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Arresting Contagion: Science, Policy, and Conflicts Over Animal Disease Control: Book by Alan L. Olmstead

Arresting Contagion: Science, Policy, and Conflicts Over Animal Disease Control

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ISBN: 9780674728776    Publisher: Harvard University Press Year of publishing: 2015     Format:  Hardback No of Pages: 430        Language: English
Over sixty percent of all infectious human diseases, including tuberculosis, influenza, cholera, and hundreds more, are shared with other vertebrate animals. Arresting Contagion "tells the story of how early...Read more
Over sixty percent of all infectious human diseases, including tuberculosis, influenza, cholera, and hundreds more, are shared with other vertebrate animals. Arresting Contagion "tells the story of how early efforts to combat livestock infections turned the United States from a disease-prone nation into a world leader in controlling communicable diseases. Alan Olmstead and Paul Rhode show that many innovations devised in the fight against animal diseases, ranging from border control and food inspection to drug regulations and the creation of federal research labs, provided the foundation for modern food safety programs and remain at the heart of U.S. public health policy. America s first concerted effort to control livestock diseases dates to the founding of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) in 1884. Because the BAI represented a milestone in federal regulation of commerce and industry, the agency encountered major jurisdictional and constitutional obstacles. Nevertheless, it proved effective in halting the spread of diseases, counting among its early breakthroughs the discovery of Salmonella "and advances in the understanding of vector-borne diseases. By the 1940s, government policies had eliminated several major animal diseases, saving hundreds of thousands of lives and establishing a model for eradication that would be used around the world. Although scientific advances played a key role, government interventions did as well. Today, a dominant economic ideology frowns on government regulation of the economy, but the authors argue that in this case it was an essential force for good."
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Review:
Economists Olmstead and Rhode present an absorbing, detailed account of the often tumultuous history of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), which was formed in 1884 to help stem the tide of...Read more
Economists Olmstead and Rhode present an absorbing, detailed account of the often tumultuous history of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), which was formed in 1884 to help stem the tide of contagious livestock diseases. The authors emphasize the many stumbling blocks the BAI encountered implementing this mandate, its eventual eradication of several high-profile diseases, and the overall status of meat inspection/food safety programs and animal disease control infrastructure during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This well written, fully researched, eye-opening account will be valuable to anyone interested in livestock production, animal disease control, agricultural economics, veterinary medical history, public health, and historical aspects of interstate commerce.--D. A. Brass"Choice" (07/01/2015)
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