"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Law of Unintended consequences Part : 27

The Good old days - stuff cows into feed lots and stuff them with corn ?

OK cows were made to eat gras, corn swells their livers and them susceptible to Eschericiia coli 0157 - harmless to the bovines but deadly in humans , especially children and the elderly. No E. coli vaccine has yet been approved for use in cattle.

Now the ethanol boom has pushed up feed prices and cut feedlot profits.

Cutting costs, the feedlot operators have taken to using distillers grains -- the leftover mush from ethanol fermentation.

Every 56 lb bushel of corn spits out 18 lbs of distillers grains. A ethanol production bumps up - 2.1 Bn gallons in 2002 to an expected 9 billion gallons this year , the dstillers grains end up in cattle feed also hog and poultry feed.

The Coloradoan reports on the problems this distillers grain is causng .

1. Increased susceptibility to E. coli 0157 the USDA recently admitted, this may account for last year's spike in meat recalls. Meatpackers recalled a record 33.4 million pounds of beef last year for possible E. coli contamination, up from just 181,900 pounds in 2006, according to the USDA. The old record of 25.6 million pounds was set in 1997. The 21 recalls last year - the most since 2002 - included one by now-defunct Topps Meat Co. that totaled 21.7 million pounds

2. In making ethanol sulphur is added and high levels of sulfur can cause sulfur toxicity in cattle. It doesn't taint meat,but cattle (and do) suffer neurological damage that causes the animals to ram their heads into the wall, stare up at the sky and, if not treated, die.

Just to put you off your tea, read about the downer cow scandal when workers at Chino based Westland/Hallmark Meat Co., were caught on video (Humane Society of the United States ) abusing the enfeebled animals in an attempt to get them stagger to slaughter -- where their flesh would be mixed with that of other cows, and sent to market - the slaughterhouse in question is a major supplier of beef to the National School Lunch Program.

The USDA has imposed FEb 15th 2008 the most massive meat recall in U.S. history on the slaughterhouse, affecting 143 Mn. pounds of frozen beef.

Officials estimate that about 37 million pounds of the recalled beef went to school programs, but they believe most of the meat probably has already been eaten.

3. Boosting corn yields leads to mining phosphate rocks, the ethanol process apparently concentrates the phosphorus taken up by corn into distillers grains, where it becomes a pollution problem once it runs through cows' guts.

A 2006 Iowa State University study found that feeding 20 percent or 40 percent distillers grains increased feedlot phosphorous in manure by 60 percent to 120 percent.

This seeps into ground and water, causing eutrophication, algal blooms and dead fish in the Gulf of Mexico.

Yet more distillers grains are being produced .. and fed to more cows ...

Ethanol producers churned out 10 million tons of distillers grains in 2006 -- which will increase to 16 million tons in 2010 of which 75-80% are being fed to dairy and beef cattle," more E. coli 0157, more cows downed by sulfur sickness, and more dead fish?

Now hush, hush - no use for the waste grains, will put up costs, fucks the enrgy usage equations to justify the whole fucking madness of growing food to fuel cars.

The Des Moines Reguister had an article in January Scientists study possible link between ethanol byproduct and E. coli on the studies underway at the U of Kansas and the U of Nebraska after one study showed study a twofold increase in E. coli levels in cattle fed the waste grains compared with those that ate only corn.

"I'm not about to tell the cattlemen what they are going to feed their cows," the USDA's food-safety czar Richard Raymond said -- after acknowledging that feeding cows distillers grains threatens food safety.

The President of the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, said he pays US$35 a ton for distillers grains, the equivalent of $2.85 a bushel for corn. In his area, corn has been selling for more than $4 a bushel. It takes the equivalent of 70 bushels of corn to fatten a steer. (Some people see distillers grains reaching $6.10 or $6.50 per bushel by the end of 2008. )

There is a plan however - export the problem. 2007 was a record year for distillers grains exports. USDA data shows the U.S. exported 2.36-million metric tons of distillers grains in 2007 -- an increase of 88% on the 1.25-million metric tons exported in 2006 -- and nearly triple 2004 levels.

Want more information ? Distillers Grains Quarterly may provide some answers.

Wasn't there a problem in the UK cow and beef herd when they fed them something unhealthy ?

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