- Free Essays, Term Papers & Book Notes

Cow Disaster

By:   •  Essay  •  516 Words  •  December 27, 2009  •  415 Views

Page 1 of 3

Join now to read essay Cow Disaster

OTTAWA (CP) - Canada's $8-billion mad cow disaster can be squarely attributed the failure of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to assess economic consequences of even a single infection, says a leading expert.


I'm a WomanMan seeking a ManWoman

Age: to Postal Code:

William Leiss of the University of Ottawa, who is also a past president of the Royal Society of Canada, said the CFIA assessed the risk of mad cow to animal health and human health, but not the risk of losing export markets. Yet Canada was party to an international agreement providing for a ban on exports from any country with even a single case of the disease. The policy was known as "one cow and you're out."

"What would be the economic impact of one or just a few cases of BSE (bovine spongiform encepalopathy) in the Canadian herd?" Leiss asked at a World Health Organization conference on risk management.

"We failed completely to manage or even to recognize this risk at our great cost."

He said Canada followed U.S. policies in adopting a minimal testing program. But Canada's risk profile is completely different from that of the United States.

At the time, Canada exported 75 per cent of beef production while the United States exported only 10 per cent. Losing export markets was not a serious problem for the Americans, he said.

"In food issues we are cursed with the political attitude that we've just got to be onside with the U.S. and nothing else matters."

He said the CFIA also followed the U.S. lead in making a half-hearted effort to stop recycling infected protein in ruminant food, which is widely believed to be the cause of mad cow disease.

Leiss said the CFIA ban on feeding proteins from ruminants to ruminants remains "full of holes."

Leiss said the United States conducted

Continue for 2 more pages »  •  Join now to read essay Cow Disaster and other term papers or research documents
Download as (for upgraded members)