Swiss canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden fights back after invasion of German naked hikers

Saturday, January 31, 2009

A local Swiss government has shown some bare cheek and has taken action, after hordes of German naked hikers rambling across the Swiss alps au naturel, caused indignation amongst locals.

Authorities in Swiss canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden have warned that starting from February 9, the government will impose hefty fines of 200 Swiss Francs (£122, €135) on naturists found walking or hiking in the nude without clothes in the picturesque mountains because of a recent influx of visiting German nudists.

The new ordinance is expected to be passed this spring. If it is approved by the local parliament on February 9 it should be effective on April 26. The Swiss canton aims to stop spread of ‘indecent practice’ by minimally-clad German climbers.

The problem started with a group of “boot-only hikers” who were stopped by the police in the Alpine region last autumn. They had wandered there regularly, proudly marching through nature with bare bums, and had also advertised what they thought was a naked paradise on the internet. But it was all too much for the Swiss.

A nude rambler dressed in nothing more than a rucksack and walking boots in the eastern Appenzell region was arrested and detained in the canton, but authorities were unable to file lawsuit because the act was not punished by law or ordinance at the time.

“We were forced to introduce the legislation against this indecent practice before the warm weather starts,” Melchior Looser, the canton’s justice and police minister, said. “Ultimately, in the summer lots of kids stay in our mountains,” he added.

In the guidelines imposed, arrested offenders who cannot pay the fine, will face legal action. The new enabling ordinance has, however, been met with protests by nude hikers. “We simply try to tune into nature. It’s the most harmless pursuit possible,” said Dietmar, age 58, a German lawyer.

German tabloid Bild Zeitung has editorially attacked Swiss intolerance and even suggested nudist alternatives worldwide, after hinting a Swiss tourism boycott. Local authorities of Harz mountain range in central Germany have also announced the openness to any visitor of an “official naked walking route” in nature’s outdoors.

Freikörperkultur (“FKK”), or “free body culture”, is a popular pastime in Germany. It is a German movement which endorses a naturistic approach to sports and community living. Behind that is the joy of the experience of nature or also on being nude itself, without direct relationship to sexuality. The followers of this culture are called traditional naturists, FKK’ler, or nudists.

The naked ramblers have hoped it doesn’t lead to another naturist-clothed ‘war’, like the one at a beach between German and Polish holidaymakers in 2008. Naturism has roots traced from the start of the 20th century. “Abandoning unpractical clothes enables a direct contact with the wind, sun and temperature”, naked hiker website stated.

But Markus Dörig, a spokesman for Appenzell Innerrhoden canton has defended the law, explaining that the “public nuisance” was a foreign import. “We have been receiving many complaints. The local people are upset and we in the government share their concern. How would one feel if one was to go walking in nature and suddenly came across a group of naked people? They are definitely not people from the area, and I think many of them come from Germany,” he noted.

“We are a small and orderly community and such things are simply out of place here. Perhaps in vast mountain areas naked people would not be much of a problem but here they simply stick out,” Dörig added. “I can understand that we all have to live in this world together,” said Barbara Foley, International Naturist Foundation member of the central committee. “But I would certainly enjoy doing the hike in the nude and I wouldn’t want to be deprived of it. It’s nice to feel the sun on your skin. Maybe they should designate a couple of trails and people would know they might come across naturists there,” she added.

Appenzell Innerrhoden (Appenzell Inner Rhodes) is the smallest canton of Switzerland by population and the second smallest by area, Basel-City having less area. The population of the canton was 15,471 as of 2007, of which 1,510 (or 9.76%) were foreigners. The canton in the north east of Switzerland has an area is 173 km². It was divided in 1597 for religious reasons from the former canton Appenzell, with Appenzell Ausserrhoden being the other half.

Appenzell is the capital of this canton. The constitution was established in 1872. Most of the canton is pastoral, this despite being mountainous. Cattle breeding and dairy farming are the main agricultural activities: Appenzeller cheese is widely available throughout Switzerland. Due to the split of Appenzell along religious lines, the population (as of 2000) is nearly all Roman Catholic (81%), with a small Protestant minority (10%).

The town, however is far from liberalism: the canton granted women the right of suffrage only in 1990 under pressure from the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland and international human rights groups. The Alpine village of Appenzell Innerrhoden, being known for its beautiful landscape, has recently been declared a “naked rambler paradise” by a German mountaineering website, which was created by a lobby group of hikers.

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CIA gives up search and interrogation on Iraq WMDs

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) says it finished interrogating the nearly 105 Iraqi scientists it held in its search for weapons of mass destruction (WMD). In many cases their information was helpful, but in other cases the wrong people were detained, and were subjected to questioning by “inexperienced and uninformed” interrogators.

From an update to the Comprehensive Report of the Special Adviser to the DCI on Iraq’s WMD, “As matters now stand, the WMD investigation has gone as far as feasible. After more than 18 months, the WMD investigation and debriefing of the WMD-related detainees has been exhausted.

“As far as the WMD investigation is concerned, there is no further purpose in holding many of these detainees. These individuals have shown no reluctance to engage in further discussions should the need for questioning arise about past WMD programs.”

Elsewhere, “Some may have other issues to account for, including Regime finance questions, but certainly some have been quite helpful toward the compilation of an accurate picture of the Regime’s WMD efforts and intentions over the last three decades.”

The comments were addenda and an accompanying note, supplemental to the original report, which was issued last autumn, and seen as the final report of the Iraq Survey Group (ISG). They were added by Charles Duelfer, head of the ISG, and Special Adviser to the Director of Central Intelligence in Baghdad.

Deulfer emphasised that more information is likely to emerge naturally, over time, from people with differing viewpoints and interests. And a backlog of documents recovered from the former regime remain to be examined.

He described the ISG investigation as hampered by:

  • The security situation
  • The quality of identification, detention, and interview of those involved in the Iraqi WMD effort
  • Other internal procedural weaknesses
  • Constant personnel rotations.

A preference for reinforcement of short-term security on the part of the coalition forces over anti-proliferation efforts, fear of arrest and detention on the part of the Iraqi personnel, and other factors in the continuing conflict of the post-war environment, all impacted on the effort by the ISG.

The report confirms the expressed opinion of former UN weapons inspector, Scott Ritter, that Iraq had no significant WMDs. “[T]here was not a single intelligence service in the world that said Iraq maintained massive stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction,” Ritter said at the time.

Duelfer summary of the intelligence obtained, as understood by the ISG, includes, “[T]he risk of Iraqi WMD expertise of material advancing the WMD potential in other countries is attenuated by many factors and is presently small …”

And, “So far, insurgent efforts to attain unconventional weapons have been limited and contained by coalition actions.”

Also, “There continue to be reports of WMD in Iraq. ISG has found that such reports are usually scams or in misidentification of materials or activities. In a very limited number of cases they have related to old chemical munitions produced before 1990.”

The new addenda included information on the Iraqi Military Industrial Commission, the “state-run military-industrial complex” which played a “central role in the evolution of all the Regime’s weapons programs”.

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Relics found behind The Ruins of St. Paul, Macau

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Relics dated back to the Qing Dynasty were found under civil servants’ quarters at the Rua de D. Belchior Caneiro adjacent to The Ruins of St. Paul in Macau by archaeological teams at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Since St Paul’s College is believed to have been located under those quarters, the Macau government will demolish them in order to cope with the experts’ findings at the Ruins of St. Paul. The two blocks closer to the Ruins of St. Paul were demolished in March to make room for the archaeological project.

The relics included Chinese-styled porcelain tiles, eave tiles, potteries and iron artillery shells. Furthermore, a part of an ancient wall is found at a nearby construction site.

The walls are confirmed as parts of the Ruins of St. Paul as it does match the maps of it dated back to 1760, 1886, and 1912. By examining the walls, it is proved that the wall was constructed of at least five layers of stone, with layers of blue bricks on top of them, as well as rammed earth each measuring at least ten centimeters thick.

The remaining two buildings will be demolished next week for further investigation.

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On Language Women Hate…

By Kim Klaver

Even though the business of direct sales and network marketing is made up of 80% women, the language used in front of the room and on websites, in autoresponder emails and everything else from corporate and upline is basically male.

Business as the art of war.

Language such as “We’re going to explode your downline” or “explode” or “ignite” your business. But men are the ones who explode things. Women don’t. We tend to be the ones to pick up the pieces. We might for example replace those words with “expand” or “grow.” Why continue to turn off the 80% majority?

The customer or prospective recruit as “target” to be overcome, somehow.

The constant focus on closing as fast as possible, and if women don’t know how, they they are told, “You bring them and we’ll close them,” as if the recruits are victims about to be done in. The whole idea in general that we “hunt” for targets leads to saying whatever is necessary to “get” the person. That is what leads to the dreadful hype and over-promise and under-deliver syndrome our business is so known for.

Women don’t like such high pressure and war-like tactics used on them, are embarassed by it when they bring friends to events. Of course they don’t want to do that themselves to their contacts.

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Much better to be looking for “someone like me.” Think? Someone you can share ideas and have fun with?


“Beyond Hype” – My Experimental Squidoo Site

Here’s a bit from the site. Just up. Just ranked in the top 100 of 12,000 sites submitted…

“Beyond Hype is for someone in network marketing who has decided to market a product that’s made a difference in her life. It’s done something she wanted, and has done it well. Now she’s started an enterprise to tell the world…

Kind of like Victor Kiam. Remember him? He walked into millions of living rooms years ago on black and white TV, and holding out a razor announced,

‘I liked this razor so much I decided to buy the company.’

And that’s where the similarity ends. In network marketing and direct sales, you don’t get to hide in a TV studio. If you’re in direct sales or network marketing, you must:

‘Talk to people. Talk to people. Talk to people.’

‘But, what should I say? So they don’t glaze over or run away? And, so that someone just like me pauses to hear my story?’

That’s what Beyond Hype does – with two language tools that might surprise you…”

Here are those two language tools…click below, read, and opine, ok?

Kim Klaver’s experimental Squidoo site:

About the Author: Kim Klaver is Harvard & Stanford educated. Her 20 years experience in network marketing have resulted in a popular blog,

, a podcast,

and a giant resource site,


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Queues form outside struggling UK bank; calm urged

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Nervous savers have re-formed queues this morning outside many branches of Northern Rock, after the £2.68 billion bank took an emergency loan from the Bank of England, the UK central bank.

Shares in the bank had dropped 25% by lunchtime yesterday in London – and stood nearly 60% lower from their high of February – after the Bank of England acted in its capacity as “lender of last resort” to provide Northern Rock with short-term financing to enable it to continue operations.

The Bank of England hasn’t acted as lender of last resort since 1973, when the collapse of Cedar Holdings – a pioneer of second mortgages to UK home-owners – threatened a crisis in the country’s banking industry.

Northern Rock has been hit hard since June this year by the turmoil in world credit markets. Although only 0.24% of its assets are exposed to subprime US housing debt, the bank’s business model saw it grow its loan book by 43% in the first six months of this year. Rather than lending money deposited with it by savers, Northern has borrowed aggressively in the short-term capital markets.

“Northern Rock is not a reckless lender,” said Angela Knight, head of the British Bankers Association on national radio this morning. Urging the bank’s savers not to withdraw their money in panic, “the mortgage lending it does well and it does in a high quality, high calibre way,” she added.

But savers queuing to withdraw their money from Northern Rock today said they were “horrified” by the Bank of England needing to step in.

“I am going to take out the lot, every penny,” said one Northern Rock saver to Bloomberg as he queued outside the bank’s West End branch in London.

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Fiddle Legend Vassar Clements dead at 77

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Vassar Clements, age 77, a legendary fiddle player who took bluegrass music from an obscure cultural art form to a mainstream influence, and who played on over 2000 albums, passed away at his Goodlettsville, Tennessee home August 16th 2005 at 8:35 am Nashville time (CST) from lung cancer which had metastasized to his liver and brain.

Mr. Clements taught himself to play the fiddle at age 7, and though he had no formal training was recognized as one of the world’s most versatile fiddle players and was considered a virtuoso. The first song he learned was “There’s an Old Spinning Wheel in the Parlor”. He described his talent saying, “It was God’s gift, something born in me. I was too dumb to learn it any other way. I listened to the (Grand Ole) Opry some. I’d pick it up one note at a time. I was young, with plenty of time and I didn’t give up. You’d come home from school, do your lessons and that’s it. No other distractions. I don’t read music. I play what I hear.”

He didn’t always earn his living playing music, though. In the mid-1960s he was employed briefly at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where he worked on plumbing. He also performed several other blue-collar jobs including work in a Georgia paper mill, as switchman for Atlantic Coast Railroad; he even sold insurance and once owned a potato chip franchise.

In his 50 year career he played with artists ranging from Woody Herman, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to The Grateful Dead, Linda Ronstadt and Paul McCartney, and earned at least five Grammy nominations and numerous professional accolades. He once recorded with the pop group the Monkees by happenstance, when he stayed behind after an earlier recording session. He also appeared in Robert Altman‘s 1975 film “Nashville”.

His 2005 Grammy award for best country instrumental performance was for “Earl’s Breakdown,” by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and featured Mr. Clements, Earl Scruggs, Randy Scruggs and Jerry Douglas.

Mr. Clements, whose last performance was February 4 in Jamestown, N.Y., was hospitalized earlier this year for 18 days to receive chemotherapy and other treatment. He had been diagnosed in March 2005.

Born in Kinard, South Carolina, his musical career began at age 14 when he associated with Bill Monroe, and later officially joined the Blue Grass Boys band where he remained for seven years. In 1957 he joined bluegrass band Jim & Jesse McReynolds where he remained until 1962. In 1967 he returned to Nashville where he became a much sought after studio musician.

After a brief touring stint with Faron Young he joined John Hartford‘s Dobrolic Plectral Society in 1971 when he met guitarist Norman Blake and Dobro player Tut Taylor, and recorded Aereo Plain, a widely acclaimed newgrass album that helped broaden the bluegrass market and sound. After less than a year he joined Earl Scruggs, who first earned widespread renown for playing the theme to sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies.

His 1972 work with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on their album Will the Circle Be Unbroken earned him even wider acclaim, and later worked with the Grateful Dead’s Wake of the Flood and Jimmy Buffett‘s A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean.

Though he played numerous instruments, Mr. Clements indicated that he chose the fiddle over guitar recalling that, “I picked up a guitar and fiddle and tried them both out. The guitar was pretty easy, but I couldn’t get nothing out of the fiddle. So every time I’d see those instruments sitting side by side, I’d grab that fiddle.”

Big band and swing music were considerable influences upon his style and musical development, and he said that, “Bands like Glenn Miller, Les Brown, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James and Artie Shaw were very popular when I was a kid. I always loved rhythm, so I guess in the back of my mind the swing and jazz subconsciously comes out when I play, because when I was learning I was always trying to emulate the big-band sounds I heard on my fiddle.”

His last album ‘Livin’ With the Blues’, released in 2004, featured guest appearances by Elvin Bishop, Norton Buffalo, Maria Muldaur and others.

Mr. Clements’ daughter Midge Cranor wrote on his website [1] that “As I was still holding his hand his breathing stopped. I looked at the clock and it was 7:20 am.”

Mr. Clements’ remains have been transported to Bond Memorial Chapel, 1098 Weston Drive, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122; (615) 773-2663.

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Euro reaches new lows

Friday, July 15, 2011

On Tuesday, the Euro fell to a new record low in relation to the Swiss Franc, and to multi-month lows against the U.S. Dollar and Japanese yen; all considered by investors to be safe currencies during times of economic turmoil.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that recent comments from the newly installed head of the International Monetary Fund, France’s Christine Lagarde, resulted in a sell-off of the Euro. At a roundtable discussion in Washington, Lagarde noted that the IMF had not yet reached discussion of terms and conditions of a second Greek bailout plan. In fact, a representative from the IMF is currently meeting with Eurozone policymakers to draft such a new proposal. The yield differential between Italian bonds and German bonds has spread to more than 300 basis points, something not seen in over a decade and evidence of investors’ concern.

Adding to the Euro’s woes is the upcoming release of the bank stress tests on Friday. The European Bankers Association said that they expect the data release to shed new light on the Eurozone’s banking situation. Representatives of several of the Eurozone’s governments, including Germany, have requested that the association consider releasing fewer specific details for fear that investor panic will ensue. The inadequacy of the capitalization rates has been an issue with the European Central Bank, whose president recently called upon Eurozone banks to make every effort to put their balance sheets in order.

For the time being at least, an unsubstantiated rumor reported by the Wall Street Journal states that the Eurozone’s central banks’ purchase of periphery debt has helped to quell the downward momentum of the Euro.

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Expat Tax Preparation For Us Expat}

Submitted by: Usexpat Cpatax


FATCA stands for The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. This is relatively recent act that has been introduced by IRS for the US citizens residing in foreign countries. This act requires all the expats to declare the market value of the assets owned by them in the foreign country while filing their Expatriate Tax Return. Form 8938 needs to be filled for complying with this act. Though this new act has made filing taxes even more cumbersome for the expats but it is mandatory so it needs to be done. Let us try and understand how this FATCA works.

The FATCA needs to be filled every year along with the income tax return ( Expatriate tax returns ). The due date for filing is same as your due date for return. If you have got an extension on your tax filing then that extension applied to the FATCA also. The FATCA form requires you to calculate the market value of your assets during that financial year, then convert it to US dollar using the average conversion rate for the year and then declare it.

Even if you have filed the FBAR (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) for all your foreign accounts and assets, you still need to file the FATCA. Both FATCA and FBAR are mandatory. The penalty for not filing starts at $10,000 and keeps getting incremented by $10,000 for every month of further delay. If the value of assets declared by you is less than then actual market value then again a penalty of 40% can be levied. Criminal charges can also be pressed in such cases.

The FATCA required certain institutions of the foreign countries like banks, corporate, brokers, dealers etc. to provide them information about the assets held by US citizens working for them like bank accounts, foreign entities etc.

when embarking on your Expat Tax Preparation, the assets that need to be declared when filing FATCA include foreign bank accounts, foreign stocks not held in bank accounts, foreign mutual funds, life insurance or cash value annuity issued by foreign country, foreign hedge funds or equity funds amongst others. Personal property, jewelry or real estate as assets, are exempted from declaration.

How to Save Your US Tax 5 Useful Tips for American Expats :

Have you been excessively worrying about arduous US tax filing laws that you have to abide by? Worrying is not going to help you solve your problem. You should get into active mode and start thinking about solving the problem of your international income being subjected to Expat tax.

Although the new tax filing requirements by the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FACTA) are stern, we have 5 amazing tips to help you save up on expat tax.

1. Find Out What Exclusions You Qualify For :

Being a resident alien, you are required to pay tax, but expats also get a few generous expat tax exemptions. You must definitely find out all about them, as you may qualify for one or more of such exemption, and may be able to save your hard earned income.

A few exclusions are:

# Exemption of Foreign Earned Income: This will enable you to drop off the first $92,900 from the taxable income that you earn abroad; moreover, if you apply for this exclusion along with your spouse, you can drop off a great $185,800 from your taxable income.

# Foreign housing exemption: Under this, you can subtract a portion of your housing expenses from the taxable income, and the rate differs for every country so you might want to check out on it in detail.

# Foreign tax credit: This lets you withhold the tax payment that you make to a foreign country from the taxes you owe to IRS on dollar-to-dollar terms. If you live in a high tax zones, this can surely save you a hefty sum of money.

2. Consider Investing In IRAs

Do you know you can actually defer your taxable income further and cut down on your marginal tax rate too? You can do this if you decide to follow up with conventional 401(k) schemes. Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) can play a major role in tax savings for expats like you. Moreover, payments from Roth IRA are also exempt from tax; you must consider and explore your options about investing in them as these can definitely serve as your legal off-shore tax saving accounts. Nevertheless, dont invest in any IRA that you are ineligible for, as this can backfire and cost you a 6% penalty charge by the US government.

3. Invest In Mutual Funds Only In Partnership With IRS

The IRS classifies all foreign mutual funds such as foreign money market funds, insurance investment schemes etc. as a Passive Foreign Investment Company (PFIC), and taxes their earnings heavily. Thus beware of investing in any mutual fund abroad without partnering with the IRS or you will be liable to pay excessive tax sums to the IRS. If you partner with the IRS to invest in a mutual fund, you can surely save your PFIC taxes.

4. Consider Your Spouses Nationality

If your spouse doesnt have US nationality, or a US Green Card, you must carefully consider your tax filing options. You can file either as Married Filing Jointly (MFJ), Head of Household (HoH), or Married Filing Separately (MFS). Having a non-resident spouse can serve as a tax shelter; but each tax filing status has its pros and cons, and long term implications too, hence be very wise when you file for tax.

5. File Your Returns Every Yea

Dont even think about missing on your tax payments, because it can cost you a great deal more. Even if your income is below the minimum amount that can be taxed, do file for tax with the IRS, otherwise you may be subjected to huge penalties in the future, and might be disallowed certain exemptions from tax payments too.

About the Author: Visit our website

to read Our Monthly Expat Tax Newsletter and Top Frequently Asked Taxation Questions (FAQ) for U.S. Aliens and Citizens Living Abroad.#


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Bluetongue outbreak in Germany

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A highly dynamic Bluetongue (or catarrhal fever) infection of sheep herds is underway in Germany. From August 2006 till September 9, 2007, 1,833 farms had reported the presence of the infection. From Sept 9. till September 14, 2007, the number of farms reporting infections has grown to 5,686. The number of deaths is estimated around 15,000 sheep.

Bluetongue infection is of viral origin and is harmless to humans. It is an insect-borne viral disease of ruminants, mainly sheep and less frequently of cattle, goats, buffalo, deer, dromedary camels and antelope. There are no reports of human transmission.

The origin of the infection is not clear but it is one of the diseases which is still feared to invade Northern Europe as a consequence of global warming. No official sources are as yet available as the affected sheep farmers have tried to get the news on the media but to no avail.

The disease has also been found in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The United Kingdom Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs says the virus could spread from Northern Europe to the UK, but is unlikely.

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Second case of BSE confirmed in U.S.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Seven months after suspicions were first raised, United States Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns confirmed that a second American cow has tested positive for BSE (also known as ‘mad cow disease’), as determined by a lab in Weybridge, England. The department believes that this cow was born in the United States.

The delay in confirmation followed two conflicting test results from last November. The “Western blot” test, which is a more sophisticated test, could have helped reach a final determination, but the U.S. refused to perform it in November. The department’s inspector general, Phyllis Fong, ordered the Western blot test in June without advising Johanns and by the time Johanns found out about it, the testing was under way.

Johanns was annoyed that the round of testing which confirmed “Mad Cow” had been ordered without him being consulted first.”I was asked by the Senate and the president to operate the department,” Johanns said. “I believe, in this area, very clearly, the secretary should be consulted, whoever the secretary is, before testing is undertaken. From my standpoint, I believe I was put there to operate the department and was very disappointed.”

A senior research associate with Consumers Union, Michael Hansen, said USDA officials “almost sound like some Keystone Kops.”

Johanns reassured Americans that they should not be afraid of eating beef, saying: “This animal was blocked from entering the food supply because of the firewalls we have in place. Americans have every reason to continue to be confident in the safety of our beef.”

On June 17, the Associated Press reported: “American cattle are eating chicken litter, cattle blood and restaurant leftovers that could help transmit mad cow disease — a gap in the U.S. defense that the Bush administration promised to close nearly 18 months ago.”

John Stauber, co-author of “Mad Cow USA: Could the Nightmare Happen Here?” said: “Once the cameras were turned off and the media coverage dissipated, then it’s been business as usual, no real reform, just keep feeding slaughterhouse waste. The entire U.S. policy is designed to protect the livestock industry’s access to slaughterhouse waste as cheap feed.”

Critics of the U.S. testing regimen said the fumbles this time increase their concerns about America’s screening process.

“How can we be sure they were really negative?” Craig Culp, a spokesman for the Center for Food Safety asked; “After all, (here is a cow that was) negative in November that is positive in June.”

The companies which render slaughter waste say new restrictions are not warranted. “We process about 50 billion pounds of product annually — in visual terms, that is a convoy of semi trucks, four lanes wide, running from New York to L.A. every year,” said Jim Hodges, president of the American Meat Institute Foundation.

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