The Miami New Times has jumped on the bandwagon of mad cow misinformation with a feature story about the risk of Americans contracting this European disease. In her zeal to report “the facts,” reporter Jen Karetnick managed to get a number of things dead wrong. The biggest problem is her allegation that a couple of deer hunters in Utah and Oklahoma ate “contaminated mad deer meat” and died from “variant” Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). Variant CJD is the version of mad cow disease that has actually claimed human lives in Europe.
U.S. government agencies have ruled unequivocally that the two hunters in question died from “sporadic CJD,” which occurs naturally in one out of every million Americans. If you’re having a hard time following the alphabet soup of mad-cow disease (CJD, vCJD, BSE, TSE, etc.), you’d do well to check out our Mad Cow report.