My photo
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: My old man, he had I'd never have to toil!...With a knick-knack, bomb Iran..all your money's spent...I'm a wartime president! ......................Natasha


It has been a couple of weeks since I updated my mad cow article collection. Many of 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.

First we have a disturbing article from the Calgary Herald accusing the USDA with hiding mad cow disease cases. The editorial brings up an excellent point......why has most of the BSE cases been found in Canada? Logically, prions (tiny particles of protein that can infect someone with BSE) do not designate international boundaries.....

Perhaps, the editorial says, there's a mysterious force field around the United States, which magically shields its cattle from diseased prions. Or perhaps the "shoot, shovel and shut up" mentality will prevail south of the border until this ticking time bomb goes off among American consumers who have eaten that meat. -LINK-

And the prions MAY cross species...which is the fear of a NY town that served venison at a sportsman's banquet......which later tested positive for chronic wasting disease, a deer form of mad cow disease.

For years, according to this story, David L. Smith cooked wild game for his Fire Department's annual fund-raising sportsmen banquet. It was his way to help out after he retired from the department's volunteer corps.The story says that at this year's banquet, on March 13, more than 300 townsfolk sampled his dishes - the venison meatballs, chili and patties. Three weeks later, Mr. Smith was trying to forget the whole affair with a whiskey at the local V.F.W. "My wife said they'd come to get me," he said.The story explains that through unlucky circumstance, tissue samples from a deer that one farmer donated for the banquet tested positive for chronic wasting disease, and the results were discovered after the meat had been eaten at the banquet. It is the deer version of mad cow disease, and the first documented case in New York. -LINK-

The USDA denies any coverups regarding the quantity of mad cow cases in the United States.....

The U.S. Agriculture Department on Wednesday denied allegations from two former employees that faulty animal testing procedures may have kept officials from finding more cases of mad cow disease in the United States.
The accusations come at a sensitive time for the Bush administration as it tries to reopen the U.S. border to imports of Canadian cattle and resume American beef exports to Japan.

Japan is holding fast to its food safety standards and has not resumed beef imports with the US.

Japan was cited as reiterating on Friday that ensuring food safety based on scientific evidence was a pre-condition for lifting a ban on U.S. beef imports, and it could not provide a date for the restart of trade. -LINK-

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association has lost patience with the USDA's slow progress in several BSE related guidelines.....

In a letter sent to Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns yesterday, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association said that USDA is moving too slowly on several issues and urged Johanns to take action as quickly as possible. The seven issues NCBA identified include guidelines for announcing test results in suspected cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, scaling back the number of cattle tested in the BSE surveillance program, denying the USDA stamp for imported meat products, and protection for producers' data in any potential national animal identification program. -LINK-

The Bush administration is considering changing the "downer" cow rules......which allows sick or injured cattle to enter our food supply...

The Bush administration was cited as saying on Friday it may allow some injured cattle to be slaughtered for human food, easing a regulation that the Agriculture Department adopted 15 months ago after the nation's first case of mad cow disease. -LINK-

The University of Texas' Medical Branch nprovides strong evidence that mad cow disease related conditions are caused by prions ( a malformed protein) and not a virus.

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) have produced the strongest proof yet that the mysterious and devastating brain diseases known as "transmissible spongiform encephalopathies" (TSEs) are transmitted by an infectious agent composed only of a malformed protein, and not a virus. TSEs, which can afflict both human beings and animals, include mad cow disease, new-variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome, scrapie, kuru and chronic wasting disease. -LINK-

The Netherlands finds its first case of mad cow...

The Netherlands was cited as reporting its first human case of "mad cow" disease on Thursday but said Dutch beef is safe to eat.The interior ministry was cited as saying in a statement a patient at a hospital in the central town of Utrecht had been diagnosed with variant Creutzfeld-Jakob (vCJD), and that European authorities had been informed and the inspector of health was investigating whether there was any risk that the disease could have infected others. -LINK-

When will the US open the border to Canadian cattle?

The American Farm Bureau (AFB), one of the strongest voices in U.S. agriculture, has joined the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) and other concerned groups in legal action to re-open the U.S. border to Canadian cattle. The AFB, NCBA, 18 state farm bureaus, 29 state cattle organizations, National Pork Producers Council and individual U.S. cattle producers filed an amicus curiae "friend of the court" brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) rule to re-open the border to live Canadian cattle and an expanded list of beef products. -LINK-

South Korea retains their ban on US beef....

Charles Lambert, deputy under secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was cited as telling reporters Friday that after three days of talks, the United States and South Korea failed to agree Friday on whether to lift a ban on U.S. beef imports prompted by concerns over mad cow disease, adding, "We had a very productive, a very thorough and focused discussion. … We are confident that we have taken the necessary measures to assure the safety and wholesomeness of U.S. beef ... to assure that U.S. beef is safe for U.S. consumers as well as consumers of our international trading partners." -LINK-

Want your McBSE with fries?

No comments: