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different take on "still gaps in US feed ban"

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mrj

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That GAO report is interesting, to me more for what it doesn't say.

First, for perspective: their job is to find fault. Consider also that they are necessarily bureaucrats, with a probable and demonstrable penchant for promulgating ever more government bureaucracy.

GAO also never qualified how much risk of BSE would be reduced by taking the steps or addressing the issues they raised....again, with no evidence we even have BSE in the USA.

Considering that if there is any BSE in the USA, obviously there is very little of it, the need or necessity of 100% compliance, while a great goal, is much less important than if BSE were widespread and common, as has been well documented in the Harvard Risk Analysis study.

Additionally, the fact that the USA and Canada BOTH put a feed ban in place BEFORE the first cases were found means eradication is even easier.

Having tested over 330,000 samples from the HIGHEST RISK animals in the USA, one has reason to believe the feed ban has worked. There is no doubt it will continue to serve its purpose....even without the desireable 100% GOAL.

We have no way of knowing if all the verification that GAO would recommend, again, recommendations with no analysis of what the increased regulatory effort would accomplish would be any more effective than the present and actual level of implementation of the feed ban, or what the cost/benefit ration would be, especially given our current BSE infectivity level.

MRJ
 

Tam

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Having tested over 330,000 samples from the HIGHEST RISK animals in the USA, one has reason to believe the feed ban has worked. There is no doubt it will continue to serve its purpose....even without the desireable 100% GOAL.


MRJ are you telling us that the HIGHEST RISK cattle are still going through the slaughter plants in the US? The USDA has been reported as to be saying they get their test samples from US slaughter plants. It was to my understanding that the 4D catagory of cattle were the highest risk. (diseased, dieing, dead and downers) What part of the highest risk catagory are they testing at slaughter plants? IS the US really testing the highest risk when the highest risk are probably never leaving the US farms and ranches?
 

Tam

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According to the OIE report it is INPERATIVE that the USDA take additional steps to assure that they do test the ON FARM dead and non ambultory cattle as these cattle are excluded from the slaughter plants and they must be tested for surveillance purposes. But now USDA vets figure they will just go back to testing CNS disorders at slaughter plants to get the recommended catagory and numbers they need to test in the AGRESSIVE SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM, because testing the on farm is just to much work. :roll: .
 

rancher

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Tam said:
According to the OIE report it is INPERATIVE that the USDA take additional steps to assure that they do test the ON FARM dead and non ambultory cattle as these cattle are excluded from the slaughter plants and they must be tested for surveillance purposes. But now USDA vets figure they will just go back to testing CNS disorders at slaughter plants to get the recommended catagory and numbers they need to test in the AGRESSIVE SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM, because testing the on farm is just to much work. :roll: .

And this is suppose to help with consumer confidence in our beef :D
 

mrj

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Reader, you are "reading" more into my words than what I wrote. I agree that we need a GAO for the reasons you state. However, I cannot believe the GAO itself is immune to politics. Maybe more specifically, the politics that wants the FDA removed from the USDA and believes that no industry can possibly have altruistic intentions and really work to make their product the safest it can be, which I believe we in the beef producing business, for the most part are doing. We also are dragging along some who would rather not go to the bother. The BIFSco group cutting dramatically the incidence of e coli is a case in point.

I will admit that I have not personally read the reports of the cases of violations of the feed ban, but have seen news stories and heard speakers state that it is similar to what happened in Canada: proteins such as feathers, rodents, etc.

While no one likes to believe it is true, there are choices made daily in this world weighing the risks against the benefits against the costs on the foods we eat. The food could be absolutely pristine, yet care in preparation at home could contaminate it with e coli and other bacteria, so it is reasonable, IMO, to have some limitation to how far we go to have "safe" food.

I am "judging GAO" on years of hearing their reports, and all too often, IMO, finding that the complaints have reasonable explanations. My major complaint is that sometimes it seems like they are wasting time minor problems while major ones are going on and on. That is NOT to say that BSE is a minor problem, only that perhaps there are other diseases in both animals and humans that are costing far more in producer losses and human suffering that BSE has.

Isn't it a fact that world wide, the deaths from vCJD have been about 160 since the first knowledge of this disease? I know that this fact and the fact that there are diseases taking far more lives does not ease your personal pain, for which I am sorry. I know that money means nothing compared to a life,

You make it sound as if there are really wholesale abuses and that MBM is routinely being fed to animals. What is your evidence of that? Do you discount the Harvard Risk Analysis?

I certainly do not deny that BSE is an issue. From early on in this deal I have cautioned those who are so mean spirited toward Canadians that they may have to eat their words WHEN we get a case of BSE in the USA.I'm well aware of the costs, financial and others, that it has cost the cattle and beef industry.

I'm well aware that situations like your own are intensely painful and you probably feel any amount of money spent to prevent it would have been justified. I feel the same about the cancer that took my sister, mother, two aunts and an uncle at too early an age, among millions of others. With those feelings in mind, there is no such thing as a cost/benefit analysis that is worth a life.......however, in that type situation, we are "thinking" with our hearts, not our brains. Someone has to be tough and point out that throwing all the money in the world at a problem is not a solution.

Where do you get the number of 20,000 as being all we have tested? It is over 330,000 now. That testing plan was designed by experts to find BSE if we had an extremely miniscule number of cases in the USA.

Do you not realize that there are slaughter plants that do not produce beef for human food, but for pet food and whatever they do with the products of rendering plants? Extracting materials for tires, plastics, etc. There are other places than farms and ranches where 4D animals can be accessed for testing. Anyway it is my understanding that some states require dead animals to be professionally disposed of. Some Canadians on this site chide us for not testing EVERY 4D. Isn't it a waste to test a young hiefer, for instance that dies calving, or say, an old, perfectly healthy cow that dies of grass tetanus? How about a lightning killed cow? There is prudence and there is bureaucratic excess, which IMO, only takes time and money away from solutions.

I'm sorry you don't feel I'm living up to your personal standards of intensity over BSE. If I, and all people who, like me and one of my nieces are cancer survivors, and have lost a parent/grandparent, a sister, and two aunts and an uncle at early ages to that disease, could muster your intensity to fight that disease, maybe it would soon be a thing of the past.

MRJ
 

Tam

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rancher said:
Tam said:
According to the OIE report it is INPERATIVE that the USDA take additional steps to assure that they do test the ON FARM dead and non ambultory cattle as these cattle are excluded from the slaughter plants and they must be tested for surveillance purposes. But now USDA vets figure they will just go back to testing CNS disorders at slaughter plants to get the recommended catagory and numbers they need to test in the AGRESSIVE SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM, because testing the on farm is just to much work. :roll: .

And this is suppose to help with consumer confidence in our beef :D

"must be tested for surveillance purposes." Did you forget that the testing is not for food safety, SRM removal is for food safety which should be what effects consumer confidence not the testing. But you can't sell the US beef industry as the safety beef in the world unless you can prove it with the BSE surveillance results which are not showing the whole picture if you are not testing the recommended cattle :!:
 

mrj

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You are right that I have not studied everything available about TSE's, BSE, vCJD, both the accepted and the fringe "science" theories surely run to more pages than I could possibly read. I have to neglect my own work to give the time I do to these efforts. In other words, I'm doing the best I can to be accurate and make every effort to state such when expressing an opinion.

You do not know me, and apparently I haven't made it clear to you that I want validated SCIENCE regarding BSE or any other disease, not emotion, to be the basis for decisions regarding the cattle/beef industry. It cannot survive on any other basis, IMO.

MRJ
 
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Could be the reason we need a Federal Judge to look at all the evidence and make the decision on what has and has not been done- and what is safe and what is not...........CFIA has already been caught screwing up with samples laying around for months before testing, infected material being fed back to cattle in the last few years- USDA has been found violating the import policies and procedures in effect, evidence indicates they have put trade agreements before US herd and consumer health, and inconsistent standards on what is or is not safe --FDA has backed off on suggested safety standards under political pressure and been accused of neglecting feed ban inspections....

All of which have been recognized by a US Federal Judge and the majority of the US Senate....Way too many questions :? ... We need to go to trial and let a judge decide upon the evidence presented, not upon who can buy the most or best PR firms.........
 

Maple Leaf Angus

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ot - Would this fed. judge be part of the same legal system that tried oj? Would this be part of the legal system for which you wore a tin star?

If so, there is cause for worry. Because you are a very sick puppy.
 
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Maple Leaf Angus said:
ot - Would this fed. judge be part of the same legal system that tried oj? Would this be part of the legal system for which you wore a tin star?

If so, there is cause for worry. Because you are a very sick puppy.

Is MRJ's black helicopters slipping into Canada now? :lol:
 

Tam

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We need to go to trial and let a judge decide upon the evidence presented, not upon who can buy the most or best PR firms.........

So Oldtimer you want a judge that looks at things through the same colored glasses as R-CALF to take a look at the science and decide for the rest of the world what is good for us. I think the question of BSE would be better left to the World Expert Scenists to study instead of one lone Montana Judge.
 
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Tam said:
We need to go to trial and let a judge decide upon the evidence presented, not upon who can buy the most or best PR firms.........

So Oldtimer you want a judge that looks at things through the same colored glasses as R-CALF to take a look at the science and decide for the rest of the world what is good for us. I think the question of BSE would be better left to the World Expert Scenists to study instead of one lone Montana Judge.

Then let these World Trade Scientists present that evidence to the Judge and convince him- rather than have the decision made by politically influenced bureaucratic departments that have already been chastised by the Congressional overseers, a majority of the US Senators, and the Judge for failing to follow the rules........
 

Tam

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How about we leave it up to the people that have studied the science and make the rules for the rest of the world, that we want to trade with, to decide. Instead of a Judge that was put in office on the recommendation of two opposing Senators that only agree on things when it comes to anti trade. And just by chance are the same Senators that led the Senate to make they ruling against the USDA final ruling.
 
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Tam said:
How about we leave it up to the people that have studied the science and make the rules for the rest of the world, that we want to trade with, to decide. Instead of a Judge that was put in office on the recommendation of two opposing Senators that only agree on things when it comes to anti trade. And just by chance are the same Senators that led the Senate to make they ruling against the USDA final ruling.

Since its a decision about the safety of the US cattle herd and US consumers, I'd just as soon leave the decision to the US.....Kind of lost faith in the World Groups ( WTO, United Nations, World Court) that seem to like to condemn the US for everything that happens in the world- but still wants us to finance and protect them .......
 

Tam

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reader (the Second) said:
Tam said:
How about we leave it up to the people that have studied the science and make the rules for the rest of the world, that we want to trade with, to decide. Instead of a Judge that was put in office on the recommendation of two opposing Senators that only agree on things when it comes to anti trade. And just by chance are the same Senators that led the Senate to make they ruling against the USDA final ruling.

I sat in a room with eminent TSE experts last year and with the exception of the USDA members of the committee, the rest though that the U.S. should (1) test a much larger amount for a number of years; (2) test all 4D; (3) put in place a full feed ban as it looked like the FDA was going to do until the caved; (4) ban bovine material from supplements.

The problem is who chooses the scientists and who pays them. Sending USDA "experts" to Canada was a farce. The USDA convened an international panel of experts after the Washington cow but chose not to abide by their suggestions.

So are you saying we should allow one Montana judge the right to over rule the OIE and the recommendation they have put forward to the world to protect the world beef consumers. If the US or Canada was not following the rules shouldn't it be up to the OIE and their experts to say so not a protectionist group of cattle producers and a single judge?

Did you not read the statement from the OIE that said that R-CALF was miss quoting them to make their own point. By what I read the OIE agreed to the SRM removal plan We are testing the cattle they recommended in Canada and by OIE rules the US can not force regulations on Canada that they themselves are not doing in the US so tell me why is R-CALF using the courts to keep out beef that is produced to a higher standard? Canada is doing what the OIE recommended we do so we can trade.
 

Tam

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Oldtimer said:
Tam said:
How about we leave it up to the people that have studied the science and make the rules for the rest of the world, that we want to trade with, to decide. Instead of a Judge that was put in office on the recommendation of two opposing Senators that only agree on things when it comes to anti trade. And just by chance are the same Senators that led the Senate to make they ruling against the USDA final ruling.

Since its a decision about the safety of the US cattle herd and US consumers, I'd just as soon leave the decision to the US.....Kind of lost faith in the World Groups ( WTO, United Nations, World Court) that seem to like to condemn the US for everything that happens in the world- but still wants us to finance and protect them .......

Oldtimer if you think that the ruling in this court action will be felt by just the US cattle Herd and the US consumer you are kidding yourself. If R-CALF should happen to convince this judge that seems to believe everything they spout, the ruling will effect beef consumption world wide. You will have just proved in a court of law that the safety measure used world wide are not doing what the OIE recommended them to do. Including those used in the US. How will anyone be eating beef after that whether they live in the US, Canada , UK or Japan we all follow OIE rules. But you are willing to hurt if not destroy consumer confidence in beef world wide just to keep you high cattle prices smart move Oldtimer what will those cattle prices be when NO ONE IS EATING BEEF produced in countries following OIE rules.
 

Bill

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reader (the Second) said:
Tam said:
How about we leave it up to the people that have studied the science and make the rules for the rest of the world, that we want to trade with, to decide. Instead of a Judge that was put in office on the recommendation of two opposing Senators that only agree on things when it comes to anti trade. And just by chance are the same Senators that led the Senate to make they ruling against the USDA final ruling.

I sat in a room with eminent TSE experts last year and with the exception of the USDA members of the committee, the rest though that the U.S. should (1) test a much larger amount for a number of years; (2) test all 4D; (3) put in place a full feed ban as it looked like the FDA was going to do until the caved; (4) ban bovine material from supplements.

The problem is who chooses the scientists and who pays them. Sending USDA "experts" to Canada was a farce. The USDA convened an international panel of experts after the Washington cow but chose not to abide by their suggestions.
The OIE also did an earlier examination of the Canadian system and gave it favorable comments.
 

Bill

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Reader 2:So please stop lumping me with R-CALF. I share some of their conclusions but my motivations are not the same and I do not share all their opinions.

What conclusions do you share with R-Calf?
 

Tam

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reader (the Second) said:
Tam said:
reader (the Second) said:
I sat in a room with eminent TSE experts last year and with the exception of the USDA members of the committee, the rest though that the U.S. should (1) test a much larger amount for a number of years; (2) test all 4D; (3) put in place a full feed ban as it looked like the FDA was going to do until the caved; (4) ban bovine material from supplements.

The problem is who chooses the scientists and who pays them. Sending USDA "experts" to Canada was a farce. The USDA convened an international panel of experts after the Washington cow but chose not to abide by their suggestions.

So are you saying we should allow one Montana judge the right to over rule the OIE and the recommendation they have put forward to the world to protect the world beef consumers. If the US or Canada was not following the rules shouldn't it be up to the OIE and their experts to say so not a protectionist group of cattle producers and a single judge?

Did you not read the statement from the OIE that said that R-CALF was miss quoting them to make their own point. By what I read the OIE agreed to the SRM removal plan We are testing the cattle they recommended in Canada and by OIE rules the US can not force regulations on Canada that they themselves are not doing in the US so tell me why is R-CALF using the courts to keep out beef that is produced to a higher standard? Canada is doing what the OIE recommended we do so we can trade.

Tam - I was just letting you know what the AMERICAN TSE experts' opinion is about BSE testing in the UNITED STATES. I have said innumerable times before that I am not an R-CALFER and that I think that Canada and the U.S. have nearly identical flaws in their surveillance policies and practices. What's happened here is that the USDA is so obviously biased that a Judge AND the Congress have jumped it. Do I think this is optimal? No, I do not, but we were brought to this because the regulators don't listen to TSE experts, they listen to economics and politics. Anyone can find a pet scientist to back them by the way. I'm sure some of you know how non-pragmatic and dreamy and downright dumb the "smartest" academics can be. Including the Harvard Risk Assessment people. Risk Assessment which I am now myself involved in is NOT a science, it's an application of probability models (read statistics) and the assumptions and motivations for setting up certain models color the results. Venneman convened an international panel but didn't listen to it.

I've said before that my view on Canada is that we have BSE in North America. Now, I agree that with 4 cows with BSE, it's worth taking a closer look at the situation. However I have agreed with y'all that as far as I have read, you have had the same or even better surveillance -- I believe you are testing more of the high risk cattle than the U.S. I'm not sure about the feed ban and CIFA but the U.S. and the FDA have their own skeletons in the closet. So please stop lumping me with R-CALF. I share some of their conclusions but my motivations are not the same and I do not share all their opinions.


Direct question; If the US or Canada was not following the rules shouldn't it be up to the OIE and their experts to say so not a protectionist group of cattle producers and a single judge?

Do you have to be an R-CALF to give an answer to this question?

direct question; Did you not read the statement from the OIE that said that R-CALF was miss quoting them to make their own point?

Do you have to be a R-CALFer to answer this?

so tell me why is R-CALF using the courts to keep out beef that is produced to a higher standard?

Do you have to be an R-CALFer to give an opinion on this?

You give alot of opinions Reader and when I ask for one you automatically think I'm assuming you are an R-CALFer.

I think that Canada and the U.S. have nearly identical flaws in their surveillance policies and practices
.

However I have agreed with y'all that as far as I have read, you have had the same or even better surveillance -- I believe you are testing more of the high risk cattle than the U.S.

I'm not accusing you of being and R-CALFer but can you explain these two quotes How can the US and Canada have nearly indentical flaws then you say you agree that Canada have had the same or even better surveillance and test more high risk cattle?

I'm sure some of you know how non-pragmatic and dreamy and downright dumb the "smartest" academics can be.
Anyone can find a pet scientist to back them by the way


Without being an R-CALF do you think these could also be said for R-CALF and their experts?
 

Bill

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reader (the Second) said:
Bill said:
Reader 2:So please stop lumping me with R-CALF. I share some of their conclusions but my motivations are not the same and I do not share all their opinions.

What conclusions do you share with R-Calf?

That the USDA hurried to open the border to Canada due to economic pressure and politics.
Partly correct. The major factor was the OIE report on Canada encouraging the US to resume trade with Canada. R-Calf has never mentioned this.

That the "expert visit" was a farce.
Are you referring to NCBA's visit or the OIE? Both came to the same conclusion.

Canada (as well as the U.S.) needs to test more and needs to re-examine SRM measures and the feed ban.
I am not aware of R-Calf calling for increased US testing of OTM's

That based on 4 BSE cows, we should be cautious, as the NCBA 11-point which they flip flopped on also agreed with.
Of course we should be cautious. That's why testing has increased and SRMs are removed. The entire industry including NCBA agrees with that statement

So far we have the NCBA, Congress, judicial branch, consumer groups, R-CALF all saying --- Whoa, slow down and take a real look at the situation and take some precautions.
I think it very fair to say that R-Calf is saying that for different reasons than the others you mention.

We have USDA management (see Johannes' statement I posted on no danger from under 30 mos cattle "science is very very clear on this") doing their utmost to turn the clock back to pre North America BSE and trying to pressure our consumer, producers, and foreign consumers and governments into agreeing that really, there's no issue here any longer
4 animals found in a combined North American herd of over 100 million head of cattle is hardly an epidemic of BSE that R-Calf and others would like one to believe is out there.
 

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