Mike from comments shared these two YouTubes that I think lay bare the goings on in this country regarding mad cow disease.
The first mad cow found in the US, in 2003, wasn't a downer cow. So says the gentleman who received it, Dave Louthan. You can watch him tell his story below. There are some gruesome parts in the beginning. If you'd rather not watch, here's his story (CounterPunch), or here (New York Times).
Curiously, the USDA responded to the discovery of a standing mad cow by restricting downer cows. I'm sure there's logic in there somewhere.
Here's the YouTube of Colm Kelleher, the author of the book Brain Trust, which describes how mad cow disease can jump species, infect humans in the form of Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (CJD), and possibly be at the root of the unusual spike in the number of Alzheimer's patients in this country since 1979.
"According to research by New York biologist Michael Hansen, it takes less than a milligram of infected material [for a cow] to contract the disease."
- Mad Cow: Are We Still Unprepared?, Time Magazine, 2006
- Japan tests nearly 100% of its slaughtered cattle.
- The European Union tests about 30%.
- The US tests one tenth of 1%.