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DPP accuses DOH, President Ma of inaction over mad cow disease

The Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) legislative caucus yesterday criticized President Ma Ying-jeou and the Department of Health (DOH, 衛生署) for alleged inaction in the wake of the latest U.S. case of mad cow disease.

On Wednesday, a presidential spokesman announced that Ma directed the DOH and Council of Agriculture to handle “the situation.”At the Legislative Yuan yesterday, Health Minister Chiu Wen-ta (邱文達) announced that Taiwan won't halt U.S. beef imports “for the time being ... as the infected meat did not enter the U.S. food supply and preliminary reports show that the infection is an isolated case.”

The DPP legislative caucus responded yesterday by saying that “Ma has done absolutely nothing” and the DOH “has not made any movements.”

Ma did nothing after the U.S. report, while neighboring nations Japan and South Korea responded and managed the situation immediately — even requesting that retailers pull U.S. beef off the shelves, according to Director-General Pan Men-an (潘孟安) of the DPP caucus.

DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) blasted the Cabinet for a similarly lackadaisical response.

“Ignoring the people's health, the DOH has not made any movements,” said Chen.

Chen said that U.S. cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) — or mad-cow disease — triggered instant reactions from the then-ruling DPP administration in 2003 and 2005.

The DPP administration immediately ended all U.S. beef imports, lifting them only when they could guarantee an all-clear, said Chen.

The caucus called for the central administration to enforce World Trade Organization (WTO) guidelines on beef with suspect origins.

WTO guidelines recommend deshelving and banning beef imports from countries with confirmed cases of mad cow disease, according to the DPP.

DOH Lacks Professional Input: Physician

The DOH's decision to continue U.S. beef imports was made without “professional” input, said Chen Shun-sheng (陳順勝), neurologist and vice superintendent of the Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (長庚醫院).

Chen said yesterday that the DOH should not declare such decisions “hastily.”

The incidence of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease — caused by the consumption of beef from cattle with mad cow disease — in Taiwan has been on the rise, he said.

Taiwan's rate of incidence had been just 0.6 percent, but has shot up to 1.2 percent each year for the past three years. Chen said he “does not rule out” the possibility that the doubled rate “has something to do with U.S. beef imports.”

Meanwhile, some 10 civic groups under the Food Safety Association (FSA, 全國食物安全聯盟) rallied at the Presidential Office to protest the “helplessness” of the government and demand a suspension of U.S. beef imports.

1 Comment
April 27, 2012    hlasny.j@
According to my opinion; what is the common denominator of the neurodegenerative diseases (mad cow disease...), including Alzheimer's disease? This was 11 years ago (March 2001), when I published (in Czech) an alternative theory ( BSE ammonia- magnesium theory), where the main role of NMDA receptors was described. In addition, in scientific literature there was described the effect of drugs, in Alzheimer's disease in humans, on the principle of control hyperfunction of NMDA receptors, which is consistent with my BSE alternative theory of BSE. See more about the Nameda; A medication known as NamendaR (memantine), an N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonist, is prescribed to treat moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease (http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/alzheimers-disease-medications-fact-sheet).
I worked in the USA almost one year- West Virginia University (1991, Morgantown). There I obtained a lot of information from scientific journals (in former Czechoslovakia it was not possible), what I used to create an alternative theory of the origin and the spread of mad cow disease (BSE). Relevant findings I have published 11 years ago in Czech (March 2001) and in English (May 2002; Netherlands, International Journal "Feed Mix"; www.warmwell.com/lone_voices_in_the_bse_debate[1].pdf ). Later, in August 2006, I published own website, see; www.bse-expert.cz
Since then I pointed my website in the order of hundreds of magazines around the world, especially in the U.S.
In 2008, I repeatedly visited the USA, it was about the occasion of my presentation in Vancouver, Canada (July 2008; 29th World Veterinary Congress; Neurodegenerative Diseases and Schizophrenia as a Hyper or Hypofunction of the NMDA Receptors).

According to my theory, the origins of the neurodegenerative diseases may lie in chronic magnesium deficiency coupled with a high protein intake. So defective prions are markers of the diseases rather than the cause and BSE can be a naturally occurring disease, not an infectious disease. WHY?
Because, about the BSE/ vCJD diseases; this was never justified scientifically! It was pure, math-model-driven science fiction. But it was pushed very vigorously by the British science establishment, which has never confessed to its errors... See more about the; BSE/ vCJD mathematical- models, see recent large three comments (February 2010) in Telegraph.co.uk (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/7168326/Does-vCJD-still-pose-a-major-public-health-threat.html).
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