Press Release

Confused About Mad Cow?

Washington, DC – The best science available says, overwhelmingly, that mad cow disease poses near-zero risk to American consumers. Yet activists-many with hidden political or financial agendas-continue to promote needless food scare myths in order to frighten consumers. With a new full-page ad on the back cover of this week’s national edition of U.S. News & World Report, the Center for Consumer Freedom aims to shatter these myths and reveal America’s newest class of scaremongers.

At, readers can learn the latest about the mad-cow scare, get straight answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and see responses to the misinformation promoted by a rogues gallery of mad-cow alarmists including:

  • John Stauber — director of the anti-business Center for Media & Democracy, Stauber also sits on national advisory boards of the Organic Consumers Association and Center for Food Safety, groups whose stated goal is to drive consumers toward overpriced organic food options. Moments after the discovery of a single sick cow was announced, Stauber told CNN — without providing any evidence whatsoever — that “mad cow disease is spread throughout North America.” Back in 1996, Stauber claimed: “A major U.S. outbreak, with the potential to kill humans, is inevitable.” Stauber has also falsely claimed that mad cow disease “could migrate from cows to humans as a fatal dementia called CJD,” confusing “classic” Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) with its beef-related human “variant.” And most recently, Stauber has needlessly scared American consumers with his claim-despite science to the contrary-that blood-protein supplements fed to cattle can transmit mad cow disease.
  • Michael Greger — a vegetarian activist doctor and frequent speaker at animal-rights conventions. Greger recently wrote a laughable treatise for PETA, suggesting that SARS was the result of modern livestock farming. Greger has announced his intention to hit the lecture circuit in an effort to (in his own words) “keep hammering” the meat industry and “keep this momentum going.” Despite his obvious animal-rights bias, Greger continues to be quoted as an “expert” in media coverage of mad cow disease.
  • Ronnie Cummins — head of the Organic Consumers Association, Cummins has openly wished for a U.S. mad-cow epidemic, hoping it would fuel a “crisis of confidence” in American food similar to the one that he claims drove British consumers to expensive “organic” options. The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis has already determined that the risk from conventional American beef is “as close to zero as you can get,” but Cummins continues to claim that organic meat provides a special safety net. Cummins hopes that Americans will opt to pay 4 to 5 times as much for organic meat, insisting (without any proof) that the risk can somehow be brought even closer to zero.

    To request a high-resolution copy of the ad or to schedule an interview,
    contact Mike Burita at (202) 463-7112.

    The Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit coalition supported by restaurants, food companies, and consumers working together to promote personal responsibility and protect consumer choices. To learn more, visit

Founded in 1996, the Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choices. For more information, visit


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