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Calgary Study Looks at Mental and Physical Health Impact of BSE on Producers

15 January 2008

CANADA - University of Calgary researchers want to know if Canadian beef producers are suffering long-term physical and mental health problems because of the mad cow crisis.
The discovery of the disease on an Alberta farm in May 2003 prompted the United States and other countries to shut their borders to Canadian beef for years, costing the industry more than $1.7 billion and forcing some people off their farms.

Professor Ryan Brook said they hope to find 1,000 farm families who are willing to fill out questionnaires to help measure the human cost of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy scare.

"The premise is that BSE has obviously been devastating to farmers since 2003. There has been a fair amount of research that looks at the economic impacts but little or no research that looks on the health impacts," Brook, a community health expert, said Tuesday.

"There's a lot of people who think the BSE crisis is now over but farmers are saying it's not."

Brook expects that some farm and ranch families who cashed in life savings back in 2003 and 2004 or took extra jobs to keep their operations afloat have still not recovered even though the beef trade has largely resumed.

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Source: The Canadian Press


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