FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Mad Cow USA

by JOHN STAUBER

The US government’s elaborate cover-up of mad cow dangers in the United States has begun to unravel. Twenty-four hours after our successful protest with Organic Consumers Association of a US Department of Agriculture mad cow safety stunt in St. Paul, USDA Secretary Johanns was forced to admit that a cow tested last year and declared safe in fact DID have mad cow disease.

I’ve often charged that the USDA is hiding US cases of mad cow by using the wrong testing procedures and by failing to conduct food safety tests on millions of animals and this announcement proves it. USDA finally used the correct test – the Western Blot test – on this suspect animal and it has proven to be a case of mad cow disease.

Here at the Center for Media and Democracy we will continue to work hard on this issue until the US goes beyond lip-service and does what the EU countries and Japan have done: implement a science-based food-safety testing program that tests millions of cattle a year. And, the US must put in place a REAL “fire-wall feed ban” that would stop the current feeding of billions of pounds of blood, meat, bone meal, animal fat and poultry feces to cattle in the US. These on-going feed practices amplify and spread mad cow disease.

The US news media has mostly failed to expose mad cow risks in the US. Instead, as with so many other issues, the corporate media has become an echo chamber for industry and government, confusing the public into thinking that the correct steps have been taken.  The June 12  New York Times contains two relevant articles that I’ll use to make my point.

The New York Times article on mad cow disease refers (without mentioning names of us and other critics) to ongoing condemnation of US policies, something that Sheldon Rampton and I began in 1997 with our prescient book Mad Cow USA. Our book correctly predicted that mad cow disease would appear here because rather than take the steps necessary to stop it, government and industry were (and are) merely misleading the media and the public with spin and deception. The New York Times could and should run a front page expose’ revealing the gross failures of US animal feeding and testing policies and the ongoing risks they pose to both the US food and blood supply. But instead this New York Times article makes it sound like the USDA is behaving responsibly rather than engaging in an ongoing cover-up.

The second New York Times article looks at lobbyist Rick Berman’s PR front groups. Rick Berman fuels his pro-industry activism with millions of dollars from the food, booze and tobacco industries]. His major websites are Activist Cash and Consumer Freedom. The New York Times used our  SourceWatch website to research Berman and cites our exclusive report on his funding sources.

Berman’s front group has smeared and attacked us for years, as in this December 2003 news release: “Reckless activists including JOHN STAUBER are already using the USDA’s mad-cow disease announcement as a hook to create panic over America’s food supply. Minutes after USDA Secretary Ann Veneman’s Tuesday news conference, Stauber declared on CNN: ‘My presumption is that mad cow disease is spread throughout North America … There are more cases. No doubt about it.’ ”

At least Berman quoted me correctly. Typically his information is riddled with factual errors and out-of-context quotes but this time he got it right.

JOHN STAUBER works for the Center for Media and Democracy, a nonprofit organization based in Madison, Wisconsin. He is the co-author of Mad Cow USA.

 

John Stauber is an independent writer, activist and author.  His books include Toxic Sludge Is Good for YouMad Cow USA and Weapons of Mass Deception.  In 1993 he founded the Center for Media and Democracy to exposed corporate, political and media propaganda campaigns.  He retired from the Center in 2008.  http://www.linkedin.com/in/johnstauber.

More articles by:
June 30, 2016
Richard Moser
Clinton and Trump, Fear and Fascism
Pepe Escobar
The Three Harpies are Back!
Ramzy Baroud
Searching for a ‘Responsible Adult’: ‘Is Brexit Good for Israel?’
Dave Lindorff
What is Bernie Up To?
Thomas Barker
Saving Labour From Blairism: the Dangers of Confining the Debate to Existing Members
Jan Oberg
Why is NATO So Irrational Today?
John Stauber
The Debate We Need: Gary Johnson vs Jill Stein
Steve Horn
Obama Administration Approved Over 1,500 Offshore Fracking Permits
Rob Hager
Supreme Court Legalizes Influence Peddling: McDonnell v. United States
Norman Pollack
Economic Nationalism vs. Globalization: Janus-Faced Monopoly Capital
Binoy Kampmark
Railroaded by the Supreme Court: the US Problem with Immigration
Howard Lisnoff
Of Kiddie Crusades and Disregarding the First Amendment in a Public Space
Vijay Prashad
Economic Liberalization Ignores India’s Rural Misery
Caroline Hurley
We Are All Syrians
June 29, 2016
Diana Johnstone
European Unification Divides Europeans: How Forcing People Together Tears Them Apart
Andrew Smolski
To My Less-Evilism Haters: A Rejoinder to Halle and Chomsky
Jeffrey St. Clair
Noam Chomsky, John Halle and a Confederacy of Lampreys: a Note on Lesser Evil Voting
David Rosen
Birth-Control Wars: Two Centuries of Struggle
Sheldon Richman
Brexit: What Kind of Dependence Now?
Yves Engler
“Canadian” Corporate Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
Return to the Gilded Age: Paul Ryan’s Deregulated Dystopia
Priti Gulati Cox
All That Glitters is Feardom: Whatever Happens, Don’t Blame Jill Stein
Franklin Lamb
About the Accusation that Syrian and Russian Troops are Looting Palmyra
Binoy Kampmark
Texas, Abortion and the US Supreme Court
Anhvinh Doanvo
Justice Thomas’s Abortion Dissent Tolerates Discrimination
Victor Grossman
Brexit Pro and Con: the View From Germany
Manuel E. Yepe
Brazil: the Southern Giant Will Have to Fight
Rivera Sun
The Nonviolent History of American Independence
Adjoa Agyeiwaa
Is Western Aid Destroying Nigeria’s Future?
Jesse Jackson
What Clinton Should Learn From Brexit
Mel Gurtov
Is Brexit the End of the World?
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Alabama Democratic Primary Proves New York Times’ Nate Cohn Wrong about Exit Polling
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail