In the wake of last month’s mad cow discovery in California, the Consumers Union has just publicly asked the USDA to ban several risky cattle feeding practices—specifically brains, blood, and poultry litter.
Agribusiness newspaper Feedstuff’s has a distorted take on things:
FDA currently prohibits such materials from older cows, but not from younger ones. The reason is that BSE has never been found in cattle of less than 30 months of age.
No, the reason is that the beef industry has insanely powerful lobbyists who convince the government to permit this kind of insanity.
Consumers Union Senior Scientist Michael Hansen says:
Beef slaughterhouse waste is fed to chickens, and a lot of the chicken waste then ends up being fed back to cattle. This should not be allowed, as we are turning cows into cannibals, the practice that started the mad cow problem in the first place.
Over the past year or two, we’ve seen food activists gain tremendous amounts of power—witness what happened earlier this year with pink slime. Just a few years ago, there’d be no chance that the Consumers Union could prevail in their request for far-reaching reforms in cattle feeding practices. But today they’ve got a real shot. And the reform they’re asking for, if enacted, would dismantle yet another important asset of animal agribusiness: in this case, the beef industry’s ability to feed cattle low cost, revolting, dangerous food.
The public’s no longer cool with any of that, and they finally understand what’s going on. Link.