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Unformatted text preview: — then the epidemic is just beginning, and hundreds of thousands may die. Time will tell.
Regardless of whether mad cow causes a small outbreak among humans or a deadly modern plague, it will haunt the beef industry for
years, much as Three Mile Island and Chernobyl changed attitudes toward nuclear power. The spread of BSE in Europe has revealed how
secret alliances between agribusiness and government can endanger the public health. It has shown how the desire for profit can overrule
every other consideration. British agricultural officials were concerned as early as 1987 that eating meat from BSE-infected cattle might pose
a risk to human beings. That information was suppressed for years, and the possibility of any health risk was strenuously denied, in order to
protect exports of British beef. Scientists who disagreed with the official line were publicly attacked and kept off government committees
investigating BSE. Official denials of the truth delayed important health measures and l...
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- Spring '08