UCLA Professor David B. Teplow has studied mad cow disease and says there is no cause for concern among beef eaters over the recent discovery of the disease in a California dairy cow. He speaks with NBC4's Michael Brownlee on Today in LA on April 25, 2012.
A day after the first new case of mad cow disease was reported in the United States since 2006, a UCLA expert on the disease said there is "no cause for alarm."
Professor David B. Teplow has studied the brain and how it is affected by the disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
"As far as the public goes, I see no cause of alarm," said Teplow. "Go ahead, have your meat loaf and don't worry."
The cow died at a dairy and was randomly selected for testing at a transfer facility. A plant official said the cow had exhibited no outward symptoms of the disease.
Teplow and agriculture officials said the animal had an atypical form of mad cow, meaning it did not get the disease from eating infected cattle feed. A veterinary expert calls the case "a random mutation."
Mad cow disease destroys areas of the brain.and leaves behind spongy holes.
"It's very much like a piece of Swiss cheese," said Teplow.
The cow had not been headed for human consumption and people cannot get the disease from drinking milk.