It’s getting weirder, folks. So, let’s summarize this cartoon. This cow is infected with mad cow via the three major Korean newspapers labeled on it. I guess the newspapers who created the mad cow hysteria are considered crazy now that they’re backtracking and trying to clarify the rumors they had spread before. Oh, whatever, here’s the translation from The Hankyoreh:

A cow branded with the signatures of the Chosun Ilbo, JoonAng Ilbo, and DongA Ilbo has specified risk material in its brain. The “risky material” here is these newspapers’ attempts to write off stories about the danger of mad cow disease as “horror stories” and false rumors.

The cow is shocked to see that a Korean American woman made comments about the potential problems with American beef and that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says mad cow disease can even be spread through cosmetics.

Yes, folks, an Atlanta housewife has blown all the experts out of the water. Not really knockin’ the housewife, though.

“Many Korean people in the U.S. have been doubtful about the safety of American beef since the recent beef recall incident. I want to know the source of the assertion that says that some Koreans in the States enjoy American beef.” (The Hankyoreh)

Yes, the most recent recalls were from the disturbing video of downer cows being forced into the slaughterhouse and E. coli. Very dangerous, and I’d like to see if South Korea itself has the system in place to thoroughly inspect and recall its own food supply.

Yet here we go again with confusing one thing for the other. There is a concern about how meat is produced in the U.S., but it mostly has to deal with the slaughterhouses, not the farmers. E. coli some from feces getting into the food supply. This tends to happen in slaughterhouses that or either not sanitized properly or, as is usually the case, sped up so much that shit is literally flying everywhere. Mad cow disease comes from cattle feeding on other cattle, which is a farm issue.

I know it sounds like nitpicking, but people look like idiots when they’re referring to E. coli recalls as proof there is mad cow disease.

I’ve been having this debate with the Significant Other lately about this. She doesn’t want to touch any beef, Korean or foreign. I understand and respect if a person feels that the beef supply is not inspected well enough in any country. What I don’t understand is how Australian beef is considered okay but American beef isn’t. Yes, it has had three–three out of millions of cattle–found infected with mad cow disease in the whole history of keeping track of such things. They were three specks of pepper in a bowl of salt. Those three cows were infected outside the U.S.

Even if a cow was infected, the brain and spinal cord are removed, which are the infected areas of a mad cow–NOT THE BONES. Koreans lately have been conveniently forgetting the silly rule that bones had to be removed from U.S. beef to, according to them, make them safe from mad cow.

We see more and more the fraudulent arguments Korea uses against U.S. beef. So when are we supposed to believe the Korean media and politicians when they actually say something legitimate? They’ve cried wolf so many times. They’ve lied–LIED–so many times. How is anyone supposed to trust the arguments they put forth now?

And has anyone asked about the big elephant in the room? What is a Korean-American housewife doing calling a Korean news program about U.S. beef? Is the show on in Atlanta? I used to live there, and I don’t remember any Korean TV stations on my cable system. She just decided to call this show during the morning hours? No other secretive blocked-number-text-messaging organizations were involved?

Something is rotten in the state of Korea, and it ain’t the beef.

I would eat crow if I wasn’t so darned scared of bird flu. It looks like the Bush administration has asked a court to stop meatpackers from voluntarily testing their products for mad cow disease. Actually, it was sparked by an individual meatpacker, Creekstone, who wanted to do some extra tests. Yet Big Beef, with Bush in its pocket, has pushed it to stop the practice. It’s another example of “competitors” hating competition.

Korea Beat has translated an article examining the forces behind teenagers going out so wholeheartedly for this issue and what it means.

Don't make mistakes other travelers have made!

Get regular emails with insider tips on how to maximize your visit to Korea. Sign up now!

Tour Tips Newsletter

You have Successfully Subscribed!