Tag Archives: Mad cow

Prions, organophosphates & mad cows

From Mark Purdey, in Acres USA:

ACRES U.S.A. What led you into your consideration of Mad Cow disease to your findings, which are somewhat at variance with the conventional wisdom?

PURDEY. It all started in 1984, appropriately, when I was visited by a British Ministry of Agriculture officer, who just suddenly appeared at my farm one morning and ordered me to treat my cows with these warble fly insecticides, which were systemic acting organophosphates. They came because I had fallen into a compulsory warble fly eradication zone after one of the neighboring farmers had an infestation of warble flies. But I said, look, I don’t want to use the systemic organophosphate compounds; my cattle haven’t got warbles, anyway; and I accused them of acting illegally, saying that they had no legal right to force farmers to use a chemical dressing, particularly one that belonged to a toxic organophosphate group. Largely my refusal to use these chemicals on my cows was based on intuition at that time, but as I started studying the science, I very rapidly realized that these chemicals were derived from military nerve gasses. Continue reading

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(Atypical?) Mad cow in California

From Michael Greger, M.D. in Civil Eats:

No wonder those cows are mad.

“The downer dairy cow recently found stricken with mad cow disease in California was infected with an “atypical” strain. Such cases are thought to arise spontaneously, a notion the USDA seized upon to explain how the disease could arise despite their regulations. If anything, that fact highlights the weaknesses in the current feed rules. Continue reading

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