04 January 2004

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

Testing sick or slaughtered animals for mad cow disease (news articles, Jan. 1) is closing the door after the horse is out of the barn. The only way to protect our food supply is to ban the use of animals as food for other animals. Beef brains and lower intestines are not routinely sold for human consumption, but they are ground up for use in feed for other animals. It is still common practice to feed dead cattle to pigs and chickens and vice versa. Now that we have a case of mad cow confirmed, it is very possible that infected cow remains from this or other undetected diseased cows have already been fed to pigs and chickens. Consumers who feel safer switching from beef to pork or chicken are in for a rude awakening.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Jan. 1, 2004