Some Mad Cow Stuff
May 21, 2013
This is a pretty detailed look at how BSE wormed its way into the Canadian cow herd. Don't worry. It's old news and it winds up pointing that the problem is, at worst, very rare.
And, in England, they still get the occasional case. But now it's being passed around ,not by beef, but by blood transfusions and medical procedures.
The toll of "closing" the border
Start this review of immigration policy with a read on how desperate immigrants are to get into the U.S. and then continue on to read a bit about Washington's effort to convince voters they are going to do something about it all. Oops. We mean "solve the problem."
Yak. Yak. The farm bill gets another hearing.
The full Senate is undergoing a debate on their version of the farm bill this morning. And yes, they are all paying full attention.
They're blaming the Brazos County e. Coli problem on ground beef
FSIS inspector takes the horse slaughter spotlight
Pollan does some germ gazing
Michael Pollan has a darned interesting piece in the latest edition of the New York Time's Sunday Magazine. He points out that lots of bacteria are important allies in mankind's survival. Here are links to the whole looooong article and a shorter piece in a later paper. The former is worth using a non-subscriber chit.
Gut bacteria that guard against E. coli
As if to reemphasize Pollan's point, these researchers indicate that the right bacteria--already in our guts--can protect us from the effects of E. coli
Good news from USDA
USDA researchers say they've found a way to greatly enhance the identification of FMD virus.
Everybody who has fire ants would like to find a way to eradicate them. Turns out crazy ants are doing just that. The trouble is, nobody wants crazy ants, either. Some recent coverage:
Fox: Crazy Ants Driving Out Fire Ants
Christian Science Monitor: The South Welcomes Crazy Ants
TAMU: Tawny "Rasberry" Crazy Ant
Offloading cattle in Tasmania
The downunderers are about as dry as the western U.S., apparently, and facing a fall and winter with "too little fodder." So they are "offloading," and facing a bad market as a consequence.
Tyson welfare panel
We suspect you'll hear more from these folks later.
Hard choice: Food safety or wildlife
The Nature Conservancy says that all the efforts to keep poop out of the vegetable fields in California is hampering biodiversity.
Flash: We're getting older every day
Of course this is not news to Kevin Spafford but there are a bunch of agricultural practitioners getting, politely put, "on up there."
Argentina government kills its beef industry
China's government is helping, too.
Protecting their oh-so-safe consumers from that nasty New Zealand stuff.