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There is news this morning about how a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), better known as mad cow disease, was been discovered in a single California dairy cow in the state’s Central Valley. It is the first confirmed case of BSE since 2006 to be found in the US. One was a Canadian-born cow in 2003, one was a Texas cow in 2005, and the third was an Alabama cow in 2006.

Reuters reports that “the California dairy cow found to have mad cow disease had been euthanized after it became lame and started lying down, federal officials revealed in their latest update on the discovery. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also said Thursday that the animal was 10 years and seven months old.”

• The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that “US officials offered new reassurances that the nation's beef-production system was safe after Indonesia on Thursday suspended imports of American beef following the first reported case of mad-cow disease in the U.S. in six years.”

The story notes that “any move to restrict imports is sensitive to the U.S., which saw beef exports plunge after the first known case of mad-cow disease in the country was discovered in 2003, prompting bans by Japan and other countries that American officials and industry representatives spent years working to roll back.

“U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, speaking Thursday to reporters in Singapore, said ‘there is no reason for any consumer to be concerned about the consumption of U.S. beef,’ and echoed statements by the Agriculture Department that there is no sign that any meat from the affected animal has entered the meat supply.”

So far, the reaction has not been overwhelming. The story says that “Indonesia accounts for just 1.4% of U.S. beef exports, and the broader reaction has been muted. The top four U.S. beef buyers—Canada, Mexico, Japan and South Korea—haven't moved to curb imports, thanks in part to a rapid response by the federal government and beef-industry groups to assure foreign governments that U.S. beef is safe.”
KC's View:
I just hope that when I go lame and start lying down that they don’t decide to euthanize me...