Taos Land & Film Company: Where Taos Land Sales Fund Independent Films

Cattlegate: Documentary

Cattlegate is a documentary film about the Michigan PBB disaster; the accidental introduction of a highly toxic flame-retardent chemical, into the Michigan cattle feed supply in 1973. Cows that were exposed to the feed suffered horrible genetic mutations, necessitating the deliberate extermination of entire herds.
This film, one of the few to cover the event from inside the U.S., documents the farmers who's lives were destroyed by the aftermath, and the unconscionable decisions that were made to allow the contaminated beef and dairy products to continue being distributed to consumers for 9 months after the problem became known.
Jeff Jackson, 61, grew up in Battle Creek. An independent filmmaker, he produced a short film, "Cattlegate," in the early '80s about the contamination.
His father had been among the veterinarians trying to treat animals. Ted Jackson's research noted the enlarged and lesion-marked livers of animals exposed to PBB.
The late vet said that no level of PBB is safe. And when Jeff Jackson's sister died of leukemia at age 56, he wondered whether PBB contributed to it.
Like Morris and Green and Buchanan, he's mostly frustrated by a lack of answers but doesn't know whether anyone -- even science -- will ever be able to provide them.
"I want to know: How much of this stuff is still in our bodies?" Jackson said. "Does it matter anymore?"
Decades later, PBB contamination suspected in illnesses and deaths
Living with PBB: Michigan Chemical plant dumped poisons, impacting town for years
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Cattlegate (DVD)
Very Rare. Independent documentary on the Michigan PBB disaster with director commentary. (48 min)
Director Jeff Jackson was interviewed in September, 2012 by Detroit Free Press public health writer Robin Erb for a series of in-depth articles on this epic tragedy.
Director Jeff Jackson grew up in Michigan, not far from he epicenter of the PBB disaster. Though he was out of state attending school when the tragic PBB poisoning took place, he received first-hand accounts from his father, Dr. T.F. Jackson who was a well-regarded farm veterinarian for the area. It was the director's father, Dr. Jackson, who first correctly diagnosed the source of the cattle poisoning.
The Poisoning of Michigan, by Joyce Eggington
Mainstream news sources outside of the United States began covering the Michigan PBB event in depth before anyone in the states would touch it. A book by Joyce Eggington titled, "The Poisoning of Michigan", as well as a highly-regarded BBC documentary by the same title, covered the story and it's aftermath in Britain while the media blackout continued in America.