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USDA announces BSE research funding

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Johanns announces expansion in BSE research

by John Gregerson on 3/18/05 for Meatingplace.com



Washington, D.C. – Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced this morning that nearly $2 million in funding has been redirected to enhance research on bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and that $5 million has been awarded to 17 colleges and universities to establish a food safety research and response network.

"These projects will help improve safety by enhancing our research partnerships with the academic community and establish another tool to aid our response to food-related disease outbreaks," said Johanns, who made the announcement during keynote remarks at the Annual Food Safety Summit, a meeting of food processors, researchers and legislators held at the Washington, D.C., Convention Center.

Johanns said the BSE research funds, redirected by USDA's Agricultural Research Service, will be allocated toward new BSE projects and facilities, and build on the Bush Administration's fiscal 2006 budget proposal, which would increase BSE research by $7.3 million, or 155 percent over 2005 funding levels.

The newly funded projects include collaborations with the Veterinary Laboratory Agency in the United Kingdom to study the biology of the BSE agent, and the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain to compare North American and European BSE strains.

About $750,000 will go toward a biocontainment facility currently under construction at the ARS National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa. The facility eventually will accommodate long-term study of BSE infection in cattle and other animals.

The planned Food Safety Research and Response Network, spearheaded by North Carolina State University, will include a team of more than 50 food safety experts from 18 colleges and universities who will study where pathogens such as E. coli and salmonella are found in the environment, how they are sustained, and how they infect herds.

Now in its seventh year, the Food Safety Summit has evolved from a small but worthwhile conference to a must-attend event for processors, their suppliers and vendors – in short, anyone with a stake in ensuring the safety of the nation's food supply. In addition to food safety, the three-day conference also addressed the growing issue of bioterrorism. During one conference workshop, representatives from the Department of Homeland Security and others participated in a "war games" scenario in which several ground beef was adulterated with nicotine.
 

Kathy

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It is interesting that our Canadian Food Inspection Agency states: that they do not consider BSE to be a significant disease problem in Canada (prevalance being low) and that they are going to monitor the research done by the EU scientists (were BSE has been endemic).

USA has no cases of BSE (so we are told) and spends hundreds of millions on BSE and proin research. I guess since CWD is common?

Someone was mentioning that we will all be vertically integrated soon and things will be out of our control. For the most part, I show control over my situation by refusing to follow the path that others are being led down. Vaccination programs for everything under the sun. Growth hormones to make a few dollars more per cow. Bigger better tractors - buy, buy buy.

Those who control our science dollars are already exerting control on our industry. How many of you question the science?? How many of you question the science openly and loudly????

We run virgin bulls, keep back our own heifers and background our calves. We have had 157 animals on background feed all winter and not one animal has been sick in the feedlot. We vaccinated at branding with an eight-way (I'd prefer a two way). When we can, we grow our own feed.

We do not use sprays on our land. Yes we have weeds.

We run older equipment and my husband fixes it himself (when he can).

It is getting harder and harder to stay in the business, not because we don't make enough money (it is tight now); but because outside pressures make me crazy. I can't control them and they are running us over like a runaway train. I will control on my ranch what I can, and I will continue to speak out against the outside forces that are bothering me. What more can we do?
 
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