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Changes in BSE testing to be made at USDA national vet lab

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HAY MAKER

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Changes in BSE testing to be made at USDA national vet lab

USDA Secretary Mike Johanns has ordered changes in BSE testing at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory that will eliminate the need for confirmatory testing at a British lab in Weybridge, England.

The USDA lab, in Ames, Iowa, soon will begin conducting its own “Western blot” tests, once initial testing indicates BSE. “I think the change is good because we’re more likely to know exactly what we’re dealing with on each case,” said lab director Dr. Randall Levings.

The blot test, used to confirm initial positive tests, had been done for USDA at the British lab.

Levings said the change is in response to an order from Johanns. “We took those as our marching orders,” Levings said.
 

pointrider

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I believe the addition of the test at the lab in Ames is a good thing for the U.S. beef industry. I'm not saying that results at the British lab would ever be "altered" for the benefit of the EU or anything, but it's best not to take a chance. Best for them, and best for us.

It's a normal reaction. I believe most U.S. producers do not want the fate of their industry in the hands of a British lab. Basically, is was kind of a moot point until we started uncovering BSE cases in the U.S. But now it's a different reality.
 

Mike

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pointrider said:
It's a normal reaction. I believe most U.S. producers do not want the fate of their industry in the hands of a British lab.

And you feel good with the fate of the U.S. cattle industry in the hands of the Ames lab? After what happened to the Texas cow? :roll:

You do know that the "Western Blot" test has been used in Europe for almost five years. Yea, buddy. We're "State of the Art" aren't we?
 

bse-tester

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Mike, our test, the urine test, utilizes Western Blot at the final stage of the procedure. We tried to present it to the USDA two years ago and they showed no interest. But then, there was no interest from the CFIA until they saw the actual science behind the test itself. Western Blot has been around for quite some time and it is truly surprising that Ames, Iowa is only now waking up to it. I guess it takes an order from the big house to get them moving. I chatted with one of the members of the EFSA who actually works with the VLA in England, at a lab other than Weybridge and he like our test so much that he actually presented it to the EFSA Board meeting in Brussels last September. Following that presentation, the Chairman of the Board actually wrote to us and suggested that we get the USDA to validate it. We tried and got nowhere. But we are still hopefull that they will come around. I am at a total loss as to why the USDA did not want to at least look at it. It could have saved them so much hassle if they had. Perhaps I should send a copy of our Paper to Secretary Johanns? His predecessor, Anne Venemann flatly refused to even acknowledge that we had sent her all the pertinent information two years ago or more. And no, I am not pushing my test here guys, just pointing out some rather reckless facts about the USDA, so please, relax.
 

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