Tuesday, December 23

Gather 'Round The Christmas Tofu

U.S. Cow Positive For Mad Cow?

The first-ever U.S. case of mad cow disease is suspected in a single cow in Washington state, but the American food supply is safe, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said Tuesday.

"We remain confident in the safety of our food supply," said Veneman.

She told a news conference that a single Holstein cow that was either sick or injured — thus never destined for the U.S. food supply — tested presumptively positive for the brain-wasting illness.

Mad cow disease, known also as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, is a disease that eats holes in the brains of cattle. It sprang up in Britain in 1986 and spread through countries in Europe and Asia, prompting massive destruction of herds and decimating the European beef industry.

"This incident is not terrorist-related," Veneman said Tuesday. "I cannot stress this point strongly enough."
But the recent spate of cow-tipping in the Pacific Northwest might be. Stay vigilant.