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ok, i have two questions. both serious, so please help. 1) what is the deal with mad cow disease, and should i avoid beef while in ireland? 2) WHY am i the ONLY ONE who is not getting the updated site? mine is the same old fodors?

ok, i have two questions. both serious, so please help. 1) what is the deal with mad cow disease, and should i avoid beef while in ireland? 2) WHY am i the ONLY ONE who is not getting the updated site? mine is the same old fodors?

Old Jan 24th, 2001, 11:08 AM
Posts: n/a
There was a disturbing article on this in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. Evidently the UK government stopped the export of meat and bone meal containing potentially contaminated materials (it's the central nervous system tissues in infected cattle - brain and spinal cord) to other EU countries in 1991, but allowed shipments to the rest of the world, notably Asia, until 1996. In the meantime, Britain allowed the export of live cattle to all sorts of places, including the EU, the US, and all over, sending 3.2 million head to "all continents." BSE cases (cattle) have been reported in Canada, the middle east, and in the Falkland Islands (probably they wanted a switch from lamb) which may have come through these live exports.

Meanwhile, production and export of the same meal continued in other EU countries until this month, and the inclusion of the brain and spinal tissues was allowed until last October. That export, too, has gone all over the world. Maybe some of the descendents (or the principals) of the imported ex-British cattle were included in this production. Euros need to watch out for high horses on this one, especially the French agriculture minister who blames the British for all the troubles.

British beef dangerous? I'd bet it's safer than most. Whether or not you eat any food product is an individual choice, being informed is a crucial element in forming your preferences. And there's always haggis.
Old Jan 24th, 2001, 12:46 PM
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Hi Edie,
Hope the plans are going Ok - aren't you departing soon ?

Re the question on beef here is the story. All beef served to consumers throughout Ireland is less that 30 months old. A few years ago the Irish took the step of stopping the feeding of meat and bone meal to all animals. The meal is now non-meat based and generally as organic as you get at that level. There has been no incident of Mad Cow disease in animals youngers than 3 years ie 30 months or so. This is in direct contrast to mainland Europe where the Germans and Austrainas and the French claimed they didn't have BSE in their national herds when the problem was first highlighted over 2 years ago. The mainland Europeans claimed that it was a British and Irish problem and they (on the continent)continued feeding meat and bone meal to animals however they have now discovered that this isn't the case and whereas Irish and British authorities took immediate action over 3 years ago the Europeans didn't and prob. exposed more people to the risk of CDJ from BSE in the past 3 years. There is a very strict food control regime in place in Ireland so don't worry eat good quality Irish beef and enjoy it. All SRM (specified Risk Material) is removed from every animal in Ireland (part of SRM material is used for bratwrusts etc in Germany). At the moment the Irish Gov. is culling all cattle over the age of 3 years old as part of measures to insure that BSE does not enter the national herd. Recent figures released in Ireland have shown an increase in the consumption of meat in the past few months - so unless we are on a suicide trip the Irish and visitors have nothing to fear and a lot to lose from the taste of a good steak.

Personally I have found that there is a vast difference between Irish meat and
German meat - I experienced both over the past few years - and generally while I lived in Germany I avoided eating meat and poultry products due to the vast difference in taste and the manner in which the animals were raised. In Ireland the vast majority of animals are fed outside and this results in a big difference in quality and taste. try a tastey steak or chop - beef or lamb. Fish is also particularly good - especially on the West Coast. Hope this helps to explain matters, if you have any concerns then ask your hotel/restaurant. Any more questions post or email and have a great time at the wedding.

Old Jan 24th, 2001, 12:52 PM
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Many more people died in plane crashes flying from the USA across the Atlantic than people died of CJD. It is one big media hype. If you don't want to die, then don't live!
Old Jan 24th, 2001, 02:04 PM
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I can't add much here, because I'm not an expert. But I read one article that said the risk is generally low.

But the risk apparently varies depending on the part of the cow you are talking about. High quality meat (steaks, etc.) have a low risk because it is muscle. Low quality meat (sausage, low-grade hamburger etc.) has a much higher risk because all manner of tissue might be in it. So this article says you might go ahead and have a steak, but beware the kidney pie or any processed food because the source of the meat may be questionable. I've decided to live by that rule: I go ahead and have a nice steak, but I've cut way back on processed beef products.

Hope this helps.
Old Jan 24th, 2001, 04:42 PM
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WOW! thanks for all your serious help, i really didn't want this to turn into a debate.

sorry i missed the updated days!!! i was away this weekend so never logged on on friday.

as of now, i have decided that it is high time i start to like more types of fish, and since i went through hawaii eating shrimp, lobster and steak (b/c i only like shrimp, lobster & crabs in the seafood area and there was hardly any other non-fish entrees on the menus) and i did get sick of them after 2 weeks, i should broaden my horizons and eat some fish while in ireland. the added bonus is the lack of worry i will have over mad cow.

i do have to say that i have eaten steak in italy and other continental countries in the last ten years, so i may have inadvertently exposed myself.

i do hate that something as wonderful and necessary as food has gotten so polluted by corporations.

again, thanks to all!
and cathy, i am leaving shortly! getting more excited, am at the point where i am carrying a notepad around to add to my master to do list...now i just have to start DOING all this stuff!
Old Jan 24th, 2001, 08:33 PM
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Take a look at www.mad-cow.org for info. I agree with the poster that questioned, is it such a big deal to avoid eating beef while on vacation? Better safe than sorry. Who wants to worry for the rest of their life whether that beef meal had a rogue prion that has now invaded their brain and will rear its ugly head sometime. I will not be eating meat during my spring vacation in Europe, and over my dead body would I let my young child eat any. She is too young to have to carry the burden of worry for the rest of her, hopefully, long life. If I were 70 years old, I might consider eating it all.
Old Jan 24th, 2001, 11:56 PM
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For Caitlin, you're only partially right-

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture has only partly learned this lesson, says Stauber: While it forbids cow cannibalism, it allows the carcasses of deer, elk, and sheep known to be infected with CWD or scrapie to be rendered and subsequently fed to chickens, pigs, and pets. Those animals may be rendered in turn and fed to cattle. Last year, a coalition of public-health groups petitioned the agency to halt the practice-so far to no avail"

Humans show they are pretty stupid and apathetic about their own health, just look throughout history when people used to throw their sludge from the windows into the streets. They just didn't make the connection that their behavior was unsafe. I don't think we've really come all that far-now the things we do just takes longer to kills us.
Old Jan 25th, 2001, 06:10 AM
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You wrote: "Humans show they are pretty stupid and apathetic about their own health, just look throughout history when people used to throw their sludge from the windows into the streets."

It seems somehow unkind to say that if science had not yet progressed to the point to allow people to understand the health risks of a particular practice, those people were "stupid." By that measure, all of the doctors from long ago who unwittingly infected patients by not washing their hands were also "stupid." Unnecessarily harsh, don't you think?
Old Jan 25th, 2001, 06:26 AM
david west
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There have been 83 deaths in britain. vCJD is a horrible death, but very uncommon. Not all these deaths are definately linked to beef. But a sense of perspective is required. Around two people are dying at heathrow a week because of thromboses caused by long haul flying.
Old Feb 10th, 2001, 12:57 PM
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The deal with mad-cow disease is not big, unless you catch it. The beef that you eat in Ireland will not now infect you. The risk incurred in getting here is far greater. the risk in climbimg into your hire-car or bus is infinitely greater. the risk incurred in travelling in them is enormous in comparison. The risk incurred in getting into or out of bed each day of your trip is dreadful in comparison. Imagine what plague the last person to kiss the Blarney Stone was carrying.
The stress engendered by hysterical journalism is potentially far more damaging than anything that a beef meal is going to do to you in Ireland.
Old Feb 23rd, 2001, 10:24 AM
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Beef? Fuggetaboutit! When in Ireland, eat the SALMON! Poached, grilled, baked, smoked, lox style..... Nothing in the world matches Irish salmon.

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