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Corvallis, OR, United States
My personal obsession with prion diseases with smidges of music I like and rescue dog advocacy from a disabled Oregonian.


Song in my head: At the COPA, COPA Court Banners...Julian Sanchez


Lab clears suspect animal in mad cow disease

Tests of a cattle brain suspected of harboring mad cow disease show that the animal did not carry the illness, U.S. Department of Agriculture officials said Wednesday.

On Friday, the agency reported an "inconclusive" result from a screening, a quick test to detect chemical signs of mad cow disease. Such results sometimes are "false positives," where the animal isn't really sick, so the government sends suspect samples to an Iowa lab for more specific tests.

Like I mentioned in this blog before, false positives are more likely with the rapid BSE test. USDA defends its position on reporting the false positives, here. I agree that it is better to keep the communication lines open to keep concerned beef consumers informed. Unfortunately, if you do the bare bones math, the incidence of contracting a brain wasting disease is not zero......

Up to 100 more mad cow cases expected

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Wednesday a cow that initially tested positive for mad cow disease has come back negative on follow-up testing, but a food industry consultant told United Press International he estimates there could be more than 100 cases of the deadly disorder in the country's herds.

About half of the cases will go undetected and passed on for human consumption, Robert LaBudde, president of Least Cost Formulation Ltd., a food industry consultancy in Virginia Beach, Va., told UPI.

The USDA is still awaiting results from another case that initially tested positive Tuesday. Results could take four to seven days. Under the agency's expanded surveillance plan, which went into effect June 1, cows initially are screened by so-called rapid tests and any positives are followed up with confirmatory testing. The only confirmed U.S. case of mad cow disease to date occurred in Washington state last December.

Japan still doesn't trust our beef.......


Japan and the United States are, according to this story, set to begin three-day beef trade talks Monday in Colorado aimed at achieving a breakthrough on Japan's ban on U.S. beef imports, but negotiations could face tough going due to a suspected second case of mad cow disease in the United States.
(via FSNet Listserv, subscription required)

More tests animals suspected of mad cow
June 30, 2004

The U.S. Agriculture Department and the beef industry are awaiting additional tests to determine whether two animals singled out in preliminary screening had mad cow disease.
The department on Tuesday was cited as announcing an "inconclusive" test result on a second animal, indicating the possible presence of the disease, the second such discovery in five days as part of the government's rapid screening program.
The story notes that tissue samples from the animals discovered last Friday and Tuesday were being examined at the USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa. Those tests were still pending, although the results of the Friday case could come any day.
A related story says that Japan will await the results of U.S. authorities' examinations of the suspected second and third cases of mad cow disease.
Should mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, be confirmed, Tokyo's suspension of U.S. beef imports would be prolonged depending on when the animals were born and where they were raised.
(via FSNet Listserv, subscription required)

This story is from yesterday, before downer cow #1 was shown negative for BSE. That leaves one pending case. Capache?

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