Analyzing the Risk of ‘Mad Cow’ Disease in the U.S.

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Date(s) - 3/17/200412:00 am

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The recent discovery of America’s first confirmed case of “mad cow disease” (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) in Washington state raises new questions about the safety of U.S. beef.  How the public and the U.S. government respond will affect millions of cattle, billions of dollars and the diets of nearly everyone. The nation’s foremost “mad cow” expert George Gray discussed the likelihood of “mad cow disease” spreading in the U.S. cattle population and its possible affect on human health.

George Gray is Executive Director of the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis and a Lecturer in Risk Analysis at the Harvard School of Public Health. His primary research interests are risk characterization and risk communication with a focus on food safety and agriculture and chemicals in the environment.  He holds a B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Michigan, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Toxicology from the University of Rochester. He serves on government panels including a Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) Food Advisory Committee and the NIEHS National Advisory Environmental Health Science Council.

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