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Consumers Union Asks Feds to Retest Suspect Mad Cow

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Well-known member
Feb 10, 2005
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Montgomery, Al
Reader, it has been my understanding all along that the IHC "Gold Standard" had flaws and is very subjective. Prionic's check-Western is the way to go. The ultimate in rapid testing.
I'm glad you posted this piece as I see more and more flaws in the USDA's

Would you eat meat from an animal that tested negative using IHC, but positive from the Check-Western?
Suspicious US testing? What finally brought this to the surface now? The Canadians posting here have been bringing this up these inconsistencies for ovewr a year.
Monthly report of Specified Risk Material and other BSE Control breaches for January 2005
Thursday, 17 February 2005

The following report from the Food Standards Agency provides a monthly update on specified risk material (SRM) finds and related issues. These reports are posted on the Agency's website normally during the second week of each month.

Email alerts for these reports and other BSE stories can be obtained by signing up via the website at ''email updates/specialist information/BSE'.
SRM breaches reported over the past month
There have been no reported SRM import or domestic breaches during January 2005.

Over Thirty Month (OTM) rule breaches
As reported in November, the MHS is monitoring slaughter data supplied by the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) to check if any cattle aged over 30 months (OTM) have been slaughtered for human consumption.

As a result of these checks, six more OTM cattle were discovered to have entered the human food chain in October 2004. Two further failures were found to have occurred in November 2004.

No. of Cattle
Days over 30 Months of Age at slaughter
No. of Permanent Erupted Incisors









Post mortem inspection records identified the number of permanent erupted incisors for each bovine as shown in the table above (see background note below). Passport checks should have identified that all the cattle were over 30 months of age at date of slaughter.

In all instances, the plant operators' own checks or systems failed to correctly identify the age of the cattle slaughtered, and MHS staff also failed to identify that the animals were over 30 months of age during passport checks. Possible legal action against the plant operators is being considered. Producers also have a duty to ensure that all cattle presented are fit for slaughter and should not present OTM cattle.

Following discovery of the failures that took place in September, MHS operational managers were instructed to ensure that MHS inspection staff undertake all relevant passport checks to prevent over thirty month cattle entering the human food chain. The MHS has also reminded plant operators processing cattle of their legal responsibility to ensure animals are aged under 30 months. MHS procedures are being formally amended so that each day the last birth date of animals permitted for slaughter is brought to the attention of MHS staff.

Corrective action has been taken in each plant where a failure has occurred. In addition, MHS operational managers are considering the circumstances of each case and will decide if there is a need for disciplinary action, whether staff would benefit from extra training about the particular processes involved, or if systems could be improved.

Any food-borne risk to consumers in relation to these cattle would have been very low. SRM controls were applied and very few cattle in the UK aged between 30 and 40 months have been found positive for BSE in tests.

About 2.3m UK cattle entered the food chain during 2004.

The latest report for December 2004 shows that no cattle were in breach of the OTM rule and this suggests actions taken are having an impact. However, the Agency together with the MHS will continue to be vigilant and monitor developments closely.

Background on OTM rule
Under current regulations, the Fresh Meat (Beef Controls) (No 2) Regulations 1996, cattle with more than two permanent incisors erupted may not enter the human food chain unless the animal is shown to be under 30 months of age according to the Cattle Passport that accompanies the animal. Except for a small number of specialist herds, cattle aged over 30 months are not allowed into the food chain.

Under animal by-products legislation, any cattle slaughtered for human consumption found to be OTM at slaughter must be disposed of as animal by-product and may not enter the food chain.

The MHS supervises the application of these rules in GB slaughterhouses.

In undertaking this task, MHS procedures require a check to be made on the cattle passport as well as a post-mortem dentition check.

These passports accompany cattle to the slaughterhouse and provide confirmation of the animal's age. It is the plant operators' responsibility to check all cattle passports for animals entering their premises.
From Beef Magazine .... I just HAD to post this.

R-CALF's strange bedfellows

Joe Roybal

Jul 1, 2004 12:00 PM

R-CALF found itself in the unenviable position last month of having to defend anti-beef groups in the wake of widespread criticism of its May 26 press event in Washington, D.C. During that event, which R-CALF held in tandem with Ralph Nader's Public Citizen group, Carol Tucker Foreman's Consumer Federation Of America, and the Consumers Union, the four groups denounced USDA's handling of the BSE situation, questioned the safety of beef, and called for government hearings on the matter.

In a letter circulated a few days after the press event, and presumably alluding to an article in the May 28 issue of BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly that criticized R-CALF for holding hands with the anti-meat activist groups, R-CALF patriarch Leo McDonnell struck out against industry criticism of what he charitably called "consumer groups."

"Attacking our nation's (sic) largest consumer groups, such as the Consumer Federation of America and the Consumer Union, with these kinds of hateful undertones undermines the hundred of millions of dollars U.S. cattle producers have invested to improve demand and improve consumer relationships," McDonnell wrote in his open letter.

To R-CALF, it's apparently only acceptable to trash your own family in public. Yet, the logic of McDonnell's charge is so blatantly perverse, it frankly leaves us speechless.

For the record, here is a short bio on each of the groups whose sensibilities McDonnell is apparently so wary of offending:

The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) opposes irradiation for food safety and has pushed for the reduction of beef in the school lunch program. CFA's founder, Carol Tucker Foreman, is well known for her anti-beef rhetoric and efforts to stir up hysteria about the safety of our product.

Tucker Foreman oversaw food safety and nutrition programs for Pres. Jimmy Carter. The 1977 release of the "Dietary Goals for the U.S." served as a wellspring of negative sentiment against the beef industry, of which a key element of advice was "Decrease consumption of meat, and increase consumption of poultry and fish." As USDA assistant secretary, Tucker Foreman was one of the biggest proponents of the Dietary Goals.

The Consumers Union (CU) and CFA have been two of the leading groups pushing since Dec. 23, 2003, the message that beef is unsafe. CU and its leader, Michael Hansen, have also led the crusade against biotechnology and genetically modified organisms.

In fact, former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop once referred to Hansen's rhetoric this way: "Unfortunately, a few fringe groups are using misleading statements and blatant falsehoods as part of a long-running campaign to scare consumers about a perfectly safe food … it is necessary to condemn these attacks … for what they are: baseless, manipulative and completely irresponsible."

Then there's Public Citizen (PC), which gains its supposed credibility through founder Ralph Nader. But PC is best known for its membership in the Global Safe Food Alliance, formed by such animal rights organizations as Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the Western Organization of Resource Councils, Farm Sanctuary, etc., to put out anti-meat messages. If you want more information on PC, just go to its Web site at www.citizen.org, check out the "Meatrix" at www.themeatrix.com or the report "Jungle 2000" at http://www.whistleblower.org/uploads/The%20Jungle%202000%20-.PDF.

It's unfortunate that R-CALF leadership doesn't attach a similar level of respect and sensitivity toward the beef industry and the hardworking folks who are a part of it by more carefully selecting its comrades-in-arms. Crawling into bed with those who have long and openly campaigned for the beef industry's demise just to promote your agenda doesn't benefit anyone but the anti-meat groups, which likely gained considerable credibility as "consumer groups" as a result of the act.

In R-CALF's Washington love fest with the anti-meat groups, only the beef industry got screwed.

This thread is from a long time ago, check the dates. History will tell us that the "Coverup" is sometimes worse than the "Crime".

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