What Should the Public Do If Scientists Disagree? Essay

            There are some scientists who claim that mad cow disease or “bovine spongiform encephalopathy” can not be transmitted from one species to another; however, there are some who claim otherwise stating that there is a link between “bovine spongiform encephalopathy” which affects cattle and “Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease” which affects humans (The Nemours Foundation, 2008, n.p.). When scientists disagree on important issues, then “how should the public proceed”, you may ask? Well, the wisest thing to do is to keep oneself from harm. Although scientists cannot get themselves to agree whether or not mad cow disease may affect people, it is still best to take the necessary precautions. Take for instance, the following preventive and safety measures:

            First of all is to avoid contaminated cattle products especially the following parts: “1) brain; 2) spinal cord; 3) other neural tissue; 4) intestines” (Iannelli, 2003, n.p.). This is because these contaminated cattle products without a doubt produce “bovine spongiform encephalopathy” which may bring about “Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease” in humans (Iannelli, 2003, n.p.).

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            Second, taking in of “ground beef that may have contaminated neural tissue in it” should be avoided as well (Iannelli, 2003, n.p.). Instead, it is recommended to have “a labeled cut of meat” ground up (Iannelli, 2003, n.p.).

            Third, if processed meats like hotdogs, ham, bacon, luncheon meats, etcetera are sold for a cheaper price than usual then it is recommended to think twice before making a purchase; buy it only if there is a guarantee as to what “raw cow parts go into it” (Iannelli, 2003, n.p.).

            Finally, it is important to be aware of the latest with regards to “bovine spongiform encephalopathy” and “Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease” by reading updates from the US Food and Drug Administration or US Department of Health and Human Services and other experts’ advice as to how to prevent oneself from the dangers of the aforementioned.


Iannelli, V. (2003). What’s Safe to Feed Your Kids? Retrieved July 26, 2008 from


The Nemours Foundation. (2008). Mad Cow Disease. Retrieved July 26, 2008 from