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interesting article ..U.S feed ban problems

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frenchie

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Posted 12/2/04

Subject: Livestock feed still contaminated

The firms that recalled feed said it contained ruminant meat or bone meal.
It is still legal to feed such feed to pigs, chickens and horses, but not
cattle.

Livestock feed still can be contaminated despite ban

Nine firms this year recalled food that lacked required labels warning
farmers to not give it to cattle.

http://www.detnews.com/2004/nation/0411/24/A09-14735.htm
By Faith Bremner Gannett News Service

WASHINGTON -- Seven years after the federal government banned feeding
ground-up cows to other cows to stop the spread of a fatal brain-wasting
disease, manufacturers still are occasionally distributing contaminated
livestock feed.

Cows can get mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, by eating
meat or tissues from infected animals. And humans who eat the infected meat
can get a similar disease that's usually fatal.

In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration banned livestock feed from
containing material from ruminants, which are animals like cattle, sheep,
goats and deer. And yet:

* In October, Farmers Elevator Co. of Houston, Ohio, voluntarily recalled
more than 100 tons of feed meant for livestock, sheep, goats and deer
because it may have contained protein from other ruminants.

* In July, Fresno Farming of Traver, Calif., initiated a recall of an
unknown volume of bulk corn because it may have been contaminated with
ruminant meat and bone meal.

* In April, the state of Wisconsin ordered Crivitz Feed Mill to recall 515
pounds of deer feed manufactured for a local farm that was apparently
contaminated with ruminant meat.

History repeats

Six other companies this year recalled feed that they manufactured for
horses, pigs and chickens that contained ruminant meat or bone meal and
lacked required labels warning farmers not to feed it to their cattle. It is
still legal to feed ruminant meat to pigs, chickens and horses.

"Why is this still happening?" asked Donna Rosenbaum, who sits on the board
of directors of Safe Tables Our Priority, a consumer food safety group.
"It's amazing to me that this is still happening years and years after we
know this is not a smart thing to do."

According to the Food and Drug Administration -- the federal agency that
polices animal feed manufacturers -- there are a number of reasons
contaminated feed still winds up in the hands of farmers. Among them: Proper
procedures aren't followed, new personnel don't know the procedures,
suppliers change or equipment fails.

"There can be an honest manufacturing mistake, where material is
inadvertently put in ruminant feed by mistake," said Randy Gordon, spokesman
for the National Grain and Feed Association, the trade group that represents
most U.S. feed manufacturers. "The violation rate is extremely low."

Compliance with the feed rules is better than 99 percent, FDA Deputy
Commissioner Lester Crawford told the Senate agriculture committee earlier
this year. The FDA, together with state feed inspectors, checks each
manufacturer once a year, Crawford said.

Gordon said roughly 556 companies nationwide manufacture or blend animal
feed that contains ruminant proteins.

About half of those companies also manufacture feed for ruminants.

Violators can be put out of business, Gordon said. That nearly happened just
once, in July 2003, when X-Cel Feeds Inc. of Tacoma, Wash., repeatedly
failed to clean its equipment between manufacturing runs. Company officials
admitted to manufacturing contaminated feed and agreed to change their
procedures.

Feed inspection criticized

The Government Accountability Office -- Congress' nonpartisan investigatory
arm -- released a report in January 2002 criticizing the FDA's animal feed
inspection program. The report, which is being updated, found that the FDA
had not acted promptly to compel companies to keep ruminant proteins out of
cattle feed and to label animal feed that cannot be fed to cattle.

The report said companies that were violating the rules had not been
re-inspected for two or more years. In some cases, no enforcement action had
occurred even though the companies had been found in violation in multiple
inspections.

FDA officials responded to the report by pointing out that it took time to
train field personnel, educate the industry and coordinate with states on
inspections. Congress did not give the agency any additional resources to
put the feed ban in place, they said.

"This required nearly a whole new infrastructure from that which was
previously in place to conduct inspections of manufacturers engaged in the
production of (already regulated) medicated animal feeds," the agency said
in its written response.

"There can be an honest manufacturing mistake. The violation rate is
extremely low."

On the Web: www.fda.gov/opacom/Enforce.html
<http://www.fda.gov/opacom/Enforce.html> , FDA recall notice.
www.fda.gov/foi/warning.htm <http://www.fda.gov/foi/warning.htm> , FDA
warning notice. www.accessdata3.fda.gov/BSEInspect
<http://www.accessdata3.fda.gov/BSEInspect> , FDA inspection data.
 

cedardell

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It is still legal to feed ruminant by products to hogs. It is still legal to feed hog by products to cattle. UK found this was a vector for contamination. Why doesn't US learn from UK research? Why does USDA still allow porcine by products in animal feed?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
In July 2003, when X-Cel Feeds Inc. of Tacoma, Wash., repeatedly
failed to clean its equipment between manufacturing runs. Company officials
admitted to manufacturing contaminated feed and agreed to change their
procedures.
Probably most bins and hopper tanks that held MBM back in the mid 90's have yet to carry residue MBM in them as they have never been CLEANED out OR taken out of the production chain.**Question.Is X-Cel feeds a division of Tysons or IBP?
 
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