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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: one of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you..............Nancy Sinatra


It has been a few weeks since I updated my mad cow article collection. Lets take a look how the food regulators try to keep BSE out of our burger supply......The articles are snipped from FSNet listserv, a food safety listserv available by subscription. I try and provide links to articles if they are given or if I can find them.

Mad cow disease found in French goat, EU says

The EU Commission was cited as saying in a statement Friday that mad cow disease has been found in a goat, the first time the brain-wasting affliction that ravaged European cattle herds and killed at least 100 people, has been diagnosed in another animal, adding, "A suspected case of BSE in a goat slaughtered in France in 2002 has been confirmed today by a panel of European scientists." -LINK-

This article highlights flaws in our current mad cow tracking system.

Mad cow defenses called into question

If the Bush administration gets its way, beef prices will drop this spring, right about the time America's carnivores fire up their barbecue grills.

That is when the U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to lift a ban on importing live Canadian cattle that was sparked by a single case of mad cow disease in 2003.


Caroline Smith DeWaal, director of food safety at the Center for Science in the Public Interest was cited as saying that Cappucci's case exposes a critical flaw in the United States' disease defense, and that by the time cattle arrive at the slaughterhouse, there is no surefire way of knowing where they came from, adding, "There is a huge gap in the system." -LINK-

BSE threat prompts crackdown on British cosmetic surgery clinics

Authorities may shutter as many as one of six cosmetic surgery clinics in Great Britain, where many operate without licenses. The country's chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, said that fillers like collagen are used to puff up lips and smooth out wrinkles, and while there has been no outbreak to date, the fillers used often come from cattle, as well as from birds and human cadavers."We have to look into the use of these aesthetic fillers to establish if there is any risk of variant CJD, hepatitis and other blood-borne viruses," Donaldson said -LINK-

Taiwan closer to US beef ban lift, obstacles remain

Officials were cited as saying on Wednesday that Taiwan is expected to decide whether to lift a year-long ban on U.S. beef imports due to mad cow disease as soon as next month, but different views between health and agricultural departments could delay the process. -LINK-

Personally, I think it's a good idea to keep the Canadian cattle out until we have a reliable tracking system in place. A tracking system can help isolate contaminated beef from large lots of cattle, ensuring consumer safety.

United Stockgrowers of America was cited as asking a judge Tuesday to block the federal government from allowing imports of live cattle and an expanded range of beef products from Canada, arguing that the U.S. meat supply will be regarded as suspect if it becomes mixed with beef cuts from Canada, where two cases of mad cow disease were confirmed in January.A hearing on their request for a preliminary injunction is set for March 2. -LINK-

Japan has a mad cow fatality......................

Japan was cited as confirming its first human case of mad cow disease Friday following the death of a man who had symptoms of the fatal brain wasting illness.The story says that Health Ministry held an emergency meeting to determine whether the man had contracted the disease by eating infected beef.Masahito Yamada, a ministry official, was cited as saying the man had lived for one month in Britain -- where mad cow first surfaced -- in 1989, but did not develop the disease until late 2001, and he died last December, adding, "We believe it is highly likely that he contracted the disease during his visit to Britain. -LINK-

USDA error may delay Canada cattle trade

Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota was cited as saying on Friday that a procedural misstep by the Bush administration may require a delay in its plan to resume imports of some beef and cattle from Canada on March 7, because the U.S. Agriculture Department failed to notify the Senate of its trade regulation, despite being required by law to do so, Congress has the power to review major regulations and can overturn them.Department spokeswoman Alisa Harrison was quoted as saying, "As far as the administration is concerned, we submitted it properly. We consider March 7 to still be the effective date."Harrison gave to reporters copies of a receipt signed by Vice President Dick Cheney's office on Jan. 4 to accept the formal notice of the rule. -LINK-

And if you think the USDA is protecting our beef supply 100%.............

Inspector General's report slams USDA, APHIS on Canadian beef

The USDA's Office of the Inspector General, Northeast Region, has completed a nearly yearlong investigation of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's oversight of imported beef products from Canada after the border was closed to live cattle in May 2003. The 50-page audit report finds that due to weak control processes, vague language as to what was and was not allowed into the United States, inconsistent and rapidly shifting definitions of terms, sometimes capricious decision-making and failure to enforce its own and others' rules, APHIS in effect let enormous amounts of "questionable" meat into the country. -LINK-

Wow!! Consumer Reports affiliate, Consumer's Union wants an animal retested.....with a better lab procedure....

Consumers Union to Johanns: Retest the November BSE case

Consumers Union, the consumer advocacy group that publishes Consumer Reports, has sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns asking that USDA retest the suspect animal discovered in November 2004 using the Western blot test and also asked that samples be sent to the United Kingdom for independent review.Dr. Michael Hansen, a food safety biologist with Consumers Union, told that these two steps were taken in the testing regimen used for the single case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy discovered on U.S. soil, in December 2003. -LINK-

Japan has 15th case of mad cow disease

Japan has, according to these stories, confirmed its 15th case of mad cow disease in a cow from the country's north.The 8-year-old Holstein cow was already dead when it was brought in for testing from a ranch in Hobetsu, Hokkaido state earlier this week. -LINK-

Want your McBSE with fries?

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