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Questions for Reader (the second), Kathy, Mike and Porker

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You folks seem to have the greatest interest here in BSE research but I would welcome anyone else who has researched this issue to wade in as well.


I would like you to answer the following questions........


1. In the research you have conducted on BSE, do you believe the precautionary measures USDA and Canada have taken to address BSE adequately assures the safety of consumers of beef?

Yes or no and why or why not?


The precautionary measures I am referring to are.....

1. The ban on feeding ruminants by-products to cattle (ie "feed ban").

2. Increased BSE surveilance in the highest risk categories (dead, dying, diseased, or downer cows).

3. Removal of BSE positive animals from the food chain.

4. SRM removal.

5. Segregation of UTM and OTM cattle and beef in Canada.

6. Banning the slaughter of downer cows.


I am looking for a summary of your own thoughts and words based on the research you have conducted as opposed to wading through tons of conflicting research without knowing the specifics on how this research was derived.

References to specific studies is fine but I'm wanting your own thoughts and ideas on the research you have studied.


2. If you don't believe USDA and the Canadian government have gone far enough to assure consumer safety in beef regarding BSE, what should they be doing that they are not doing?

3. Are you willing to live by the same BSE standards you set for Canada in the event that the U.S. finds another domestic case of BSE? Yes or No?



Thank you in advance!


~SH~
 

PORKER

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The precautionary measures USDA and Canada have taken to address BSE does not fully address adequately the safety of consumers of beef.
No,The feed ban has holes in it that lets blood,chicken litter, ect. and other ruminants by-products find there way into cattle rations.
2. Increased BSE surveilance in the highest risk categories (dead, dying, diseased, or downer cows)are not found on the kill floor.But the cattle that can have bse pass thur without a test even when testing protocols are better today than 1 month ago.

3. Removal of BSE positive animals from the food chain. They only can be detected when given a BSE test thats has better values than the current tests being used.

4. SRM removal.IT dosen't cover the OIE age groups,so how can it be said 99% of the beef you buy is safe,Japan knows .

5. Segregation of UTM and OTM cattle and beef in Canada. Doesn't work as a % bse animals pass through undetected.

6. Banning the slaughter of downer cows. Some downers are good but can they all be tested an passed for BSE free meat,NO.

2. If you don't believe USDA and the Canadian government have gone far enough to assure consumer safety in beef regarding BSE, what should they be doing that they are not doing?*** TESTing for BSE at the kill floor level for exports and consumer protection along with the health of the national herds.BSE blood tests will be the standard tomorrow .

3. Are you willing to live by the same BSE standards you set for Canada in the event that the U.S. finds another domestic case of BSE? Yes ,I don't want one of my grandchildern to be afflicated with health problems .I know that Canada has a long way to catch up with current BSE testing technologys and the US needs better BSE tests and protocols .
 

cowsense

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Porker........Perhaps you should go back and do some proper research on BSE.....you obviously lack the understanding of the basics of the disease and the protocols that prevent the spread of BSE. Blindly calling for universal testing is nothing more than scare-mongering and harms rather than helps the food safety issue! As well you continue to hype blood based testing ....sounds good but only if BSE prions were present in bovine blood which has NEVER been scientifically proven!
 

rkaiser

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SH asks - "1. In the research you have conducted on BSE, do you believe the precautionary measures USDA and Canada have taken to address BSE adequately assures the safety of consumers of beef?

Yes or no and why or why not?"

If you were to look at the growing support for the alternate theory of metal contamination being the root cause of BSE, and the fact that there is no solid proof that BSE or any TSE for that matter can be transmitted, or is infectious - - - - All measures taken by both Canada and the United States are overkill.

BSE is simply caused by a metal imbalance in an individual animal just as all TSE's are.

Infection and transmission are theory, not fact.

Less than 200 people have been affected by vCJD which has never been ultimately and conclusively linked to BSE.

SRM removal is probably not a bad idea. Eating brains and spinal columns doesn't turn my crank, and we have lots of good quality muscle cuts to go around anyway. If not in the USA or Canada, we can get them cheap from Australia and South America.

Better to live on the safe side I guess. After all with hundreds of thousands of cases of BSE in the UK and less than 200 vCJD cases, and three cases so far in Canada, we may end up killing someone in the next hundred years or so if the current theory is actually proven.
 

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Research Approach COWSENSE
A proteomics approach will be used to identify and isolate blood-borne protein markers specific to TSE diseases. A blood cell type that is clearly affected by TSE infections has been identified and this cell type will be isolated from uninfected and infected animals and a comprehensive 2-D PAGE analysis of the proteins expressed in this cell type at various stages throughout the progression of disease studied. Proteins displaying qualitative and quantitative changes as a result of TSE infection will be sequenced and antibodies generated. The potential of these markers as diagnostics for BSE in cattle and CJD in humans will be evaluated. THIS is current Brit research
 

cowsense

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Porker....Interesting but only theorie. For years now we've seen press clips on companies/academics etc. that are very close to bringing out live or blood tests for first CWD and now BSE. Invariably they turn out to be theories that need huge amounts of capital to develop and they seldom possess the credibility needed to pursue further development!
 
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Thank you Porker and RKaiser!

No debate, just picking your brains at this point in the debate.


~SH~
 
A

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cowsense said:
Porker....Interesting but only theorie. For years now we've seen press clips on companies/academics etc. that are very close to bringing out live or blood tests for first CWD and now BSE. Invariably they turn out to be theories that need huge amounts of capital to develop and they seldom possess the credibility needed to pursue further development!

cowsense-- Which of the 100 theories do you believe? rpkaisers, Kathy's, reader 2nds, or CFIAs, or USDA's, or Japans, or Switzerlands, or UK',s or Frances, etc. etc.?

I'm not knocking any of them- I think each has about as much standing as the next-- But they all leave a huge grey area-- they are all based on theory...And when USDA and NCBA came out and said that all decisions would be made on "SOUND SCIENCE" it turned this whole thing into a joke... There is no sound science-- could be the reason that many have changed their walk and talk to "best science available"...

I have two concerns-#1 is human health issue- SRM removal and prion contamination if not done right- and does it remove most of the risk , possible prion infection of muscle cuts, prion organ infection, etc. etc.-- This is an issue that with all the differing theories should be left to the consumer-- All Canadian origin beef products should be labled and let the consumers decide the issue each on their own-- it is their personal and family safety ....

#2 is the US herd health issue--Altho I don't think it can be spread directly from animal to animal, there are those theories out there- I even saw one from a CFIA vet... I would concede that if USDA would only follow the FDA's and OIE's recommendations to ban rendering of table scraps, feeding chicken litter to cattle, removing all ruminant products from all feed, and developing a positive method to test feed to make sure it was not contaminated....

Until then I have to oppose any lessening of the restrictions on the border and support closing it completely......
 

rkaiser

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The problem is Oldtimer, that the border has nothing to do with nothing. Whatever theory you want to deal with wipes out any notion of borders.

Your thoughts on country of origin labeling are fine and dandy. Might backfire on your idea of support from American patriot type folk, but hey, think what you want to think.

Talking about the unproven theories of BSE and a closed US border in the same breath is simply sillyness Oltimer, and a lame attempt to use this situation for protectionist reasons.
 

cowsense

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Oldtimer.... Personally I feel that THE problem with the BSE debate is the following of theories and the misuse of a very emotional subject to prove various viewpoints that have absolutely no basis in the issue of food safety.
The only serious and acceptable science is that posted by the OIE for international use based on nearly 20 years of leading expert research!
This science is termed the "best science available" because of the evolving nature of research. The alternative can be to start using the theories that range from the plausible right through to wild distortions. Step back and consider what the "alarmist" message sends to the consumer....and the consequences for our industry if false perceptions are allowed to take root.
I
 

cedardell

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Time will tell. Hope we are all prepared for the future. Am sending for my premise ID number today. No matter what I want to produce a safe, healthy product. Like you said my grandchildren's lives are at stake.
 

mrj

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cowsense, thanks for your info on the source of the term "best science available" aka "best available science". I wasn't aware it was being used as descriptive of the evolving nature of BSE/TSE research.

I started using that term because of some of the proud rednecks who were denigrating the term "sound science", apparently because USDA and NCBA were using it to describe the commonly accepted scientific research and researchers of this and other nations.

MRJ
 

Kathy

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My two cents for all they are worth.

First, Canada has better standards than the USA because:
- we already banned chicken litter from cattle feed,
- our BSE test is broader and looks for more amino acid sequences

However, both countries should, as a precautionary measure and because herbivores eat grass:
-ban blood from feed, science is undecided right now about blood and prions, metals could be floating around in the blood; many other diseases can be carried in blood products. Keep the cow a herbivore.

- ban fish meal from ruminant feed, also a source of metals and other poisons like PCBs. The only meat a cow should be eating is afterbirth, preferrably her own, yuk!

- disposal of sewage sludge/drilling mud: it contains alot of bad stuff, spend more to fix this environmental problem. To start, don't spread it on land that animals will be grazing on.

What our governments are doing with BSE and SRMs is probably over-kill. I'm not involved directly with the packing industry or rendering industry but I believe that the removal of SRMs is not just a case of keeping it from consumption, but preventing its use in pharmaceutical preparations like vaccines which could be spreading toxins in the most dangerous method (vector) of transportation which is direct injection into the blood stream. Everything in an injection, goes around the body in seconds, then it goes to the liver for detoxification - too late!

I have yet to see a transmission study that does not first homogenate the brain tissue (when using brain tissue or spinal cord). This is a special medical procedures - not just shredding, but pulvarizing and chemical digestion etc. plus sonication of homogenate before injection or drenching. The sonication of the metals excites them, making them more reactive. Because of this practice, I am unconvinced that anyone can develop prion disease from "eating" specified risk materials. Feeding trials in the UK have been unsuccessful. They have used homogenated brain tissue in feeding trails for years and no success. There is supposed to be a UK paper coming out soon that will debunk this last statement, however, once again if it has had to homogenate the brain tissue before consumption of this tissue - then it will prove nothing. Except that when homogenized something in the tissue caused disease, in some but not all of the animals. Still to this day, no lab has acknowledged testing prions from scrapie or BSE (et. al) for metal contaminants. Until they rule out metals in this disease - they are just hypothesizing. This is one reason I am looking closely at the Auburn University blood test, as it acknowledges the need for metal to amplify their so-called "proteons". It also acknowleges the need for the metals to have an interfacial energy.

Why would anyone want to eat a cow that was down? Test her, if she is negative put it in cat or dog food. If she is positive - destroy her carcass in whatever why you want. (Sarcastic remark coming, not intened to be taken too seriously) How about we blast them into outer space. Or we we could liquify them and add them to our fuel, why not! We are already being poisoned (in Canada and NW USA) with manganese in our gasoline. Heck, what's a few more metals floating around in the air.

Seriously, we would do more for our grandchildren if we stopped putting MMT in our fuel.

As for living with the standards set out by our governments -- I am aware that our cattle organizations, as well as other groups and corporations have expressed what they wish to see done by our government. But, do I seriously believe that our governments are listening to anything the average primary producer has to say, NO!. I will have to live with whatever standards our government dictates, because my voice and my opinions are unheard and unwanted by politicians and government bureaucrats (ie: CFIA).

The consumers voice is mighty important to them though. And RCALF and others have done an excellent job at scaring the hell out of the consumer. So, we shall all reap from what they have sown.

When the USA announces their first case (home born and raised), I will have to live with those consequences as well. Our markets are the same (for now).

There are other ways of protecting your family, from illness, that are more likely to have a direct impact on them. Spoken like a true hipocrit, I am as guilty as anyone in not doing everything possible to provide the best for my family. We do what we can today, and we wake up and try better tomorrow!
 

Mike

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SH,

"1. In the research you have conducted on BSE, do you believe the precautionary measures USDA and Canada have taken to address BSE adequately assures the safety of consumers of beef?"

Response:
No,

1- USDA had NOT approved any screening (rapid) tests until May-June 2004 even though they had been used extensively in Europe with much success. Remember, Canada had a positive in 1993, 11 YEARS BEFORE!
Remember, these screening tests allow high numbers of cattle to be tested as was NOT the case until mid 2004.

2-FDA has NOT been enforcing the feed ban to the extent that it should.

3-The US should have had some sort of traceback sysytem years ago, as was needed in the Washington cow fiasco. It's been over a year and we still don't have one.
Segregation of OTM's and UTM's is NOT possible to be correctly done by dentition. Research done for Japan has taught you that.

4- Banning ALL downers was too little and too late. I'm appalled at the thought of what I might have eaten previous to the ban.

5-I believe SRM's should be SRM's no matter what the age. Remember the OIE panel suggested we remove ALL SRM's from cattle over 12 months and the USDA refused to comply.
 
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Mike,

3. Are you willing to live by the same BSE standards you set for Canada in the event that the U.S. finds another domestic case of BSE? Yes or No?



~SH~
 

Mike

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~SH~ said:
Mike,

3. Are you willing to live by the same BSE standards you set for Canada in the event that the U.S. finds another domestic case of BSE? Yes or No?
~SH~

I am not setting standards for Canada. They should set their own standards according to the risk involved. At this time they should have higher standards, as I believe they do now. There can be no blanket rules because each country's history (imports, etc.) is somewhat different.

Given all that is "NOT KNOWN" about BSE, and the mistakes made by UK, Germany, France, Poland, etc. and Japan, it is my opinion that the US should be way ahead of all the others in testing and research because we have so much more to lose, considering the size of our herd. Are we way ahead? I don't think so. IMHO
 

Tam

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I am not setting standards for Canada. They should set their own standards according to the risk involved

Thank God we didn't leave it up to the U.S. to set our standards we would have been finished, it is just to bad the U.S didn't set some for you. And it's to bad you didn't comply to the ones they did set.

At this time they should have higher standards, as I believe they do now. There can be no blanket rules because each country's history (imports, etc.) is somewhat different.

Could you please explain why Canada should have higher standards than the US? Which we do but why do you think we should? Correct me if I'm wrong but the U.S. and Canada have traded livestock and feed for a hundred years. We both imported cattle and feed from the UK until the discovery of BSE in that country. We both started testing our herds for BSE in the early 90's. We both put feed bans in place 1997. Even after the discovery of the UK cow in Canada in 1993 the US still traded in cattle until 2003 and they still do trade in livestock feed.

The only places we differ is in the fact that after the discover of the UK cow Canada found every remaining UK cow and disposed of them the US didn't. After putting the feed bans in place Canada has records to prove compliance and the U.S. doesn't. After the feed ban was put in place we improved ours, the US didn't. After the discovery of the UK cow we implemented a tracing system, the U.S. didn't. When we started the testing Canada tested twice as many, percentage wise, animals as the US did. When BSE was found in our two countries Canada tested the recommended animals to a higher percentage than the U.S has and plans to in the future. Canada does not have to use dentition to verify the animals age as we can verify with birth date with our new fangled ID system. Canada banned downers before the US and we have laws forbiding the hauling of these animals. Canadian SRM's are being removed from all slaughter cattle. It is the age that determines what the SRM's are and again we can age verify by birth date. Yes we found three BSE positive cows but our firewalls were in place to keep them out of our food chain. We implemented stronger processing rules in 2003 to further protect the consumers but the US didn't look at any of those until Jan 2004 after the US found the Washington cow.

Given all that is "NOT KNOWN" about BSE, and the mistakes made by UK, Germany, France, Poland, etc. and Japan, it is my opinion that the US should be way ahead of all the others in testing and research because we have so much more to lose, considering the size of our herd. Are we way ahead? I don't think so.

I agree if any one needs to have higher standards because of what you have to loss, it is the U.S. Every one of the things that Canada did that wasn't done in the U.S put you at higher risk of loosing everything. You say we dropped the ball when we thought Canada was BSE free in 1993. It looks to me as if the U.S. dropped the ball and walked off the court when it comes to protecting you from what they should have known was going to come back to bite them in the future. If the U.S. hasn't learned their lessons by the misfortures of other countries then I guess they will just have to learn them the hard way.

This is what makes me so mad about what R-CALF is doing. They are telling your consumers via the media that our system failed and you have the safest beef in the world and if a case of BSE is ever found in the US it will be a NON-ISSUE because of the firewalls you have had in place for so many years. Even when the US producers compare firewalls and safeguards that the two countries have you have to agree ours are better.

You say Canada should set their own standards according to the risk involved, but Oldtimer wants the Canadian producers to lobby the US government to get some of our rules implemented in the US, so your system can be trusted to import cattle. Which leads me to this question for Oldtimer why should we help you? You haven't helped us by openning the border. Thanks to the border being closed as long as it has been the Canadian producers have decided to compete with the U.S. for export markets, if we help you get our firewalls and safeguards in place in the U.S. we would be helping the competition. Our best marketing tool against you will be your lesser feed ban and the non compliance to it, your flawed surveillance system, your non ability to trace or age verify your herd. Your firewalls that allowed the one case into your food chain and the less than 100% effective meat recall. You slaughtering of OTM and UTM cattle in the same plants. For these reasons alone I don't think I would be begging for MCOOL if I were the U.S. beef producer,like Oldtimer is. That "save us from imported beef stand" may become your down fall, right alone with your less than adequate firewalls and safeguards.

So let me reword SH's question will the U.S. beef industry implement and live up to the standards that are already in place in Canada. Feed bans and compliance, Testing of 4D including on farm dead and dying animals, slaughter plant rules including segergated plants, proper SRM removal from all cattle. A national ID system that can trace an animal from where it was born. And the biggest one will you allow the importation of live cattle from a minimal risk country like Canada is?
 

Mike

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Dear Tam, I have attempted to be impartial and objective concerning the USA/Canada BSE debacle and I truly understand your situation.

But please do not respond to my posts in such a condescending manner toward the US. You may have a bone to pick with R-Calf but not with me.
I'm sick of your "Holier-than-Thou" attitude and suggest you just pass right over my posts like they weren't there. :???: :mad:

Now, go for a ride on your broom.
 

Maple Leaf Angus

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Mike - with all due respect, I'm not clear on what part of Tam's reply gave you reason to respond to her as you did. I fear that it reflects badly on you to have done so.

She has established a reputation on this board as a fearless, solid-thinking individual who will not back down from an argument, and, may I add, seldom needs to.

Are there any who would bring evidence forward to show where she has been prone to presenting lies, mis-information or baseless tirades driven strictly by unbalanced emotion?

From what I have read, she has once again presented the situation as it is and if this is more than you can take, it may very well be that it is you, Mike, that should be skipping over her posts.

I would likely have not taken the risk of alienating you or anyone else with this reply, but I refuse to let someone who has displayed so much character go undefended in the face of such an unwarranted attack as you gave her. Actually, I was surprised at your response as it seems out of character coming from you.
 

rancher

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She has established a reputation on this board as a fearless, solid-thinking individual who will not back down from an argument, and, may I add, seldom needs to.

She reminds me of a Canadian SH. Posts are a book long, her word is the holy truth, and puts down anyone that disagrees with her in her word bashing.

I get tired of her putting USA down for everything concerning the beef market. But on the other hand she sure wants the USA market.
 

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