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The Great Mad Cow Coverup


The hot news has died. But Mad Cow Disease is still with us. That lone cow in Washington State found in December to have been infected with the dreaded disease appears to only be the tip of a massive iceberg that is slowly being exposed while the national media runs in another direction.


It is my personal belief that a lot of innocent people are dying right under our noses, from brain diseases that go under numerous names ranging from a variety of strains of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and Alzheimer's disease that are all forms of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or Mad Cow Disease. The disease also has been found in sheep, deer, elk, cats and even birds that feed on parts of other animals. They all appear caused by the maverick protein, or prion that comes from eating the meat of infected animals.


Testimony by Dave Louthan, the slaughter house worker who destroyed the Washington animal and sent parts of its brain into a government laboratory for testing, says he believes there is a big cover-up by the American beef industry, that controls the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Louthan says we were lied to about that particular cow, and about the USDA's promise to do more testing of "downer" cattle.


Louthan said in a recent interview on Whitley Strieber's Dreamland radio talk show that the sick cow was not a downer. It arrived at the slaughter house on a truck with other cows that were so sick they could not stand, but this cow was standing and walking around. He said it appeared to be a healthy cow except that it had difficulty walking.


Louthan said the USDA's order that all "downer" cows be tested virtually assures cattlemen that no more cases of Mad Cow Disease will be found in the U.S., at least for a while. But he believes the disease is rampant and purposefully being ignored because of the money that could be lost once the truth is known.


Louthan said the government's order for cow brains and spines to be separated from the rest of the meat also is a myth. Once killed, cows are cut in two parts by large circular saws that sever the animal right at the spine. Thus they produce two "halves" of beef. As the blade cuts through the spine, it spreads blood and all of the spinal tissue, from where the deadly prions are thought to lurk, throughout the rest of the meat.


He said that because of the way the animals are slaughtered and cut into meat parts, he believes that there is no part of the cow that can be considered safe if they are in that spine at the start of the processing.


For a long time now, scientists have separated the standard "sporadic" form of CJD that infects humans with a "variant" form of CJD that identifies as BSE in cattle and a few people believed to have been infected by eating prion infected beef. They have been assuring us that beef in the United States is safe because we have had no cases of variant CJD in humans. We have sporadic CJD, however.


Hunters who eat deer and elk are starting to die of the sporadic CJD. A few years ago I read about two meat cutters in Florida who both died of sporadic CJD.


Now Italian researchers have found a strain of BSE that mimics sporadic CJD. Not only this, but the researchers discovered that in addition to the holes the disease causes to develop in the brain, two out of eight infected cows studied had an accumulation of amyloid plaque in their brains.

This is very significant. Amyloid plaques are round dark clumps of sticky protein that occur in human Alzheimer patients.

The new form of BSE is so different the discoverers have named it bovine amyloidotic spongiform encephalopathy, or BASE, for now. The strain is so similar to the sporadic CJD and the human Alzheimer diseases that there is strong suspicion that a link exists.


Of course, science, by its very nature, takes a cautious approach to all new discoveries. Years of more testing and study will be involved before anybody is going to say that infected meat is the cause of these two terrible brain destroying diseases.


The two infected Italian cows were healthy at the time they were slaughtered. One was 15 years old and the other was 11. The infected brain cells were discovered because Italy tests all cattle over 30 months old if slaughtered for human food.


America tests only the downer cows, and if Mr. Louthan is to be believed, we probably wont find another case of Mad Cow Disease in American livestock for a long time. Mad Cows don't fall down, he says. They go crazy and stagger around. But they usually stay on their feet.


What Louthan is telling us that the Beef Industry and the USDA have issued orders to turn a blind eye to the problem. They refuse to look for Mad Cow Disease in America because they know they will find it.

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