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TEST EVERY DAMN ONE OF EM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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HAY MAKER

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MIXED REACTION TO BSE CASE


USA reports new tests confirm second case of BSE.

The announcement that a second case of BSE in the USA has been confirmed has met with mixed reactions.

The case was confirmed at the weekend following tests at the specialist laboratory in Weybridge in England.

The news immediately brought a block on the potential resumption of exports to South Korea has also suspended renewing imports of US beef while it waits for further information.

In Japan, the news was said to have been greeted with "little surprise".

American Meat Institute president Patrick Boyle said: "This test result should be seen for what it truly is - proof positive that the surveillance system for BSE in the United States is working. The enhanced testing programme that the government initiated on June 1, 2004 is part of the multi-firewall system that this county has undertaken for nearly 15 years to staunch BSE."

In an effort to get its message out to the American public and international markets for American beef, AMI released a web cast in English, Spanish and French.

"The single most important thing for the public to realise is that the meat from this animal never entered the food supply . But even if it had, the food supply remains safe because consumption of beef has never been shown to cause BSE-related human illness. Thus, the fact that this animal tested positive has absolutely no bearing on the safety of the food supply," Mr Boyle added.

The US Meat Export Federation said: "Despite this confirmed case of BSE, top scientists, government experts and leaders in the food industry agree that U.S. beef remains very safe and the risk of BSE to humans is near zero. Strong regulations and firewalls protect consumers, ensuring this animal never entered the food supply."

The animal was initially identified on 18 November last year during part one of an aggressive surveillance programme implemented by the USDA and the beef industry.

Subsequent, more accurate tests in part two of the programme were conducted by the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, using the gold standard tests. These tests initially confirmed this animal did not have BSE.

However, the USDA's independent auditor, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), saw an unusual pattern of conflicting test results during an audit to evaluate the effectiveness of USDA's BSE surveillance programme and testing laboratories.

The OIG then ordered that another test, using Western Blot protocol, be conducted on an enriched sample from this animal and two others. While the other tests were also confirmed "negative," this sample was declared a "weak positive" and deemed worthy of further testing.

These additional tests confirmed the presence of BSE in the animal.

On Saturday, Japanese scientists said they were not surprised at the news.

Professor Yasuhiro Yoshikawa from the University of Tokyo and the head of the prion research panel, part of Japan's Food Safety Commission said the confirmation of another case in a US born cow was not unexpected, according to Kyodo News.

Prof Yoshikawa's panel is currently looking into the safety risks involved in a Japanese government plan to resume imports of American and Canadian beef.

South Korea was expected to delay resumption of beef imports from the USA.

Officials from the South Korean Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry have called on the US to give them more information on the infected cow and how the US dealt with it. The campaigning cattlemen's group R-Calf said that US cattle producers had always done everything possible to make certain their beef is safe, and in the early 1990s, significant and stringent control measures were implemented across the industry to provide safeguards against BSE, should the disease ever be introduced into the domestic cattle herd.

R-CALF USA President and Co-Founder Leo McDonnell said: "However, these same producers also look to USDA, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to prevent BSE from infecting domestic cattle or posing a risk to consumers."

R-CALF USA has called on the Bush Administration and Congress to direct its agencies to adopt and enforce additional BSE safeguards including increased BSE testing, allowing packers the option to voluntarily test for BSE if they choose and strengthening the US feed ban to prohibit the use of blood, poultry litter, and plate waste in feed, as well as prevention of cross-contamination and misfeeding. They also want to see a continuation of the ban on downer animals; and, continued import restrictions on BSE-affected countries.

"Science says we need to strengthen these protections, and frankly, it's just common sense, so let's take these precautions so that we can continue protecting consumers and our cattle herd," said Mr McDonnell.

Web posted: June 27, 2005
Category: Food Safety
 

Mike

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The way I see it allowing packers to test would be a great experiment in the insight of beef/meat consumers.
Europe substantiates testing as a "Food Safety Measure". Let the public here decide for themselves.
 

whiteface

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In Canada, we know how y'all feel...we've been there, done that, and are still going through that...
Really sorry about your luck, but maybe now we'll all actually do something about it. Have a good day all and thanks for reading from Canada!
 

PORKER

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In light of today's findings, US Congresswoman from Connecticut Rosa L. DeLauro expressed concerned that USDA is only now changing its protocols to use the IHC and Western Blot tests if another inconclusive result.

"USDA should be using the most advanced technology possible, not instituting changes only because the inspector general called for another round of tests," she said in a statement this afternoon. She also called for a better national animal tracking system:

"We must also work to initiate a national animal tracing system that will ensure containment of BSE and many other animal diseases. If our country had such a system in place, like so many other countries already have, we would have crucial information at the time of an outbreak."
 

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