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Border rancher

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Despite promises, gaps remain in U.S. defence against mad cow disease

WASHINGTON (AP) - American cattle are eating chicken litter, cattle blood and restaurant leftovers that could help transmit mad cow disease, a gap in the defences the U.S. administration promised to close nearly 18 months ago.
"Once the cameras were turned off and the media coverage dissipated, then it's been business as usual, no real reform, just keep feeding slaughterhouse waste," said John Stauber, an activist and co-author of Mad Cow USA: Could the Nightmare Happen Here? He contended, "The entire U.S. policy is designed to protect the livestock industry's access to slaughterhouse waste as cheap feed."

The government is now investigating another possible case of mad cow disease in the United States. The beef cow had been tested and declared free of the disease last November, but new tests came up positive, and a laboratory in England is conducting more tests.

The Food and Drug Administration promised to tighten feed rules shortly after the first case of mad cow disease was confirmed in the U.S., in a Washington state cow in December 2003.




"Today we are bolstering our BSE firewalls to protect the public," Mark McClellan, then-FDA commissioner, said on Jan. 26, 2004. FDA said it would ban blood, poultry litter and restaurant plate waste from cattle feed and require feed mills to use separate equipment to make cattle feed.

However, last July, the FDA scrapped those restrictions. McClellan's replacement, Lester Crawford, said an international team of experts assembled by the Agriculture Department was calling for even stronger rules and that FDA would produce new restrictions in line with those recommendations.

Today, the FDA still has not done what it promised to do. The agency declined interviews, saying in a statement only that there is no timeline for new restrictions.



"It's just a lot of talk," said Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), a senior House Democrat on food and farm issues. "It's a lot of talk, a lot of press releases, and no action."

Unlike other infections, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, BSE, or mad cow disease, doesn't spread through the air. As far as scientists know, cows get the disease only by eating brain and other nerve tissues of already-infected cows.

Ground-up cattle remains left over from slaughtering operations were used as protein in cattle feed until 1997, when an outbreak of mad cow cases in Britain prompted the United States to order the feed industry to end the practice. Unlike Britain, however, the U.S. feed ban has exceptions.

For example, it's legal to put ground-up cattle remains in chicken feed. Feed that spills from cages mixes with chicken waste on the ground, then is swept up for use in cattle feed.

Scientists believe the BSE protein will survive the feed-making process and may even survive the trip through a chicken's gut.


That amounts to the legal feeding of some cattle protein back to cattle, said Linda Detwiler, a former Agriculture Department veterinarian who led the department's work on mad cow disease for several years.

"I would stipulate it's probably not a real common thing, and the amounts are pretty small," Detwiler said. But still, if cattle protein is in the system, it's being fed back to cattle, she said in an interview.

Cattle protein can also be fed to chickens, pigs and household pets, which presents the risk of accidental contamination in a feed mill.

-

Loopholes in the ban on cattle remains in cattle feed

The Food and Drug Administration promised in January 2004 to close loopholes in a ban on putting cattle remains in cattle feed, but it has failed to act. The government calls the ban a "firewall" against the spread of mad cow disease. Eating the mad cow disease protein is the only way cows are known to get the disease.

Loopholes include:

-Ground-up cattle remains can be fed to chicken, and chicken litter is fed back to cattle. Poultry feed that spills from cages mixes with chicken waste on the ground, then is swept up for use in cattle feed. Scientists believe the BSE protein will survive the feed-making process and may survive being digested in chickens.

-Cattle blood can be fed to cattle and often comes in the form of milk replacement for calves. Some scientists believe blood from infected cattle could transmit the disease.

-Restaurant leftovers, called "plate waste," are allowed in cattle feed. Cuts of meat that contain part of the spinal cord, or become contaminated by spinal tissue while being prepared, could be infected with BSE.

-Factories are not required to use separate production lines and equipment for feed that contains cattle remains and feed that does not, creating the risk that cattle remains could accidentally go into cattle feed.

-Besides being fed to poultry, cattle protein is allowed in feed for pigs and household pets, creating the possibility it could mistakenly be fed to cattle.

-Unfiltered tallow, or fat, is allowed in cattle feed, yet it has protein impurities that could be a source of mad cow disease.
 

Jinglebob

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Unlike other infections, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, BSE, or mad cow disease, doesn't spread through the air. As far as scientists know, cows get the disease only by eating brain and other nerve tissues of already-infected cows.


If this were the case, how did the first cow to get the disease, get it in the first place? Before that, there were no cows who had it, so how did a cow eat a part of another cow, if there were no other cows with the disease?
 

Maple Leaf Angus

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Jinglebob said:
. . .If this were the case, how did the first cow to get the disease, get it in the first place? Before that, there were no cows who had it, so how did a cow eat a part of another cow, if there were no other cows with the disease?

Good question, J B . Same thing as I've been wondering. But don't hold your breath waiting for the answer! :?
 

rkaiser

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Could that 5% include the three Canadian and 2 American cows Reader (the second)? These are pretty small numbers in relation to the population of cattle in our countries now, are they not.

What the heck is this statement from you about BSE not appearing to be transmissable?
 

rkaiser

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Could you give me an opinion on my first question Reader(the second)?

Your second OPINION about BSE being transmisable of BSE from cow to cow through injestion is an interesting OPIONION, but there is still no proof to back this OPINION of yours.
 

rkaiser

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Sorry reader: Should have read -

Your second OPINION about BSE being transmisable from cow to cow through injestion is an interesting OPIONION, but there is still no proof to back this OPINION of yours.
 

mrj

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More information to consider, based on currently accepted science, of course:

Re. FDA rulemaking on animal feeds, the best information available is that FDA may take a new and better direction to reduce risk. The goal of FDA actions is to reduce risk to the greatest extend possible. Reportedly, FDA has re-analyzed the data and determined that a much greater reduction in risk can be achieved by banning SRMs in all animal feed and in pet food. Result" poultry litter no longer be a concern because it could not contain any ruminant material having potential infectivity risk.

FACT: NCBA has a policy that says poultry litter should not be used as a cttle feed ingredient. (However, the organization has no power to force anyone not to use it.)

Plate waste is not a risk issue because: Plate waste consists of food that was safe to serve to humans, so why would there be concern if it is fed to livestock? The real issue with plate waste: if feed is tested for ruminant protein, the test cannot distinguish between feed that contains ruminant meat and bone meal and the feed that contains plate waste that contained, say, steak. For that reason, banning plate waste was considered in order to assure that feed could be effectively tested for prohibited ruminant materials. Additionally, according to the FDA, bakery products comprise 90% of all plate waste produts going to animal feed. Most of the rest is eggs, dairy products, fish and other products of animal origin. Plate waste consists mostly of non-meat products (the best estimate is that plate waste could contain 2% to $% bovine tissues.

re. Tallow" The World Health Organization hs concluded that because of the proteinacious nature of TSE agents, they will tend to remain with the cellular residues of MBM during the extraction process, rather than being extracted with the lipids of tallow. Studies funded by the EU AND UK have shown tallow can be considered safe.

re Blood" No detectable infectivity has been found in blood or blood components of cattle infected with BSE. Blood is not infective and therefore blood products may be used as a feed ingredient. We do not know how widely blood products are used byt anecdotal evidence suggests it is not a widespread practice, especially in the beef industry. If we want to stand on the science and adhere to OIE guidelines, blood is not an issue.

Source: Rick McCarty, Executive Dir. , Issues Management, NCBA

MRJ
 

rkaiser

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Sorry Reader, I didn't know about your being one step closer to the end of the trail?

I also apologize for your presumption that I view the vCJD cases in the UK as coincidentally matching the BSE outbreak.

On the contrary. I beleive that the environmental event that caused the BSE outbreak may well have been the similar event that brought on vCJD.

Why does this sound like such a far out idea. Many unsolved mysteries are solved by common sense that is farther "out there" than this.

Until some solid proof is found, you and I can spout our opinions til hell freezes over. Saying one opinion is more founded than the other due to acceptence by more people is like talking of a flat world. There is still no proof of transmission, and certainly no proof of a species leap, yet the world watches in terror as another BSE cow is discovered.

I won't argue with precaution, and in fact support and encourage BSE testing for marketing purposes, but yawning at the posts about alternate theories is closing your mind.

Take an honest look at some articles on Chernobyl, or one of many man made ways disrupting the natural environment which have led to problems for humans all over our world.

It is obvious that you are well read in the conventional theory of BSE, maybe moreso than anyone on earth outside Prusiner himself, but follow a few of the words from Kathy that have caught your interest. Stay away from the conventional stuff for a moment, or an hour, or a day. You might find more, and be of more help in the crucade to save people, and farmers all over the world, if you saw the merits of finding a true reason why BSE exists.
 

rkaiser

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Corelation with the feed ban, or coincidence. Why are there still cases being discovered after the feed ban? Lots in the UK and more coming all over the world when the world finally does test transperently and with diligent numbers.

Mark's theory has not changed. Unlike the simple theory of injestion that everyone seems to follow, BSE is a complex chemical (metal imbalance) problem. Why would it not seem reasonable that OP's could upset the chemical balance in a mammal, and along with any other number of factors bring on a situation like BSE? Why does the prion misfold reader(the second)? Does the conventional theory have a position yet, or is it still the unknown factorX?

Last but not least Kathy and I have mentioned time and again the homoginate process used in the oral injestion of lab mice etc. This process of homoginization could very well release the metals attached to the misfolded prion and overbear the new host with heavy metal contamination causing the same problem, but not supporting infection. Sure it's just a theory, but to make a theory into proven fact, the claim of oral infection should have to prove alternates wrong, should it not?
 

mrj

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reader (the Second) said:
MRJ said:
More information to consider, based on currently accepted science, of course:

Re. FDA rulemaking on animal feeds, the best information available is that FDA may take a new and better direction to reduce risk. The goal of FDA actions is to reduce risk to the greatest extend possible. Reportedly, FDA has re-analyzed the data and determined that a much greater reduction in risk can be achieved by banning SRMs in all animal feed and in pet food. Result" poultry litter no longer be a concern because it could not contain any ruminant material having potential infectivity risk.

FACT: NCBA has a policy that says poultry litter should not be used as a cttle feed ingredient. (However, the organization has no power to force anyone not to use it.)

Plate waste is not a risk issue because: Plate waste consists of food that was safe to serve to humans, so why would there be concern if it is fed to livestock? The real issue with plate waste: if feed is tested for ruminant protein, the test cannot distinguish between feed that contains ruminant meat and bone meal and the feed that contains plate waste that contained, say, steak. For that reason, banning plate waste was considered in order to assure that feed could be effectively tested for prohibited ruminant materials. Additionally, according to the FDA, bakery products comprise 90% of all plate waste produts going to animal feed. Most of the rest is eggs, dairy products, fish and other products of animal origin. Plate waste consists mostly of non-meat products (the best estimate is that plate waste could contain 2% to $% bovine tissues.

re. Tallow" The World Health Organization hs concluded that because of the proteinacious nature of TSE agents, they will tend to remain with the cellular residues of MBM during the extraction process, rather than being extracted with the lipids of tallow. Studies funded by the EU AND UK have shown tallow can be considered safe.

re Blood" No detectable infectivity has been found in blood or blood components of cattle infected with BSE. Blood is not infective and therefore blood products may be used as a feed ingredient. We do not know how widely blood products are used byt anecdotal evidence suggests it is not a widespread practice, especially in the beef industry. If we want to stand on the science and adhere to OIE guidelines, blood is not an issue.

Source: Rick McCarty, Executive Dir. , Issues Management, NCBA

MRJ

The FDA has backpeddled on the feed ban loops. That's the simple and plain truth. They said that they would adopt these measures shortly after the December BSE case in Washington State. It is now 18 months later. They have dragged their feed for no good reason and their foot dragging impacts YOUR livelihood and OUR health.

Blood is an issue. Blood does transmit TSEs and I can put Rick McCarty, Executive Dir., Issue Management, in touch with a leading researcher in this area if he wishes.

{Can you admit the POSSIBILITY that "your" researcher may simply disagree with the probably equally talented researcher that McCarty is listening to? MRJ}

Poultry litter is an issue. This is an obscene and inappropriate source of cattle feed as your peers have agreed here. Why the NCBA sees fit to allow it is amazing to me.

{What do you not understand about the words "NCBA has policy that says poultry litter should NOT be used as a cattle feed ingredient"? MRJ}

As for plate waste, No ruminant material should be fed to ruminants. Period.
 

Mad Max

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reader (the Second) said:
Jinglebob said:
Unlike other infections, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, BSE, or mad cow disease, doesn't spread through the air. As far as scientists know, cows get the disease only by eating brain and other nerve tissues of already-infected cows.


If this were the case, how did the first cow to get the disease, get it in the first place? Before that, there were no cows who had it, so how did a cow eat a part of another cow, if there were no other cows with the disease?

However, maternal transmission of BSE is widely believed to account for 10% of the cases.

So reader if we are to believe that..Does the transmission occur during the colestrum period or over a longer time frame.

If its longer this could have serious implications for the dairy industry.
 

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Have any of you ever heard of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

The mother ingests alcohol over the period of her pregnancy, which is especially toxic during the first trimester, and the child ends up damaged.

Why is it no one will believe that if the cow is ingesting toxins during her pregnancy, that they could be passed onto the calf, and that calf could develop BSE (as well as the mother). Many times the calf could have the illness, but not the cow.

Dr. Werner Mueller's patent application using the 14-3-3 protein marker, is used (so the application claims) to diagnos the damaging cell death caused by PCBs and other environmental toxins, and (xeno)estrogens.

US patent application: 20050009094. Look it up, if you don't believe me.

Much talk about what was in the cattle feed prior to the ban. Many toxins get stored in animal fats. PCBs are not water-soluble and only solvents could break them down. Wasn't the feed issue related around the use of solvents instead of higher temperatures of heat during rending!

PCBs are also crystals, which when broken down by the solvents would form smaller particles which could later crystallize within the body under the right circumstances.

You can go on believing this is an infectious disease if you want, but it's not! Its the result of toxins. Prove me wrong!
 

Cattleman

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Kathy, once the MBM ban was in place in the UK, BSE cases dropped dramatically. What is your reasoning for this?
 

Mad Max

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Kathy said:
Have any of you ever heard of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

The mother ingests alcohol over the period of her pregnancy, which is especially toxic during the first trimester, and the child ends up damaged.

Why is it no one will believe that if the cow is ingesting toxins during her pregnancy, that they could be passed onto the calf, and that calf could develop BSE (as well as the mother). Many times the calf could have the illness, but not the cow.


Yes I have heard of F.A.S And of course a cow could ingest something that could affect the calf.But what I was trying to get at was if the milk can cause B.S.E, Is it not possible it may have caused vCJD as well?
 

mrj

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Reader the second, I do not understand whyyou criticize NCBA over the issue of Poultry litter, when obviously the organization has done what they can to eliminate the practice?

MRJ
 

mrj

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reader (the Second) said:
MRJ said:
Reader the second, I do not understand whyyou criticize NCBA over the issue of Poultry litter, when obviously the organization has done what they can to eliminate the practice?

MRJ

That is good to hear MRJ. I must have misread your post.

Apparently you missed the fact that NCBA has stated Poultry litter should not be used as cattle feed in my first post.

I personallyam not at all sure poultry litter litter, when processed properly and with NO possibility of MBM in it, has any reason to be considered "obscene". Because it seems disgusting to some people does not make it an improper source of nutrients for cattle. If we allow the "yuck factor" to be the sole determining reason for preventing such beneficial use of a product needing disposal, we will lose on several levels: disposal costs, loss of valuable nutrients, possible polution of the environment.....probably more than I can quickly think of.

Consider that the end product, beef, does not contain the smell, residue, or anything from the "disgusting" poultry litter. There are NO residues in the meat.

Carrying that mind-set that litter can lead to "un-clean" meat......consider what catfish in the wild might eat, for one!

Perception is not a good basis for most decisions, is it? All too often perceptions are something that probably is not very accurate which we are led to believe by someone with an agenda to change our minds, practices, etc. for their own gain, IMO.

MRJ
 

Mike

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MRJ said:
reader (the Second) said:
MRJ said:
Reader the second, I do not understand whyyou criticize NCBA over the issue of Poultry litter, when obviously the organization has done what they can to eliminate the practice?

MRJ

That is good to hear MRJ. I must have misread your post.

Apparently you missed the fact that NCBA has stated Poultry litter should not be used as cattle feed in my first post.

I personallyam not at all sure poultry litter litter, when processed properly and with NO possibility of MBM in it, has any reason to be considered "obscene". Because it seems disgusting to some people does not make it an improper source of nutrients for cattle. If we allow the "yuck factor" to be the sole determining reason for preventing such beneficial use of a product needing disposal, we will lose on several levels: disposal costs, loss of valuable nutrients, possible polution of the environment.....probably more than I can quickly think of.

Consider that the end product, beef, does not contain the smell, residue, or anything from the "disgusting" poultry litter. There are NO residues in the meat.

Carrying that mind-set that litter can lead to "un-clean" meat......consider what catfish in the wild might eat, for one!

Perception is not a good basis for most decisions, is it? All too often perceptions are something that probably is not very accurate which we are led to believe by someone with an agenda to change our minds, practices, etc. for their own gain, IMO.

MRJ

There's a BIG sign on the front of "Montgomery Meat Processors" ( a custom kill facility here) that says WE DO NOT ACCEPT LITTER FED COWS. I asked them one day why? and was told "because it smells up the hanging cooler".
 

mrj

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Mike said:
MRJ said:
reader (the Second) said:
That is good to hear MRJ. I must have misread your post.

Apparently you missed the fact that NCBA has stated Poultry litter should not be used as cattle feed in my first post.

I personallyam not at all sure poultry litter litter, when processed properly and with NO possibility of MBM in it, has any reason to be considered "obscene". Because it seems disgusting to some people does not make it an improper source of nutrients for cattle. If we allow the "yuck factor" to be the sole determining reason for preventing such beneficial use of a product needing disposal, we will lose on several levels: disposal costs, loss of valuable nutrients, possible polution of the environment.....probably more than I can quickly think of.

Consider that the end product, beef, does not contain the smell, residue, or anything from the "disgusting" poultry litter. There are NO residues in the meat.

Carrying that mind-set that litter can lead to "un-clean" meat......consider what catfish in the wild might eat, for one!

Perception is not a good basis for most decisions, is it? All too often perceptions are something that probably is not very accurate which we are led to believe by someone with an agenda to change our minds, practices, etc. for their own gain, IMO.

MRJ

There's a BIG sign on the front of "Montgomery Meat Processors" ( a custom kill facility here) that says WE DO NOT ACCEPT LITTER FED COWS. I asked them one day why? and was told "because it smells up the hanging cooler".

Mike, I'm just too skeptical of such statements to accept it without some proof.

Are you saying that people who feed mint to cows will produce beef that smells of mint? I believe quite a bit of it is fed, it is strong smelling stuff, so if the premise you present is accurate, the mint theory should follow through as well. I sure haven't heard that it does.

There are several places where mint is grown and the residue remaining after the mint oil is extracted is fed to cattle in some places.

But I know it is popular to attack those who feed poultry litter at the moment. It just puzzles me why we are so prone to attack researchers who work to turn problems (disposal of chicken litter) into positives (low cost feed for cattle, for one thing). Surely we do not assume they are all evil people out to make obscene profits while producing tainted meat to fob off on unsuspecting consumers, do we??????

MRJ
 

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