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“Mad Cow”: Is the Media Milking an Overblown Threat?

OnPoint

Title

“Mad Cow”: Is the Media Milking an Overblown Threat?

On Point No. 94

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The recent confirmation of a new case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)—popularly known as “Mad Cow” disease—in Canada has led for calls to close the border once more to Canadian beef imports. Beef import restrictions are often justified by the assertion that BSE-infected cattle pose an unacceptable risk to human health, because of the alleged link between BSE and the fatal, incurable human brain disease variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD). However, a fair review of the evidence from Britain and France indicates that the threat to human health from BSE in the United States is minimal.