Rendered Animal Wastes In Our Food Chain

The media is all abuzz with contradictory rumors and statements after a case of mad-cow disease (or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, BSE) was found this week in California. The beef industry assures there’s nothing to worry about. Understandably, consumers are confused.

Here is the first thing to bear in mind: mad-cow disease is the tip of a nasty iceberg called feeding-livestock-’rendered’-animal-wastes. These include slaughterhouse wastes, animals that died before slaughter, supermarkets and restaurants refuse, as well as waste from animal farms including manure and poultry litter.

Now, for a bit of scary truth: unless it is certified organic, pasture-raised¯, or grass-fed/grass-finished¯, the meat and milk that you buy at the supermarket or that you consume at restaurants come from animals that were fed such “animal proteins.” Yep, including these frozen burgers and corndogs at our kids’ schools. You don’t have to believe what I say. The Union of Concerned Scientists has all the facts on this dirty trick.

At any rate, it’s definitely something to think about when considering the advantages of a vegan diet. Or when deciding to buy direct from the local grass-rancher–even if that means reducing one’s consumption to make up for the price difference.

Rendering is a multibillion-dollar industry in the U.S.. It produces over 8 million tons of products per year, including meat and bone meal, tallow, poultry byproduct meal, blood meal, and feather meal. Renderers supply biofuel producers, soap manufacturers, the oleo chemical industry… and feed mills.

Feeding rendered animal-waste products to food-producing animals is an aberration that threatens public health and violates animal welfare. Antibiotics, pathogens and any undesirable agent that was allowed to enter the food chain at some point are transmitted from one carrier to a multitude of feeders, potentially causing damage along the way and requiring more antibiotics, and journeying all the way to the top feeders: humans.

In fact, the practice was banned in the UK in 1996, after it was discovered that the epidemic of BSE could spread to humans through exposure to contaminated beef. The European Union followed suit in 2001.

In 1997, the US and Canada enacted prohibit feeding cattle any protein derived from mammalian animals¯… with quite a few exceptions: blood and blood products; gelatin; tallow containing no more than 0.15 percent insoluble impurities; inspected meat products which have been cooked and offered for human food and further heat processed for feed (such as plate waste and used cellulosic food casings); milk products (milk and milk proteins); and any product whose only mammalian protein consists entirely of porcine or equine protein. In other words, beef and dairy cows can still be fed poultry, horse and swine proteins (including poultry litter), as well as cattle proteins with some restrictions.

Note that the diet of all other food animals, including pigs, poultry and even herbivores, is NOT affected by this partial ban on rendered animal wastes (including from their own species).

This means that the risk of BSE contamination is still present, since non-ruminants being fed proteins from cows infected with BSE could be rendered into proteins fed to cattle. The 2008 regulation 589.2001 that prohibits the use of high-risk cattle material in feed for all animal species is nothing but a legal safeguard that has enabled the feeding of rendered animal waste to food-producing animals to continue unabated.

Our children do not need to be on the receiving end of this industrial madness. Neither do we. Even if we choose to incorporate some meat and milk in our diet.

Sign this petition to make it stop (yes, even if you’re a vegetarian) : http://www.thepetitionsite.com/510/909/279/nourish9billion/

64 comments

Dale Overall

It is good to know that the U.K. was smart enough to discontinue this practice.
No Micheal, I do not intend to become a vegan - even vegans eat what used to be living--veggies and the like still die so that you can live. Tell me when the planet evolves enough so that we carnivores be it man or animal can sustain ourselves by eating rocks and minerals instead. Til then leave me alone and stop telling me not to eat meat or chickens or whatever.
If you choose to be vegan, fine, do not expect everyone to switch their diets. I eat quinoa and various meat alternatives but do not have the energy to get into a vegan diet and watch what I eat because it takes a lot of research to balance a vegan diet. Just because I eat meat does not devalue life any more than just because you are vegan you are demolishing the plant life on the planet so that you can live.
Whomever designed our bodies made some of us meat eaters and that is not going to change. Not all of us are birds and even some of them feed on living prey.

G A R.
G A R.4 years ago

I was flabbergasted when our governor refused to let a horse rendering plant be built in New Mexico. Hooray for Gov Martinez, even if you are a republican..... I really thought she would allow it to be built here. YOU GO GOVERNOR MARTINEZ!
Nyack, just read the lables and don't buy anything for your cat with ANY kind of animal by-products. there some out there, even grain free ones. look into EVO.
I remember a joke years ago, ..'we could get rid of all our radioactive waste by putting it in hotdogs,.. because it has been proven that no matter what people learn is in hotdogs, they eat them anyway"... this is why the industry poisions our food,... most people don't care as long as long as it is cheap.

John Dumas
John Dumas4 years ago

Let me see if I have this straight?

You can not feed cow to cow unless a pig eats it first, then you can feed the cow fed pig to a cow?

Richard T.
Richard T.4 years ago

T.Y.

Armand B.
Past Member 4 years ago

Thanks...agree with Stephanie and Ron

Helane Shields
Helane Shields4 years ago

The USDA is deceiving the public about the true risks from mad cow prion
diseases.

Out of about 35 million animals slaughtered, only 35,000 are tested for
mad cow --1/10th of one percent. There are 1.9 million "Downers" -
diseased, disabled, dead or dying cows each year. At least one million
of the downers are rendered into pet and animal feeds. These downers are
the animals most likely to have mad cow disease. But ONLY 5000 downers
are BSE tested at the renderers - less than one quarter of one percent
(0.0025%)

"Samples are collected from renderers and 3D/4D facilities, with a quota
set at 5,000 samples."
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_diseases/bse/surv_in_usa.shtml


-Bovine Amyloidotic Spongiform Encephalopathy (BASE) is a strain of mad
cow disease which the USDA says presents no risk to humans or animals
"because it is not transmissible".

Published, peer reviewed studies reveal otherwise:

"Intraspecies Transmission of BASE Induces Clinical Dullness and
Amyotrophic Changes"

'Several lines of evidence suggest that BASE is highly virulent and
easily transmissible to a wide host range. "
( Lombardi, G, et al 2008)

"Atypical BSE in Germany— Proof of transmissibility and biochemical
characterization"
(Buschman, A. et als - 2006)"

" Atypical BSE (BASE) transmitted from asymptomatic aging cattle to a
primate"
(Comoy, E.E. et als - 2008)"

Dr. Claudio Soto, et al, have confirmed that Alzh

Helane Shields
Helane Shields4 years ago

The USDA is deceiving the public about the true risks from mad cow prion
diseases.

Out of about 35 million animals slaughtered, only 35,000 are tested for
mad cow --1/10th of one percent. There are 1.9 million "Downers" -
diseased, disabled, dead or dying cows each year. At least one million
of the downers are rendered into pet and animal feeds. These downers are
the animals most likely to have mad cow disease. But ONLY 5000 downers
are BSE tested at the renderers - less than one quarter of one percent
(0.0025%)

"Samples are collected from renderers and 3D/4D facilities, with a quota
set at 5,000 samples."
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_diseases/bse/surv_in_usa.shtml


-Bovine Amyloidotic Spongiform Encephalopathy (BASE) is a strain of mad
cow disease which the USDA says presents no risk to humans or animals
"because it is not transmissible".

Published, peer reviewed studies reveal otherwise:

"Intraspecies Transmission of BASE Induces Clinical Dullness and
Amyotrophic Changes"

'Several lines of evidence suggest that BASE is highly virulent and
easily transmissible to a wide host range. "
( Lombardi, G, et al 2008)

"Atypical BSE in Germany— Proof of transmissibility and biochemical
characterization"
(Buschman, A. et als - 2006)"

" Atypical BSE (BASE) transmitted from asymptomatic aging cattle to a
primate"
(Comoy, E.E. et als - 2008)"

Dr. Claudio Soto, et al, have confirmed that Alzh

Doug Gledhill
Doug G.4 years ago

What a perverse system it is that exists in this country. God knows what is in any food stuff anymore, just as long as some corporate elite and money addicted shareholders can fill their pockets, ANYTHING GOES. It is increasingly clear no one can be believed about anything if they have their eye on a stinking dollar bill. What a god awful mess this country has become.

Mara C.
Past Member 4 years ago

So sad that cows, who are meant to eat grasses, are not only forced to eat corn & soy, but their own meat. You can be sure that cows would never cannibalize themselves!

patricia m lasek
patricia lasek4 years ago

Buy local from someone you trust.