SYLVAIN CHARLEBOIS: Mad cow disease rocked Canada’s beef industry 20 years ago
The mad cow crisis started 20 years ago this week. For most Canadians, May 20, 2003, means little. But for the beef industry, the situation was nothing less than dreadful. It brought devastation, bankruptcies, and broken families. It was a nightmare
by Dr. Sylvain Charlebois – Toronto Sun
On May 20, 2003, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency declared that a black Angus cow originating from northern Alberta had been detected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as Mad Cow disease. In response, the United States promptly imposed a ban on Canadian beef and cattle imports, leading to approximately 40 other nations taking similar measures.
Mad cow disease is a fatal illness that gradually deteriorates the brain and spinal cord in cattle. Although humans cannot contract mad cow disease, there is a rare possibility of developing a human variant called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), which is also fatal. Over time, vCJD causes degeneration of the brain and spinal cord. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 500 Americans die every year exhibiting symptoms that match those of the disease. An autopsy is required to properly diagnose the disease.“Canada became the only country in the world at the time to see domestic demand for beef go up after the discovery of its first native BSE case. It surprised many”
Our September 2023 Issue
In our September issue, we deep dive into the Food Security and Trade meeting, Wagyu Beef from Japan, the 2023 World Meat Congress, Western Producers drought support plan, Skilled Workers from Brazil, Cultured Meat on our tables, the top 4 Canadian Agri Exports to watch for, and much more!