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The Rumor Mills have Begun

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Mike

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USDA Tried to Derail BSE Tests of Infected Cow
February 7, 2006

Any illusion that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is putting public safety first – as opposed to preserving its own bureaucratic systems and procedures – was shattered last week by a Washington Post article saying that the USDA "overruled field scientists' recommendation to retest an animal that was suspected of harboring mad cow disease last year because they feared a positive finding would undermine confidence in the agency's testing procedures," the department's inspector general said yesterday.

"After protests from the inspector general, the specimen was sent to England for retesting and produced the nation's second confirmed case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease."

The Post report was based on an internal USDA audit designed to evaluate the agency's performance in dealing with mad cow disease.

According to the story, "scientists at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories concluded that a sample from a Texas animal should be tested with other techniques following initial inconclusive findings," but that "top officials at the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) told them not to do the additional tests.

"When officials from the inspector general's office met with the head of APHIS, they were told that the protocol followed by the agency was the international 'gold standard' and nothing more was needed, the report adds. Nonetheless, the sample was later sent to England for a different set of tests and was found to have the mad cow infection."

It gets worse. "The report also found that although there was no evidence that infected meat had made it into the human food chain, the USDA surveillance system did not collect the information needed to say whether slaughterhouses were following all mad cow-related regulations," the Post writes.

USDA food safety administrator Barbara J. Masters released a statement saying that officials have taken steps to better enforce the rules and have reached agreement with the inspector general on most issues. 'FSIS is confident it is successfully carrying out its mission to protect public health by strictly enforcing safeguards,' she said.

This is the same Barbara Masters who said in an interview late last year:

"[T]he Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, ... have done a very outstanding job in the surveillance program for BSE in the United States. And they have tested well over 400,000 samples here in the United States over the last 18 months or so looking for BSE in the United States and they have done an incredible job of finding those animals most at risk for BSE in the United States. And through that testing process I think you're well aware that here in the United States we have found two animals with BSE. And so I think the criticism has decreased here in the United States because of the enhanced surveillance program and the robust system that our sister agency put in place to ensure that we're testing all regions of the country and all parts of the country with this very enhanced surveillance program put in place by our sister agency."

Barbara Masters may be confident that the agency "is successfully carrying out its mission to protect public health by strictly enforcing safeguards." But she's alone, or only accompanied by fellow bureaucrats more concerned with agency protocols than with preserving the safety of the consumers and taxpayers who pay their salaries and who trust them. There is absolutely no reason they should have any credibility on any other issue. They make lousy decision, they lie, they cover up. Just what you want from your government.
 

mrj

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Sandhusker, I realize you have lots of fun criticizing USDA, but maybe you should check out the latest Seedstock Digest.

Troy Marshall has an interesting viewpoint on some of the strife between departments there. He concludes that when problems have been pointed out with some USDA actions, correction was needed, and WAS TAKEN! Further he sees OIG as being very zealous, apparently enjoying the spotlight more than their properly constructive role, maybe seeking the limelight more than solving problems.

With the dual problems of no trace-back in a world market where most of the competition has that system, and a watch-dog office (OIG) seeming to be more interested in grandstanding than getting down to brass tacks and saying "here are the problems we see.......lets figure out how to correct them", it is little wonder that we are having some problems.......and maybe some of those problems are overblown, too. I do recall the people at that lab in England saying (paraphrasing) that sample of the infamous cow was of very low infectivity and very difficult to diagnose which was no reflection on the procedures used and conclusions drawn in the USA tests.

MRJ
 
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Anonymous

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MRJ said:
Sandhusker, I realize you have lots of fun criticizing USDA, but maybe you should check out the latest Seedstock Digest.

Troy Marshall has an interesting viewpoint on some of the strife between departments there. He concludes that when problems have been pointed out with some USDA actions, correction was needed, and WAS TAKEN! Further he sees OIG as being very zealous, apparently enjoying the spotlight more than their properly constructive role, maybe seeking the limelight more than solving problems.

With the dual problems of no trace-back in a world market where most of the competition has that system, and a watch-dog office (OIG) seeming to be more interested in grandstanding than getting down to brass tacks and saying "here are the problems we see.......lets figure out how to correct them", it is little wonder that we are having some problems.......and maybe some of those problems are overblown, too. I do recall the people at that lab in England saying (paraphrasing) that sample of the infamous cow was of very low infectivity and very difficult to diagnose which was no reflection on the procedures used and conclusions drawn in the USA tests.

MRJ

Troy Marshall :roll: -- Mr. NCBA :???: -- Enough said :lol:
 

Mike

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I do recall the people at that lab in England saying (paraphrasing) that sample of the infamous cow was of very low infectivity and very difficult to diagnose which was no reflection on the procedures used and conclusions drawn in the USA tests.

I'd like to see the evidence of the truth in this. Please.

FACE IT MRJ! The USDA is a screwed up mess. Until you get somebody like Phyllis Fong breathing down their neck they ain't ever gonna tell the damn truth!

They've made mistake, after mistake, after mistake. We're damn lucky that demand is where it is now!!!

JEEEEEEEEEEZ And you are here trying to defend them????????
 

mrj

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Oldtimer said:
MRJ said:
Sandhusker, I realize you have lots of fun criticizing USDA, but maybe you should check out the latest Seedstock Digest.

Troy Marshall has an interesting viewpoint on some of the strife between departments there. He concludes that when problems have been pointed out with some USDA actions, correction was needed, and WAS TAKEN! Further he sees OIG as being very zealous, apparently enjoying the spotlight more than their properly constructive role, maybe seeking the limelight more than solving problems.

With the dual problems of no trace-back in a world market where most of the competition has that system, and a watch-dog office (OIG) seeming to be more interested in grandstanding than getting down to brass tacks and saying "here are the problems we see.......lets figure out how to correct them", it is little wonder that we are having some problems.......and maybe some of those problems are overblown, too. I do recall the people at that lab in England saying (paraphrasing) that sample of the infamous cow was of very low infectivity and very difficult to diagnose which was no reflection on the procedures used and conclusions drawn in the USA tests.

MRJ

Troy Marshall :roll: -- Mr. NCBA :???: -- Enough said :lol:

Understandably, OT, it surely must give you a lot of heartburn the way so many intelligent young men and women see NCBA as the people with the vision and action to carry the cattle/beef industry forward with the best opportunity for profitablilty for cattle producers.

MRJ
 
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Anonymous

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MRJ said:
Oldtimer said:
MRJ said:
Sandhusker, I realize you have lots of fun criticizing USDA, but maybe you should check out the latest Seedstock Digest.

Troy Marshall has an interesting viewpoint on some of the strife between departments there. He concludes that when problems have been pointed out with some USDA actions, correction was needed, and WAS TAKEN! Further he sees OIG as being very zealous, apparently enjoying the spotlight more than their properly constructive role, maybe seeking the limelight more than solving problems.

With the dual problems of no trace-back in a world market where most of the competition has that system, and a watch-dog office (OIG) seeming to be more interested in grandstanding than getting down to brass tacks and saying "here are the problems we see.......lets figure out how to correct them", it is little wonder that we are having some problems.......and maybe some of those problems are overblown, too. I do recall the people at that lab in England saying (paraphrasing) that sample of the infamous cow was of very low infectivity and very difficult to diagnose which was no reflection on the procedures used and conclusions drawn in the USA tests.

MRJ

Troy Marshall :roll: -- Mr. NCBA :???: -- Enough said :lol:

Understandably, OT, it surely must give you a lot of heartburn the way so many intelligent young men and women see NCBA as the people with the vision and action to carry the cattle/beef industry forward with the best opportunity for profitablilty for cattle producers.

MRJ

Is that the reason the average age of cattle producers is now in the 60+ year old range :???: :lol: :lol:
 
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Anonymous

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Oldtimer said:
MRJ said:
Oldtimer said:
Troy Marshall :roll: -- Mr. NCBA :???: -- Enough said :lol:

Understandably, OT, it surely must give you a lot of heartburn the way so many intelligent young men and women see NCBA as the people with the vision and action to carry the cattle/beef industry forward with the best opportunity for profitablilty for cattle producers.

MRJ

Is that the reason the average age of cattle producers is now in the 60+ year old range :???: :lol: :lol: Do we thank NCBA for that too? :lol: :lol:
 

Mike

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Faults in USDA testing cited
Mad cow case in Texas showed glaring missteps
By Barry Shlachter, Knight Ridder | August 7, 2005

FORT WORTH -- Although meat from a 12-year-old Texas beef cow with mad cow disease never entered the food supply, critics of the US Department of Agriculture said the twisted, seven-month-long tale of this animal highlighted bureaucratic missteps and weaknesses in the food safety system.

Public confidence was not enhanced last month when the USDA announced that a private veterinarian had ''forgotten" about a brain tissue sample he took in April. It came from another cow that was suspected of having had the brain-wasting disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE. On Wednesday, the USDA said that cow tested negative for the disease.
Watchdog groups awarded barely passing marks to the department for its handling of the case; the cow turned up dead at a Waco packing plant Nov. 15. The USDA finally confirmed the mad cow case June 10 after multiple tests.

''USDA gets a D or D minus," said Caroline Smith Dewaal of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group based in Washington. ''The best thing that came out of this is the work of the inspector general."

It was the department's in-house watchdog, Inspector General Phyllis Fong, who skirted the USDA hierarchy by ordering retesting with a different method more than six months after a routine second-round test, known as the immunohistochemistry, or IHC, test proved negative for the disease.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, who assumed office in January, has said he neither knew about nor authorized the retesting by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.

Just why Fong, a lawyer who grew up in Hawaii, acted in such a forthright, hierarchy-dodging manner has puzzled many involved in the industry.

In a statement, her office said the retesting was prompted by a review of ''voluminous records" showing an unusual pattern of conflicting test results in the case. Industry sources say there is speculation that she responded to concern expressed in scientific circles.

Two early tests, one reportedly conducted at Texas A&M University and a second in Ames, produced conflicting results -- one inconclusive, one negative.

What Fong and the public were unaware of was that Ames researchers had also used an experimental rapid version of the IHC test on brain tissue from the Texas cow. That proved positive for the disease, but staff members thought the result was technically flawed. The USDA did not disclose until just recently that the Ames lab had conducted the experimental test.

Months later, Fong stepped in and ordered more tests. A ''Western blot" test proved positive, as did later tests at a lab in Weybridge, England.

Finally in June, two days after the Weybridge lab confirmed the mad cow case, a chastened USDA announced that in addition to the routine IHC test, it was adopting the Western blot procedure whenever an initial ''BioRad" screening test indicates mad cow disease is possible. In addition, backup tests will now be conducted at Britain's national veterinary laboratory in Weybridge when earlier test results conflict or are inconclusive.[/b]
 

mrj

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Mike said:
I do recall the people at that lab in England saying (paraphrasing) that sample of the infamous cow was of very low infectivity and very difficult to diagnose which was no reflection on the procedures used and conclusions drawn in the USA tests.

I'd like to see the evidence of the truth in this. Please.

FACE IT MRJ! The USDA is a screwed up mess. Until you get somebody like Phyllis Fong breathing down their neck they ain't ever gonna tell the damn truth!

They've made mistake, after mistake, after mistake. We're damn lucky that demand is where it is now!!!

JEEEEEEEEEEZ And you are here trying to defend them????????

Mike, you obviously choose to believe the worst of USDA. I do not. I do believe many of the problems could be a natural result of bureaucracy, and entrenched bureaucrats within the system protecting "their" turf. It takes time to clean house. Johanns has had a year. He is changinging things. If you do not give any credit for the level of demand for beef to the checkoff, you are not paying attention to what OUR checkoff is doing.

The statement I made about the person in England re. the BSE test is something I very clearly recall reading at the time. I do not have the quote, and am not going to look it up. You can believe it or not, as you choose. If I did look it up and present it, I have no illusions but that you would doubt the source. Call it my opinion if you choose. I know what I read, and you are free to believe what you choose.

MRJ
 

mrj

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reader (the Second) said:
MRJ -- I posted the quote from the well-known vet from Weybridge.

Thanks for saying that. Did I get it fairly accurate? I was very sure I had read it, and not just on this site. Instant recall of ALL the facts would be so helpfull! Unfortunately, too much of what I recall is the useless stuff.

MRJ
 

Mike

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MRJ said:
reader (the Second) said:
MRJ -- I posted the quote from the well-known vet from Weybridge.

Thanks for saying that. Did I get it fairly accurate? I was very sure I had read it, and not just on this site. Instant recall of ALL the facts would be so helpfull! Unfortunately, too much of what I recall is the useless stuff.

MRJ

Where did you post a quote from the well know vet from Weybridge?

Jim Rogers is a spokesman for APHIS. Lord knows you can't trust him.
 

mrj

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Mike said:
MRJ said:
reader (the Second) said:
MRJ -- I posted the quote from the well-known vet from Weybridge.

Thanks for saying that. Did I get it fairly accurate? I was very sure I had read it, and not just on this site. Instant recall of ALL the facts would be so helpfull! Unfortunately, too much of what I recall is the useless stuff.

MRJ

Where did you post a quote from the well know vet from Weybridge?

Jim Rogers is a spokesman for APHIS. Lord knows you can't trust him.

Yes, I'm sure the Lord does know! And equally sure that you do not KNOW who is trustworthy. You let your prejudices do your thinking for you, as we all do at times.

MRJ
 

Mike

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"They appeared to have made some significant errors, which unfortunately made them appear foolish," Belk said. "Most scientists around the world would have argued that they should have run both the Western blot and IHC tests.

MRJ wrote;Yes, I'm sure the Lord does know! And equally sure that you do not KNOW who is trustworthy. You let your prejudices do your thinking for you, as we all do at times.


So who should we trust by reading the quote above? The USDA?

ERRORS MRJ "SIGNIFICANT" ERRORS. Again, and again, and again.

I want my $175.00 back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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Anonymous

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Talk about hypocrisy. The biggest USDA critics are the ones who want to hand USDA more stupid backwards laws to enforce then blame USDA for their inability to enforce these UNENFORCEABLE LAWS.

You USDA blamers have never, EVER had a secretary of Agriculture you could say anything good about. KNOW WHY? Because your so damn conspiracy oriented that you can't see things for the way they are. Everything is a conspiracy.

BEWARE OF THE CONSPIRING MIND!


~SH~
 

Mike

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~SH~ said:
Talk about hypocrisy. The biggest USDA critics are the ones who want to hand USDA more stupid backwards laws to enforce then blame USDA for their inability to enforce these UNENFORCEABLE LAWS.

You USDA blamers have never, EVER had a secretary of Agriculture you could say anything good about. KNOW WHY? Because your so damn conspiracy oriented that you can't see things for the way they are. Everything is a conspiracy.

BEWARE OF THE CONSPIRING MIND!
~SH~

No, I didn't like Glickman, nor Ann, but I truly had an optomistic outlook when Johanns took over. I think I gave him every benefit of the doubt. Do you not think the mistakes from the USDA have been excessive?

You can keep the name calling to yourself, also.
 

Econ101

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~SH~ said:
Talk about hypocrisy. The biggest USDA critics are the ones who want to hand USDA more stupid backwards laws to enforce then blame USDA for their inability to enforce these UNENFORCEABLE LAWS.

You USDA blamers have never, EVER had a secretary of Agriculture you could say anything good about. KNOW WHY? Because your so damn conspiracy oriented that you can't see things for the way they are. Everything is a conspiracy.

BEWARE OF THE CONSPIRING MIND!


~SH~

So, Johannes has spent somewhere in the range of 100 million on M-ID. Whole Foods and the others doing source verified are doing it without Johanne's help---or money. Johannes, and Veneman have both shown that they can't run GIPSA, M-COOL, BSE, or any of the other programs that the USDA has responsibility over. Senators are calling for hearings on the hill regarding these issues and they are being blocked by the republicans heading the committees. Goddlatte wants to force Japan to buy U.S. beef, instead of selling it to them and fails miserably. The USDA inspection fails on its first shipment to Japan, costing that market and the Secretary's credibilty. The USDA gives up on its "scientific" approach in agriculture when it comes to diseases. Report after report shows how bad the USDA is handling its responsibilities in the regulatory agencies and the revolving door at the USDA/NCBA keeps turning. I could go on and on..........

Sometimes "conspiracy theories" have their foundation in the truth. I know you are a little slow, SH, but even the dumbest kid in the class should be able to figure some things out.
 

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Tommy said:
Mike...You can keep the name calling to yourself, also.

Wishfull thinking Mike!!

I've got a funny for you guys; When I get on here, my daughter knows I'm "fighting with SH". The other night, I was reading some of his elequent, informative, non-biased and truth-based prose and my wife came and looked over my shoulder and read it also. She said, "Is this the SH you fight with all the time? He's just a kid!" I said, "Just a kid"? She said, "You can't figure that out by the way he writes? Leave the kid alone and quit picking on him. Pick on somebody your own age, you bully!" I tried to explain to her that SH was about the same age as me, and I couldn't convince her! :lol:

I guess when you think of it, age only means a lot for legal purposes. Generally, it's supposed to reflect a level of maturity. So, I guess in a very big way, SH is still a kid! :lol: :lol:
 
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Anonymous

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Conman,

The BSE catastrophy in Canada should show you the value of spending money on traceback. Ask the Canadians if they think their ID program has value.

There is nothing wrong with how GIPSA is being run. You conspiracy theorists just cannot accept the fact that there will be no broken laws found where there are none.

"M"COOL as written is an absolute unenforceable joke and you know less about "M"COOL than you do about market manipulation. The law, as written, prohibits the very means it needs to prove where beef was "BORN, RAISED, and PROCESSED".

The problem is not USDA, the problem is the idiots who wrote an unenforceable law.

"BWAME DA USDA"
"BWAME DA PACKAH"
"BWAME DA IMPORTS"
"BWAME NCBA"
"BWAME THE CHECKOFF"
"BWAME GIPSA"

that's what blamers do best!



~SH~
 

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