Mad Cow Crisis: Health and the Public Good

Mad Cow Crisis: Health and the Public Good

by Scott C. Ratzan
     
 

In the spring of 1996, when numerous reports of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, popularly known as "mad cow disease", coincided with an outbreak of a similar neuropathological disease in humans, a panic spread across Britain, Europe, and subsequently to the United States. Described as "the biggest crisis the European Union ever had", the mad cow controversy would… See more details below

Overview

In the spring of 1996, when numerous reports of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, popularly known as "mad cow disease", coincided with an outbreak of a similar neuropathological disease in humans, a panic spread across Britain, Europe, and subsequently to the United States. Described as "the biggest crisis the European Union ever had", the mad cow controversy would raise important issues about the ways in which risks to the public health are assessed, disseminated, and controlled. Was the "epidemic" merely a failure of management, the lessons of which could be incorporated into a new strategy for dealing with public anxiety? Was it an isolated case of poor decision-making in a highly volatile economic sector, or was it the kind of nightmare that could face any Government responsible for public safety? And what role did the media play in exacerbating an already spiraling crisis? Divided into four major sections - "Scientific/Historical Perspectives"; "Politics as Health"; "Understanding the Crisis"; and "Lessons and Possibilities" - Mad Cow Crisis: Health and the Public Good assembles the perspectives of a range of experts on this strange and frightening phenomenon, with a view to helping us comprehend how and why such crises occur. Both a careful consideration of how we interpret risk and uncertainty and a step-by-step guide to managing public fear, this important book will interest anyone concerned with public health, communication, science, economics, and medicine.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
These 17 contributions take a multidisciplinary approach to the mad cow crisis, discussing its history and ramifications, and offering suggestions for predicting, avoiding, and managing similar crises. An analysis of media coverage, and a chronology of bovine spongiform encephalopathy and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease developments, describe the crisis in terms of the public's perceptions of science. Several contributors note the need for precise communication by officials in a crisis of this type. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814775110
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
02/01/1998
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.53(d)

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