply Appears To Be Tainted

I don't post about John Cole very often, because he's just too damn easy, but I'm bored, so here he is a few days ago, reacting to the news that the cow with BSE was from Canada:
"I expect the Luddites and anti-free-traders will seize on this info"
Going on his past habits, I'd be willing to bet a large sum of money that Cole wishes with all of his heart that the cow was from Mexico, so that he could call Democrats racist. No, I don't get it either. Welcome to Balloon Juice.
"It will also make the asshole Democratic candidates look rather foolish, as they really did try to blame the economic impact of this lone cow with "Mad Cow Disease" on Bush"
There really are additional measures we could take to fight this kind of thing. Kos has a handy little list of some of them, all killed by Republicans in one way or another.
"Which is why the standards and procedures in place today that made sure that no bad beef went to the market, no one became ill from bad beef, and that insured that only one cow was infected- this was predictable. It really is like Tourette's: B-B-B-Bush Sucks! B-B-Bush Bad!"
Quick lesson for John: The standards did not prevent bad beef from going to market (it's currently being recalled from several states), we don't know if anyone has become ill due to the long incubation period of the disease, and we certainly don't know that only one cow was infected. Here's the important part for John, and all those that brush off the media circus that accompanied the news that Mad Cow has reached our shores: Mad Cow is both communicable, and damn near impossible to kill. Theoretically, a cow could be infected by coming into contact with an instrument that came into contact with an infected cow years before. Mad Cow is a prion disease, meaning that it isn't caused by a virus or bacteria, but a misfolded protein called a prion that causes similar proteins in the brain to misfold as well. The scary part is that prions are tough sons-of-bitches. To give you an idea of just how tough, consider that a standard autoclave used to sterilize surgical instruments isn't hot enough to destroy the prion.

Hmm...maybe a few more precautions should have been taken after all?

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