Mad Cow Found in California … Because Cows Are Being Fed Blood, Animal Parts and Feces

George Washington's picture

6970033440 75b3c88478 b Mad Cow Found in California ... Because Cows Are Being Fed Blood, Animal Parts and FecesImage by William Banzai

A central California cow tested positive for mad cow disease.

As we’ve previously noted, the government’s policy is ensuring additional cases of mad cow:

The government is so protective of the current model of industrial farming that private citizens such as ranchers and meat packers are prohibited from testing for mad cow disease, and even investigating factory farming may get one labeled as a terrorist, even though a paper in the American Society of Microbiology’s newsletter mBio shows that overuse of antibiotics by factory farmers creates “superbugs”.

And the government allows cows to be fed animal parts, which causes mad cow:

[Cows] are fed parts of other animals, which can give them mad cow disease.

Well-known food writer (and meat-lover) Michael Pollan gave a must-read account of modern beef practices in the New York Times in 2002:

[T]he identical industrial logic — protein is protein — led to the feeding of rendered cow parts back to cows, a practice the F.D.A. banned in 1997 after scientists realized it was spreading mad-cow disease.


Make that mostly banned. The F.D.A.’s rules against feeding ruminant protein to ruminants make exceptions for ”blood products” (even though they contain protein) and fat. Indeed, my steer has probably dined on beef tallow recycled from the very slaughterhouse he’s heading to in June. ”Fat is fat,” the feedlot manager shrugged when I raised an eyebrow.


F.D.A. rules still permit feedlots to feed nonruminant animal protein to cows. (Feather meal is an accepted cattle feed, as are pig and fish protein and chicken manure.) Some public-health advocates worry that since the bovine meat and bone meal that cows used to eat is now being fed to chickens, pigs and fish, infectious prions could find their way back into cattle when they eat the protein of the animals that have been eating them. To close this biological loophole, the F.D.A. is now considering tightening its feed rules.




”When we buy supplement, the supplier says it’s 40 percent protein, but they don’t specify beyond that.” When I called the supplier, it wouldn’t divulge all its ”proprietary ingredients” but promised that animal parts weren’t among them. Protein is pretty much still protein.

Dr. Michael Greger notes at Huffington Post:

Though some dairy farmers still wean calves on whole milk, the majority of producers use milk replacer, which too often contains spray-dried cattle blood as a cheap source of protein.According to the American Protein Corporation, which boasts to be the world’s largest spray-dryer of blood, the chief disadvantage of blood-based milk replacer is simply its “different color.”




Stanley Prusiner … won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery of prions, the infectious proteins that cause mad cow disease. He was quoted in the New York Times as calling the practice of feeding cattle blood to young calves “a really stupid idea,” because it could complete the “cannibalistic” circuit blamed for the spread of the disease.


The European Commission also recommended against the practice of “intraspecies recycling of ruminant blood and blood products” — the practice of suckling calves on cows’ blood protein. Even excluding the fact that brain matter may pass into the trough that collects the blood once an animal’s throat is slit, the Commission report concluded a decade ago that “[a]s far as ruminant blood is concerned, it is considered that the best approach to protect public health at present is to assume that it could contain low levels of infectivity.” Since then, evidence that blood can be infectious has only grown, yet dairy calves in the United States are still drinking up to three cups of “red blood cell protein” concentrate every day.


Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration initially proposed to ban the feeding of blood and blood products to livestock, the agency ended up reneging on their much touted promise. Let’s hope that the newly reported case of mad cow disease in a California dairy cow will renew interest in closing the loopholes in feed regulations that continue to allow the feeding of slaughterhouse waste, blood and manure to farm animals in the United States.

In a second article, Greger writes:

More than a decade ago, the World Health Organization called for the exclusion of the riskiest bovine tissues — cattle brains, eyes, spinal cord and intestine — from the human food supply and from all animal feed to protect against the spread of mad cow disease. Unfortunately, the United States still allows the feeding of some of these potentially risky tissues to people, pigs, pets, poultry, and fish. Cattle remains are still fed to chickens, for example, and the poultry litter (floor wastes that include the feces and spilled feed) is fed back to cows. In this way, prions — the infectious proteins that cause mad cow disease — may continue to be cycled back into cattle feed and complete the cow “cannibalism” circuit blamed for the spread of the disease.


[T]he U.S. cattle industry may feed as much as a million pounds of poultry litter to cattle each year. A thousand chickens can make enough waste to feed a growing calf year-round. Although excrement from other species is fed to livestock in the United States, chicken droppings are considered more nutritious for cows than pig feces or cattle dung.


A single cow can eat as much as three tons of poultry waste a year, yet the manure does not seem to affect the taste of the subsequent milk or meat.




Cows are typically not given feed containing more than 80% poultry litter, though, since it’s not as palatable and may not fully meet protein and energy needs.




When the Kansas Livestock Association dared to shine the spotlight on the issue by passing a resolution urging the discontinuation of the practice, irate producers in neighboring states threatened a boycott of Kansas feedyards.


Maybe this new case of mad cow disease will reinvigorate consumer campaigns to close the “no-brainer” loopholes in feed regulations that continue to allow the feeding of such filthy feed to farm animals.

This is yet another example of companies engaging in crazily unsafe activities which put us all at risk … just to save a couple of bucks.

Of course, meateaters assume we are eating a wholesome food which doesn't contain prions, chicken body parts ... or feces.  As former United States Department of Agriculture scientist Gerald Zirnstein pointed out recently in a related context:

It’s economic fraud ... It’s a cheap substitute being added in.

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Miffed Microbiologist's picture

About 7 years ago I attended an ASM conference and was lucky to attend a talk by an Irish PhD who had done a lot of work with prions in the UK (scrapie, mad cow primarily). It was geared for microbiologists i.e. how they handled it in the lab and methodologies for identification. The interesting part occurred during question time when someone asked if or when Mad Cow would make his appearance in the USA. The guy nearly bust a gut laughing. Finally said "maybe some day your government will admit that it is already present" and gave numerous examples of prion evidence in wild animals that have been documented (wasting disease in elk etc). Could have heard a pin drop in the room. I don't tend to be a conspirist but this this is truly a frightening possibility. Thanks again for a wonderful article George!


Jim in MN's picture

Diablo Canyon closed due to jellyfish attack. 

 I think California is nuclear-free tonight.  Shhh, don't tell anyone.

justsayin2u's picture

Soylent green with a side o chicken shit please.  Just like mama used to make.

New American Revolution's picture

If I were Kansas, I'd be advertising Kansas Beef, born, bred, and fed in Kansas.   Morons... no,... fucking morons.   I've can do you one better tho.   We have a bee keeper up here around Galena Illinois, who was breeding a chemical resistant honey bee and the USDA came in and stole his hives and burned them while he and his wife were out of town.   They said they were infected.   No court hearing, no signed warrant from a Judge, just plain old brown shirt Nazi tactics.   Kid you not, I'm getting the whole story from Tommy Kocal of the Prairie Adveriser from Lanark Illinois and I'll post it on

jmk's picture

Great country -- I grew up in Polo.

I_Am_'s picture

This on Reuters..... South Africa looking at maggots and abbatoir blood for animal feed.....


Mad Mad Woman's picture

I want to know more about that farm. If there is one cow infected there may be more. Have they tested the rest of the herd that cow came from? Nothing is being said about that. The reporters on the national news aren't even asking that question. WTF??  I want answers!! WTF??

Fish Gone Bad's picture

It was reported as a "spontaneous" event.  It just happened out of the blue.  It was a good thing that they randomly discovered it.  Spontaneous my ass!  If I had to guess, here is what happened.  Some ground up infected cattle parts did not end up getting eaten by the chickens and wound up getting packaged up as cattle feed.  So the problem would not be expected to be in one cow, but the entire batch of swept up cattle food.  One cow?  I am thinking the entire herd might have had the problem.  But why stop there?  There was plenty of feed to go to a lot of different places.  There might be a really really big problem here.

Loose Caboose's picture

Cow.  Mad?  Looks more like she's pissed off.

Whoa Dammit's picture

Note to Big Agra:

Cows, pigs, and chickens aren't buzzards, they should not be fed dead animals. 

Plants should not be spliced with animal genes, nor should they be made artificially resistant to chemicals that are poisonous to them.

Doga and cats should not be fed grains.

Humans should not be fed high fructose corn syrup in every box, can, and plastic wrapped substance you produce and euphemistically call food.

P.S. Hope you have the opportunity eat shit one day soon.

Sabremesh's picture

Actually dogs, pigs and chickens are pretty much ominovorous, though feeding them recycled animal waste may not be an optimal public health strategy.

As for cows, yes, forcing them to become carnivorous is against the laws of the know universe frankly. But cannibalism? There are huge prion transfer risks of any species becoming cannibalistic. It is beyond fucked up.

DaveyJones's picture

Big Agra to Whoa: you think we care what humans eat?

web bot's picture

So this is one of those times that I'd like to see that nice Michael Moore man or Naomi Klein actually put their talents to good use and do something productive and expose this.


Freddie's picture

California aka Mexifornia ia third world sh*thole.   Anayone see that photo of Michael Moore with Susan Saradon on the Net?  Moore has to be about 500 lbs.  I am not kidding. He is way over 300 lbs.  Sarandon is being harassed by the feds, Skynet etc.

smiler03's picture

This makes no difference to Europeans. We've been banning your hormone treated cattle for over 20 years.


Buck Johnson's picture

I made comment on another blog about how they won't allow cattle slaughters and even cattle herders themselves to test their OWN cattle.  And they do it buy not allowing anybody to buy the kits that the govt. will approve.  They are afraid and rightly so that when a slaughter house starts to test every cattle, one or more will come up with Mad Cow.  And when that happens the seller or sellers of the cattle may have to slaughter there whole herd (in the thousands) in order to make sure it doesn't spread.  Also it would show that the cattle did get into the food process.

The way our govt. treats and looks the other way with industry, you have to suspect that they do the same thing with the food industry.

mendolover's picture

Michael Pollen's article in it's entirety.  I still have the hard copy of the NY Times Magazine that featured it.  Very interesting and worth the time.

George Washington's picture

It is a great article, indeed ... anyone who buys a calf, watches it get
raised in a factory farm and then eats it is a real journalist ...

PLove's picture

Economists have a tough time digesting real science.

And Washington is no exception.

BSE occurs when alien metal microcrystals develope in the brain.

Think Chemtrails.



mendolover's picture

Awesome point PLove.  I first heard of the chemtrail connection over twenty years ago I think, back when you really didn't see any chemtrails.  What a difference a couple of decades makes!

toady's picture


nervous system tissues

nmewn's picture

Pet food, get used to it ;-)

DaveyJones's picture

pet food is the new heavy petting food

Fish Gone Bad's picture

Pet food is the new "getting by".

Kassandra's picture

Or we could all get our deer or elk validations and go hunting this year. Fill up the freezer and stop worrying about it.

nuggetstoosmall's picture

Not with cronic wasting diease you wont.

Mad Mad Woman's picture

In Pennsylvania hunters have to worry about whether the elk, deer, bear, etc drank any of the contaminated water near the fracking sites. All the good hunting areas are in the same neck of the woods as those Marcellus Shale drillers.

Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

No wonder that last burger I had tasted shity.

It really was.

mkkby's picture

The last burger I had tasted okay to me.  But my non finicky cat only reluctantly ate some... then threw up!  The pink slime smell and chemicals were more noticeable to the cat's heightened senses.  I'll never have another that isn't from grass fed.

NOPOMO's picture

The Cows should be shown eating each others feces.  Cowcentiped the movie.

acidradio's picture

Begrudgingly I have tried a vegetarian diet this week. So far I'm down a few pounds and I am less concerned with things like described in this article.  With that I think I will stick with it. I live in a smaller town though where everything is either greasy, pork-laden or otherwise unhealthy. Sounds like a bill being passed through Congress, right?

Just look at the recent controvercy with "pink slime" - every politician from every state that has a factory owned by Beef Products, Inc (the people who brought us "pink slime") unequivocably backs this crap. They are so bought & sold it is insane. The American food supply is just trash. I am all for cost-cutting. But the lengths these people go to in order to be stingy is appalling.

DaveyJones's picture

I have been veg for about four years now. Just studying the difference between animal and plant protein and our body's ability to process the two is an eye opening adventure. Most of the nutritional and cancer data out there supports this type of diet. And as others have pointed out, the only way to avoid the poisons, the politicians, and the danger is to grow your own....which is a little easier (and cheaper) to do than rasing animals. That said, animals can be a necessary component as they add compost and the vital b-12 to the plant by their waste. You also need to cook meat and when you cook your food, your body goes through a process called leukocytosis and the body reacts as if it is a foreign invadidng substance rasing white blood cell counst and other things. Raw plant food has none of this effect. Cooking also radically reduces the nutrient content

I recommend the documentary "Food Matters" which in on YouTube  

Nassim's picture

People are overly price-sensitive and quality-blind.

yochananmichael's picture

if I weren't  so cheap id go for only Kosher free range. i guess ill go vegetaian.

NOPOMO's picture

Wash that down with a radioactive soda from Japan.

Grassfed's picture

George Washington needs to open his eyes to not only scientific facts and well thought out scientific theories but the actual facts behind the story before he runs off at the mouth like a mad man.

Mad Cow: and also

I would also suggest that George study up on Mark Purdey's theories --- and then think about the cow being down wind from Japan . . . .

Marks' theories are discussed at Mad Cow:

Iam_Silverman's picture

"I would also suggest that George study up on Mark Purdey's theories"

Was he the one that thought he discovered a link between the pesticide used for warbles and the incidence of lowered copper and some other base metal in the brain?  This in turn led to fibrils forming along the lines where selenium and some other metal filled in for the missing copper and ? metal (slips my mind).


I thought his research was very thorough and believable.

yochananmichael's picture

corn is poisenous to cows. they need grass

HedgeCock's picture

Yup, cows should only get some seed and/or grain together with grass in the fall when this occurs in nature.  Otherwise it is only grass and flowers.  Constant feeding of corn makes for fatter cows but also irritates their intestinal tract giving them enteritis for which they also need constant antibiotics. Bleh.

Iam_Silverman's picture

"corn is poisenous to cows. they need grass"

That's an interesting theory.  Care to expound?

By the way - I raise cattle, so no bulshitting me, I want the truth.  So, start with how the corn may damage the rumen through acidosis if fed in extreme (and I mean extreme) amounts without supplemental free-choice browse or being allowed to graze.

Legumes are far more deadly to cattle.  Have you ever seen a steer bloat after only 15 minutes on fresh clover or peas or mesquite beans?  It really can be  fatal.

So, enlighten me about corn being poisonous to cows.

bshirley1968's picture

It is not that the corn is poisonous to the cows but it greatly increases the E coli in the cow's system.  Put a cow on grass for 5 days and 90% of the E coli will be eliminated.  The high starch corn diet makes the E coli count explode thereby increasing the chances of contamination in the food chain.  Cows were not intended to eat a high level of corn but rather......grass.  The corn is not for the good of the cow but rather for the speed of the growth to market.....and dollars.  A little corn is okay but as with many things in our food industry, it has gone overboard.

DaveyJones's picture

Their digestive system is only one factor to consider. The entire 'system' has stayed so far from the inherent biological 'system'

and this of course is absent the additional dangers of GMO corn

Banksters's picture

Yes please. Oh, and a 32 oz. neurotoxic soda too!



gangland's picture



you guys remember when black angus beef was so expensive? now you can get black angus burgers for 99 cents at burger king.

now it's maybe the ligaments, tendons, blood and shit that's in that patty from a 1000 genetically cloned mammals, but hey IT'S BLACK ANGUS YOU MUPPETS! EAT IT ! lol....

NOPOMO's picture

Muppets love Soylent Green...Good eating while watching Snookie Stupid.