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Reactions to the Canadian BSE Case

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Anonymous

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January 24, 2006


BSE finding in Canada draws mixed response
By BECKY BOHRER
Associated Press

Confirmation of a new case of mad cow disease in Canada on Monday prompted calls by some U.S. cattle industry groups to halt cattle and beef trade until how the cow became infected is better understood. The U.S. secretary of agriculture said suspension of trade is unlikely.

The case, however, could affect whether the government proposes expanding such trade with Canada.

Canadian authorities on Monday confirmed the country's fourth case of mad cow disease since May 2003 - in a cow in Alberta. They said the animal, about 6 years old, reached neither the chain of food for humans nor animal feed systems.


U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, in a statement, said he anticipated no change in trade status, based on information provided by Canada's agriculture minister. But he said agency officials would monitor the situation and work with Canadian investigators.

"I am confident in the safety of beef and in the safeguards we and our approved trading partners have in place to protect our food supply," Johanns said.

The United States allows imports of Canadian beef and cattle under 30 months of age, with restrictions, U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesman Ed Loyd said.

Still, some industry groups, such as the National Farmers Union, urged the suspension of beef and cattle trade until more answers about the case emerge. One concern is that the cow was born after Canada, in 1997, banned use of cattle protein in cattle feed. Mad cow disease, formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, is believed to spread through feed with certain tissues from infected animals.

Some also question the extent of mad cow disease in the Canadian herd.

"I think this confirms some of the concerns we had all along, that they have a more severe problem in Canada than the U.S.," said Jim Magagna, executive vice president of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association.

Chuck Kiker, president of R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America, believes the USDA acted too quickly to restore limited beef and cattle trade with Canada.

"We don't need to jeopardize the beef industry in the U.S. to save the Canadian industry," Kiker said. Last year his group sued to stop cattle and beef trade with Canada, because of mad cow cases there.

The United States has reported two cases of mad cow disease since December 2003, including one involving a cow from Canada.

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association and several U.S. industry trade groups, two of them representing meat packers, said the new mad cow case was not unexpected and points to the effectiveness of the safeguards and surveillance system in place.

The Canadian cattle group said that animal health officials worldwide have noted a likelihood of the detection of a "few additional" cases by that country's surveillance program.

Dr. Brian Evans, Canada's chief veterinary officer, added: "Nobody likes to find BSE, but it's important we actually look for it."

Canadian authorities said it is probable that contaminated feed is the cause of this case. An investigation is under way.

Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., said he will suggest the USDA slow the process of looking at whether to expand cattle and beef trade with Canada "until we know the situation up there." Some restrictions, including those on importation of older Canadian cattle, have been in place since May 2003.

Loyd said this case must be taken into account as officials consider whether to propose lifting restrictions.

 

Manitoba_Rancher

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OT- Do you just go searching for these news stories? Do you REALLY believe that we have a worse problem with BSE up here than you do in the US? Cattle have traded for years across the border and there are lots of Canadian cattle that are in US breeding herds so why arent you finding more BSE cases in the US? I always thought of you as a smart man being in law enforcement someone to look up to and all but I m beginning to rethink this if you belive this stuff you post on here. Typical R-calf style! :gag:
 
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Anonymous

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Manitoba_Rancher said:
OT- Do you just go searching for these news stories? Do you REALLY believe that we have a worse problem with BSE up here than you do in the US? Cattle have traded for years across the border and there are lots of Canadian cattle that are in US breeding herds so why arent you finding more BSE cases in the US? I always thought of you as a smart man being in law enforcement someone to look up to and all but I m beginning to rethink this if you belive this stuff you post on here. Typical R-calf style! :gag:

The article was in my local state paper- The Billings Gazette......

MR- I think you have a big problem-- whether you want to admit it or not-- and the bigger problem is in one cluster area....Why haven't any positive Ontario or Manitoba cows been found? The evidence is pointing to the fact that you had one/some feed manufacturers supplying bad feed to at least one area.....And it may take 8-10 years to get these cattle out of the system.....

And with our government still allowing loopholes in the US feed ban, I definitely don't want those cattle or beef from them coming south....
 

Bill

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Oldtimer said:
Manitoba_Rancher said:
OT- Do you just go searching for these news stories? Do you REALLY believe that we have a worse problem with BSE up here than you do in the US? Cattle have traded for years across the border and there are lots of Canadian cattle that are in US breeding herds so why arent you finding more BSE cases in the US? I always thought of you as a smart man being in law enforcement someone to look up to and all but I m beginning to rethink this if you belive this stuff you post on here. Typical R-calf style! :gag:

The article was in my local state paper- The Billings Gazette......

MR- I think you have a big problem-- whether you want to admit it or not-- and the bigger problem is in one cluster area....Why haven't any positive Ontario or Manitoba cows been found? The evidence is pointing to the fact that you had one/some feed manufacturers supplying bad feed to at least one area.....And it may take 8-10 years to get these cattle out of the system.....

And with our government still allowing loopholes in the US feed ban, I definitely don't want those cattle or beef from them coming south....
Oldtimer, you are the one who is trying to make a big deal out of this in typical R-Calf fashion. Surely to God you have the ability to figure out that it is much better to have the BSE cases in a concentrated area than spread across the entire country or continent. What concerns me is that Texas is a long ways from Alberta so how many cases will we find in between.
 
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Anonymous

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Oldtimer, you are the one who is trying to make a big deal out of this in typical R-Calf fashion. Surely to God you have the ability to figure out that it is much better to have the BSE cases in a concentrated area than spread across the entire country or continent. [/quote]
------------------------------------------------------------

Bill- If you notice there were many other groups and organizations besides just R-CALF making a big deal out of it-- It is a major concern when USDA and our government has proven to disregard long term US herd health and consumer safety for the benefit of opening the Canadian border...

I agree that it is good that it is in a cluster area- but not when that cluster area is treated just like the rest of Canada....And that is why the USDA's and OIE's BSE safeguards had called for border closures and quarantines to prevent spread and to eliminate it- until the Packer bucks got the rules changed.... Economical short term concerns overriding long term health concerns.......
 

Manitoba_Rancher

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Oldtimer admit it this isnt about BSE, its about prices. You belong to a protectionsit group " R-calf " and they will try and keep Canadian cattle out of the US come hell or high water. Why dont you admit it instead of beating around the darn bush! If you had a strict testing program in the US maybe you would find more.. in so called cluster areas. "you have to learn that lieing is not getting R-calf any farther"
 

flounder

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there are 9,200+ very suspect cases of BSE/TSE in the USA that went totally unanswered for of the 500,000 of the june 2004 enhanced cover-up.
other than the IHC test, the least likely to find a BSE/TSE in the bovine. now, they give you some excuse as to why the IHC was only used, but come on folks, this is GWs USDA et al now, have they ever lied or misslead? ggheeeee, how many times can we count. THE same test that MISSED the TEXAS mad cow that WAS documented (after it sat on a shelf for 7+ months before the honorable phyllis fong did the end around Johanns, that cow would have never been confirmed otherwise), plus the other suspect cow sample that sat on a shelf for 4 months while all this other BSe was going on.
i dont buy the fact some rancher could just put a suspect BSE/TSE sample up on a shelf and JUST forget about if for 4 months, while all this other BSe had been going on with the fong cow sitting up on a shelf for 7+ months. then you add in the purina gonzales feed mill incident, where the cows were fed 5.5 grams of ruminant feed, with the fda firing back how good a job they have done and the that it is OK to eat 5.5 grams, this will not infect a cow.
they knew all along that this was enough to infect 100+ cows. the whole damn thing is nothing more than a cover-up, from the very top. why do you think detwiler/miller et al kindly retired? the USA bovine is as much at risk of BSE if not more than Canada, and the sooner the ranchers in the USA admit this, the faster they will recover. this is one of the reason r-calf never got my ass up on a witness stand, i told them from the beginning, ask me what you want, but i would not stop at the Canadian border. ask yourself why GW et al did away with the BSE GBR risk assessment and went to the policy of legally force feeding policy of trading all strains of BSE/TSE globally with the BSE MRR policy$ i swear on my mothers grave there has been more case of BSE/TSE in the USA, they just have not documented/confirmed them,
this was proven in the honorable fong vs johanns. my only question is just how many more are out there? i know of one they rendered without testing at all ;




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement
May 4, 2004
Media Inquiries: 301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA




Statement on Texas Cow With Central Nervous System Symptoms
On Friday, April 30 th , the Food and Drug Administration learned that a cow with central nervous system symptoms had been killed and shipped to a processor for rendering into animal protein for use in animal feed.

FDA, which is responsible for the safety of animal feed, immediately began an investigation. On Friday and throughout the weekend, FDA investigators inspected the slaughterhouse, the rendering facility, the farm where the animal came from, and the processor that initially received the cow from the slaughterhouse.

FDA's investigation showed that the animal in question had already been rendered into "meat and bone meal" (a type of protein animal feed). Over the weekend FDA was able to track down all the implicated material. That material is being held by the firm, which is cooperating fully with FDA.

Cattle with central nervous system symptoms are of particular interest because cattle with bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE, also known as "mad cow disease," can exhibit such symptoms. In this case, there is no way now to test for BSE. But even if the cow had BSE, FDA's animal feed rule would prohibit the feeding of its rendered protein to other ruminant animals (e.g., cows, goats, sheep, bison).

FDA is sending a letter to the firm summarizing its findings and informing the firm that FDA will not object to use of this material in swine feed only. If it is not used in swine feed, this material will be destroyed. Pigs have been shown not to be susceptible to BSE. If the firm agrees to use the material for swine feed only, FDA will track the material all the way through the supply chain from the processor to the farm to ensure that the feed is properly monitored and used only as feed for pigs.

To protect the U.S. against BSE, FDA works to keep certain mammalian protein out of animal feed for cattle and other ruminant animals. FDA established its animal feed rule in 1997 after the BSE epidemic in the U.K. showed that the disease spreads by feeding infected ruminant protein to cattle.

Under the current regulation, the material from this Texas cow is not allowed in feed for cattle or other ruminant animals. FDA's action specifying that the material go only into swine feed means also that it will not be fed to poultry.

FDA is committed to protecting the U.S. from BSE and collaborates closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on all BSE issues. The animal feed rule provides crucial protection against the spread of BSE, but it is only one of several such firewalls. FDA will soon be improving the animal feed rule, to make this strong system even stronger.

####

oooops, sorry, will do better



http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/news/2004/NEW01061.html







B. Investigation of Handling of CNS-Suspect Cow in San Angelo, Texas

Overview

On May 4, 2004, the FSIS Acting Regional Director in Dallas, Texas reported that a cow

identified as having Central Nervous System (CNS) symptoms by an FSIS veterinarian at

Lone Star Beef Processors (Lone Star Beef), a beef processing facility in San Angelo,

Texas was not tested for BSE after it had been slaughtered. The initial decision by the

FSIS Veterinary Medical Officer (VMO) on-site at Lone Star Beef to have the cow tested

for BSE was overturned by a senior APHIS official and the cow’s carcass was sent to a

rendering plant. FSIS regulations at the time of the incident required VMOs to contact

the APHIS Assistant Area Veterinarian in Charge (AAVIC) to allow APHIS to collect a

BSE surveillance sample from suspect cattle.

OIG initiated an investigation to determine if the AAVIC in Austin, Texas, provided a

false statement to USDA FSIS investigators during their inquiry of his decision not to test

the animal at Lone Star Beef. To conduct our investigation, OIG reviewed previously

obtained statements, various documents and USDA regulations, and interviewed APHIS,

FSIS, beef processing facility, and rendering company personnel.

Summary of OIG Findings

The OIG investigation found no substantive evidence that the USDA official(s)

responsible for the decision not to take brain tissue samples from the cow for BSE

testing, or any other USDA personnel, provided false information or engaged in

intentional misconduct. We determined that a misjudgment was made by at least one

USDA veterinary official in the handling of the suspect cow. Sworn statements provided

by the two responsible USDA veterinary officials involved differ as to whether both

concurred in this decision.

The suspect cow’s carcass was sent to a rendering plant in San Angelo on April 27, 2004

for processing as inedible by-product. APHIS then utilized its "Indemnity Plan"

10

procedures to purchase the by-products as a preventative safety measure, and disposed of

it at a local landfill in accordance with applicable environmental standards.

Evidence shows that at the time of this incident, communication problems occurred

between the APHIS and FSIS employees involved. Taken together, the statements of

both APHIS and FSIS personnel and other evidence indicate inconsistencies in their

understanding of procedures for BSE tissue sampling of CNS suspect cattle in certain

circumstances, and the handling of the carcass pending test results. It is apparent from

the sworn statements provided to OIG that APHIS and FSIS personnel and Lone Star

Beef officials could not resolve how best to proceed, and that confusion existed about

how to properly handle the CNS-suspect carcass.

On May 5, 2004, FSIS and APHIS Veterinary Services announced a new joint policy

regarding BSE sampling of condemned cattle at slaughter plants. The policy establishes

protocols for the agencies’ responsibilities to obtain samples from condemned cattle

exhibiting signs of CNS disorders, regardless of age. ...

snip...



http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/Testimony7-2004.pdf







FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
P01-05
January 30, 2001
Print Media: 301-827-6242
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note: On Dec. 23, 2003, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that a cow in Washington state had tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow disease). As a result, information on this Web page stating that no BSE cases had been found in the United States is now incorrect. However, because other information on this page continues to have value, the page will remain available for viewing.

FDA ANNOUNCES TEST RESULTS FROM TEXAS FEED LOT


Today the Food and Drug Administration announced the results of tests taken on feed used at a Texas feedlot that was suspected of containing meat and bone meal from other domestic cattle -- a violation of FDA's 1997 prohibition on using ruminant material in feed for other ruminants. Results indicate that a very low level of prohibited material was found in the feed fed to cattle.

FDA has determined that each animal could have consumed, at most and in total, five-and-one-half grams - approximately a quarter ounce -- of prohibited material. These animals weigh approximately 600 pounds.

It is important to note that the prohibited material was domestic in origin (therefore not likely to contain infected material because there is no evidence of BSE in U.S. cattle), fed at a very low level, and fed only once. The potential risk of BSE to such cattle is therefore exceedingly low, even if the feed were contaminated.

According to Dr. Bernard Schwetz, FDA's Acting Principal Deputy Commissioner, "The challenge to regulators and industry is to keep this disease out of the United States. One important defense is to prohibit the use of any ruminant animal materials in feed for other ruminant animals. Combined with other steps, like U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) ban on the importation of live ruminant animals from affected countries, these steps represent a series of protections, to keep American cattle free of BSE."

Despite this negligible risk, Purina Mills, Inc., is nonetheless announcing that it is voluntarily purchasing all 1,222 of the animals held in Texas and mistakenly fed the animal feed containing the prohibited material. Therefore, meat from those animals will not enter the human food supply. FDA believes any cattle that did not consume feed containing the prohibited material are unaffected by this incident, and should be handled in the beef supply clearance process as usual.

FDA believes that Purina Mills has behaved responsibly by first reporting the human error that resulted in the misformulation of the animal feed supplement and then by working closely with State and Federal authorities.

This episode indicates that the multi-layered safeguard system put into place is essential for protecting the food supply and that continued vigilance needs to be taken, by all concerned, to ensure these rules are followed routinely.

FDA will continue working with USDA as well as State and local officials to ensure that companies and individuals comply with all laws and regulations designed to protect the U.S. food supply.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


ooops again, everything o.k. though ;


http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2001/NEW00752.html




but in reality;




It is clear that the designing scientists must

also have shared Mr Bradley's surprise at the results because all the dose

levels right down to 1 gram triggered infection.




http://www.bseinquiry.gov.uk/files/ws/s145d.pdf




2

6. It also appears to me that Mr Bradley's answer (that it would take less
than say 100 grams) was probably given with the benefit of hindsight; particularly if one

considers that later in the same answer Mr Bradley expresses his surprise
that it

could take as little of 1 gram of brain to cause BSE by the oral route
within the

same species. This information did not become available until the "attack
rate"

experiment had been completed in 1995/96. This was a titration experiment

designed to ascertain the infective dose. A range of dosages was used to
ensure

that the actual result was within both a lower and an upper limit within the
study

and the designing scientists would not have expected all the dose levels to
trigger

infection. The dose ranges chosen by the most informed scientists at that
time

ranged from 1 gram to three times one hundred grams. It is clear that the
designing

scientists must have also shared Mr Bradley's surprise at the results
because all the

dose levels right down to 1 gram triggered infection.




http://www.bseinquiry.gov.uk/files/ws/s147f.pdf




Re: BSE .1 GRAM LETHAL NEW STUDY SAYS via W.H.O. Dr Maura Ricketts

[BBC radio 4 FARM news]



http://www.maddeer.org/audio/BBC4farmingtoday2_1_03.ram



http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/03/slides/3923s1_OPH.htm




2) Infectious dose:

To cattle: 1 gram of infected brain material (by oral ingestion)

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/sci/bio/bseesbe.shtml





oral dose of BSE in primates--look at the table and you'll see that as little as 1 mg (or 0.001 gm) caused 7% (1 of 14) of the cows to come down with BSE.


Published online

January 27, 2005


Risk of oral infection with bovine spongiform

encephalopathy agent in primates

Corinne Ida Lasmézas, Emmanuel Comoy, Stephen Hawkins, Christian Herzog, Franck Mouthon, Timm Konold, Frédéric Auvré, Evelyne Correia,

Nathalie Lescoutra-Etchegaray, Nicole Salès, Gerald Wells, Paul Brown, Jean-Philippe Deslys

The uncertain extent of human exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)—which can lead to variant

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD)—is compounded by incomplete knowledge about the ef.ciency of oral infection

and the magnitude of any bovine-to-human biological barrier to transmission. We therefore investigated oral

transmission of BSE to non-human primates. We gave two macaques a 5 g oral dose of brain homogenate from a

BSE-infected cow. One macaque developed vCJD-like neurological disease 60 months after exposure, whereas the

other remained free of disease at 76 months. On the basis of these .ndings and data from other studies, we made a

preliminary estimate of the food exposure risk for man, which provides additional assurance that existing public

health measures can prevent transmission of BSE to man.


snip...


BSE bovine brain inoculum

100 g 10 g 5 g 1 g 100 mg 10 mg 1 mg 0·1 mg 0·01 mg

Primate (oral route)* 1/2 (50%)

Cattle (oral route)* 10/10 (100%) 7/9 (78%) 7/10 (70%) 3/15 (20%) 1/15 (7%) 1/15 (7%)

RIII mice (icip route)* 17/18 (94%) 15/17 (88%) 1/14 (7%)

PrPres biochemical detection

The comparison is made on the basis of calibration of the bovine inoculum used in our study with primates against a bovine brain inoculum with a similar PrPres concentration that was

inoculated into mice and cattle.8 *Data are number of animals positive/number of animals surviving at the time of clinical onset of disease in the .rst positive animal (%). The accuracy of

bioassays is generally judged to be about plus or minus 1 log. icip=intracerebral and intraperitoneal.

Table 1: Comparison of transmission rates in primates and cattle infected orally with similar BSE brain inocula


snip...end


www.thelancet.com Published online January 27, 2005



=================================







just compare the Canadian BSE GBR i already posted to the USA BSE GBR risk assessment and you will see why GW et al had to force feed his BSE MRR policy to everyone ;



EFSA Scientific Report on the Assessment of the Geographical BSE-Risk (GBR) of the United States of America (USA)
Publication date: 20 August 2004
Adopted July 2004 (Question N° EFSA-Q-2003-083)

Report

Summary
Summary of the Scientific Report

The European Food Safety Authority and its Scientific Expert Working Group on the Assessment of the Geographical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Risk (GBR) were asked by the European Commission (EC) to provide an up-to-date scientific report on the GBR in the United States of America, i.e. the likelihood of the presence of one or more cattle being infected with BSE, pre-clinically as well as clinically, in USA. This scientific report addresses the GBR of USA as assessed in 2004 based on data covering the period 1980-2003.

The BSE agent was probably imported into USA and could have reached domestic cattle in the middle of the eighties. These cattle imported in the mid eighties could have been rendered in the late eighties and therefore led to an internal challenge in the early nineties. It is possible that imported meat and bone meal (MBM) into the USA reached domestic cattle and leads to an internal challenge in the early nineties.

A processing risk developed in the late 80s/early 90s when cattle imports from BSE risk countries were slaughtered or died and were processed (partly) into feed, together with some imports of MBM. This risk continued to exist, and grew significantly in the mid 90’s when domestic cattle, infected by imported MBM, reached processing. Given the low stability of the system, the risk increased over the years with continued imports of cattle and MBM from BSE risk countries.

EFSA concludes that the current GBR level of USA is III, i.e. it is likely but not confirmed that domestic cattle are (clinically or pre-clinically) infected with the BSE-agent. As long as there are no significant changes in rendering or feeding, the stability remains extremely/very unstable. Thus, the probability of cattle to be (pre-clinically or clinically) infected with the BSE-agent persistently increases.


http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/efsa_scientific_reports/gbr_assessments/573_en.html

SUMMARY

Summary of Scientific Report
http://www.efsa.eu.int
1 of 1
Scientific Report of the European Food Safety Authority
on the Assessment of the Geographical BSE-Risk (GBR) of
United States of America (USA)
Question N° EFSA-Q-2003-083
Adopted July 2004
Summary of scientific report
The European Food Safety Authority and its Scientific Expert Working Group on the
Assessment of the Geographical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Risk (GBR)
were asked by the European Commission (EC) to provide an up-to-date scientific report on
the GBR in the United States of America, i.e. the likelihood of the presence of one or more
cattle being infected with BSE, pre-clinically as well as clinically, in USA. This scientific
report addresses the GBR of USA as assessed in 2004 based on data covering the period
1980-2003.
The BSE agent was probably imported into USA and could have reached domestic cattle in
the middle of the eighties. These cattle imported in the mid eighties could have been rendered
in the late eighties and therefore led to an internal challenge in the early nineties. It is possible
that imported meat and bone meal (MBM) into the USA reached domestic cattle and leads to
an internal challenge in the early nineties.
A processing risk developed in the late 80s/early 90s when cattle imports from BSE risk
countries were slaughtered or died and were processed (partly) into feed, together with some
imports of MBM. This risk continued to exist, and grew significantly in the mid 90’s when
domestic cattle, infected by imported MBM, reached processing. Given the low stability of
the system, the risk increased over the years with continued imports of cattle and MBM from
BSE risk countries.
EFSA concludes that the current GBR level of USA is III, i.e. it is likely but not confirmed
that domestic cattle are (clinically or pre-clinically) infected with the BSE-agent. As long as
there are no significant changes in rendering or feeding, the stability remains extremely/very
unstable. Thus, the probability of cattle to be (pre-clinically or clinically) infected with the
BSE-agent persistently increases.
Key words: BSE, geographical risk assessment, GBR, USA, third countries

http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/efsa_scientific_reports/gbr_assessments/573/sr03_biohaz02_usa_report_summary_en1.pdf

REPORT (6 PAGES)

snip...

EFSA Scientific Report (2004) 3, 1-6 on the Assessment of the Geographical BSE Risk of
Conclusions
The European Food Safety Authority concludes:
1. The BSE agent was probably imported into USA and could have reached domestic
cattle in the middle of the eighties. This cattle imported in the mid eighties could have
been rendered in the late eighties and therefore led to an internal challenge in the early
nineties. It is possible that meat and bone meal (MBM) imported into the USA
reached domestic cattle and lead to an internal challenge in the early nineties.
2. A processing risk developed in the late 80s/early 90s when cattle imports from BSE
risk countries were slaughtered or died and were processed (partly) into feed, together
with some imports of MBM. This risk continued to exist, and grew significantly in the
mid 90’s when domestic cattle, infected by imported MBM, reached processing.
Given the low stability of the system, the risk increased over the years with continued
imports of cattle and MBM from BSE risk countries.
3. The current geographical BSE risk (GBR) level is III, i.e. it is likely but not confirmed
that domestic cattle are (clinically or pre-clinically) infected with the BSE-agent.
4. This assessment deviates from the previous assessment (SSC opinion, 2000) because
at that time several exporting countries were not considered a potential risk.
5. It is also worth noting that the current GBR conclusions are not dependent on the large
exchange of imports between USA and Canada. External challenge due to exports to
the USA from European countries varied from moderate to high. These challenges
indicate that it was likely that BSE infectivity was introduced into the North American
continent.
6. EFSA and its Scientific Expert Working group on GBR are concerned that the
available information was not confirmed by inspection missions as performed by the
Food and Veterinary office (FVO – DG SANCO) in Member States and other third
countries. They recommend including, as far as feasible, BSE-related aspects in
future inspection missions.
Expected development of the GBR
As long as there are no significant changes in rendering or feeding, the stability remains
extremely/very unstable. Thus, the probability of cattle to be (pre-clinically or clinically)
infected with the BSE-agent persistently increases.
A table summarising the reasons for the current assessment is given in the table below

snip...

http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/efsa_scientific_reports/gbr_assessments/573/sr03_biohaz02_usa_report_v2_en1.pdf




It should be noted that since the enhanced surveillance program began, USDA has also conducted approximately 9,200 routine IHC tests on samples that did not first undergo rapid testing. This was done to ensure that samples inappropriate for the rapid screen test were still tested, and also to monitor and improve upon IHC testing protocols. Of those 9,200 routine tests, one test returned a non-definitive result on July 27, 2005. That sample underwent additional testing at NVSL, as well as at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Weybridge, England, and results were negative.


http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/issues/bse_testing/test_results.html



simply put, i don't believe ;


> This was done to ensure that samples inappropriate for the rapid screen test were still tested, and also to monitor and improve upon IHC testing protocols.



what i believe is that they were suspect cows they did not want to confirm, but had to on one due to a slip of the IHC. if you dont want to find something, it is very easy, especially with the IHC. it's what Dr. Detwiler tried to tell them in 2003 at another BSE Roundtable event;



USDA 2003

We have to be careful that we don't get so set in the way we do things that
we forget to look for different emerging variations of disease. We've gotten
away from collecting the whole brain in our systems. We're using the brain
stem and we're looking in only one area. In Norway, they were doing a
project and looking at cases of Scrapie, and they found this where they did
not find lesions or PRP in the area of the obex. They found it in the
cerebellum and the cerebrum. It's a good lesson for us. Ames had to go
back and change the procedure for looking at Scrapie samples. In the USDA,
we had routinely looked at all the sections of the brain, and then we got
away from it. They've recently gone back.
Dr. Keller: Tissues are routinely tested, based on which tissue provides an
'official' test result as recognized by APHIS
.

Dr. Detwiler: That's on the slaughter. But on the clinical cases, aren't
they still asking for the brain? But even on the slaughter, they're looking
only at the brainstem. We may be missing certain things if we confine
ourselves to one area.


snip.............


Dr. Detwiler: It seems a good idea, but I'm not aware of it.
Another important thing to get across to the public is that the negatives
do not guarantee absence of infectivity. The animal could be early in the
disease and the incubation period. Even sample collection is so important.
If you're not collecting the right area of the brain in sheep, or if
collecting lymphoreticular tissue, and you don't get a good biopsy, you
could miss the area with the PRP in it and come up with a negative test.
There's a new, unusual form of Scrapie that's been detected in Norway. We
have to be careful that we don't get so set in the way we do things that we
forget to look for different emerging variations of disease. We've gotten
away from collecting the whole brain in our systems. We're using the brain
stem and we're looking in only one area. In Norway, they were doing a
project and looking at cases of Scrapie, and they found this where they did
not find lesions or PRP in the area of the obex. They found it in the
cerebellum and the cerebrum. It's a good lesson for us. Ames had to go
back and change the procedure for looking at Scrapie samples. In the USDA,
we had routinely looked at all the sections of the brain, and then we got
away from it. They've recently gone back.

Dr. Keller: Tissues are routinely tested, based on which tissue provides an
'official' test result as recognized by APHIS
.

Dr. Detwiler: That's on the slaughter. But on the clinical cases, aren't
they still asking for the brain? But even on the slaughter, they're looking
only at the brainstem. We may be missing certain things if we confine
ourselves to one area.


snip...





Completely Edited Version
PRION ROUNDTABLE


Accomplished this day, Wednesday, December 11, 2003, Denver, Colorado



MAYBE this is one of the reasons Dr. Detwiler retired/resigned ??? or was she forced for wanting to do the right thing??? why did Janice Miller resign there about the same time??? both TSE experts. ...



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Manitoba_Rancher

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BMR,


I think you and I should take up a collection to buy OT and Haymaker one of those lil hats with the lil impeller on the top and R-calf embrodered on the front. :lol: :lol: And maybe a bumper sticker that says "honk if you spot a mad cow in Canada" :lol2: :lol2: :lol2:
 
A

Anonymous

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Manitoba_Rancher said:
Oldtimer admit it this isnt about BSE, its about prices. You belong to a protectionsit group " R-calf " and they will try and keep Canadian cattle out of the US come hell or high water. Why dont you admit it instead of beating around the darn bush! If you had a strict testing program in the US maybe you would find more.. in so called cluster areas. "you have to learn that lieing is not getting R-calf any farther"

MR- I haven't changed my position one bit with this new case- in fact it just strengthens it....I still believe that the USDA and FDA need to fill in all the feedban loopholes to protect the US cattle herd- and implement Mandatory-COOL to give the US consumers the choice- then open her up...
 

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MR, "Oldtimer admit it this isnt about BSE, its about prices."

NO, it's not. It's about US producers and consumers being blatantly sold out for corporate profits. I was going to add, "and the precidence that sets", but that precident was already set - just continued on an obscene level. Some of us are getting tired of the multi-national's checkbook being the first priority in setting policy. We would like to have our regulatory agency back and have them do what they were created for and paid to do.
 

Tam

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Oldtimer said:
Manitoba_Rancher said:
Oldtimer admit it this isnt about BSE, its about prices. You belong to a protectionsit group " R-calf " and they will try and keep Canadian cattle out of the US come hell or high water. Why dont you admit it instead of beating around the darn bush! If you had a strict testing program in the US maybe you would find more.. in so called cluster areas. "you have to learn that lieing is not getting R-calf any farther"

MR- I haven't changed my position one bit with this new case- in fact it just strengthens it....I still believe that the USDA and FDA need to fill in all the feedban loopholes to protect the US cattle herd- and implement Mandatory-COOL to give the US consumers the choice- then open her up...
If the USDA was to ban all beef and cattle coming from Canada, not just Alberta where your little cluster theory affects, to protect the US herd and consumers, wouldn't they also have to ban the selling of all US beef, as BSE was found in Texas, to protect the US consumers and herd? What about one of the infected Texas cows getting into the US feed system with all it's loopholes and non compliance, will that not also spread BSE within the US herd? If you really care about the US consumers then stop selling your BSE tainted beef to them which is putting them at genuine risk of death just like Cebull said ours was. If you keep selling your beef you are showing us you don't believe that all beef coming from a country affect by BSE is tainted and unsafe for human consumption and are admitting that R-CALF's main argument to close the border was a LIE. And Oldtimer by saying "implement Mandatory-COOL to give the US consumers the choice- then open her up." proves to most of us, or at least should, either you don't really care about consumer health issues or you don't believe there is a problem with Canadian beef. As if you were truly concerned about the consumer health and thought that Canadian beef would put them at risk you wouldn't want it in your country no matter if it was labeled or not. You are so transparent it's funny. :lol: It is all about the US cattle prices and a way to con US consumers into think they should feel obligated into buying US beef even if it is no more safe than the imported you want to stop to protect your high cattle prices.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Tam said:
Oldtimer said:
Manitoba_Rancher said:
Oldtimer admit it this isnt about BSE, its about prices. You belong to a protectionsit group " R-calf " and they will try and keep Canadian cattle out of the US come hell or high water. Why dont you admit it instead of beating around the darn bush! If you had a strict testing program in the US maybe you would find more.. in so called cluster areas. "you have to learn that lieing is not getting R-calf any farther"

MR- I haven't changed my position one bit with this new case- in fact it just strengthens it....I still believe that the USDA and FDA need to fill in all the feedban loopholes to protect the US cattle herd- and implement Mandatory-COOL to give the US consumers the choice- then open her up...
If the USDA was to ban all beef and cattle coming from Canada, not just Alberta where your little cluster theory affects, to protect the US herd and consumers, wouldn't they also have to ban the selling of all US beef, as BSE was found in Texas, to protect the US consumers and herd? What about one of the infected Texas cows getting into the US feed system with all it's loopholes and non compliance, will that not also spread BSE within the US herd? If you really care about the US consumers then stop selling your BSE tainted beef to them which is putting them at genuine risk of death just like Cebull said ours was. If you keep selling your beef you are showing us you don't believe that all beef coming from a country affect by BSE is tainted and unsafe for human consumption and are admitting that R-CALF's main argument to close the border was a LIE. And Oldtimer by saying "implement Mandatory-COOL to give the US consumers the choice- then open her up." proves to most of us, or at least should, either you don't really care about consumer health issues or you don't believe there is a problem with Canadian beef. As if you were truly concerned about the consumer health and thought that Canadian beef would put them at risk you wouldn't want it in your country no matter if it was labeled or not. You are so transparent it's funny. :lol: It is all about the US cattle prices and a way to con US consumers into think they should feel obligated into buying US beef even if it is no more safe than the imported you want to stop to protect your high cattle prices.

Tam- since when has 1 (one) been considered a cluster?

Rant on :wink: :lol: :lol:
 

Manitoba_Rancher

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Tam you hit the nail right on the head with that... Way to go!! Ot is like a glass door you can see right through him.....and whats that in his belly... thats good ole canadian steak!!! :lol2: :lol2::lol2: :lol2:
 

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Sandhusker said:
MR, "Oldtimer admit it this isnt about BSE, its about prices."

NO, it's not. It's about US producers and consumers being blatantly sold out for corporate profits. I was going to add, "and the precidence that sets", but that precident was already set - just continued on an obscene level. Some of us are getting tired of the multi-national's checkbook being the first priority in setting policy. We would like to have our regulatory agency back and have them do what they were created for and paid to do.

If our beef is tainted and a genuine risk of death and the USDA sold out the US producers and consumers for corporate profits by openning the border to Canadian beef and cattle that beneifited the packers, retailers and by keeping the prices of beef reasonable in the US, the US consumers also. Who did they sell out when they didn't ban the selling of US beef when BSE was found in the US and by R-CALF's own words should have been looked at as all tainted as it come from a country affected by BSE ? And who profited from the USDA not banning US beef? first answer: the US consumers and the second: the US PRODUCERS. Just what do you think your high cattle prices would have been if you couldn't export your beef or sell it to the poor US consumers as it might put them at a genuine risk of death. Funny how you talk about being sold out when what was done didn't beneifit you personally but did beneifit others, but you think it is fine that they sold out the US consumers to profit you. If R-CALF and their supporters were concerned about the US consumers health they should have stop selling beef and cattle the moment the Texas cow was found positive. And some of their bigger supporters shouldn't have been in Canada buying cattle at cut rate prices just so they could make a buck off the backs of the Canadian producers. And then whining about how the packers in Canada had stoled all their profits when they found out who they were. :p
 

Tam

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Oldtimer said:
Tam said:
Oldtimer said:
MR- I haven't changed my position one bit with this new case- in fact it just strengthens it....I still believe that the USDA and FDA need to fill in all the feedban loopholes to protect the US cattle herd- and implement Mandatory-COOL to give the US consumers the choice- then open her up...
If the USDA was to ban all beef and cattle coming from Canada, not just Alberta where your little cluster theory affects, to protect the US herd and consumers, wouldn't they also have to ban the selling of all US beef, as BSE was found in Texas, to protect the US consumers and herd? What about one of the infected Texas cows getting into the US feed system with all it's loopholes and non compliance, will that not also spread BSE within the US herd? If you really care about the US consumers then stop selling your BSE tainted beef to them which is putting them at genuine risk of death just like Cebull said ours was. If you keep selling your beef you are showing us you don't believe that all beef coming from a country affect by BSE is tainted and unsafe for human consumption and are admitting that R-CALF's main argument to close the border was a LIE. And Oldtimer by saying "implement Mandatory-COOL to give the US consumers the choice- then open her up." proves to most of us, or at least should, either you don't really care about consumer health issues or you don't believe there is a problem with Canadian beef. As if you were truly concerned about the consumer health and thought that Canadian beef would put them at risk you wouldn't want it in your country no matter if it was labeled or not. You are so transparent it's funny. :lol: It is all about the US cattle prices and a way to con US consumers into think they should feel obligated into buying US beef even if it is no more safe than the imported you want to stop to protect your high cattle prices.

Tam- since when has 1 (one) been considered a cluster?

Rant on :wink: :lol: :lol:

Oldtimer what happen to the other Texas cow that was targeted for BSE testing by the plant inspector, but was destroyed by order of the USDA personel before any samples could be taken? This one hit the news right after the new surveillance program in the US was to be implemented but how many times did this happen that didn't hit the news? :???: Besides R-CALF started their campaigne of lies after Canada found the first case which means we didn't have knowledge and neither did they that there was a so called cluster area. But because CANADA TESTS TO FIND and the US DOESN"T we may never know if the US has a cluster area. :wink:
 

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Whatever happened to our "happy (or not so happy) North American Beef Industry"? Now all I hear is Canada or USA Beef. Which way is it?
 

Sandhusker

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Tam said:
Sandhusker said:
MR, "Oldtimer admit it this isnt about BSE, its about prices."

NO, it's not. It's about US producers and consumers being blatantly sold out for corporate profits. I was going to add, "and the precidence that sets", but that precident was already set - just continued on an obscene level. Some of us are getting tired of the multi-national's checkbook being the first priority in setting policy. We would like to have our regulatory agency back and have them do what they were created for and paid to do.

If our beef is tainted and a genuine risk of death and the USDA sold out the US producers and consumers for corporate profits by openning the border to Canadian beef and cattle that beneifited the packers, retailers and by keeping the prices of beef reasonable in the US, the US consumers also. Who did they sell out when they didn't ban the selling of US beef when BSE was found in the US and by R-CALF's own words should have been looked at as all tainted as it come from a country affected by BSE ? And who profited from the USDA not banning US beef? first answer: the US consumers and the second: the US PRODUCERS. Just what do you think your high cattle prices would have been if you couldn't export your beef or sell it to the poor US consumers as it might put them at a genuine risk of death. Funny how you talk about being sold out when what was done didn't beneifit you personally but did beneifit others, but you think it is fine that they sold out the US consumers to profit you. If R-CALF and their supporters were concerned about the US consumers health they should have stop selling beef and cattle the moment the Texas cow was found positive. And some of their bigger supporters shouldn't have been in Canada buying cattle at cut rate prices just so they could make a buck off the backs of the Canadian producers. And then whining about how the packers in Canada had stoled all their profits when they found out who they were. :p

First of all, "stoled" is not a word, not in the US, anyway. :wink:

Secondly, other than the effect on packer's pocketbooks, why was the USDA so gung-ho over opening the border for country #23 (Canada) yet was content to keep the border closed to the previous 22 countries? I've asked that question many times and nobody can seem to answer it. Can you, Tam?
 

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HOLY mad cow i forgot about these 500 suspect cows ;


USDA did not test possible mad cows
By STEVE MITCHELL
United Press International

WASHINGTON, June 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture claims it tested 500 cows with signs of a brain disorder for mad cow disease last year, but agency documents obtained by United Press International show the agency tested only half that number.

USDA officials said the difference is made up in animals tested at state veterinary diagnostic laboratories, but these animals were not tested using the "gold standard" test employed by the agency for confirming a case of the deadly disease. Instead, the state labs used a less sensitive test that experts say could miss mad cow cases.

In addition, the state lab figures were not included in a March 2004 USDA document estimating the number of animals most likely to be infected among U.S. herds, and apparently were not given to a congressional committee that had requested agency data on the number of cows with brain disorder signs that had been tested for the disease.

"This is just adding to the demise of USDA's credibility," said Felicia Nestor, senior policy adviser to the Government Accountability Project, a group in Washington, D.C., that works with federal whistleblowers.

"If the USDA is going to exclude from testing the animals most likely to have the disease, that would seem to have a very negative impact on the reliability of their conclusion," Nestor told UPI.

Nestor, who has monitored the USDA's mad cow surveillance program closely for several years, asked, "Are they deliberately avoiding testing animals that look like they have the disease?"

Concerns about the number of cows in U.S. herds with brain disorder symptoms have been heightened due to the recent case in Texas, in which USDA officials failed to test an animal with such symptoms, also known as central nervous system or CNS signs. This was a violation of USDA policy, which stipulates all CNS cows should be tested because they are considered the most likely to be mad cow infected. To date, the Washington cow that tested positive last December is the only confirmed case of mad cow disease -- also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy -- among U.S. herds.

The Texas incident has alarmed the public and members of Congress because humans can contract a fatal brain disorder called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease from consuming meat infected with the mad cow pathogen. If the USDA's surveillance program is allowing the riskiest cows to go untested, it raises concerns about the ability of the monitoring system to detect the disease reliably in U.S. herds, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., charged in a May 13 letter to Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman.

Dr. Peter Lurie, of the consumer group Public Citizen, said CNS cows should be the one category that absolutely has to be tested to have a sound surveillance system.

"CNS animals are far and away the most important animals to test," said Lurie, who has done several analyses of the USDA's mad cow surveillance program.

"If there's any category that needs 100 percent testing, that's it, because they would be the most likely place to find mad cow in America," he told UPI. "Any CNS cow that slips into the food supply represents a major case of malpractice by USDA, and similarly, the failure to test the brain of that animal to see if it was indeed infected is really a failure to protect the public."

USDA officials said the agency has no estimate on how many CNS cows occur in U.S. herds. But spokesman Ed Loyd has told UPI, and at least one other media outlet, that 500 CNS cows were tested in fiscal year 2003. Yet agency testing records for the first 10 months of FY 2003, obtained by UPI under the Freedom of Information Act, show only 254 animals that fall under the CNS category -- or about half the number Loyd cited.

After failing to respond to repeated requests from UPI for clarification of the apparent discrepancy, Loyd finally offered the explanation that an additional 45 CNS cows were tested by the USDA during the final two months of FY 2003. The remainder, he said, was made up by CNS cases tested at various state veterinary diagnostic laboratories.

"We also include data reported to us from state veterinary diagnostic laboratories, and all of these are CNS cases that have been tested for BSE using a histological examination," Loyd said.

"We were not using any other labs during this period, other than (the USDA lab), to run the IHC tests for BSE, which is the gold standard," he said. "This (state laboratory) information contributes important data to our surveillance effort."

However, the state labs did not use the immunohistochemistry test, which the USDA has called the "gold standard" for diagnosing mad cow disease. Instead, the labs used a different test called histopathology, which the USDA itself does not use to confirm a case, opting instead for the more sensitive IHC test.

The histopathology test, unlike the IHC test, does not detect prions -- misfolded proteins that serve as a marker for infection and can be spotted early on in the course of the illness. Rather, it screens for the microscopic holes in the brain that are characteristic of advanced mad cow disease.

According to the USDA's Web site, histopathology proves reliable only if the brain sample is removed soon after the death of the animal. If there is too much of a delay, the Web site states, it can be "very difficult to confirm a diagnosis by histopathology" because the brain structures may have begun to disintegrate.

That is one reason the agency began using the IHC test -- it can confirm a diagnosis if the brain has begun disintegrating or been frozen for shipping.

The state labs used histopathology to screen 266 CNS cases in FY 2003, as well as 257 cases in FY 2002, according to Loyd. He did not explain why this information was not included in the testing records the agency provided to UPI and has not responded to requests for the identity of the state labs.

Linda Detwiler, a former USDA veterinarian who oversaw the agency's mad cow testing program, told UPI the histopathology test probably is adequate for screening CNS cows. If they have mad cow disease, she said, it would likely be an advanced stage that should be obvious.

Other mad cow disease experts, however, said having a back-up test such as IHC would be advisable, because histopathology tests sometimes can miss evidence of infection.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations offers similar recommendations in its protocol for conducing a histopathology test. The protocol states that even if histopathology is negative, "further sampling should be undertaken" in cases "where clinical signs have strongly suggested BSE" -- a criteria that includes all of the cows tested at the state labs.

The USDA seems to agree on the need for a back-up test. Its expanded surveillance program, which began June 1, calls for using IHC -- or another test called Western blot -- to confirm any positives found on rapid tests. The March 15 document that describes the new program does not mention using histopathology to confirm cases of mad cow disease.

"Subtle changes can be missed on histopathology that would probably not be as easy to miss using IHC," said Elizabeth Mumford, a veterinarian and BSE expert at Safe Food Solutions in Bern, Switzerland, a company that provides advice on reducing mad cow risk to industry and governments.

"Therefore I believe it is valuable to run (histopathology)," Mumford told UPI.

She noted that in Europe, two tests -- neither one the histopathology test -- are used to ensure no cases are missed. A rapid test is used initially for screening, followed by IHC as a confirmatory test.

Markus Moser, a molecular biologist and chief executive officer of the Swiss firm Prionics, which manufactures tests for detecting mad cow disease, agrees about the possibility of a case being missed by histopathology.

"There were cases which were (histopathology) negative but still clearly positive with the other (testing) methods," Moser said. "BSE testing based on histology on sub-optimal tissue was probably one of the reasons why Germany was allegedly BSE-free until our test discovered that they were not" in 2000, Moser told UPI.

He agreed with Detwiler that histopathology should be suitable for most cases of CNS cows, but added it still can fail to detect the disease in some CNS cases -- particularly if the sample is not optimum.

"It is difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish the subtle changes in a diseased brain from artifacts like ruptures in the tissue due to tissue damage during the sampling, transport or preparation," he said.

Loyd asserted the additional CNS cases from the state labs actually yielded a total of 565 such cows the USDA had tested -- 65 more than his original figure of 500. Whether the USDA considers its total to be 500 or 565, however, either figure would exceed the agency's own estimates for the total number of such cows that it identifies annually.

According to data the USDA provided to the House Committee on Government Reform, and numbers the agency included in the March document about its expanded surveillance plan, only 201 to 249 CNS cows are identified at slaughterhouses. Approximately 129 additional cases occur on farms annually. At most, that yields a combined total of 378 CNS cows, or nearly 200 less than the 565 Loyd claims the agency tested.

The USDA surveillance plan document makes no mention of the number of CNS animals tested at state veterinary diagnostic labs. The figure also does not appear to be included in the agency's estimates of the number of high-risk animals that occur in the United States each year. The latter number was used to help the USDA calculate the number of animals it will screen for mad cow disease in its expanded surveillance plan.

USDA officials also did not include the state lab figures in response to a question from the House Committee on Government Reform, a source close to the issue told UPI. The committee, on which Waxman is the ranking Democrat, had requested in a March 8 letter to Veneman that she provide "the number of BSE tests that were conducted on cattle exhibiting central nervous system symptoms" for each of the last five years.

Loyd did not respond to a request from UPI asking why agency officials did not provide that information to the committee or include it in USDA's explanation of its expanded surveillance plan.

The committee has taken note of the CNS issue and plans to delve into it further in a hearing slated for sometime in the next few months.

"The committee will explore this and other issues surrounding USDA and BSE testing at a hearing later this summer," Drew Crockett, spokesman for the committee, told UPI.

--

Steve Mitchell is UPI's Medical Correspondent. E-mail [email protected]



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