Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-l48q4 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-02-24T12:34:47.710Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false
This chapter is part of a book that is no longer available to purchase from Cambridge Core

9 - Mad and Coughing Cows: Bovine Tuberculosis, BSE and Health in Twentieth-Century Britain

from Part III - Meat, Risk and Regulation

Keir Waddington
Affiliation:
Cardiff University
Get access

Summary

Since the 1950s, consumers have come to expect cheap, but safe food. A number of food scares in the 1980s and 90s – E. coli in 1987, Salmonella in 1988, and the furore over GM ingredients – challenged this expectation. Of all these scares Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) or ‘mad cow disease’, although coming at the end of a decade of food scares, came to embody the fears that had come to surround issues of food safety.

However, the threat from a zoonotic disease and meat are not unique to the late twentieth century. Whereas social scientists have suggested that an obsession with food quality is characteristic of a modern western society, across Europe and North America animal plagues and food safety became important medical, social and political questions in the nineteenth century. In Britain, apprehension about the dangers of consuming adulterated or unwholesome food was present in the mid-nineteenth century, but more was at stake than just questions of quality and composition. After 1850, meat from diseased livestock emerged as a defined danger to health. Regular outbreaks of foot-and-mouth, rabies and pleuro-pneumonia fuelled anxiety, but it was bovine tuberculosis that came to dominate debate about the relationship between animal diseases and human health. In the process, tuberculous meat became symbolic of the dangers represented by meat from diseased livestock.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Pickering & Chatto
First published in: 2014

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×