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A Mad Cow in the Garden?

The diagnosis of Mad Cow Disease in 30 people in Great Britain raised concerns as to whether using animal by-products in the garden poses a hazard. Most human cases of Mad Cow Disease resulted from people eating animals that had been fed tainted by-products, but four gardeners who came down with the disease might have been infected by inhaling bone-meal dust they were using on their roses. Although the threat of Mad Cow Disease is low in the United States because of monitoring and the way animal by-products are processed here, to be on the safe side, always wear a dust mask when using bone meal or other animal by-products. Alternatively, choose a different source of nutrients.