Mad cow: the prequel. Not to claim prescience or anything like that, but in December 2001 I wrote this piece on mad-cow disease -- and suggested that it was one of the more important undercovered stories on the horizon.
Now mad cow is back. And here's one point the media seem to be missing as they focus on how that animal in Canada ever could have become infected: bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, as the disease is known scientifically, is a rare but naturally occurring disease.
What causes it to spread is the abhorrent practice of feeding dead cattle to live ones. Cattle are ruminants who do not normally eat meat. The media -- not to mention Canadian officials -- should focus on the feed.