Mad Cow is Good for Industry Front Groups

Corporate-funded think tanks and food industry front groups are rushing into the debate over mad cow disease. This Wednesday, January 28th, the George C. Marshall Institute is hosting a presentation by Harvard Center for Risk Analysis director George Gray, hyping him as "the nation's foremost mad cow expert," although his expertise is in getting money from government agencies and Fortune 500 companies to produce risk studies that favor their positions. Along with the Harvard Center and the Marshall Institute, other groups receiving industry funding and fronting for them on mad cow disease include Elizabeth Whelan's American Council on Science and Health; father and son combo Dennis and Alex Avery of the Hudson Institute; self-named 'Junkman' Steve Milloy of the Cato Institute; and tobacco, booze and fat-food lobbyist Richard Berman and his latest enterprise the Center for Consumer Freedom. Late today, in a major victory for our work here at the Center for Media & Democracy, the Food and Drug Administration agreed with us and banned cattle blood as feed for US cattle. UPI quotes Mad Cow USA co-author John Stauber as saying "The steps announced today ... still fall far short of what is needed. The United States should follow the lead of the EU nations by banning all feeding of slaughterhouse waste to livestock, and testing millions of U.S. cattle for mad cow disease."