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Mandatory Testing?

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BEEF NEWS
DeLauro renews call for mandatory testing of cattle

by Pete Hisey on 5/2/2005 for Meatingplace.com




Congresswoman Rose DeLauro (D-Conn.) has renewed her call for national testing for bovine spongiform encephalopathy following the release of a Kansas State University study showing that the beef industry could have recovered some of the billions of dollars it lost from banned exports had USDA allowed voluntary testing of exported cattle.

"Restoring confidence in our nation's food supply benefits U.S. consumers, U.S. producers and the U.S. economy," said DeLauro, the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee. "I cannot understand why USDA refuses to put a national system in place when our country is still trying to recover financially from the 'mad cow' case in Washington [in 2003]."

The K-State study (See K-State: BSE has cost industry billions in lost imports, Meatingplace.com, April 29, 2005.) suggested that had voluntary testing of slaughtered cattle been allowed immediately after the crisis, several key markets could have been kept open, and the impact to U.S. producers, estimated as being between $3.2 billion and $4.7 billion, could have been softened. Creekstone Farms, among others, attempted to voluntarily test every animal it slaughtered to reassure export customers, but USDA refused to supply the companies with test kits. USDA says that universal testing is expensive, unnecessary and possibly dangerous.
 
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I take it that Kansas State must be the Berkely of the midwest or they would not have come up with some insane idea of allowing private companies to voluntary test-- :wink: And to suggest that it could have kept open our foreign markets and saved the industry billions$--ludicrous and treasoness :wink: :lol:
 

alabama

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Voluntarily testing please. If you want to test so that you can export then a free interprize system should allow one to test.
There is no need to test all cattle but if a consumer wants to pay for it then let him. Dang, what is so hard about that?
 

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When the Washington cow was found the USDA had NOT even approved a rapid test for BSE. They were so sure of the "firewalls" it seems they had their head buried in the sand. IHC is slow and expensive and without the ability to detect pre-clinical cases.
It was about April-May before they approved the first rapid test although there were some on the market as early as the year 2000. Simply put, the USDA were caught with their pants down.
 

alabama

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Mike. I think the USDA needs to pull their britches up and get with the program.
 

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Oldtimer you and R-CALF want to support Cheekstones right to test and ship to Japan but did you forget the part of Cheekstone plan that included importing Canadian cattle for slaughter. I realize that Cheekstone would only be importing UTM cattle but isn't that the cattle R-CALF is stopping from being imported because of the health risk it presents. So by allowing Cheekstone to import cattle and test with a test that will not show any positive results then ship the meat to Japan aren't you and R-CALF supporting a plan that could put Japanese consumers in a genuine risk of death. How can you support Cheekstone and let Japanese consumers eat meat you won't feed to your grandchildren?
 

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You know, the USDA should of simply explained to our customers that testing wouldn't find anything. Then they would of said, "Oh, we didn't know that. Please resume exports. Sorry about the confusion." :wink:
 

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Tam said:
Oldtimer you and R-CALF want to support Cheekstones right to test and ship to Japan but did you forget the part of Cheekstone plan that included importing Canadian cattle for slaughter. I realize that Cheekstone would only be importing UTM cattle but isn't that the cattle R-CALF is stopping from being imported because of the health risk it presents. So by allowing Cheekstone to import cattle and test with a test that will not show any positive results then ship the meat to Japan aren't you and R-CALF supporting a plan that could put Japanese consumers in a genuine risk of death. How can you support Cheekstone and let Japanese consumers eat meat you won't feed to your grandchildren?

Tam, Tam, Tam, you're getting a little carried away. R-CALF has simply said that Creekstone, or anybody else, should be allowed to provide BSE tested beef to their customers. R-CALF, to my knowledge, has never said anything about Creekstone's request to test Canadian cattle.

Secondly, R-CALF's position is to keep the border closed to untested beef and cattle. They have advocated testing Canadian cattle.
 
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Tam said:
Oldtimer you and R-CALF want to support Cheekstones right to test and ship to Japan but did you forget the part of Cheekstone plan that included importing Canadian cattle for slaughter. I realize that Cheekstone would only be importing UTM cattle but isn't that the cattle R-CALF is stopping from being imported because of the health risk it presents. So by allowing Cheekstone to import cattle and test with a test that will not show any positive results then ship the meat to Japan aren't you and R-CALF supporting a plan that could put Japanese consumers in a genuine risk of death. How can you support Cheekstone and let Japanese consumers eat meat you won't feed to your grandchildren?

Tam- I'm not sure Creekstone would have had to import Canadian cattle- Forget what you've been led to believe- we haven't ran out down here yet....But if they had, it would be one step better than the untested you're shipping across now in boxes and is being pawned off to the American consumer as a US product without giving the consumer a choice......

You say that this test will not show any positive result-- then how did Japan and the European countries get all the under thirty month positives? Even down to 21 month old cattle?
 

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Sandhusker said:
You know, the USDA should of simply explained to our customers that testing wouldn't find anything. Then they would of said, "Oh, we didn't know that. Please resume exports. Sorry about the confusion." :wink:

Just think, all these countries spending all this money on testing when it won't find anything. WHAT A MARKETING STRATEGY!
 

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mike lets team up and start making test kits. If they are all going to be negitive we could stick anything in the kit and make a killing and move down to old Mexico and die of old age drinking and playing with the ladies.
 

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Oldtimer said:
Tam said:
Oldtimer you and R-CALF want to support Cheekstones right to test and ship to Japan but did you forget the part of Cheekstone plan that included importing Canadian cattle for slaughter. I realize that Cheekstone would only be importing UTM cattle but isn't that the cattle R-CALF is stopping from being imported because of the health risk it presents. So by allowing Cheekstone to import cattle and test with a test that will not show any positive results then ship the meat to Japan aren't you and R-CALF supporting a plan that could put Japanese consumers in a genuine risk of death. How can you support Cheekstone and let Japanese consumers eat meat you won't feed to your grandchildren?

Tam- I'm not sure Creekstone would have had to import Canadian cattle- Forget what you've been led to believe- we haven't ran out down here yet....But if they had, it would be one step better than the untested you're shipping across now in boxes and is being pawned off to the American consumer as a US product without giving the consumer a choice......

You say that this test will not show any positive result-- then how did Japan and the European countries get all the under thirty month positives? Even down to 21 month old cattle?

I thought Japan was the only country to find any under 30 months and they did not have them verified by a independent lab they were even asked by other countries for the samples. Can you verify what other countries found cases under 30 months and if they were verified by anyone else?
How do you know if Cheekstone would have imported cattle? it was in the plan they turned over to the USDA so what is to say if they had got the OK that they wouldn't have imported. Just a thought if Cheekstone had an agreement with Japan to take all the BSE tested meat Cheekstone could furnish and were willing to pay for the testing and Cheekstone had it in the plans to import Canadian cattle wouldn't that mean that Japan had agreed to take Canadian meat that was slaughtered in the US. I thought R-CALF said Japan won't take any meat from the US if there was Canadian mixed in. :? Oldtimer did R-CALF not see the part of the plan that included the Canadian beef when then supported Cheekstones bid to test for the Japanese market?
 

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Tam, "I thought Japan was the only country to find any under 30 months and they did not have them verified by a independent lab they were even asked by other countries for the samples. Can you verify what other countries found cases under 30 months and if they were verified by anyone else?
How do you know if Cheekstone would have imported cattle? it was in the plan they turned over to the USDA so what is to say if they had got the OK that they wouldn't have imported. Just a thought if Cheekstone had an agreement with Japan to take all the BSE tested meat Cheekstone could furnish and were willing to pay for the testing and Cheekstone had it in the plans to import Canadian cattle wouldn't that mean that Japan had agreed to take Canadian meat that was slaughtered in the US. I thought R-CALF said Japan won't take any meat from the US if there was Canadian mixed in. Oldtimer did R-CALF not see the part of the plan that included the Canadian beef when then supported Cheekstones bid to test for the Japanese market?"

Tam, Tam, Tam, Whoa! Creekstone's proposal to send Japan tested beef and their query into testing Canadian cattle are two different things. You're so intent on hanging something on R-CALF you're mixing and mashing and tangeting off helter skelter.
 

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reader (the Second) said:
The UK found 100 cattle who were under 30 months at age of disease onset. I just read a fascinating briefing on what was behind the OTM rule. They assumed for the purpose of predicting # cases entering the food chain with food safety impact that cattle were "infectious" (their word) in the last year of incubation (that is a year before disease onset).

This was using less sensitive tests than currently (the 100 UTM BSE cases).

As I remember there are other countries who have found UTM with BSE.

Reader, I would love to read that briefing "behind the OTM rule". My guess would be that more animals would have tested positive worldwide had more younger one's been tested with newer tests. The USDA tested a few thousand last year (some as young as 3 months) all the while saying there was no need? All negative, but why waste resources?

"The secretary said the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) now is testing for BSE in all animals exhibiting symptoms of central nervous system disorder (CNS), regardless of the age of the animal. Previously, the department tested only animals exhibiting CNS symptoms if they were 30 months or older, and thus considered high-risk animals for BSE."
Ann Veneman
 

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Oldtimer said:
Tam said:
Oldtimer you and R-CALF want to support Cheekstones right to test and ship to Japan but did you forget the part of Cheekstone plan that included importing Canadian cattle for slaughter. I realize that Cheekstone would only be importing UTM cattle but isn't that the cattle R-CALF is stopping from being imported because of the health risk it presents. So by allowing Cheekstone to import cattle and test with a test that will not show any positive results then ship the meat to Japan aren't you and R-CALF supporting a plan that could put Japanese consumers in a genuine risk of death. How can you support Cheekstone and let Japanese consumers eat meat you won't feed to your grandchildren?

Tam- I'm not sure Creekstone would have had to import Canadian cattle- Forget what you've been led to believe- we haven't ran out down here yet....But if they had, it would be one step better than the untested you're shipping across now in boxes and is being pawned off to the American consumer as a US product without giving the consumer a choice......

You say that this test will not show any positive result-- then how did Japan and the European countries get all the under thirty month positives? Even down to 21 month old cattle?

We ask that the USDA reverse its decision of last week and allow Creekstone Farms to test our beef for BSE. In addition, Creekstone Farms is asking for USDA approval of the following secondary options:

Expand the USDA’s surveillance program to involve 1 million head of young animals.
Approve the procedure whereby Creekstone Farms is allowed to ship brain stem samples to Japan for BSE testing in their laboratories.
Approve Kansas State University as an official USDA laboratory with direction to establish Creekstone Farms as a satellite laboratory.
Approve the purchase of young Canadian cattle that would be BSE tested at our processing plant in Arkansas City, Kansas.
Approve labeling domestic product BSE tested due to increased consumer concern in the U.S.

Now tell me Oldtimer why did Creekstone ask the USDA to approve the purchase of Canadian cattle if you think they weren't going to import them to process in the Arkansas City, Kansas plant? Why didn't they just wait until the border openned to everyone to purchase said cattle? And if you aren't running out why are plants in the midwest closing because of lack of cattle to slaughter? Could Creekstone be having the same problem some of these other plants are/were having in getting enough cattle to stay viable? And what percentage of Creekstones processing was going to be for the Japanese market if they were the only company in the US that had an agreement as you say they did to provide 100% BSE tested beef to Japan and Japan agreed to pay for the testing? How much more could they make exclusively selling the 100% tested beef to Japan over selling it to the US consumer? Wasn't that the main reason Creekstone wanted to get approval for 100% testing is so they could supply their Japanese customers with what they wanted?

And Sandhusker are you telling me that Creekstone was going to import Canadian cattle, designate a special plant so the meat didn't comingle with the US beef bond for Japan, 100% test them for a market that has never asked or said they would pay the added expense of 100% testing? When according to Oldtimer they could get all the US cattle they could process and exclusively sell their product to the High dollar Japanese market that was willing to pay for the testing according to you. Japan has admitted they view Canada and the US as the same risk of BSE so why would they not take the Canadian 100% tested right along with the 100% tested US beef? If the test is all Japan needs to say the meat is safe then why wouldn't the same test prove Canadian meat is safe to them?
 

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Tam, following is what Creekstone sent to the USDA. What leads you to believe Creekstone was planning on selling Canadian origin beef to Japan?

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS FOR USDA TO ANSWER

1) What legal grounds (policies/regulations) would prohibit a private industry from performing a Rapid Test method for BSE? If testing young cattle is not a food safety issue, does it fall under APHIS or FDA?

2) Why does the Federal Register prohibit saving of small intestine unless the animal is BSE tested?

3) You have stated that BSE does not occur in cattle under 30 months of age. Why have you prohibited all specified risk materials (SRMS) from all age groups of cattle processed? What is the science behind this decision?

4)How does USDA certify and approve domestic and international sales/production of natural or organic beef products? This would be an implied Consumer Safety Aspect that is not scientifically warranted. You have stated that BSE testing is an “Implied Food Safety Aspect that is not scientifically justified”. How does this differ from natural or organic products?

5) If testing is approved, why can’t a label state “BSE tested”?

6) How can the USDA justify spending $72,000,000 in taxpayer funds to test 221,000 head of cattle in 12 months ($325/head), when a private company will use the same test method as APHIS to test 300,000 head for $5,400,000 paid for by consumers in 12 months ($18/head)? Also, this private company can fully implement testing in one week, why will it take APHIS five months to fully implement their program? Complete preparation and training took Creekstone Farms one month.

7) Why is the USDA not immediately allowing Canadian cattle under 30 months of age to be sold into the US? If there is any concern, could Creekstone test Canadian cattle?

8) Given the USDA position that BSE testing is not scientifically justified what exactly are the statistical odds and how do you rationalize not giving the people a choice? There have been young cattle (under 30 months) in Japan and England testing positive for BSE.

9) What will be the government’s position if a major domestic customer requires packers to do something BSE-related that is not scientifically justified? Will the packer be told he cannot do it?

10) What is the statistical rate of error determining cattle age using dentition?
 

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OK Sandhusker where in what you posted said they wouldn't be sending Canadian beef to Japan.

7) Why is the USDA not immediately allowing Canadian cattle under 30 months of age to be sold into the US? If there is any concern, could Creekstone test Canadian cattle?


Where does it say that the beef from the Canadian cattle would be tested and marketed in the US and not included in the shipments to Japan? If they are willing to test if there is a concern to the safety of the beef what is to say they would not test the Canadian beef as it may be a concern to the Japanese?
 

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Tam said:
OK Sandhusker where in what you posted said they wouldn't be sending Canadian beef to Japan.

7) Why is the USDA not immediately allowing Canadian cattle under 30 months of age to be sold into the US? If there is any concern, could Creekstone test Canadian cattle?


Where does it say that the beef from the Canadian cattle would be tested and marketed in the US and not included in the shipments to Japan? If they are willing to test if there is a concern to the safety of the beef what is to say they would not test the Canadian beef as it may be a concern to the Japanese?

Tam, it doesn't say they wouldn't be sending Canadian beef to Japan - it also doesn't say they wouldn't be shipping to Uraguay, Pakistan, or whatever. I think a person can run into a lot of problems and set themselves up for a lot of misunderstandings by taking the attitide "Well they didn't say X, so it must be Y". You can only go on what they actually said, and they said nothing about sending tested Canadian beef to Japan.

What they are saying is that if the USDA is afraid of Canadian cattle, Creekstone would be willing to test for them. That's it. There are no links to Canadian cattle and the Japanese market. To manufacture that link is a mistake.
 

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Sandhusker said:
Tam said:
OK Sandhusker where in what you posted said they wouldn't be sending Canadian beef to Japan.

7) Why is the USDA not immediately allowing Canadian cattle under 30 months of age to be sold into the US? If there is any concern, could Creekstone test Canadian cattle?


Where does it say that the beef from the Canadian cattle would be tested and marketed in the US and not included in the shipments to Japan? If they are willing to test if there is a concern to the safety of the beef what is to say they would not test the Canadian beef as it may be a concern to the Japanese?

Tam, it doesn't say they wouldn't be sending Canadian beef to Japan - it also doesn't say they wouldn't be shipping to Uraguay, Pakistan, or whatever. I think a person can run into a lot of problems and set themselves up for a lot of misunderstandings by taking the attitide "Well they didn't say X, so it must be Y". You can only go on what they actually said, and they said nothing about sending tested Canadian beef to Japan.

What they are saying is that if the USDA is afraid of Canadian cattle, Creekstone would be willing to test for them. That's it. There are no links to Canadian cattle and the Japanese market. To manufacture that link is a mistake.

Sandhusker, In the very first proposal to the USDA, Creekstone did ask the USDA to import fats from Canada as a concession and maybe have a better chance of getting testing approval from the USDA. They tied it all together in the same deal. I thought it was brilliant strategy, but we know the end result.

I will find the article. I think I bookmarked it at the office.
 

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SUBJECT: RESPONSE TO USDA
On behalf of Creekstone Farms I want to thank you for the opportunity to have met with you in Washington, D.C. last Thursday, April 8. We had hoped for a different outcome to the meeting, however, and are very disappointed with USDA’s decision not to allow Creekstone Farms to voluntarily test all of the cattle we process for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). As we have discussed in the various meetings held with the USDA over the past several weeks, BSE testing of our cattle is something our export customers and consumers are asking for, and we feel we should be able to provide it to them.

Creekstone Farms will challenge the USDA’s decision, and are currently analyzing our legal options. We are challenging USDA’s authority to control the sales of BSE diagnostic tests in the United States and your decision to prohibit companies like Creekstone Farms from conducting 100% testing of young animals that would meet our customers’ needs and requirements.

We are hopeful there will be a resolution to the current U.S. beef trade embargo with Japan. It is imperative to companies such as ours that trade be resumed. However, we understand the position of our Japanese customers, consumers and their government, as well as the challenges their staunch positions represent. They are requesting 100% testing of all beef bound for their market as the precursor to the resumption of trade. The USDA’s current plan to test only older U.S. cattle for BSE will not meet this requirement. On Monday, Japanese Vice Agriculture Minister Mamoru Ishihara announced that the “U.S. government’s decision not to accept [Creekstone’s] offer is, frankly speaking, regrettable.”

Creesktone Farms has received a tremendous amount of support during the past few weeks for our proposal to test all of our cattle for BSE. We will continue to work with our senators and congressmen, as well as industry experts, to help find a solution to this recent USDA decision. Please understand our situation as well as our consternation over why the USDA will not embrace our plan. Creekstone Farms plans to test more cattle than the USDA, at a lower cost. If our plan were to be implemented, we would test over 300,000 head of cattle over the course of a year, versus the USDA proposed cattle population of approximately 220,000 head. As well, the USDA is planning on spending a minimum of $72 million of taxpayer money to conduct these tests. The Creekstone Farms’ plan will cost less than $6 million using the identical test kit, and our customers are willing to pay for the cost of the testing.

We ask that the USDA reverse its decision of last week and allow Creekstone Farms to test our beef for BSE. In addition, Creekstone Farms is asking for USDA approval of the following secondary options:

Expand the USDA’s surveillance program to involve 1 million head of young animals.
Approve the procedure whereby Creekstone Farms is allowed to ship brain stem samples to Japan for BSE testing in their laboratories.
Approve Kansas State University as an official USDA laboratory with direction to establish Creekstone Farms as a satellite laboratory.
Approve the purchase of young Canadian cattle that would be BSE tested at our processing plant in Arkansas City, Kansas.
Approve labeling domestic product BSE tested due to increased consumer concern in the U.S.
This letter is also giving notice to the USDA that our loss in revenue is a minimum of $200,000 per day. We will continue to track this loss on a daily basis to determine damages. Additionally, we have nine important questions that we would appreciate having USDA address and respond to immediately. Please be advised we will be sharing this with the media.
Sincerely,

John D.
C.E.O.

Stewart
 

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