2nd Cow officially has BSE (Mad Cow)

Two weeks ago we talked about the possibility of a second U.S. cow having bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Today, that possibility became a reality as the English lab has confirmed that the cow had BSE.

Two things to note about this announcement.

1) We learn that the Western Blot test (The test that actually came back positive, as opposed to the other tests that came back as inconclusive and negative) was initially intentionally avoided. This begs the question “Why?”, especially when it was the Western Blot test that had pinged the first case of U.S. BSE back in December of 2003.

2) Unlike the case in 2003, this cow appears to have been born and bred in the US. We can’t blame Canada on this one.

Oh… and one last note…

U.S. cattle producers can probably get the idea of exporting beef to Japan out of their heads. I’d also short beef futures, if I were the investing type.

That being said, I’m still not going to avoid beef. I’m already avoiding the higher risk places that sell higher risked ground beef (such as your chain-supermarkets, or places that don’t have a butcher), and I don’t see the need for further change of behaviors…for now.

UPDATE: I’m betting Kansas Congresscritter Jerry Moran doesn’t have insider information at the USDA. Talk about your bad timing.


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