Al: The mad cow disease presents a serious problem in several different ways:
1: The cattle farmers will experience a serious financial setback immediately. I have a friend that has 500 beef cattle. More than like likely the price will drop like a rock and he will experience at least in the short run a several hundred thousand dollar price drop.
2: Even more serious is the threat of Creutzfield Jacob disease which is prion based and not as understood as a virus. The incubation time of this disease is a decade. It is very concerning to the blood industry as they do not know how to test effectively. Blood transfusions will be affected.
3: The short term and long term problems of this is crazy as the beef prices is the least of the problems. Eventually all countries will be affected. I saw where most of the world today has banned US beef. Canada and England has already been affected. Soon it will be the rest of the world. The real problems is not this. It is the health of the world. Prions are not understood and can be communicable and there will be no immunization.
One cow out of about 50 million does not seem like a problem, but prions are.
Paul E. Smith