Originally published November 6 2009
What's really in that burger? E.coli and chicken feces both allowed by USDA
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) There are 14 billion hamburgers consumed each year in the United States alone. The people who eat those burgers, though, have little knowledge of what's actually in them. Current USDA regulations, for example, openly allow beef contaminated with E. coli to be repackaged, cooked and sold as ready-to-eat hamburgers.
This simple fact would shock most consumers if they knew about it. People assume that beef found to be contaminated with E. coli must be thrown out or destroyed (or even recalled), but in reality, it's often just pressed into hamburger patties, cooked, and sold to consumers. This practice is openly endorsed by the USDA.
But E. coli may not be the worst thing in your burger: USDA regulations also allow chicken feces to be used as feed for cows, meaning your hamburger beef may be made of second-hand chicken poop, recycled through the stomachs of cows.
Chicken poop in your burgers?I remember writing about this two years ago. People sent accusatory hate mails to NaturalNews, saying things like, "Stop making things up and scaring people!" Few people believed that chicken feces was being widely used as cattle feed.
According to the FDA, farmers feed their cattle anywhere from 1 million to 2 million tons of chicken feces each year. This cross-species crap-as-food practice worries critics who are concerned it may lead to increased risk of mad cow disease contaminating beef products. So they want to ban the practice and disallow the feeding of chicken litter to cows.
Believe it or not, McDonald's has joined the fight seeking to ban the practice, saying "We do not condone the feeding of poultry litter to cattle." Apparently, even they don't want their customers looking at a Big Mac and thinking, "Wow, this is made out of second-hand chicken crap."
CSPI and the Consumers Union have also joined the fight, petitioning the FDA to ban the practice.
Now, you might wonder how chicken feces could pose a mad cow infection risk to cows. And if you're not already grossed out by what you've read so far, you will be when you read the answer to this question: It's because chickens are fed ground up parts of other animals such as cows, sheep and other animals. Some of that chicken feed spills out and gets swept up as chicken litter, then fed to cows.
So now we have a bizarre experiment in animal feed where dead cows, sheep and other animals are fed to chickens, and then chicken feed spills onto the floor where, combined with chicken poop, it gets swept up and fed to cows. Some of those cows, in turn, may eventually be ground up and fed back to the chickens.
Do you see how this might be a problem?
Do not feed animals to each otherFirst off, in the real world cows are vegetarians. They don't eat other cows, or chickens, or poop from any creature. Chickens don't eat cows in the real world, either. If given free range, they live primarily on a diet of bugs and weeds.
But through the magic of horrific factory food production practices in the USA, dead cows are fed to chickens, and chicken poop is fed to cows. This is precisely how mad cow disease could contaminate this unnatural food cycle and end up contaminating U.S. cattle with mad cow prions.
Some say this has already happened, and it's only a matter of time before mad cow disease starts appearing in the U.S. population. It takes approximately 5 - 7 years after eating an infected burger for mad cow disease to destroy the brain of a consumer, and cooking a burger does not destroy the mad cow disease prions. That means even burgers that are fully cooked and handled according to federal safety standards can infect consumers with mad cow disease, causing their brains to turn to mush within 7 years.
The beef industry doesn't see a problem with any of this. And that's why this industry deserves what's coming: A massive culling of cattle and a complete economic wipeout of cattle ranchers one day after mad cow disease is revealed in U.S. cattle herds. Rather than trying to protect the integrity of their cows, the U.S. beef industry chooses to pretend that there's nothing wrong with practice of feeding corpses to chickens, and feces to cows. Is there anything too gross, inhumane or horrific for the beef industry to stomach? Seems not.
Remember, too, that the USDA has banned farmers from testing their own cattle for mad cow disease. So instead of allowing cattle ranchers to protect the safety of their herds, the USDA has a policy of covering their eyes and pretending not to see the very real risks that exist. When it comes to infectious disease, this is a sure recipe for disaster.
The perfect storm for mass infectionsIt all adds up to a "perfect storm" for the mass infection of the beef-eating population with mad cow disease. And remember: Cooking meat does not destroy prions, so if the beef supply becomes contaminated with mad cow disease, it's only a matter of time before humans start to be stricken with the disease.
That takes 5-7 years, as I mentioned previously. It's important to note because it means there could be a five-year gap between the time mad cow disease is present in the beef supply and the time health authorities start to notice a problem. But by that time, most of the population will have already eaten infected beef, and it will be too late to stop the mass human deaths sure to follow.
Dying from mad cow disease isn't pretty, painless or quick. It's ugly. Your brain cells start to turn to mush, slowly shutting down cognitive function little by little like some strange, aggressive form of Alzheimer's disease. First you lose concentration ability, then your speech goes, and eventually all brain function stops altogether. It's a horrifying way to waste away.
Is the risk of that really worth eating burgers?
Remember: Right now, the practice of feeding chicken feces to cow herds continues. So there is a risk of mad cow disease infection in U.S. beef right now. Very little testing is currently being conducted for mad cow disease, meaning an infection could very easily go undetected for years. Meanwhile, the average hamburger contains beef parts from as many as 1,000 different cows.
Do the math. Unless cattle feeding practices are significantly reformed, eating beef products of any kind -- hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks -- is like playing Russian Roulette with your brain cells.
Sources for this story include:
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