SEARCH VEGSOURCE:

 

 

Follow Ups | Post Followup | Back to Discussion Board | VegSource
See spam or
inappropriate posts?
Please let us know.
  




From: TSS ()
Subject: CONSUMERS UNION USA MAD COW BSE FOIA RECORDS REQUEST AUGUST 2005
Date: August 13, 2005 at 8:13 am PST

August 9, 2005

Glendora Gilchrist

Freedom of Information Officer

USDA, APHIS, LPA, FOIA
4700 River Road Unit 50
Riverdale, MD 20737-1232

By FAX: (301)734-5941

VIA FAX AND CERTIFIED MAIL

United States Department of Agriculture

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

A. FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. Section 552, as amended, the Consumer Union (CU), requests a copy of the following documents/items, that are in the possession of the Department of Agriculture.

1. All information on all cattle sampled as part of the Expanded BSE Surveillance Plan, from June 1, 2004 to August 1, 2005. The information on these cattle should include the geographical location of sampled cattle--the birth state, the state where it was raised and the state where it was slaughtered; the age of the sampled cattle; any information on the type of cattle tested, i.e. beef, dairy, breeder; the disease status/reason why it was sampled; and the results of the testing. In addition, we would like information on how many cattle were sampled for rabies in the U.S. during this time period and how many of those cattle tested negative for rabies. Of these rabies-negative cattle, how many were sampled as part of the Expanded BSE Surveillance plan? We would also like to know how many cattle were condemned for central nervous system symptoms prior to slaughter during this time period. Of these cattle condemned for CNS symptoms, how many were sampled as part of the BSE Surveillance plan? In addition, we would also like to know how many cattle sampled for the BSE Surveillance plan were cattle that died on the farm and, where possible, reasons for the death of such cattle.

2. For the 8 designated laboratories for BSE sample submission (including NVSL) which conducted quick tests, the number of tests conducted at each laboratory. The number of tests which were positive on the first run of the quick test but were not positive on the second run. Number of samples that were positive on the first run of the quick test, where the second run of the quick test was performed at a NVSL.

3. All information on the slaughter facilities supplying cattle to the program (names and locations and number of cattle provided by each facility). Information on "3D/4D" and other facilities providing cattle to the program, including names, locations and number provided by each facility. Number of cattle obtained from farms, and the number of farms, by state.

4. Number of cattle brains provided in formalin; number of samples tested using only IHC and not an USDA-approved field test; number tested using only Western blot.

If any exemption from FOIA's disclosure requirement is claimed, please describe in writing the general nature of the document and the particular legal basis upon which the exemption is claimed. Should any document be redacted, please indicate the location of the redaction through the use of black ink. Please provide any and all non-exempt portions of any document which may be partially exempt due to some privilege.

This request is a matter of great concern to the Consumers Union (CU), and your prompt and complete report would be appreciated. As required by 5 U.S.C. Section 552(a)(6)(A)(i), an agency response is expected within ten days of the date of receipt. If it is not possible to comply with all portions or aspects of this report promptly, please provide a partial response with materials readily available. Do not hesitate to call me at 914-378-2452 or (cell) 917-774-3801 should you have any questions concerning this request.

B. FEE WAIVER JUSTIFICATION

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4(A)), the CU seeks a waiver for all fees accompanying this FOIA request for the following reasons:

The items requested contain data which relates to ongoing United States Government sponsored surveillance on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Additionally, materials received from this request would explain reasoning used by the Department of Agriculture during its decision-making process.

CU is an organization which provides information to the public concerning the environmental, economic and consumer concerns raised by the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). In addition, CU provides the general public with information concerning various aspects of TSEs, including public oversight of the TSE issue. Therefore, the data that will be supplied by this FOIA request is necessary to this organizational function.

Furthermore, the response to our request will give the public substantial, new information concerning the functions undertaken by the Department of Agriculture. The use of this information will help CU, a non-profit organization, further its function as a disseminator of information on TSEs in general and BSE in particular.

Finally, in no way will this information be used in any commercial practices. The request for this information does not relate to use for business, trade or profit.

Inasmuch as the CU is making this inquiry in the course of carrying out its education and other charitable public interest activities, we request that charges for searching and duplicating be waived. Should there be any difficulty with the fee waiver please contact the CU by phone (914-378-2452) and do not delay processing or answering this request.

Thank you for your attention in this matter.

Sincerely,

Michael Hansen, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

=============================

=============================


August 9, 2005


Glendora Gilchrist

Freedom of Information Officer

USDA, APHIS, LPA, FOIA
4700 River Road Unit 50
Riverdale, MD 20737-1232

By FAX: 301-734-5941

VIA FAX AND CERTIFIED MAIL

United States Department of Agriculture

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

A. FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. Section 552, as amended, the Consumer Union (CU), requests a copy of the following documents/items, that are in the possession of the Department of Agriculture.

1. All information on the cow sampled as part of the Expanded BSE Surveillance Plan that was announced on July 27, 2005 as a non-definitive case of BSE. This cow was sampled by a private veterinarian at a remote location in April 2005 but not sent to the USDA until mid July 2005. In particular, we would like copies of all the slides on this animal that were examined via immunohistochemistry (IHC) at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL)--both the original slide that was referred to in the July 27 Statement by Chief Veterinary Medical Officer John Clifford Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Regarding Non-Definitive BSE Test Results as well as slides on any subsequent slices of brain that were looked at subsequent to July 27--as well as the slides that were examined at the Veterinary Laboratory Agency (VLA) in Weybridge, United Kingdom.

2. Any reports or other written documentation which discuss or refer to these stained slides--both the slides examined at the NVSL and those examined at the VLA.

3. Any communications--including but not limited to e-mail, letters, notes from phone conversations, etc.--with the private veterinarian that submitted the brain material from the animal announced on July 27, 2005 as a non-definitive case of BSE.

4. Any inter- or intra-agency communications and any communications between agencies and the VLA--including but not limited to e-mail, letters, notes from phone conversations, etc.--that involved or mentioned any reference, data or information about the animal announced on July 27, 2005 as a non-definitive case of BSE.

5. Any agreements, instructions, guidelines, directives, notices, supervisory instructions, public service announcements (PSAs) etc. pertaining to the surveillance program (or its procedures) that USDA published or sent to any private party/ies, organizations, entities, institutions or the general public.

If any exemption from FOIA's disclosure requirement is claimed, please describe in writing the general nature of the document and the particular legal basis upon which the exemption is claimed. Should any document be redacted, please indicate the location of the redaction through the use of black ink. Please provide any and all non-exempt portions of any document which may be partially exempt due to some privilege.

This request is a matter of great concern to the Consumers Union (CU), and your prompt and complete report would be appreciated. As required by 5 U.S.C. Section 552(a)(6)(A)(i), an agency response is expected within ten days of the date of receipt. If it is not possible to comply with all portions or aspects of this report promptly, please provide a partial response with materials readily available. Do not hesitate to call me at 914-378-2452 or (cell) 917-774-3801 should you have any questions concerning this request.

B. FEE WAIVER JUSTIFICATION

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4(A)), the CU seeks a waiver for all fees accompanying this FOIA request for the following reasons:

The items requested contain data which relates to ongoing United States Government sponsored surveillance on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Additionally, materials received from this request would explain reasoning used by the Department of Agriculture during its decision-making process.

CU is an organization which provides information to the public concerning the environmental, economic and consumer concerns raised by the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). In addition, CU provides the general public with information concerning various aspects of TSEs, including public oversight of the TSE issue. Therefore, the data that will be supplied by this FOIA request is necessary to this organizational function.

Furthermore, the response to our request will give the public substantial, new information concerning the functions undertaken by the Department of Agriculture. The use of this information will help CU, a non-profit organization, further its function as a disseminator of information on TSEs in general and BSE in particular.

Finally, in no way will this information be used in any commercial practices. The request for this information does not relate to use for business, trade or profit.

Inasmuch as the CU is making this inquiry in the course of carrying out its education and other charitable public interest activities, we request that charges for searching and duplicating be waived. Should there be any difficulty with the fee waiver please contact the CU by phone (914-378-2452) and do not delay processing or answering this request.

Thank you for your attention in this matter.

Sincerely,

Michael Hansen, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist


TSS






Follow Ups:



Post a Followup

Name:
E-mail: (optional)
Subject:

Comments:

Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL: