Mad Cow Found in California … Because Cows Are Being Fed Blood, Animal Parts and Feces

MAD COWImage by William Banzai

Cows Being Fed Blood, Animal Parts and Feces … So More Cases of Mad Cow Are Guaranteed

A central California cow tested positive for mad cow disease.

As we’ve previously noted, the government’s policy is ensuring additional cases of mad cow:

The government is so protective of the current model of industrial farming that private citizens such as ranchers and meat packers are prohibited from testing for mad cow disease, and even investigating factory farming may get one labeled as a terrorist, even though a paper in the American Society of Microbiology’s newsletter mBio shows that overuse of antibiotics by factory farmers creates “superbugs”.

And the government allows cows to be fed animal parts, which causes mad cow:

[Cows] are fed parts of other animals, which can give them mad cow disease.

Well-known food writer (and meat-lover) Michael Pollan gave a must-read account of modern beef practices in the New York Times in 2002:

[T]he identical industrial logic — protein is protein — led to the feeding of rendered cow parts back to cows, a practice the F.D.A. banned in 1997 after scientists realized it was spreading mad-cow disease.

Make that mostly banned. The F.D.A.’s rules against feeding ruminant protein to ruminants make exceptions for ”blood products” (even though they contain protein) and fat. Indeed, my steer has probably dined on beef tallow recycled from the very slaughterhouse he’s heading to in June. ”Fat is fat,” the feedlot manager shrugged when I raised an eyebrow.

F.D.A. rules still permit feedlots to feed nonruminant animal protein to cows. (Feather meal is an accepted cattle feed, as are pig and fish protein and chicken manure.) Some public-health advocates worry that since the bovine meat and bone meal that cows used to eat is now being fed to chickens, pigs and fish, infectious prions could find their way back into cattle when they eat the protein of the animals that have been eating them. To close this biological loophole, the F.D.A. is now considering tightening its feed rules.


”When we buy supplement, the supplier says it’s 40 percent protein, but they don’t specify beyond that.” When I called the supplier, it wouldn’t divulge all its ”proprietary ingredients” but promised that animal parts weren’t among them. Protein is pretty much still protein.

Dr. Michael Greger notes at Huffington Post:

Though some dairy farmers still wean calves on whole milk, the majority of producers use milk replacer, which too often contains spray-dried cattle blood as a cheap source of protein.According to the American Protein Corporation, which boasts to be the world’s largest spray-dryer of blood, the chief disadvantage of blood-based milk replacer is simply its “different color.”


Stanley Prusiner … won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery of prions, the infectious proteins that cause mad cow disease. He was quoted in the New York Times as calling the practice of feeding cattle blood to young calves “a really stupid idea,” because it could complete the “cannibalistic” circuit blamed for the spread of the disease.

The European Commission also recommended against the practice of “intraspecies recycling of ruminant blood and blood products” — the practice of suckling calves on cows’ blood protein. Even excluding the fact that brain matter may pass into the trough that collects the blood once an animal’s throat is slit, the Commission report concluded a decade ago that “[a]s far as ruminant blood is concerned, it is considered that the best approach to protect public health at present is to assume that it could contain low levels of infectivity.” Since then, evidence that blood can be infectious has only grown, yet dairy calves in the United States are still drinking up to three cups of “red blood cell protein” concentrate every day.

Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration initially proposed to ban the feeding of blood and blood products to livestock, the agency ended up reneging on their much touted promise. Let’s hope that the newly reported case of mad cow disease in a California dairy cow will renew interest in closing the loopholes in feed regulations that continue to allow the feeding of slaughterhouse waste, blood and manure to farm animals in the United States.

In a second article, Greger writes:

More than a decade ago, the World Health Organization called for the exclusion of the riskiest bovine tissues — cattle brains, eyes, spinal cord and intestine — from the human food supply and from all animal feed to protect against the spread of mad cow disease. Unfortunately, the United States still allows the feeding of some of these potentially risky tissues to people, pigs, pets, poultry, and fish. Cattle remains are still fed to chickens, for example, and the poultry litter (floor wastes that include the feces and spilled feed) is fed back to cows. In this way, prions — the infectious proteins that cause mad cow disease — may continue to be cycled back into cattle feed and complete the cow “cannibalism” circuit blamed for the spread of the disease.

[T]he U.S. cattle industry may feed as much as a million pounds of poultry litter to cattle each year. A thousand chickens can make enough waste to feed a growing calf year-round. Although excrement from other species is fed to livestock in the United States, chicken droppings are considered more nutritious for cows than pig feces or cattle dung.

A single cow can eat as much as three tons of poultry waste a year, yet the manure does not seem to affect the taste of the subsequent milk or meat.


Cows are typically not given feed containing more than 80% poultry litter, though, since it’s not as palatable and may not fully meet protein and energy needs.


When the Kansas Livestock Association dared to shine the spotlight on the issue by passing a resolution urging the discontinuation of the practice, irate producers in neighboring states threatened a boycott of Kansas feedyards.

Maybe this new case of mad cow disease will reinvigorate consumer campaigns to close the “no-brainer” loopholes in feed regulations that continue to allow the feeding of such filthy feed to farm animals.

This is yet another example of companies engaging in crazily unsafe activities which put us all at risk … just to save a couple of bucks.

Of course, meateaters assume we are eating a wholesome food which doesn’t contain prions, chicken body parts … or feces.  As former United States Department of Agriculture scientist Gerald Zirnstein pointed out recently in a related context:

It’s economic fraud … It’s a cheap substitute being added in.

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  • Considering the cow was in California, it could’ve been radioactive AND mad!

    • Ravyn

      WTF does that mean you ignorant idiot…STFU!!

      • Doiiiiii!

        There you go Boodiba – as you said, radioactive and MAD! Must be a liberal-thing!


  • Mad cow disease is a form of dementia.

    Prions also cause human dementia, “Kuru”, when brains of human ancestors are cooked and eaten by their descendants. These prion entities are most likely machines, which makes them stranger than bacteria, because antibiotics are made to war against biotic entities.

  • Actually, BSE is caused by toxic overload and mineral deficiency, not by feeding animals blood and bone meal, which has now been replaced by soy protein. I believe that this is part of the bait and switch with BSE.

    The late Mark Purdey demonstrated that BSE in Britain was caused by government mandated organophosphates which cause prior production from, as I said, toxic overload and mineral depletion, leading to abnormal protein formation.

    Details of Mark’s work can be found at this url

    and at

    The truth is that cows consume lots of animal fats in their natural diet through the thousands of insects they eat whilst grazing. The diet of a confinement cow therefore needs some protein added to the diet. Whilst some may baulk at the idea of blood and bone meal added to feed, believe me, the situation is far worse when you start adding GMO soy as an alternative protein source.

    Of course, the real solution is to have cows out on the fields, eating green grass in the sunshine.

    • The Washington Blog post we are commenting on concluded:

      Of course, meateaters assume we are eating a wholesome food which doesn’t contain prions …”

      Trying not to be picky, your statement is not exactly on point, you may have glossed over the nature of prions:

      Kuru is an extremely rare form of dementia … like … mad cow disease … [it] was the first transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (prion disease) discovered in humans … involved eating the brain of the dead to show respect in mourning.”

      (Hypothesis: Microbes Generate Toxins of Power). I doubt that anyone will deny that antibiotics are directed toward biotics.

      I assert that prions are not biotic (not organic, bacterial, not life).

      If prions are abiotic, then the antibiotics will fail, and the prion diseases of dementia may spread.

      You concluded:

      Of course, the real solution is to have cows out on the fields, eating green grass in the sunshine.

      No doubt about that! Agreed!

  • You quoted this,

    “Maybe this new case of mad cow disease will reinvigorate consumer campaigns to close the “no-brainer” loopholes in feed regulations that continue to allow the feeding of such filthy feed to farm animals….”

    But, when I heard this story on the TV, the narrater said that the fact that this cow was found and is now being isolated, proves that the current proceedures for protecting the public from prion disease is effective. It’s doing its job.

    There was no hint or suggestion that there is now any weakness in the current system.

    There would therefore be no need, or desire, felt by the public for any changes or reforms in the meat production processes.

  • gozounlimited

    Hanford California and Coalinga California are synonymous when it comes to animal disease and abuse…..Feedlot- Coalinga California …. see video:
    Animal rights activists claim credit for Harris Ranch fire | See Video …
    Do You Know Where your Beef Comes From?

    Passersby on I-5 may hit the accelerator and avert their eyes in an attempt to avoid looking at the horrific sight, but they cannot outrun the putrid stench of disgrace that assaults their senses and lingers on long after the cattle fade from view. This cannot be ignored.

    It’s a sickening scene. I can still feel the bile rising in my throat as I hasten to pass. Anyone who has traveled past Harris Ranch can relate to what I’ve described. It was this feedlot and its unforgettable odor that inspired author Michael Pollan to writeThe Omnivore’s Dilemma, his renowned treatise on modern-day factory farming.

    Can they actually believe that the cattle crowded into stinking pens standing on compacted refuse, spending their last months without a shred of grass in sight, are part of a livable environment worth touting? Do their families actually live anywhere within olfactory distance of this place?

    read more:

    • gozounlimited

      The mad cow came from a dairy …. right ….. a small dairy is infected when hundreds of beef on a nasty feedlot (in Hanford/Coalinga) are pristine? I don’t think so … no compute! When the authorities give us the name of the dairy (which they refuse to do) …. we can get to the bottom of this.

      • gozounlimited

        Mad cow disease news, articles and information:

        U.S. meat supply widely contaminated with mad cow disease prions
        2/21/2012 – Mad cow disease is a progressive brain-wasting disease. It is caused by a type of defective protein known as a prion and cannot be cured. The factory farming practices of feeding animals the nervous tissue of other animals first caused the ballooning spread of mad cow disease and created the current…

        New study finds that mad cow disease can be transmitted through the air
        1/20/2011 – A shocking new study has found that mad cow disease can be transmitted through the air. Prior to the study, it was believed that humans could only be infected through consumption of food products from infected cows, contaminated surgical instruments or blood transfusions. The new findings raise serious…

        Mad Cow Disease in the USA: Understand Prions, Part II
        6/10/2010 – Prions have been known by many scientists for many years. They are believed to cause disease by triggering an immune response when they enter an animal or human body. In 1997, Stanley Prusiner, MD, won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of prions, an acronym for proteinaceous infectious particles….

        Mad Cow Disease in USA: Profits Take Priority, Part I
        6/9/2010 – On March 10, 2010, seventy-six organizations representing millions of Americans sent a letter to the USDA asking for greater protection against cows with bovine spongiform encephalopathy or mad cow disease entering the US from Canada. This letter was sent after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed,…

        Mad cow disease prions capable of evolution, even without DNA
        3/1/2010 – The Scripps Research Institute has published a study in the journal Science alleging that prions, lifeless protein particles that are believed to cause serious brain diseases, are able to mutate and develop resistance to drugs in the same way that bacteria and other living things do. Associated with…

        Mad People Create Mad Cow Disease, Part II (Opinion)
        12/14/2009 – In Part 1, we talked about the “don`t look, don`t find” policy of the “mad people” that profit from selling diseased or non-diseased dead cow body parts. Let`s look at this further. Since 1996, the World Health Organization has recommended that all countries remove beef products containing spinal…

        Mad People Create Mad Cow Disease, Part I (Opinion)
        11/26/2009 – The issue of mad cow disease is an issue of utmost importance to anyone that consumes cow bodies on a regular basis. Of equal importance are the “mad” people that profit considerably by not testing for mad cow disease. In articles that appeared in the Honolulu Advertiser it was clear that under the…

        Learn more: mad cow disease news and articles

        • gozounlimited

          Mad Cow Disease May Infect Through Milk Despite USDA Claims

          Following the latest confirmed case of mad cow disease in California, the USDA and the dairy industry alike are struggling to assure consumers that drinking affected milk poses no serious risk to your health.

          Despite these warnings, some scientists have found research that points to the contrary. In fact, two large studies found that prions — pathogenic agents associated with mad cow disease and other life-threatening conditions — can actually transfer from animal to animal via milk consumption.

          One such study, performed by a conglomerate of French, Norwegian, and British researchers, actually observed the presence of prions in sheep milk – the very prions that the USDA says cannot inhabit US dairy. Shockingly, this peer-reviewed study was published back in 2008 in the journal PLoS Pathogens. Why has the USDA not spoken of this study, or even the second study that reached similar conclusions?

          Read more »

  • CathyDC

    And yet the FDA spends its efforts persecuting Amish dairy farmers who are trying to produce a healthy, raw milk product for the growing market of people who realize how perverted “Big Dairy” has become … because, the FDA is controlled by Big Dairy. Nothing like having the fox watch the hen house!

    • gozounlimited

      Exactly ….!

  • Martin

    I suggest that at the passing of our loved ones diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimers we order an autopsy including brain tissue analysis. Unfortunately a brain biopsy is the only test currently available to confirm a diagnosis of vCJD. (A blood test for the living is being developed and expected fairly soon.)

    Most relatives are only too relieved when their demented loved one finally passes and do not really want to consider this procedure. But what would we as consumers do if we were to find out that a significant percentage of diagnosed dementia patients had the vCJD?

    I understand that the heat of a grill or oven cannot destroy prions from the contaminated steak that was cooked just before your fish, chicken or vegetables!

    I don’t know about you, but only air and water is not enough for me………….

    • Ventureshadow

      Prion dementia has a very different course and appearance from the common dementias (Alzheimers, Lewy Body, vascular, frontotemporal). It is so different there is no room for confusion. There may be plenty to worry about but not this.

      • Martin

        Well your comment would be true if the prion disease proceeds normally (rapidly), all patients get a through workup (which is medically rather expensive) and there weren’t new prion variants being discovered, etc.

        Since hardly any US physicians have seen this disease in their offices, do you really think they could diagnose a prion disease if it stumbled in?

        I personally feel that there have not been adequate numbers of diagnosed patients with the various known new prion diseases in humans so that proper studies can be performed and the disease(s) better understood. If I remember correctly it was just a handful of years ago that European researchers discovered that there was a second prion variant in cows. Wow… what a surprise! Now we have type A and B…. will there be a C, D……?

        On the other hand I have read were clinicians can be easily confused due to the overlap of dementia symptoms. Have you ever observed an eeg or brain MRI on a dementia patient? Not all that easy. Have you ever visited any of the middle to lower income private nursing homes? If you had you would know that most of these people get at best visits from a nurse who works for a mobile health care company as they wait to pass. Doctor or hospital visits are for emergencies. Have you ever been to a busy medicare office where the physician has very limited time (maybe a few minutes of contact) and knows he can’t order all the “ideally needed” tests? Do you have any personal experience with a loved one diagnosed with a dementia and what an effort it is for each “regular” office visit? I have!

        Do you think the coroners in this country have the time to pour over reams of medical information (if it exists or is available) to document the exact cause of death on the death certificate or do they just use their best judgement from what information they have? (I really do not personally know, but I suspect they are limited by time and money.)

        Do we really know how many people (and animals) carry this disease? I suppose we will know more if and when the British blood test becomes available for use on large populations. Hopefully it will turn out as our government agencies currently state….. “US beef is safe…. keep buying!”

  • Ventureshadow

    The cow with BSE can not possibly be the only one. This is because mass production methods were used. Dozens if not thousands of other cows were exposed to everything that cow was exposed to.

    The ban on testing for BSE has been going on for years. This ban itself convinced me to quit eating mammals.

  • OHHHH. This couldn’t get any scarier. Invasion from inner space! Brains degenerating into mush caused by invisible minute infective agent!Worse than any sci-fi writer’s nightmare scenario. But this is real! Time to pay more for beef, etc. if the feed cost is the issue, to reduce our exposure. hypnohotshot

  • Ravyn

    All you idiot vegans, vegetarians and animal rights buffoons can laugh and complain and cry all you want but unless you are eating a STERILE ORGANIC diet, and even then there are no guarantees, then your food is more than likely being fertilized by these same cows and farm animals…so whether you like it or not your getting exposed to all the same cooties as the meat eaters. Your FOOLS if you think otherwise!
    Taken from Science Clarified/Organic Farming “In contrast, organic farmers try to increase soil fertility by increasing the organic matter in the soil. They do so by adding the dung and urine of animals (which contains both organic matter and large concentrations of nutrients), by plowing under growing or recently harvested plants (such as alfalfa or clover), or by adding compost or other partially decomposed plants. These methods rely more heavily on renewable sources of energy and materials rather than on nonrenewable materials and fossil fuels.”

    • The dung and urine of animals only contain any contaminants that go into those animals. No garbage in, no garbage out.

      Keep the animals healthy, with good water and good food, and their dung and urine are not an issue, especially if left for a long time in heaps, for the microbes to work on, before applying them to soil.

      I would agree that non-animal, vegetable organic matter is better though, for developing soil enhancements.

      I use zero chemicals anywhere, nor fertilizers, only vegetable organic matter, and the plants, trees, and flowers thrive.

  • kaara

    Ugh! I get it….no more meat unless it’s grass fed and hormone free! This is disgusting and sickening!

  • flounder9

    Sunday, August 26, 2012

    Detection of PrPSc in peripheral tissues of clinically affected cattle
    after oral challenge with BSE

    Saturday, August 4, 2012

    Final Feed Investigation Summary – California BSE Case – July 2012


    Summary Report BSE 2012

    Executive Summary

    Saturday, August 4, 2012

    Update from APHIS Regarding Release of the Final Report on the BSE
    Epidemiological Investigation

    in the url that follows, I have posted

    SRM breaches first, as late as 2011.


    2007, when they ceased posting them.



    Friday, May 18, 2012

    Update from APHIS Regarding a Detection of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
    (BSE) in the United States Friday May 18, 2012

    Thursday, August 12, 2010

    Seven main threats for the future linked to prions

    First threat

    The TSE road map defining the evolution of European policy for protection
    against prion diseases is based on a certain numbers of hypotheses some of which
    may turn out to be erroneous. In particular, a form of BSE (called atypical
    Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy), recently identified by systematic testing in
    aged cattle without clinical signs, may be the origin of classical BSE and thus
    potentially constitute a reservoir, which may be impossible to eradicate if a
    sporadic origin is confirmed. ***Also, a link is suspected between atypical BSE
    and some apparently sporadic cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. These
    atypical BSE cases constitute an unforeseen first threat that could sharply
    modify the European approach to prion diseases.

    Second threat


    EFSA Journal 2011 The European Response to BSE: A Success Story

    This is an interesting editorial about the Mad Cow Disease debacle, and
    it’s ramifications that will continue to play out for decades to come ;

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    EFSA Journal 2011 The European Response to BSE: A Success Story


    EFSA and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
    recently delivered a scientific opinion on any possible epidemiological or
    molecular association between TSEs in animals and humans (EFSA Panel on
    Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) and ECDC, 2011). This opinion confirmed Classical
    BSE prions as the only TSE agents demonstrated to be zoonotic so far but the
    possibility that a small proportion of human cases so far classified as
    “sporadic” CJD are of zoonotic origin could not be excluded. Moreover,
    transmission experiments to non-human primates suggest that some TSE agents in
    addition to Classical BSE prions in cattle (namely L-type Atypical BSE,
    Classical BSE in sheep, transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) and chronic
    wasting disease (CWD) agents) might have zoonotic potential.


    2011 Monday, September 26, 2011

    L-BSE BASE prion and atypical sporadic CJD

    Saturday, March 5, 2011


    Saturday, October 6, 2012

    ENCEPHALOPATHIES 2011 Annual Report
    kind regards,

  • Thomas Anderson

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