17 July 2008

A rare burst of real-world topicality

People, this is why you shouldn't move firewood (I'm lookin' at you, Pennsic-bound peeps):

Ash Trees Threatened

Well, this and critters like the pine shoot beetle, the Sirex woodwasp, and the gypsy moth.

It's also why you shouldn't move nursery stock willynilly. Keep your swaps local.

And this is the big argument against raw milk: Cheese May Cause Tuberculosis.

Headline is a bit sensational, and your risk of local cattle being infected with TB varies depending on where you are -- in the MD-DC-VA area, you're probably at greater risk for listeria than TB -- but that sums it up. I mention it only because I've seen a load of hype about the health benefits of raw milk and very little discussion of the risks. I believe adults should be able to make their own choices, but it's good for those choices to be informed, no?

(By the by, Mycobacterium bovis can infect cervids (deer and elk) as well as cattle and bison; much of the trouble with eradicating bovine TB in the U.S. has to do with cattle herds being infected or reinfected because of contact with wild deer which are also infected. Most cases of human tuberculosis are caused by a different mycobacterium, M. tuberculosis.)

Here's the USDA's page on Emerald Ash Borer

And here's the link to the Bovine Tuberculosis Program

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