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US Mad Cow compliance questioned

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SASH

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Mad cow compliance questioned
By RANDY FABI
Reuters News Service

WASHINGTON - The effectiveness of the most important U.S. safeguard against mad cow disease was questioned Monday when a government report accused the Food and Drug Administration of overstating feed mill compliance with a ban on cattle remains in animal feed.

The Government Accountability Office report was released as many U.S. lawmakers seek to prevent Canadian cattle from entering the United States because of concerns that its neighbor was not effectively enforcing its own animal feed ban.

In 1997, the United States and Canada both outlawed the use of cattle remains as a protein supplement for cattle, goats and sheep to prevent the spread of mad cow disease, a common name for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE.

Canada found two more cases of mad cow disease as 2005 began, and both are believed to be a result of infected feed. So far, the United States has found only one case of mad cow disease, in a Washington state cow imported from Canada.

The GAO said the FDA, which regulates livestock feed, cannot pinpoint how many plants comply with the 1997 feed ban.

"We believe FDA is overstating industry's compliance with the animal feed ban and understating the potential risk of BSE for U.S. cattle in its reports to Congress and the American people," the GAO report said.

The FDA has repeatedly claimed that the industry has a 99 percent compliance rate with the 1997 ban.

Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee who requested the GAO report, criticized the FDA for not testing livestock feed. "Common sense tells us the best way to measure compliance is to sample feed to make sure it does not contain ruminant byproducts," Harkin said.

An FDA spokeswoman was not available for comment.
 

don

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you can see from the lack of response this is not a sginificant issue. lol.
 
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Anonymous

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don said:
you can see from the lack of response this is not a sginificant issue. lol.

don- Its kind of gotten to be old hat down here-- another federal agency doesn't know if its coming or going... The report about the Washington cow was much worse- 4 or 5 agencies all thinking they were in charge- none knowing whose reponsibility is what....Sounds like there is still a
lot of infighting in Washington between bureaucrats all trying to claim their sacred ground....

Did you ever wonder why FDA (FOOD and Drug Administration)has authority over cattle feed, but USDA (US Department of AGRICULTURE)has authority over beef, a human food? Sounds backwards....
 

don

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oh and here i thought the issue was poor compliance. turns out it's bureaucratic infighting. sorry.
 

Brad S

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The report is unmistakable with reguards to Canadian compliance, merely overtly suspicous with reguards to US compliance. Sorta curious the Canadians would jerkoff to this report.
 

don

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Sorta curious the Canadians would jerkoff to this report

naw that would be bill o'reilly.
 

Brad S

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I knew some Canadian's could be a bit randy, but Don suggesting jerking off to Bill O'Reilly is kinda lewd. I'm gonna pretend you went back to cheering for bse to wreck the US market, and ignore you and bill.
 

don

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funny that you thought of the jerkin' off. never crossed my mind but once you brought up the topic i thought it might make bill o'reilly's news report. keep up the happy thoughts.
 

don

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i wish to apologize and retract my last posting. i know many people would be offended by it and retract it.
 

Brad S

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"but once you brought up the topic "


Brought up the topic hell, I call em as I sees em, and this thread is yet another thread where some CAnadians want to gratify themselves with news that can be construed as negative towards the US beef industry.

Gratify yourself away Don, I didn't mean to interrupt.
 

Brad S

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Let's be clear that we're describing a minority of Canadians, and what the hell, we have haymaker (sorry haymaker I couldn't resist.) We Americans have plenty that are taunting the Canadians - who are justifiably shortwired
 
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Report
on U.S. Management of Cattle Feed Ban


(Billings, Mont.) – The following statement should be attributed to Bill Bullard, CEO of R-CALF USA, regarding a General Accountability Office (GAO) report issued on Monday, and titled “Mad Cow Disease: FDA’s Management of the Feed Ban Has Improved, but Oversight Weaknesses Continue to Limit Program Effectiveness”:



“R-CALF USA has repeatedly called on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to strengthen the U.S. cattle feed ban before considering any relaxation of the United States’ ban on the importation of any cattle or beef from countries with bovine spongiform encephalopathy. This request is consistent with the Scientific recommendations made both by USDA scientists and international scientists.



“The USDA’s own scientific team, the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE) Working Group, recommended that before cattle and beef trade is resumed with Canada, high-risk tissues should be removed from animal food; feed mills that process ruminant products should be dedicated; and blood, poultry litter and plate waste should be removed from animal feed.



“The GAO report specifically reinforces the need for USDA to begin adhering to the recommendations of its own scientists.



“Further, the International Review Team (IRT), comprised of internationally renown scientists and convened by USDA to provide scientific advice regarding an appropriate U.S. response to BSE concluded in February 2004 that ‘. . . the partial (ruminant to ruminant feed ban that is currently in place is insufficient to prevent the exposure of cattle to the BSE agent.’



“This GAO report, combined with previous USDA and international scientific recommendations, demonstrates the compelling need for USDA to cease its efforts to prematurely reopen the Canadian border. Reopening the Canadian border presents a risk of introducing BSE from Canada. Until USDA begins to follow these recommendations, the U.S. certainly shouldn’t take any chances on the possibility of introducing BSE into our domestic herd from a Canadian animal.”



# # #



R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on domestic and international trade and marketing issues. R-CALF USA, a national, non-profit organization, is dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. R-CALF USA’s membership consists primarily of cow-calf operators, cattle backgrounders, and feedlot owners. Its members – over 13,000 strong – are located in 45 states, and the organization has over 57 local and state association affiliates, from both cattle and farm organizations. Various main street businesses are associate members of R-CALF USA. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516.
 

SASH

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So, if I understand you correctly, R-CALF is saying that you don't want to import Canadian beef because your feed mills aren't complying with the feed ban. Man, you guys are brilliant. How are you going to sell that to your foreign markets. :p
 

cowsense

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You know Bill Bullard may just right in his statement but mistaken in which side of the border he's accusing. I guess he's consistent in never letting the facts mess up a tabloid news report! :roll:
 

Tam

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SASH said:
So, if I understand you correctly, R-CALF is saying that you don't want to import Canadian beef because your feed mills aren't complying with the feed ban. Man, you guys are brilliant. How are you going to sell that to your foreign markets. :p

Don't you love it R-CALF doesn't want to take our live cattle because their feed system isn't complying. But Japan is to trust their beef that is being fed from their non complying feed system. :lol:

But if Japan opens their exports then the US can go ahead and open this border as they will have their export markets back and it won't effect their cattle prices. What happen to the non complying feed system in the second story. :???:

The stories about how unknown R-CALF really is must be true because everytime you see a press release from them they have to explain who they are




R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on domestic and international trade and marketing issues. R-CALF USA, a national, non-profit organization, is dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. R-CALF USA’s membership consists primarily of cow-calf operators, cattle backgrounders, and feedlot owners. Its members – over 13,000 strong – are located in 45 states, and the organization has over 57 local and state association affiliates, from both cattle and farm organizations. Various main street businesses are associate members of R-CALF USA. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516.
 
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Tam- Its something R-CALF and many have argued down here for months...Since FDA and USDA can't get their acts together and figure out what to do with SRM's and feed- we should not be importing live cattle from a higher risk country- so that those SRM's end up in our feed....FDA has came out with many proposals to stiffen the feed regulations, like banning chicken litter--The heavily packer influenced USDA has overrode that decision and stalled it-- same with blood products...

So until we get USDA working for the cattleman and not Tysons chicken litter disposal it will take lawsuits and everything else to protect the US herd and cattle industry.....
 
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Food Safety
GAO criticizes FDA on feed ban

by Pete Hisey on 3/16/05 for Meatingplace.com



The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress, has issued a report saying that while the Food and Drug Administration has made great strides in implementing a ruminant-to-ruminant animal feed program, there are still significant weaknesses that compromise the so-called firewall against bovine spongiform encephalopathy. In particular, the report notes that many feed producers have never been inspected and that others have not been inspected in over five years.

The report, titled "Mad Cow Disease: FDA's Management of the Feed Ban Has Improved, but Oversight Weaknesses Continue to Limit Program Effectiveness," said that "several hundred" of the thousands of feed plants that have not been inspected in five years or more "are potentially high risk." The GAO also criticized the FDA for relying on visual inspection and examination of documents, rather than actual testing of samples, when reviewing feed plant operations.

FDA responded that its system offers adequate protection to the U.S. cattle herd.

Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America, begged to differ. In a statement, Bill Bullard, chief executive, said, "R-CALF USA has repeatedly called on USDA and FDA to strengthen the U.S. cattle feed ban before considering any relaxation of the United States' ban on the importation of any cattle or beef from countries with bovine spongiform encephalopathy. This request is consistent with scientific recommendations made both by USDA and international scientists."

"Further, the International Review Team, comprised of internationally renowned scientists and convened by USDA…concluded in February of 2004 that 'the partial (ruminant-to-ruminant) feed ban that is currently in place is insufficient to prevent the exposure of cattle to the BSE agent," Bullard added.

From the other side of the issue, James H. Hodges, president of the American Meat Institute Foundation, lauded FDA for its improved practices and oversight, and noted that FDA reports that in its exhaustive review of the nation's feed mills are "99 percent in compliance" and that after 275,000 BSE tests of at-risk cattle in the past year, not one case of BSE has been detected.
 

Mike

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Reader(2):"The EU is on its way to erradicate BSE and they finally imposed a total feed ban somewhat belatedly -- mid 1990s I believe. FDA feed loopholes should have been closed when the first Canadian cow was found and then when the Washington cow was found. The chicken litter, blood supplement fed to dairy calves, pet food, and table scraps are all ways that can amplify BSE if there is any in the system. We shouldn't be feeding such feed to pigs either..."
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The first positive cow in Canada was 1993, CFIA and USDA were in denial until the 2003 cow was found. 1993 was the time to implement "firewalls" in North America.
I don't undertstand the "Table Scrap" deal, if it's good enough for humans it should be good enough for pigs, etc. Are they removing the proper SRM's or not?
 
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Anonymous

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Heres another article on GAO's findings

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/mar2005/2005-03-15-03.asp
 

Tam

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In the wake of the December discovery of a cow infected with mad cow disease, the Food and Drug Administration on Monday announced broad changes to its rules on cattle feed, banning such things as cow blood, chicken litter and restaurant table scraps in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease.

Reader the second the USDA and the FDA announce all kinds of things in Jan. 2004 in Light of your BSE find but if you are the researcher you seem to be look on the USDA and FDA web pages to see if they ever did anything about making some of these things law. They haven't. They backed out on a lot of the things they announce and opened a Comment period so they could get feed back from the industry, which closed in the later part of 2004. They are still LOOKING at the comments and trying to decide what to do. As far as Canada, Canada has proposed changes to our feed ban too but the US beef industry is sending comments to the Canadian comment period asking them not to because that would put pressure on the US to do the same and they don't want the US to have to do the same. You seem to think that the US is out ahead of Canada but if the laws that are now proposed in Canada go ahead The US will be years behind. The US is still looking at banning things that Canada ban back in 1998. Chichen litter plate waste and salvaged pet food. Your loop holes are still loop holes and will be for awhile.
 

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