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The French government reported that the number of cows that have become infected with mad cow disease over the past thirteen years is 300 times greater than was previously suspected, and that nearly 50,000 infected animals have entered the human food chain. Health officials in the United States were thinking of banning the practice of feeding pork, chicken, and other animal parts to cattle because pigs and chickens eat rendered cattle parts and thus could transmit mad-cow-disease prions. There was apparently no plan to stop giving cattle huge quantities of bovine blood, however, and animals will continue to consume the feathers and excrement of 8.5 billion chickens. Prions were discovered in the muscle of a sheep infected with scrapie; experts were very quick to say that this did not necessarily pose any danger to humans who eat lamb, even though scrapie prions are widely believed to have caused mad cow disease. A prion expert at the National Institutes of Health predicted that “within the next year, somebody will make a big splash by finding it in the muscles of cattle and the beef industry will go crazy.”

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The French government reported that the number of cows that have become infected with mad cow disease over the past thirteen years is 300 times greater than was previously suspected, and that nearly 50,000 infected animals have entered the human food chain. Health officials in the United States were thinking of banning the practice of feeding pork, chicken, and other animal parts to cattle because pigs and chickens eat rendered cattle parts and thus could transmit mad-cow-disease prions. There was apparently no plan to stop giving cattle huge quantities of bovine blood, however, and animals will continue to consume the feathers and excrement of 8.5 billion chickens. Prions were discovered in the muscle of a sheep infected with scrapie; experts were very quick to say that this did not necessarily pose any danger to humans who eat lamb, even though scrapie prions are widely believed to have caused mad cow disease. A prion expert at the National Institutes of Health predicted that “within the next year, somebody will make a big splash by finding it in the muscles of cattle and the beef industry will go crazy.”

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