Mad Cow Conspiracy

May 7th, 2012 | By | Category: Conspiracy Theories, Pakistan Today

CowsAfter spending the last year beating the dead horse of visa conspiracies, a new media report has turned to another conspiracy theory about an American invasion. Only this time, you might say they are beating a dead cow. A news report in PakistanToday includes the alarming headline, Is the US sending all its mad cows to us?. Rest assured, dear reader, this appears to be just another sensational ‘bull’ story.

The article quotes PAMCO former CEO Dr Hamid Jalil giving his opinion that because a case of ‘mad cow’ disease was discovered in a California farm by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Pakistan should stop import of live animals from the US. The report which appeared in Monday’s Lahore edition does not present any evidence that any diseased animal has been imported to Pakistan.

According to livestock and meat trade data available from the USDA website, America’s largest export market for beef is Canada followed by Mexico and Japan. In fact, Pakistan does not even make the list of the top 20 countries that import American beef, falling instead into the category, “Other countries”.

It should also be noted that the case of ‘mad cow’ was identified in the US specifically because they have put in place systems to monitor and trace diseases to the source. Despite the impressive growth in Pakistani beef production, we have not invested in similar systems of tracking and cataloguing livestock.

Dr Hamid Jalil raises a legitimate point about whether imports of American beef should be suspended until the USDA can confirm that the disease has been contained and does not pose a threat. This is something that scientists and can test and confirm so that the people are assured of the safety of any food imports. There is no evidence presented, however, that any infected cattle have been imported till date. Neither is there any evidence to support the conspiracy theory that US is targeting Pakistan with diseased cattle.

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