Saturday, December 27, 2003

FDA Official Advises "Think"

Tracing History of Infected Cow May Take Time:

A spokesperson from the FDA weighs in on tracing the type of feed consumed by the Mad Cow.

"Think yourself what you might have eaten four and a half years ago,' he said. 'That's not the kind of thing people keep really accurate records on."

It does not reassure me that someone "in charge" engages in this type of specious argument.

How can he even posit a similarity between records that might reflect what a single human has eaten -- an obsessive compulsive foodie's diary maybe -- and the records kept by a large livestock producing corporation ? It may well turn out that the farm in question did not "keep accurate records," but there's a hell of a better chance that it did than for any single human. There are receipts, tax forms, bank and credit records. Plus cattle -- correct me if I'm wrong -- don't eat something different every day. I bet they eat the same slop day in and day out for years and years. Businesses keep records of stuff like that. Individuals don't. The FDA spokesperson is probably setting us up for a whitewash and cover-up, hoping we'll fall for his invalid argument. Or at the very least for the likelihood that the industry is totally unregulated, held to little or no account, held to no standards of record keeping and animal tracking.

Of course the first thing out of Scott McClellan's mouth was that the President was about to pound down some beef.

My God, is there no one in the Bush administration that is not porking out on beef this week ?

The crucial question is, will we even be able to tell the difference when these twitchy, demented men come down with Mad Cow ?

I bet even that mass-pheasant-murdering Cheney is disobeying his cardiologist and having a few mandatory Republican patriot burgers. (Just double up on the Lipitor, Dick. The boys at Pfizer are looking out for you.)

"Porking" is, despite the mixedness of its metaphoricity, intentional. As Dr Greger points out, it's currently legal to feed cow brains and other offal to pigs. Pigs don't live long enough prior to slaughter to manifest prion brain disease. Chickens eat that stuff too. And pets. Is BSE something we really want to mess with ? Those prions are hardy motherfuckers. Not much kills them.

I remember back in the day (you know, when titans trod the earth) when I was in med school, I was memorizing obscure neurological diseases. For some reason -- probably its cool Euro eponym -- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease impressed me. Myoclonus, then increasing dementia, eh ? "I'm going to remember that," I vowed, "and someday I'm going to find a case."

Little did I know that, as time went on, nature, abetted by corporate and governmental greed and ignorance, would be working at serving me up just such a case.

On a platter.

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