Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, Or
“Mad Cow Disease”
This page is designed to provide information on Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
Due to the recent discovery of a “downer” cow in a Washington beef slaughter facility, ill with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, BSE, or commonly labeled as “Mad Cow Disease, we have put together some pertinent links to gain info on this food source threat. It has been discovered so far, that this cow was brought into the USA, from Canada, already infected. A brief description is contained here, with links to sites containing much more comprehensive information on this disease.

Scientists believe that BSE is caused by a small agent called a prion. A prion is neither a virus nor a bacterium, but instead is an infectious protein. These prions, or misshapen proteins, cannot be removed from meat by cooking or irradiation.

The animal disease is associated with a fatal brain-wasting syndrome in humans called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It gives the brain a spongelike appearance, there is no cure, and 154 people have died from it, mostly in Britain.

The Purdue Cooperative Extension Service has recently published “Mad Cow Disease: Is It a Threat to the U.S. Food Supply?” a publication that is available on Purdue AgCom.
Other Related Web sites:

Is Beef Safe? Exploding The Myth and Animal Rights Groups Scare Tactics
USDA BSE Web site
FDA BSE Web site
World Health Organization fact sheet on BSE
Scientific American Article
New Scientist articles on BSE
PBS documentary “The Brain Eater”:

As more details develop, we will add direct page information on identification signs, response steps, dead carcass handling, etc.
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