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Canadians Recognize Firewalls are Missing

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Anonymous

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Fri, June 17, 2005

Another BSE cloud
By NEIL WAUGH, EDMONTON SUN




Under construction: Daniel Beausoleil of DB Construction works on a home being built in the Southbrook development, south of Ellerslie Road. – DAVID BLOOM, Sun Media
Baby Doc did Power Town yesterday. And the subject, as always, was mad cows and the American border.

Alberta Agriculture Minister Doug Horner's first stop was U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney's office. Tomorrow, the son of Peter Lougheed's legendary ag minister and rural fixer Hugh (Doc) Horner drops in on U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns.

"Trade disruptions in the North American cattle industry have resulted in drastic economic impacts in both Canada and the U.S.," Horner boomed - repeating almost word for word what Johanns was telling Premier Ralph Klein and western U.S. governors at a conference earlier in the week.

So why was Horner wasting $5,000 of Alberta taxpayers' money preaching to the converted? Good question. Especially when the person he really should have been talking to was Phyllis Fong.

Phyllis who?


She's the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector general - a congressional watchdog not unlike Alberta Auditor General Fred Dunn.

And if you read between the lines of a statement she quietly released this week, Horner and the Alberta Tories' dreams of a border opening for Canadian cattle this summer may be fleeting.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES AUDITS

Fong and her crew have been quietly conducting two behind-the-scenes audits of the USDA following complaints by several cow-state senators. They're basically looking to see what the department was actually doing to protect American cattle herds and consumers from BSE.

There's certainly a need to keep an eye on these characters. Especially after Alberta Agriculture food safety branch head Cliff Munroe's memo surfaced describing how Horner's brilliant BSE surveillance system works. Where 75 dead animals were found "either in a pit or lying frozen on the ground" last winter at a farm near Mayerthorpe.

The animals' brains had been sent to the mad cow lab for testing, and the bodies just tossed out on the ground - until the neighbours complained. I wonder if Doug told Cheney about that?

Fong appears to have found a similar situation when going over test results while probing "the performance of BSE laboratories in complying with procedures for conducting tests.

"Auditors noted an unusual pattern of conflicting test results on one sample," Fong said. The cow's brain was ordered retested.

"The sample subsequently rendered a positive result," she revealed. Now it's off to England for more lab work. Results won't be back for two weeks.

Fong also revealed that "our field work is ongoing." Two audits are underway. No results are expected until "late this summer."

Clearly this is only going to add fuel to the already blazing fire the the protectionist R-CALF is successfully stoking. Especially after a Montana judge ordered the border remain closed in March over the White House's wishes.

It (sample) "never found (its) way into the food chain," Johanns blurted to the premier and the governors. "One thing is very clear, our firewalls did work."

He said he sent the sample offshore in an effort to "better understand the disease."

SOMETHING MORE SINISTER?

Is that what Fong's "pattern of conflicting test results" means? Or was she driving at something more sinister?

Johanns also revealed that the animal was born "before the feed ban was instituted," so it was an old cow. Until 1997, feedlots were allowed to feed rendered cattle parts - including brains and spinal cords - back to animals.

Until someone figured out that was how mad cow disease was spread.

"USDA has said since the very start of the enhanced surveillance program that we expected additional cases of BSE," he sniffed.

Then he talked about how "transparency is essential."

Even though everything was clear as mud until Phyllis Fong happened on the scene and started peaking through keyholes at the USDA.

"This latest announcement reinforces what R-CALF has been saying all along," stormed R-CALF president Leo McDonnell. "We need to maintain and reinforce our two strongest firewalls against BSE - our feed ban and our import ban." So see you in court.
 

rkaiser

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Tell me how on earth this would support an import ban Oldtimer?

Sounds like desperation time for Rcalf to me.
 

Silver

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rkaiser said:
Tell me how on earth this would support an import ban Oldtimer?

Sounds like desperation time for Rcalf to me.

Don't you know? EVERYTHING supports import bans. Remember, this is rcalf. Logic has no place in their arguments.
 

rkaiser

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Well silver, I would have to say that the Rcalf scientists who devised the quarantine plan in the first place can be laid off now. The world seemed to see the problems with this Rcalf quarantine, but those who followed could not. Now the tens of thousands of animals that are already in the USA who came from Canada, and the thousands that came to Canada from the USA, are just like all the rest.

Both countries have BSE. Both countries have similar restrictions in place that (in most people's minds) protect the (so called) spread, and (so called) human health concerns.

What would be the need for a closed border now????? MONEY??????

Always was, and always will be.
 
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rkaiser said:
Tell me how on earth this would support an import ban Oldtimer?

Sounds like desperation time for Rcalf to me.

kaiser- Seems to me to be just another link in showing a chain of deception and mistakes made by USDA which is trying to prove that they have all their ducks in a row, firewalls in place, and sh*t together to open the border to imports from a country with a greater number of and therefore higher risk for BSE cases......Judge has already questioned their intentions and ability from preliminary evidence he saw when he ruled that they had put opening trade ahead of their designated duty- to safeguard US consumer and US herd health safety...The OIG in an earlier report said exactly the same thing- so it wasn't hard for the judge to find that decision...

With the daily new questions arising concerning USDA about firewalls, testing, credibilty, thoroughness of their Canadian appraisal and the fact that OIG has two ongoing investigations looking into the same-I would think that the Judge would hold off allowing any rules changes to go into effect until these investigations are complete and the OIG has made their report...
 

rkaiser

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Oh I see Oldtimer, more cases and greater risk.

Do you want me to simply agree with a statement like that.

Like I said - desperation time.
 

Mike

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Randy, Trade will depend on the Big 3 packers. Since they are involved in Australia, it is my opinion they are not hasty to open trade with Japan, Canada & USA. Thus the deliberate fight of testing all live cattle going there.
When it is right to open the border (when their profits start dwindling) and it is advantageous to them the border will open. R-Calf is just a small, small setback in the grand scheme. And I'm no R-Calfer.
 

Bill

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Glass houses Oldtimer, glasshouses.

Obviously those Canadian animals did not enter the food or feed supply.

Q:What does the US do with the carcasses of BSE tested animals?
A:people or other animals eat them.

Until a week ago, R-Calf and others similarily misinformed in the Excited States were rolling along saying we don't have BSE, Canada does, na-na-na-na-na...na.
Then what changed? SPEED BUMP
Someone finally started asking some hard and fast questions of the US system and others also began pointing out that very little has changed to move towards USDA's goals of eliminating feeding chicken crap to cattle, etc.

I hope the test comes back negative from Weybridge but regardless of the results you can rest assured Canada will still be providing safe, quality beef to US consumers. It just won't be harvested in the US.
Keep stoking the fire along with your R-Calf brethern OT but careful you don't get burned.
 

Northern Rancher

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Randy-the sun rose in the east and brother gopher was sitting on a mound of dirt our elders (oldtimer) say that the signs say keep the medicine line closed to your white man's stinking buffalo from the great mother's country. What do those R-Calfer's smoke in their pipes-it sure ain't kinnikinnick.
 
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Bill said:
Q:What does the US do with the carcasses of BSE tested animals?
A:people or other animals eat them.

Bill - according to one article I saw the Texas questioned cow was incinerated--thats what NCBA was saying anyway...

And your right- animal parts do go back to where animals eat them-- chicken litter, plate scraps, milk replacer, etc... That is one main reason I can see why we should not open our borders to live cattle or beef that could possibly have BSE in it- which with our relaxed rules could end up increasing the risk of infecting the US herd--Not until we get the firewalls up and in place that OIE, several USDA and FDA scientists, and now the OIG have told the USDA and FDA leadership to do........
 
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Northern Rancher said:
What do those R-Calfer's smoke in their pipes-it sure ain't kinnikinnick.

NR- Sage for wisdom and strength.. :wink:
 

Neil Waugh

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Thanx fer putting up my yarn. Least nobody has suggested hauled in the squeeze chute yet and getting out the rubber bands.
But there's something I don't understand here. Remember last summer when Veneman was making the rounds braggin' up the new lab at Ames, Iowa.
If you fellows south of the medicine line got the best damn BSE lab in the world, how come Johanns had to bring in the Limeys to do his testing after Phyllis Fong got on his case? Christ, they still think they won the Second World War.
Is that why DeHaven suddenly bolted? Or have I just been on the kinnikinik too?
 

rkaiser

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Goodness, you never know who is lookin in on all of us.
Welcome to ranchers Neil Waugh.

Good question about the Limey's Neil, don't forget this is where the BSE story began. There is a pretty big picture there regarding cause in the first place, and governments must respect government when possible coverup is looming. The whole story of infection is one of questions and every aspect must therefore be delt with by those that stand to loose the most should another theory be considered.
 
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Neil Waugh said:
Thanx fer putting up my yarn. Least nobody has suggested hauled in the squeeze chute yet and getting out the rubber bands.
But there's something I don't understand here. Remember last summer when Veneman was making the rounds braggin' up the new lab at Ames, Iowa.
If you fellows south of the medicine line got the best damn BSE lab in the world, how come Johanns had to bring in the Limeys to do his testing after Phyllis Fong got on his case? Christ, they still think they won the Second World War.
Is that why DeHaven suddenly bolted? Or have I just been on the kinnikinik too?

Neil- we may be years recovering from Ms. Veneman- she was in way over her head- hopefully for the children of the world she isn't running UNICEF with the same competency she showed in the USDA....

USDA needs a good housecleaning- whole system could stand an overhaul-- In what other country do you have the Dept of Agriculture overseeing consumer safety regarding farm (meat) products and the Food and Drug Administration overseeing animal food ingredients and safety.....And for a while it sounds like they were fighting so hard to protect each others turf they weren't even talking......

Good article-- there have been many mistakes made by the politicians and bureaucrats on both sides of the border with the BSE issue- and as long as the multinational packers have them in their pockets it will continue.....
 

don

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the lab at ames was just another measure to keep the lid on this and then fong shows up and ruins the party. if you stand back and look the americans are doing the same coverup strategy as was followed in britain, japan and most of the european countries. the only factor that might make this not a disaster for us is that the americans are not self sufficient for beef production. if they destroy their own market their exports are screwed too and it could make the repercussions up here less severe if we get our export act together and start giving the customers what they want.
 

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Oldtimer said:
Bill said:
Q:What does the US do with the carcasses of BSE tested animals?
A:people or other animals eat them.

Bill - according to one article I saw the Texas questioned cow was incinerated--thats what NCBA was saying anyway...

And your right- animal parts do go back to where animals eat them-- chicken litter, plate scraps, milk replacer, etc... That is one main reason I can see why we should not open our borders to live cattle or beef that could possibly have BSE in it- which with our relaxed rules could end up increasing the risk of infecting the US herd--Not until we get the firewalls up and in place that OIE, several USDA and FDA scientists, and now the OIG have told the USDA and FDA leadership to do........

“we know if we are going to keep consumer confidence we are going to maintain some of the highest standards in the world to make sure that BSE is not introduced into this country. And we are going to make sure we have the best meat and bone meal ban in this country in place. So if for some reason we did find a case we can stand and look our consumers right in the eye and say, don’t worry we have had these firewalls in place for years, the only country prior to having a case of BSE to have these firewalls in place for so many years. And we did it to make sure if a case was ever found it was a non-issue. If we look them right in the eye and say that I will guarantee they will keep eating beef”.


Maintain means to keep up or continue with or to keep in existence. What High standards and firewalls was your leader speaking of when he came up with this quote? According to you
is one main reason I can see why we should not open our borders to live cattle or beef that could possibly have BSE in it- which with our relaxed rules could end up increasing the risk of infecting the US herd--Not until we get the firewalls up and in place that OIE, several USDA and FDA scientists, and now the OIG have told the USDA and FDA leadership to do.
Which way is it today Oldtimer do you have firewalls to protect consumers or don't you. If your firewalls are so relaxed they can't protect consumers from imported cattle slaughtered in your plants how can they protect consumers from the cattle with BSE right in your own country? Either the US system protects or it doesn't. Where are the High standards Leo talked about Oldtimer? :???: :? He guaranteed the US consumers would keep eating beef if BSE was found in the US because of the firewalls the US has had in place for so many years. :sure: :roll:
 
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Tam- As long as we allow cattle to eat chicken sh*t, allow table scraps to be put into rendered product that can go back into animal feed, allow blood or mammal product into milk replacer we do not have adequate firewalls as far as I'm concerned- cattle were never meant to eat cattle....

Then to even go further and suggest lowering the firewalls more by changing the rules to allow importing beef and live cattle from a country that statistically is at a much higher risk for BSE is ludicrous......Especially while OIG is still investigating whether our firewalls are sufficient.....

Now when all the credibility of USDA's investigations are up in the air.... They have already been caught trying to go around the producers and consumers back to allow packers to import banned products--OIG said they put economics ahead of US consumer and herd safety-now there are questions of coverup or incompetency in their testing....How can we believe that their investigation into Canadas standards, testing, and feed ban isn't flawed or compromised??...
 

rkaiser

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How can you even read what you have read whithout getting all mixed up Oldtimer. Youseem to be applauding the goimg over the USDA is getting.
Somehow I even here a cheer that the cow was retested and could be postive. Rcalf will have proven the USDA wrong.

Then you go on to talk of a much greater risk in Canada. We have had 3 cases, and you have had two. Our testing is much stricter and as you seem to be saying, more transparent.

Are you the Rcalf scientist who developed the quarantine America plan?

Did they fire you, and now you are desperately trying to prove your plan could have worked? You're pretty mixed up Old guy, maybe you should take that new live test to see if you haven't contracted something yourself.
 
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rkaiser said:
Then you go on to talk of a much greater risk in Canada. We have had 3 cases, and you have had two. Our testing is much stricter and as you seem to be saying, more transparent.

How do you know? Seems like USDA hasn't been able to make a turn without worry of breaking CFIA's neck since the two anatomy's were connected...Didn't CFIA know about USDA's allowing banned beef ? I think both are so bought and paid for by your buddies the multinational packers that its hard to trust either......

From some of the Canadians I've talked to, I don't think that Canada's testing program is so magnificent as Tam does-- Most just say they are not going to be the next one who finds a BSE positive and be ostrasized by the nation--in other words they ain't testing- which fits more into my knowledge of human nature....
 

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