Author Topic: American Steak? No thanks...  (Read 8078 times)

Devious Viper
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American Steak? No thanks...
« on: July 03, 2006, 11:37:47 AM »
Alarm over beef link to breast cancer
By SEAN POULTER, Daily Mail 22:01pm 2nd July 2006


Fears about eating beef from cattle pumped up with growth hormones have been raised by a government expert. John Verrall said there is alarming evidence it can trigger breast and other cancers, bring forward puberty in girls and increase the risk of genital abnormalities in boys.

Mr Verrall, a member of a Government advisory committee, is so concerned that he has defied an official attempt to gag him. He points to a rise in rates of breast and prostate cancer in the U.S.A., where two-thirds of cattle are treated with hormones.

The EU currently bans the use of growth or sex hormones to fatten up cattle and speed their maturity. It also forbids imports of American beef from the U.S. which is produced using an array of hormones.

But there are serious doubts whether the ban is being enforced, as there is no testing of imports for tell-tale hormone residue. In any case, the U.S. government, with the support of Tony Blair's administration, is trying to have the embargo lifted. The Government's Veterinary Products Committee is due to publish a report in the next few days which will declare that beef produced with hormones is safe.

This could clear the way for farmers in this country to use growth hormone injections and speed the lifting of the ban on imports of 'super-size' beef from the U.S. But Mr Verrall, a pharmaceutical chemist who was appointed to the VPC to represent consumer interests, has refused to sanction the all-clear. He wanted to publish a minority report to highlight the dangers, but the committee, supported by the food and farming department DEFRA headed by David Miliband, refused to allow it.

Despite this, Mr Verrall has decided to go public.

The suspect hormones are oestradiol, testosterone, progesterone, zeranol, trenbolone and melegesterol acetate.

Mr Verrall said: 'There is clear evidence of the risk to human health posed by these hormones.' He cited research showing that oestradiol is a cancer risk. Work by a highly-respected Danish university found that residues of oestradiol in treated beef were up to five times higher than the levels in other cattle.

The hormones can disrupt the natural balance in the body, with the danger of multiple biological effects. It has been claimed that eating treated beef may cause girls to reach puberty earlier, thus making them more susceptible to breast and other cancers in later life. For boys, there may be an increased risk of prostate cancer. The presence of powerful female hormones in the diet of pregnant women could effect the development of the genital organs of boys.

Mr Verrall said there is evidence of higher breast and prostate cancer rates in the U.S., where most consumers regularly eat beef from cattle injected with growth hormones. The rate of breast cancer among women in the U.S. is put at 97 per 100,000 (against 67 in Europe.)

Similarly the rate of prostate cancer in men is 96 in America and only 37 in Europe.

Mr Verrall said: 'Recent studies show that children are extremely sensitive to some hormones which can cause sudden growth or breast development, even at levels which are difficult to detect in the laboratory. It is now clear that very much smaller amounts of sex hormones in food than previously thought can cause genital abnormalities in baby boys, premature puberty in girls and increase the risk of some cancers later in life.

The British Veterinary Association also opposes the lifting of a ban on the use of growth hormones in this country.

It said last night that, given the health uncertainties, 'the European ban seems the safer route to follow, particularly as there is no need, other than economic gain, to use these hormones.'

The Food Standards Agency has also made clear that it would want a full safety review before the current ban on the use of such hormones by British farmers and others in Europe is removed.

The Soil Association last night condemned the VPC's attempts to gag Mr. Verrall as 'totally unacceptable.' Richard Young, policy adviser at the Soil Association, which supports organic farming, said the government's VPC had failed consumers by not properly assessing the latest research on hormone effects. He called for the resumption of testing of beef imports for hormone residues in order to ensure consumers are not eating potentially harmful meat.

Mr Young said: 'We are particularly concerned that no imported beef has been tested for oestradiol - or its metabolites. This serious failing must be addressed as a matter of urgency.'

He warned that the hormone testing regime for beef imports is probably no better in most of the other EU countries than it is in the UK.

Around 39 per cent of the beef eaten in Britain is imported. The bulk is from Ireland, but substantial quantities also come from Brazil and Argentina, where controls over drugs and hormones are not as strict.

Concerns over hormone residues

The imported meat is sold both fresh and processed into corned beef. Some supermarkets have been stocking fresh Brazilian beef and it is used widely in the catering and restaurant trade. There is also a concern that British consumers could be at risk from eating beef when taking holidays in the U.S. or other countries with comparatively lax controls.

*Hormones have been used extensively in the production of both beef and milk in the U.S. since the 1970s.

*They are essentially the male and female sex hormones - oestrogen (oestradiol), testosterone and progesterone - plus their synthetic equivalents.

*As many as two-thirds of cattle raised in the U.S are treated with these hormones, through either injections or implants.

*The effect of the drugs is to speed the animals' development and maturity.

*But there are concerns that hormone residues in the meat are having the same effect on people who eat it, with potentially disastrous consequences. American researchers have noticed that the onset of puberty in young girls has been moving forward in recent decades.

Carlos Sonnenschein, from Tufts University School of Medicine, in Boston, Massachusetts, said hormone residues appear to be the most likely cause. He warned: 'Early onset of puberty with its raging hormones translates into higher risk of breast cancer.'

An expert scientific panel to the US National Toxicology Program has also concluded that all forms of oestrogen should be listed as 'known cancer-causing agents'.

Shadowborn

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Re: American Steak? No thanks...
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2006, 03:18:56 PM »
If they don't want that steak just pass it this way, please. There are plenty of things you can add to your diet that reduce your risk of cancer which should help balance the equation; you can't say the same about mad cow disease...

Plus, it just tastes so damned good...

"It is no measure of health to be sane in an insane society." -- Krishnamurti

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." -- Galileo Galilei

DeadHead

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Re: American Steak? No thanks...
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2006, 04:08:32 PM »
In recent yrs I've begin to notice things in younger people The kids are maturing faster than 10 yrs ago. Its kind of freaky. But dam% if I don't love some beef,chicken, and other products derived from the before mentioned! :@0

Weirdelicious
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Re: American Steak? No thanks...
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2006, 04:13:05 PM »
I don't know if it's the same for Canadian beef...I hope not!  :cry:

DeadHead

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Re: American Steak? No thanks...
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2006, 04:17:04 PM »
Bovine goodness! You know what makes me mad. The fact that you have to pay double or triple the amount for natural or organicly grown products. :doh:

Weirdelicious
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Re: American Steak? No thanks...
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2006, 04:25:54 PM »
Bovine goodness! You know what makes me mad. The fact that you have to pay double or triple the amount for natural or organicly grown products. :doh:

Tell me about it!  :x

Devious Viper
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Re: American Steak? No thanks...
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2006, 03:08:21 AM »
you can't say the same about mad cow disease

Which is fortunately something we don't have in our beef herds anymore. I find it a little amusing though, when I hear other nationalities mention it in association with Britain - the thing is, we were the first nation to recognise it and own up to it existing in our herds. Most of Europe covered up their problems, and it is rife in American herds still, but the powerful US cattle ranchers lobby keeps it from being made public...

Shadowborn

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Re: American Steak? No thanks...
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2006, 09:47:06 AM »
you can't say the same about mad cow disease

Which is fortunately something we don't have in our beef herds anymore. I find it a little amusing though, when I hear other nationalities mention it in association with Britain - the thing is, we were the first nation to recognise it and own up to it existing in our herds. Most of Europe covered up their problems, and it is rife in American herds still, but the powerful US cattle ranchers lobby keeps it from being made public...

"Rife" is hardly the term I'd use. The disease only affects cattle which are genitically susceptible to it; it's not like you'll have an epidemic of BSE wiping out entire herds...if that were the case, all the lobbying in the world couldn't cover it up. There have been two reported cases in the last year and a half, one of which was in my own state, last winter. There was no lobby blocking my right to know, despite what you may think.

I think the problem is that people aren't informed of the disease themselves, and therefore reaction to it is overblown. Yes, it's a terrible disease, but you can't get mad cow from eating a steak. Ingestion of spinal or brain tissue is required to contract it, and large amounts at that. Here's some info:

Quote
In 1997 the United States banned materials that can possibly contain prions from cattle feed, while also eliminating these specified risk materials from the human food supply. This firewall feed ban, in place now for nearly seven years, ensures that BSE cannot spread through American herds the way it did in Europe, where such a feed ban did not occur until after mad cow disease had reached epidemic proportions.

Last December a dairy cow in Washington state was diagnosed with BSE, causing a flurry of media coverage and activity from groups trying to take advantage of what they saw as potential opportunity. Yet domestic beef consumption did not decrease in the wake of the discovery because American consumers seem to understand the truth about mad cow disease: there is no tangible risk of being infected from beef.

Only one animal, out of the 35 million slaughtered in the United States every year, has been infected with BSE. Even if more cases were to be discovered, the prions which cause BSE reside only in the central nervous system--the brain, spinal cord and other nervous tissue--which are not eaten by humans.

 The Washington State Holstein infected with mad cow disease was born in Canada, before the 1997 firewall feed ban implemented to block the spread of the disease. In Europe there were hundreds of thousands of infected animals, yet only 153 people have ever contracted the related form of the disease, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). The European experience with BSE provides ample evidence that the disease is not readily transmissible to humans. In the United States only one case of BSE has ever been found, largely because of the quick response of government and industry to the threat of the disease.

That response grew even stronger when it was discovered that mad cow disease had entered the U.S.
The Department of Agriculture banned the slaughter of "downed" cattle for human consumption, as the infected animal was not able to walk when it was sent to slaughter.
 

USDA will test more than five times more cattle for BSE in 2004 than it did in 2003. Meanwhile the Food and Drug Administration imposed even more stringent restrictions on livestock feed composition to reinforce already strong barriers against mad cow disease.
While American consumers continue to remain confident that the U.S. food supply is the safest in the world, several important export markets banned imports of U.S. beef immediately following the discovery of a single case of mad cow disease. Some of these countries, namely Japan, demand that every cow be tested for BSE. In a country that consumes as much beef as the United States, this would not only be a logistical nightmare, but largely unnecessary for several reasons.

Source: http://www.mad-cow-facts.com/about.htm
"It is no measure of health to be sane in an insane society." -- Krishnamurti

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." -- Galileo Galilei

Devious Viper
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Re: American Steak? No thanks...
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2006, 03:33:43 PM »
Ah. So soon?   

A Fox news watcher.

Right.

Sad to think I was misled to believe you knew what you were talking about.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2006, 03:35:22 PM by Devious Viper »

Shadowborn

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Re: American Steak? No thanks...
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2006, 07:19:19 AM »
Ah. So soon?   

A Fox news watcher.

Right.

Sad to think I was misled to believe you knew what you were talking about.

Was this a feeble attempt at ridicule and insult? Sounds like it to me...

Fox news? Please, give me a little credit. I'm no bleeding heart, but I'm much too free-thinking to believe that the tripe they grind out on Fox is actually "fair and balanced" reporting.

If you've any research or credible information to disprove my posting, then by all means, please present your counter-argument. Otherwise, I'm simply presenting my view and you're just sticking out your bottom lip and saying "Uh-uh!" That's not exactly a stellar counterpoint...  8-)
"It is no measure of health to be sane in an insane society." -- Krishnamurti

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." -- Galileo Galilei

Devious Viper
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Re: American Steak? No thanks...
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2006, 07:47:36 AM »
 :-D  :-D
You bit! It worked!  :lol:

Thin-skinned Yanks.  :lol:

First, from John Stauber, Executive Director, Center for Media and Democracy
520 University Avenue #227, Madison, WI 53703
Phone(608)260-9713 Fax260-9714 http://www.prwatch.org/

Quote
The idea that we have tested 80 million cattle, for instance, is ludicrous. The US testing system is pathetic, inadequate and secretive. We should be demanding that the USDA testing be opened to independent review, be massively expanded, and that information on all suspect animals including where they are from be made public and open to examination by independent scientists. Right now there is one word that best describes testing in the US: cover-up. We need to fight for the same standards of testing and animal feeding that are working in the UK, Europe and Japan. Anything else won't work anyway.

The industry and government PR/lobby campaign to manage public perceptions via the media and to keep the public believing that mad cow is not a problem in the US is succeeding, and is the main reason why we aren't making progress.

We need to constantly and loudly point out the failure of the US regulatory system, not mislead the public about false successes. BSE is spread throughout North America. Mad cow has been amplifying and spreading in North America for a decade. Allowing private testing and establishing the sort of government testing regimes that are working in other countries (UK, EU, Japan) would find the extent of the problem. The continued weaning of calves on cattle blood and fat, the continued feeding of cattle with blood, meat, bonemeal and fat from pigs, these are the issues we should be highlighting and addressing.

Your quote refers to "only one animal in 35 million" etc...

Quote from: Michael Gregor M.D.
It is not surprising that the U.S. has mad cow disease given our flaunting of World Health Organization recommendations. What is surprising, however, is that we actually found a case given the inadequacy of our surveillance program, a level of testing that Nobel laureate Stanley Prusiner, probably the world's leading expert on these diseases, calls simply "appalling." Europe and Japan follow World Health Organization guidelines and test every downer cow for mad cow disease; the U.S. has tested less than 2% of downers over the last decade! Most of the U.S. downer cows, too sick or injured to even walk, end up on our dinner plates.

In Canada, authorities were able to reassure the public that at least the downer cow they discovered infected with BSE--Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or mad cow disease--was excluded from the human food chain and only rendered into animal feed. U.S. officials don't seem to be able to offer the same reassurance, as the mad cow we discovered may very well have been ground into hamburger. How then, can the USDA and the beef industry insist that the American beef supply is still safe? They argue that the infectious prions that cause the disease are only found in the brain and nervous tissue, not the muscles, not the meat.

For example, on NBC's Today, USDA Secretary Veneman insisted "the fact of the matter is that all scientific evidence would show, based upon what we know about this disease, that muscle cuts -- that is, the meat of the animal itself -- should not cause any risk to human health. " The National Cattlemen's Beef Association echoed "Consumers should continue to eat beef with confidence. All scientific studies show that the BSE infectious agent has never been found in beef muscle meat or milk and U.S. beef remains safe to eat. " This can be viewed as misleading and irresponsible on two counts.

First, American do eat bovine central nervous system tissue. The United States General Accounting Office (GAO) is the investigative watchdog arm of Congress. In 2002, the GAO released their report on the weaknesses present in the U.S. defense against mad cow disease. Quoting from that congressional report, "In terms of the public health risk, consumers do not always know when foods and other products they use may contain central nervous system tissue... Many edible products, such as beef stock, beef extract, and beef flavoring, are frequently made by boiling the skeletal remains (including the vertebral column) of the carcass..." According to the consumer advocacy organization Center for Science in the Public Interest, spinal cord contamination may also be found in U.S. hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza toppings, and taco fillings. In fact, a 2002 USDA survey showed that approximately 35 percent of high risk meat products tested positive for central nervous system tissues.

The GAO report continues: "In light of the experiences in Japan and other countries that were thought to be BSE free, we believe that it would be prudent for USDA to consider taking some action to inform consumers when products may contain central nervous system or other tissue that could pose a risk if taken from a BSE-infected animal. This effort would allow American consumers to make more informed choices about the products they consume." The USDA, however, did not follow those recommendations, deciding such foods need not be labeled.

Even if Americans just stick to steak, they may not be shielded from risk. The "T" in a T-bone steak is a vertebra from the animal's spinal column, and as such may contain a section of the actual spinal cord. Other potentially contaminated cuts include porterhouse, standing rib roast, prime rib with bone, bone-in rib steak, and (if they contain bone) chuck blade roast and loin. These cuts may include spinal cord tissue and/or so-called dorsal root ganglia, swellings of nerve roots coming into the meat from the spinal cord which have been proven to be infectious as well. This concern has led the FDA to consider banning the incorporation of "plate waste" from restaurants into cattle feed. The American Feed Industry Association defends the current exemption of plate scrapings from the 1997 feed regulations: "How can you tell the consumer 'Hey, you've just eaten a T-bone steak and it's fine for you, but you can't feed it to animals'? " ...

... The discovery of a case of mad cow disease in the U.S. highlights how ineffective current safeguards are in North America. The explosive spread of mad cow disease in Europe has been blamed on the cannibalistic practice of feeding slaughterhouse waste to livestock. Both Canada and the United States banned the feeding of the muscles and bones of most animals to cows and sheep back in 1997, but unlike Europe left gaping loopholes in the law. For example, blood is currently exempted from the Canadian and the U.S. feed bans. You can still feed calves cow's blood collected at the slaughterhouse. In modern factory farming practice calves may be removed from their mothers immediately after birth, so the calves are fed milk replacer, which is often supplemented with protein rich cow serum. Weaned calves and young pigs also may have cattle blood sprayed directly on their feed to save money on feed costs. For more information on this and other risky agriculture practices please see http://organicconsumers.org/madcow/GregerBSE.cfm ...

...Despite these shortcomings, Secretary Veneman and Washington's governor both assured the public that they were still having beef for Christmas, reminiscent of the 1990 fiasco in which the British agriculture minister appeared on TV urging his 4-year-old daughter to eat a hamburger. Four years later, young people in Britain were dying from an invariably fatal neurogenerative disease called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease--the human equivalent of mad cow disease--which they contracted through the consumption of infected beef. With an incubation period up to decades long, no one knows how high the final human death toll will be.

Devious Viper
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Re: American Steak? No thanks...
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2006, 07:51:34 AM »
Quote from: U.S. Continues to Violate World Health Organization Guidelines for BSE
The United States is violating all four concrete recommendations laid down by the World Health Organization to prevent the spread of BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy), or Mad Cow disease, into the human population. Inadequate testing of the brains of U.S. cattle is likely missing hundreds of cases of BSE and inadequate testing of the brains of human dementia victims is likely missing hundreds of cases of the human spongiform encephalopathy, sporadic Creutzfeldt Jakob disease. New research suggests that some of these cases of the sporadic form of CJD may be caused by eating BSE-infected meat. Until we follow the guidelines set forth by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and enact science-based safeguards proven to work in Europe-such as a total ban on the feeding of slaughterhouse waste, blood and excrement to farmed animals, and dramatically increased surveillance for both these diseases-the safety of the American food supply will remain in question.

Devious Viper
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Re: American Steak? No thanks...
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2006, 07:54:03 AM »
Quote
The USDA misleadingly boasts they are surpassing international testing standards, when in actuality we have fallen way behind. The United States and Europe have similar cattle populations, for example, yet Europe tests almost a million cattle every month. France, which has only a fraction of the U.S. cattle population, tests more cattle in a single week then the U.S. has tested in a decade. According to Europe's latest annual report, Europe is testing cattle at a rate of almost two thousand times that of the United States. Nobel Laureate Dr. Stanley Prusiner, the world's foremost expert on prion disease, describes the number of tests done by USDA as "appalling." When asked what level of testing in the U.S. he'd be comfortable with, Prusiner replied, "I'd like to see every cow tested, just as they do in Japan."

Devious Viper
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Re: American Steak? No thanks...
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2006, 07:59:31 AM »
Quote from: USA Today AUGUST 2006
Creekstone Farms, a Kansas beef producer, wants to reassure customers that its cattle are safe to eat by testing them all for mad cow disease. Sounds like a smart business move, but there's one problem: The federal government won't let the company do it.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture  invoking an obscure 1913 law intended to thwart con artists from peddling bogus hog cholera serum to pig farmers is blocking companies from selling the testing kits to Creekstone.

USDA is doing the bidding of large cattle barons afraid that Creekstone's marketing will force them to do the same tests to stay competitive.

Not only is USDA blocking Creekstone, the department said last month that it's reducing its mad cow testing program by 90%. The industry and its sympathetic regulators seem to believe that the problem isn't mad cow disease. It's tests that find mad cow.

The department tests only 1% of the roughly 100,000 cattle slaughtered daily. The new plan will test only 110 cows a day.

By cutting back on testing, USDA will save about $35 million a year. That's a pittance compared with the devastation the cattle industry could face if just one human case of mad cow disease is linked to domestic beef.

The brain-wasting disease  known formally as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE  is extremely rare but extremely deadly.

Scientists don't know the exact cause of BSE but think it's spread when cows are fed ground-up parts of cattle and other cud-chewing animals. The government has tightened cattle-feed rules, but loopholes still permit cattle blood as a milk substitute and chicken waste as a protein supplement.

Canada has found four cows with BSE this year, and at least one was born after similar cattle feed rules were imposed that should have prevented the animal from being infected. Acting out of an abundance of caution, U.S. plans to increase Canadian beef and cattle imports have been put on hold until the new cases are investigated. That makes sense, but it's hard to justify cutbacks on U.S. testing at the same time we demand other nations provide greater assurances.

Sixty-five nations have full or partial restrictions on importing U.S. beef products because of fears that the testing isn't rigorous enough. As a result, U.S. beef product exports declined from $3.8 billion in 2003, before the first mad cow was detected in the USA, to $1.4 billion last year. Foreign buyers are demanding that USDA do more.

"In a nation dedicated to free market competition," says John Stewart, CEO of Creekstone, which is suing USDA, "a company that wants to do more than is required to ensure the quality of its product and to satisfy customer demand should be allowed to do so."

When regulators disagree with reasoning like that, you know the game is rigged.

Devious Viper
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Re: American Steak? No thanks...
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2006, 08:01:01 AM »
 :-P Too much Fox, I think  :lol: 

 :wink: