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OIG Audit of the USDA BSE Testing program

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PORKER

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GLEANED FROM inside the REPORT:According to the news article, an anonymous USDA veterinarian told
the media that APHIS would rarely show up if the CNS animal was
less than 30 months old. Our field visits confirmed that APHIS
employees would not take samples unless cattle were either at least
24 or 30 months old.

20 months and older. NVSL followed the policy of testing all
submitted samples; however, only cattle 20 months and older were
counted toward meeting sampling goals. (For FYs 2002, 2003, and
2004 (through February 2004), the NVSL received and tested 199 cattle
less than 20 months of age and an additional 144 animals between
20 and 23 months of age.) Also, a draft implementation plan being
developed by the APHIS AVIC in Nebraska showed sampling would
include animals 20 months and older. The AVIC believed dentition
was inexact, so 20 months was specified in the State plan.
24 months and older.

APHIS’ training procedures show cattle
24 months and older are to be tested.
Before December 2003, APHIS
officials advised they were accepting samples only from those cattle
more than 24 months of age. In addition, the expanded
February 19, 2004, draft Surveillance Plan shows cattle over
24 months are to be tested.
 

flounder

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##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################

From: TSS ()
Subject: OIG (BSE) Semiannual Report to Congress FY-2005 - First Half (PDF)
Date: December 17, 2005 at 7:52 pm PST

Office of Inspector General OIG

Semiannual Report to Congress FY - 2005 - First Half

snip...


Stopping BSE at the Border—USDA Needs To

Strengthen Controls Over Canadian Beef Imports

Following the detection of a Canadian cow with bovine

spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or “mad cow disease”)

in May 2003, we examined the Animal and Plant Health

Inspection Service’s (APHIS) oversight of the importation

of beef products from Canada. Following requests from

four U.S. Senators, we began several reviews in June

2004 to explore whether USDA did not follow appropriate

safety measures, beginning sometime in the fall of 2003,

in allowing expanded Canadian beef imports into the

United States.

After the initial halt of imports, in August 2003 the

Secretary announced a list of low-risk products that would

be allowed from Canada. APHIS also allowed an

expansion in the type of Canadian facilities that could

produce items for export to the United States. The

gradual expansion occurred because agency employees

included products similar to those on the published lowrisk

list, but APHIS did not communicate this broadly.

As a result, from August 2003 to April 2004, APHIS issued

permits for products with questionable eligibility. Contrary

to publicly stated policy, the agency allowed the import of

products from Canadian facilities that produced both

eligible and ineligible products, increasing the possibility

that higher-risk product could be inadvertently imported.

APHIS also issued permits to allow the import of more

than 63,000 pounds of beef cheek meat with questionable

eligibility because the agency did not establish a clear

definition for “boneless beef.” Further, we found that

FSIS did not always communicate effectively about the

eligibility status of beef cheek meat, specifically to import

inspectors. In addition, APHIS issued 1,155 permits for

the importation of ruminant (e.g., cow, goat) products

from Canada without ensuring that the agency had an

appropriate system of internal controls to manage the

process for a suddenly overwhelming volume of requests.

From May through September 2004, we identified more

than 42,000 pounds of product with questionable

eligibility.

APHIS generally agreed to institute procedures for

communicating changes in policy and monitoring the

consistency between agency practice and publicly stated

policy, as well as to strengthen controls and finalize

procedures to issue and monitor permits. FSIS generally

agreed to implement controls to communicate the specific

eligibility of product when its eligibility status changes and

to implement an edit check in its import information

system to identify ineligible product. (Audit Report No.

33601-1-Hy, APHIS Oversight of the Importation of Beef

Products from Canada)


snip...


Restaurant Owner Sentenced for Smuggling Beef

from Japan, Importation of Which Is Prohibited Due

to Disease Concerns

In January 2005, a Los Angeles restaurant owner was

placed on probation for 60 months, to include 800 hours

of community service, after he pled guilty to smuggling

beef from Japan. Under 9 Code of Federal Regulations

(C.F.R.) § 94, beef from Japan is a prohibited product

for United States importation due to disease. On two

occasions in 2001 and 2002, inspectors in Anchorage,

Alaska, intercepted shipments sent from Japan that

were manifested as “book,” but upon inspection by

USDA and the United States Customs Service, were

found to contain approximately 25 kilograms of beef

inside a Styrofoam ice chest. Both shipments were

addressed to the restaurant owner. Shipping records

showed that the restaurant owner had received 13

shipments manifested as “book” from the same sender

in Japan in 2001 and 2002. All but one of the shipments

were in the same weight range as the two intercepted

shipments. The shipper and the restaurant owner were

subsequently indicted for various charges including

conspiracy and smuggling. An arrest warrant was

issued for the shipper, who is still in Japan.



http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/SarcFirstHalf05.pdf



# Docket No: 02-088-1 RE-Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of
2002; [TSS SUBMISSION ON POTENTIAL FOR BSE/TSE & FMD 'SUITCASE BOMBS'] -
TSS 1/27/03 (0)

Docket Management

Docket: 02N-0276 - Bioterrorism Preparedness; Registration of Food Facilities, Section 305
Comment Number: EC-254 [TSS SUBMISSION]



snip...

Greetings list members, i just cannot accept this;



> 23 kg of meat in a suitcase (suitcase bomb...TSS)



> The data do not provide a species of origin code for these



> products, therefore they may not contain any ruminant product.



what kind of statement is this? how stupid do they think we are? it could also very well mean that _all_ of it was ruminant based products !



Terry S. Singeltary Sr., Bacliff, Texas USA


snip...


Department of Transportation and APHIS-PPQ Agricultural Quarantine Inspection data base. What is the level of passenger traffic arriving in the United States from Japan? Approximately 6.84 million passengers on 29,826 direct flights from Japan arrived at US airports in fiscal year 2000. An undetermined number of passengers from Japan arrived in the US via indirect flights. Under APHIS-PPQ's agriculture quarantine inspection monitoring, 801 air passengers from Japan were sampled for items of agricultural interest in fiscal year 2000. Of these 801 passengers, 10 carried meat (non-pork) items that could potentially harbor the pathogen(s) that cause BSE; most passengers carried an average of 1.7 kilograms of meat. None of these passengers from whom meat items were confiscated reported plans to visit or work on a ranch or farm during their visit to the US. Source: US Department of Transportation, and APHIS-PPQ Agricultural Quarantine Inspection data base http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/ceah/cei/bse_japan0901.htm


snip...


more on non-species coding system and TSEs and potential 'suitcase bombs';

To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
Subject: Re: POLAND FINDS 4TH MAD COW CASE/USA IMPORTS FROM POLAND/non-species coding system strikes again
References: [email protected]
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit X-Virus-Scanner: Found to be clean


Greetings again List Members,


let me kick a madcow around here a bit. on the imports from Poland and the infamous USA 'non-species' coding system. the USDA/APHIS states;


> During the past four years (1998 - 2001), US imports from

> Poland included non-species specific animal products

> used in animal feeds and non-species specific sausage and offal

> products (Table 3). Given US restrictions on ruminant product

> imports, these US imports should not have contained ruminant

> material.


NOW, if you read Polands GBR risk assessment and opinion on BSE, especially _cross-contamination_, it states;


ANNEX 1 Poland - Summary of the GBR-Assessment, February 2001 EXTERNAL CHALLENGE STABILITY INTERACTION OF EXTERNAL CHALLENGE AND STABILITY The very high to extremely high external challenge met a very unstable system and could have led to contamination of domestic cattle in Poland from 1987 onwards. This internal challenge again met the still very unstable system and increased over time. The continuing very high external challenge supported this development. Not OK MBM-ban since 1997, but no feed controls. Reasonably OK Heat treatment equivalent to 133°C / 20min / 3 bar standards, but no evidence provided on compliance. Not OK. No SRM-ban, SRM are rendered and included in cattle feed. BSE surveillance: Not sufficient before 2001. Cross-contamination: Lines for ruminant and non-ruminant feed in feed-mills only separated in time and no analytical controls carried out. Likely present since 1987 and growing. see full text and ANNEX 1 at; http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/fs/sc/ssc/out185_en.pdf so in my humble opinion, the statement by the USDA/APHIS that ''these US imports _should_ not have contained ruminant materials, is a joke. a sad joke indeed. * POLAND BSE GBR RISK ASSESSMENT



http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/fs/sc/ssc/out185_en.pdf



http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dockets/02n0276/02N-0276-EC-254.htm



TSS




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