Arresting Contagion: Science, Policy, and Conflicts over by Alan L. Olmstead

By Alan L. Olmstead

Over sixty percentage of all infectious human illnesses, together with tuberculosis, influenza, cholera, and thousands extra, are shared with different vertebrate animals. Arresting Contagion tells the tale of the way early efforts to strive against farm animals infections grew to become the USA from a disease-prone state right into a international chief in controlling communicable ailments. Alan Olmstead and Paul Rhode convey that many inventions devised within the struggle opposed to animal illnesses, starting from border keep an eye on and nutrition inspection to drug rules and the production of federal examine labs, supplied the basis for contemporary meals protection courses and stay on the center of U.S. public wellbeing and fitness policy.

America’s first concerted attempt to manage cattle illnesses dates to the founding of the Bureau of Animal (BAI) in 1884. as the BAI represented a milestone in federal law of trade and undefined, the organization encountered significant jurisdictional and constitutional hindrances. however, it proved potent in halting the unfold of ailments, counting between its early breakthroughs the invention of Salmonella and advances within the figuring out of vector-borne diseases.

By the Forties, executive rules had eradicated a number of significant animal ailments, saving thousands of lives and constructing a version for eradication that might be used around the globe. even supposing clinical advances performed a key position, govt interventions did to boot. at the present time, a dominant financial ideology frowns on govt rules of the economic system, however the authors argue that during this situation it was once a vital strength for good.

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50 Congress revisited livestock-related transit regulations several times in the 1870s. Senate bill 206, debated on 26 and 27 May 1879 offers an example. 51 This latter provision sought to allay British concerns about CBPP and would be a regular feature of subsequent bills. ) decrying the expansion of the Arresting | Contagion 40 federal bureaucracy and the arbitrary powers granted to inspectors. 52 The debates on human and animal health sometimes occurred in Congress on the same days and covered the same constitutional terrain.

The introduction of refrigeration technologies to ships, railroads, and packing houses created new trade possibilities in dressed meat. Achieving greater capacity utilization of specialized facilities and reducing waste in the handling of byproducts were also central to the giant packers’ success. The transformation was spectacular. In 1880, the tonnage of dressed beef shipped east from Chicago was less than 8 percent of the tonnage of live cattle shipments. 33 Exports of animals and animal products reached new heights.

Efforts to control Texas fever were particularly divisive. Cattlemen in the Northern and border states clamored for protection while Southerners asserted their constitutional right to engage in interstate commerce and steadfastly denied that their animals were the cause of any problems. Arresting | Contagion 26 State attempts to control the entry of Southern cattle ran afoul of the federal courts. During the late nineteenth century, the courts were deeply involved in a process that historian Richard Bensel has called the “political construction of the national market,” in which they were defi ning the authority of the states and the federal government in interstate commerce.

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