Summer 02 index                                                                                                                        CivAb index

Cow proteins in chicken

People who are eating more chickens because they deem their flesh less unhealthy than that of cows and pigs will be interested to learn that DNA from cows and pigs is turning up in chicken breast meat, according to a report in The Guardian May 23, 2002.

Of 30 samples of chicken breast fillets purchased in supermarkets, 17 contained bovine and porcine DNA.  This is not surprising in view of the fact that 13 billion pounds of cow flesh were fed to American chickens in the year 2001.  The Department of Agriculture got around to prohibiting the feeding of flesh from mammals to other mammals in 1997, but still permits mammalian flesh to be included in chicken feed and chicken flesh in cow and pig feed.

The prion that has causes bovine spongeiform encephalopathy ("mad cow" disease) and a variant of human Creuzfeldt Jakob disease has so far killed 130 Europeans.  It is not affected by normal cooking temperatures having survived temperatures of 1000 degrees celsius in the laboratory.  Thus, humans can possibly be exposed to the prion in chicken flesh and cows can be infected from it in their feed.

          --from Dr Andrew Weil's email newsletter which also contained the next item with dire warnings to chicken eaters.

Infectious  fecal bacteria, found in store chicken parts

An investigation by two Alabama scientists, Sulaiman Gbadamosi and Edith Powell, found that  92% of the chicken purchased from seven supermarkets was contaminated with harmful bacteria from chicken feces.  This is not surprising given the speed at which slaughtering is done.  To make matters worse, they found that 29% of the bacteria they found was resistant to at least one antibiotic in common use and 23% were resistant to two or more antibiotics.                                       ibid

Summer 02 Index                                                                                                  CivAb Index

The Civil Abolitionist

          Summer 2002  v.13 no. 2