Viewpoint: Give Us Your Beef

The weird thing about the health panic rampaging across Europe is that it has almost nothing to do with the prevalence of the health risk itself. Only three people in continental Europe are known to have died from the human variant of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in the last decade. Despite the recent rise in the number of bovine cases, the chances of encountering a mad cow on the Continent are tiny: since 1990 the incidence of bse in cows in Europe is fewer than 2,000, compared to 180,000 in Britain. And yet across Europe, beef consumption has plunged 27% in the...

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