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Voice: Who's watching the beef?

March 22, 2001

Kudos to McDonald's Corp. for demanding and auditing documentation of its beef suppliers adherence to federal feed restrictions.

I am appalled by the laissez faire attitude of our politicians and citizens regarding the potential "time bomb" known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease).

When the Purina Co. admitted to 14 instances of feed contamination in Texas, why was only one herd of cattle destroyed?

Do federal restrictions also include protein pellets that were fed to U.S. cattle?

Spongiform encephalopathy occurs in all animals that ingest this contaminated feed.

Known as wasting disease when found in deer and elk, it is estimated that 15 percent of all deer and elk in Wyoming and Colorado are infected (cases confirmed in Colorado 1981, Wyoming 1985 and recently in Nebraska).

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Bovine SE has been found in bone-meal fertilizer and could be in a plethora of items made from animal byproducts such as gelatin, vitamin supplements, lipstick, pet food, lotion, etc.

SE does not have any DNA or RNA in it's composition. Therefore, it is impossible to cure once you are infected.

It is so insidious that when incinerated at extremely high temperatures the ashes, which can be absorbed through nasal, eye or lung membranes, can cause one to become infected.

To all who dine in Mexicali … why haven't we heard what Mexico is doing to prevent SE in their country?

Bon appetit!

LINDA STEWART

El Centro

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