Mad cow disease in the USA — what next?

Today's breaking news: "a single Holstein on a Washington state farm has tested positive for mad cow disease (search), marking the disease's first suspected appearance in the United States".

A big question immediately emerged for this Canadian who happens to in Canada while the story broke: will American beef be banned worldwide as was Canadian beef was earlier this year under very similar circumstances? As the Fox story points out:

Lawmakers are keenly aware that a case of mad cow disease in Canada last May -- which officials described as a single, isolated incident -- still had devastating economic consequences.

"If it's anything like what happened in Canada, it will be bad. The problem won't be that people will stop eating meat in the United States; the problem is the exports will be shut down like we did with Canada," said Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn.