Thanks to all the people who contacted me separately and
online to correct mistakes in my earlier BST postings. I
apologize for not doing more thorough research, but this is just a
"recreational past-time" for me, and my real work leaves little
time for recreation.
I am passing along a message received from Michael Hansen,
providing more accurate/thorough data on mastitis incidence. The
point Michael clarifies is obviously an important one -- the
increase in mastitis across a herd is expected to be in the range
of 15%, while the RATE of incidence among treated cows, in
contrast to untreated cows in the same herd, is in the 80% to 100%
range (i.e. the relative risk nearly doubles).
Michael raises some serious questions from one of Dr.
Bauman's trials. Perhaps someone from Cornell could clarify what
the data actually showed re rates in that trial.
Some people asked for how to contact Lara Wiggert. Her new
e-mail address is email@example.com
BST is a big risk for the dairy industry, and the country.
Its become a precedent setting "battle" over the factors/values
that support regulatory decision-making. FDA concludes the drug
is "safe" and "effective". Inherent is this decision are a set of
"decision-rules" that are grounded in values -- weights given to
different factors, if you will. Those critical of the decision
cite two major factors -- different interpretation of the science
base; different values, or weights given to a modest economic gain
to producers/consumers+(possibly) significant gains to a few
companies, versus the costs to producers/society of increased
mastitis and other health problems which everyone acknowledges
will happen when you use a hormone to push a animal to higher
levels of performance, but which some people view as acceptable
since the incidence of such health problems apparently falls
within the range of incidence, from other factors. The logic
underlying this decision-rule would support interesting decisions,
for example, in attempts to reduce crime through gun-control, or
deal with AIDS.
If anyone has a FEW relevant references on the economics of
mastitis, in the nature of review articles, please send a