Filed Under: Big Fat Lies

Mad Cow: Let’s Get Real

  • Mad cow losing its bite
    Florida county health director on mad-cow threat: “Your risk is much higher from bacterial illness that’s spread from not washing your hands.”

  • USDA: Human Health Risk Small Even if More Mad Cow
    Senior USDA official: Even if more cases of mad cow disease are found in the United States, the public health risk remains “negligible.”

  • Harvard expert downplays mad-cow risk
    Mad-cow risk expert George Gray: “Our analysis, given what we knew, suggests the very important fact that the disease is not likely or virtually not going to catch on in the United States, and that even when it is introduced it will be eliminated.”

  • Where Now with Mad Cow?
    Syndicated columnist: “The public has refused to panic over the finding of a single mad cow in the U.S. And vegetarian groups, organic food lobbyists, animal rights organizations, and self-styled ‘consumer protection’ groups are, well, downright mad.”

  • People are ‘fully protected’
    Center for Global Food Issues: “America is highly unlikely to suffer even one human case of ‘mad cow’ disease. This was true even under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations that existed before the recent discovery of a lone mad cow in Washington state.”

  • Confronting Mad Cows and Other Risks
    Harvard risk-assessment experts: “Money, time, and attention applied to ‘panic button’ risks divert resources from greater risks. As a result, some exposed to greater risks will get sick or die. Mad cow disease displaced [the] flu from front pages. Yet flu will cause 20,000 to 30,000 or more deaths in the U.S. this year.

  • Mad Cow and Madder Organic Agriculture
    University of Houston professor: “If we are to learn anything from ‘mad cow,’ it is that our food production system is so safe that even the most minor threat can draw our attention.”

  • Straight talk on food safety
    UC Berkeley nutrition education specialist: “I don’t see myself buying into the idea that food has become unsafe. [The risk] is much less than your chances when playing the lottery. And I don’t play the lottery.”

  • Not Having a Cow Over Mad Cow. What Gives?
    Columnist Michael Fumento: “We’re not stampeding down the fear trail over the (exceedingly slim) possibility that deadly prions could one day turn our brains into mush. This is notwithstanding the valiant efforts of ‘organic beef’ and vegetarian groups, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), animal rights activists and even most of the Democratic presidential candidates to scare the cow droppings out of us.”

  • You can pry my hamburger out of my cold, dead fingers
    Virginia columnist: “I’m not likely to give up my burger any time soon … [I’m] ikely to start up a dangerous little Hamburger Club on the edge of town — with hot jazz seeping into the alley. One where you’d have to recite the ingredients of a Big Mac to get in. “

  • Cow brain sandwiches still on the menu
    The real Mad Cow odds: “Well, I haven’t won the lottery yet, so I don’t figure I’ll get that.”

  • Thoughts about mad cows
    U.S. Congressman: “America enjoys the most abundant, affordable and safe food supply in the world … In America, when we bite into a burger, we have high confidence that it is safe.”

  • Mad Cow Meat is No Threat to Students
    Washington school superintendent: “The chances of the disease being contracted by humans is so minute that it shouldn’t change the way we do things.”

  • Real World Economics: Mad Cows and Irrational Humans
    Minnesota economist: “Eating virtually any cut of beef today involves less danger than driving to work.”

  • The Miracle of American Agriculture
    National Review editor: “[A]ctivists hope for a food apocalypse, because they consider American agriculture an ongoing atrocity.”

  • Risks are Low, So Enjoy a Steak

    Kansas State professor: “[I]t makes no sense to alter routines and behaviors when confronted with a new but ridiculously low risk. Mad cow disease fits in this category.”

  • Mad cow Overreaction Ought to Make You Mad

    Oakland Tribune columnist: “Don’t eat beef. Don’t get on a plane. Don’t travel. Don’t leave the house. Maybe it’s time for a different way to defend ourselves: Don’t turn on the news.”

  • Mad cow Overreaction Ought to Make You Mad

    Scripps Howard columnist: “The chances of anyone in this country eating a beef product contaminated by mad cow disease is something like 1 in 10 billion, a federal agency has estimated.”

  • Mad Cow? The Chance Is Once in a Blue Mooo.
    The Washington Post: “Your chances of being harmed by [mad cow disease] are less than the chances of starring in the next Paris Hilton video.”

  • Mad Cow and the Media
    Harvard Center for Risk Analysis: “a large-scale threat to animals or humans is highly unlikely … We need more balanced journalistic coverage of this, and all risks”

  • Candidate Mooing
    Washington Post editorial: there is no “real evidence that America’s effort to prevent mad cow disease has failed”

  • Mad Cow Disease
    Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial: “what’s needed now are facts, and some sober discussion of costs and real — in this case, minimal — risks”

  • Don’t Have a Cow, Man
    Columnist: “Those fretting about mad cow probably think nothing of taking a bath (which kills 320 Americans a year), walking downstairs (which kills 1,421 Americans annually) or driving their car (which kills 42,000 of us each year).”

  • US shifts on mad-cow risk
    Center for Consumer Freedom: “Reputable scientists are saying in droves there’s no reason for alarm. Environmentalists and animal-rights nuts are saying the sky is falling. Who should we believe?”

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