Mad Cow and Prions
By Randall Neustaedter OMD, LAc, CCH Published 07/18/2004
If you choose to eat beef, let it be only organic. Cattle are fed and treated with so many toxic products that their meat could literally kill you. Commercial beef is laden with numerous cancer-causing chemicals including pesticides, growth hormones, estrogen, antibiotics, worming medicines, vaccines, and their chemical constituents (mercury, antifreeze, aluminum, formaldehyde). Now we also have prions (pronounced pree-ons) in cattle from the US.
The lone case of mad cow disease discovered in Washington has led 29 countries to ban the import of US beef. More cases of the disease will invariably be reported, and contaminated meat may have already made its way into our food supply since cattle have not been tested for the disease in any significant numbers until this incident. Only four percent of "downed" cows (unable to walk and therefore dragged to slaughter) have been tested for mad cow disease. In Europe, 25 percent of cows meant for human consumption are tested; in Japan, all such cows are tested. Until now, just 1 in 1,700 cows have been tested in the United States.
Prions are simple abnormal proteins that kill cattle with mad cow disease, and also kill people if they ingest beef that contains these prions. The disease is spread when cattle are fed animal products that contain prions. This is the official explanation, which is disputed by some scientists who insist that no scientific study has ever documented the spread of mad cow disease through ingestion of prions by cattle or humans. Other theorists insist that organophosphate insecticides (Phosmet and Malathion in cattle and lice medications in humans) can deform prion molecules and cause the devastating nervous system disease.
Cows may ingest prions through beef or blood that is recycled into feed. Calves are routinely fed cattle blood protein, and cattle are fed chicken meal from chickens who have been fed ground up cattle. Prions cannot be destroyed by heat or radiation. They are virtually indestructible. Prions have been isolated from muscle tissue of infected rodents and humans, but not from beef.
Whether the dreaded diseases (known as spongiform encephalopthies, mad cow disease, and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans) are caused by cannibalistic cattle or cattle treated with dangerous insecticides, beef from organic cattle and cattle raised on completely natural feed without chemicals or animal byproducts are significantly safer.
My advice: Do not eat beef from commercial sources. Eat only beef from organic, grass fed, or vegetarian fed cattle, whose histories are capable of being traced by the butcher. Do not ever allow your children to eat beef in school lunch programs or at fast food restaurants until all cattle are tested for disease.
Something to keep in mind:
- The US government refuses to test American beef. Bear in mind the Beef industry is a huge contributor of the Republican party.
This is some pretty serious stuff. I have a roast in my freezer... and to be honest, I don't know if I can make it. I would love to read your comments, let me know what you think.