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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.


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It has been months 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.

Study Shows Mad Cow Testing May Help

The discovery of mad cow disease in the United States cost the beef industry between $3.2 billion and $4.7 billion in losses last year, according to an economic impact study.
The report, commissioned by the Kansas Department of Agriculture, also concluded that voluntary testing for the disease would have provided an economic gain to the beef industry despite the added testing costs.

DeLauro renews call for mandatory testing of cattle

Congresswoman Rose DeLauro (D-Conn.) has renewed her call for national testing for bovine spongiform encephalopathy testing following the release of a Kansas State University study showing that the beef industry could have recovered some of the billions of dollars it lost from banned exports had USDA allowed voluntary testing of exported cattle.
"Restoring confidence in our nation's food supply benefits U.S. consumers, U.S. producers and the U.S. economy," said DeLauro, the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee. "I cannot understand why USDA refuses to put a national system in place when our country is still trying to recover financially from the 'mad cow' case in Washington [in 2003]."

Canada increases BSE surveillance by almost 800%

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) today commended Canada's beef cattle producers and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for increasing BSE surveillance by almost 800 percent in each of the first four months of 2005 compared to the same period in 2004. -LINK-

First Dutch "mad cow" disease patient dies According to the Mesos hospital in the central Dutch city of Utrecht, a 26-year old woman who had recently been diagnosed with the human variant of "mad cow" disease died on Tuesday, the first Dutch victim of the brain wasting illness.The story says that the hospital had made a diagnosis of probable variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), the human form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), on April 15. Specialists at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam confirmed the diagnosis on April 18. -LINK-

Canadian cattlemen: The status quo is not an option

Frustrated by court cases that have kept the United States border closed to live Canadian cattle, a spokesman for the Canadian Cattlemen's Association told The Financial Times that cattlemen have had enough and will now move full-speed into increasing slaughter and processing capacity. "We have been on this roller-coaster ride for the last two years and we've had enough," said John Masswohl, director of international relations for the CCA. "We can add the value in Canada and ship the beef ourselves."

Northwestern U.S. has higher risk of mad cow exposure, Agriculture Dept. says

U.S. Agriculture Department investigators were cited as saying there is still a risk, though slight, of mad cow disease in the United States, and it is greatest in the three Northwestern states bordering Canada.The story says that the investigators, after tracing the history of the four cows with the disease in North America, said the United States has minimized the risk by banning cattle remains in feed, the primary way mad cow disease is believed to spread. Three infected Canadian cows, including one from Alberta that turned up in the United States, probably ate feed contaminated with the same infected remains, and a fourth may have as well, investigators said. -

Japan ready to drop universal testing for BSE

The Japanese Food Safety Commission finally approved the end of universal testing of cattle for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a vital step in authorizing the end of a ban on beef from the United States.The independent commission has been working on the issue since last fall, and has now decided that cattle under 21 months of age, the youngest animal ever to test presum
ptively positive for the disease, will no longer have to be tested in Japan.


Associated Press TOKYO -- Officials were cited as saying Monday that the Japanese agricultural ministry had decided that animal feed importers should submit reports on the primary materials of imports so as to check whether they include meat-and-bone meal, a suspected medium of mad cow disease.

Congress is staying clear of dispute over mad cow

The U.S. Congress appears, according to this story, to be unlikely to step in the middle of a standoff between the Bush administration and American cattlemen over reopening the border to imports of cattle from Canada.The story says that with the deadline for Congressional action on Saturday, the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Bob Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia, was cited as saying he has no plans to bring the issue up for a vote and plans to let the issue play out in the courts before considering any action.

Oman reopens market for all U.S. beef products

Oman has lifted its ban on all U.S. beef and beef products, as of May 9. It is the second country in the Middle East region to re-open its market to U.S. beef.

Japanese political committee endorses beef import plan

A committee of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party endorsed a plan under which food regulators could begin considering lifting Japan's ban on beef imported from the United States.


A government white paper was cited as finding Tuesday that the outbreak of mad cow disease has changed Japan's supply-demand situation of meat, boosting pork consumption while resulting in a sharp decline of beef imports due to a ban on such imports from the United States.The report found that overall demand for meat in fiscal 2003, which ended in April 2004, remained about the same as in fiscal 1999, but the demand for beef dropped 14 percent following the outbreak of mad cow disease in Japan, Canada and the United States.In particular, demand for imported beef plunged 24 percent as Japan banned imports of Canadian beef in May 2003 and of U.S. beef in December 2003 after the discovery of the first cases of BSE in the two countries, it said.


A government study mission was cited as saying Thursday the United States and Canada have taken strict steps to remove specified risk materials from cows to secure the safety of beef.The mission was cited as saying in a report on its visit to the two countries last week that slaughterhouses and other places inspected in the United States and Canada remove brains, spinal cords and other SRMs from all cattle in compliance with beef safety standards, The story adds that based on the report, the government will ask the Food Safety Commission possibly next Tuesday to work out terms for resuming beef imports from the United States and Canada.

Uganda bans importation of dairy products to keep mad cow disease at bay

The Ugandan government on Thursday was cited as banning the import of all dairy products to stop a possible entry of the deadly mad cow disease into the east African nation. William Olaho Mukani, the head of animal resources in the agriculture and animal industry ministry, was quoted as saying, "We have with immediate effect banned the importation of all dairy products to guard against Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) or mad cow disease from getting here.""Mukani explained that the government was keen to keep the products out of Uganda, even those sneaked in through smuggling. No reasons for given for the ban.

First technology to remove prions that cause vCJD from blood launched

The risk of receiving blood contaminated with variant Cruetzfeldt-Jakob (vCJD) prions may no longer be a concern for the thousands of people who require a transfusion. Pall Corporation (NYSE: PLL) announced today the Council of Europe (CE) marking of its Leukotrap(R) Affinity Prion Reduction Filter System. It is the first and only technology that removes infectious prions that may be the causative agent of vCJD from red cells, the most commonly transfused blood component. Variant CJD, a fatal neurodegenerative disease, is the human form of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), also known as Mad Cow Disease. The CE mark means the new prion reduction filter meets pan-European essential requirements for safety of medical devices.

A new real-time beef traceability program is gaining popularity momentum in Japan

Entering a number into a computer at a supermarket and then being told where your piece of beef is from, who produced the animal it came from and how old the animal was has become a reality in Japan. Meat and Livestock Australia managing director Mark Spurr, who is currently in Japan meeting with industry officials and retailers, said that shelf to farm traceability is being offered by more and more Japanese retailers.

Japan discovers 19th suspected case of mad cow disease at slaughterhouse

An official was cited as saying Wednesday that a cow in northern Japan is suspected of being the country's 19th case of mad cow disease,. Preliminary tests on the animal at a slaughterhouse in Hokkaido prefecture were positive, and authorities sent samples to two laboratories in the prefecture for more precise test. -LINK-

European Food Safety Agency proposes increase in cattle age for removal of SRM

The age at which specified risk materials (SRM, tissue such as brain and spinal cord) are removed from cattle slaughtered for food was set at 12 months in all European Union (EU) member states (except for the United Kingdom) in 2000. This measure was designed to protect consumers of beef from the risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) [1,2]. New information supplied by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), surveillance data and scientific research was recently considered by members of the European Food Safety Authority Biological Hazards Panel. Based on this evidence and a review of previous discussions, the panel recognised that the bovine central nervous system is unlikely to become infectious until an infected animal is considerably older than 12 months. [3].

Lebanon reopens market for U.S. beef products

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that Lebanon has resumed the import of U.S. beef and beef products from animals under 30 months of age. -LINK-

South Korea to reopen market to U.S. and Canadian beef, unnamed official says

Changes in sanitary regulations by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) compels South Korea to reopen its market to some beef products from the United States and Canada, an official from Korea's National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service told Korea Times. The official said that failure to do so would probably lead to sanctions from the World Trade Organization. LINK-

Japan discovers suspected 20th case of of BSE, or mad cow disease

A cow suspected of having mad cow disease has been found in northern Japan in what may be the nation's 20th case of the illness, an official said Saturday. -LINK-

Two European countries report two more human cases of mad-cow diseases

Portugal on Friday was cited as announcing on Friday its first suspected case of the human form of mad-cow disease while France said it had identified its 13th case of the degenerative brain ailment. A total of 177 people have died or been diagnosed with vCJD, according to a toll compiled by AFP from official figures. So far 150 people have died of vCJD in Britain, where another six people are still alive who have contracted the disease, according to figures posted on Friday on the official British vCJD website. -LINK-

USDA reconfirms intention to re-open border to Canadian cattle

News ReleaseThe United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has strongly reconfirmed its intention to re-open the U.S. border to under 30 month feeder and slaughter cattle from Canada, as permitted under the USDA minimal risk rule. Implementation of that rule is delayed by a preliminary injunction issued in U.S. District Court, Montana Division.USDA reconfirmed its position at a U.S. Industry Roundtable convened by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns, where panelists representing all sectors of the U.S. beef industry spoke in favour of re-opening the border and emphasized the safety of both U.S. and Canadian beef. Only two panel members, representing R-CALF and the National Farmers Union, argued for keeping the border closed. -LINK-

That's enough for one night...More mad cow articles tomorrow.....

Want your McBSE with fries?