Mad Cow Disease Hits U.S. With Fourth Confirmed Case

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April 25 2012 2:03 PM

Mad Cow Disease Hits U.S. With Fourth Confirmed Case

The mad cow jitters are back.

The first U.S. case of mad cow disease since 2006 has been discovered this week in a California dairy cow. Formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE, the sickness obliterated U.K. cattle populations in the 1980s and 90s, and was responsible for the deaths of 225 people worldwide after they ate contaminated meat.

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This is only the fourth case of mad cow in U.S. history, and authorities say they are confident that most U.S. beef is not contaminated.

But consumer watchdogs see the case as further proof that rules regarding feeding, in which rendered cow is fed to chicken and pork—which in turn is fed back to cows—need changing. Either way—it might be a good week to go vegetarian!

Video produced by Krishnan Vasuvedan.

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.

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