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From: TSS ()
Subject: Mad cow tests in U.S. won't let up (or did it really ever begin?)
Date: November 12, 2005 at 7:05 am PST

Sat, November 12, 2005

Mad cow tests in U.S. won't let up


WASHINGTON -- The government plans to maintain indefinitely its faster level of testing for mad cow disease, rather than scaling back in December as originally envisioned.

With the lucrative Japanese market poised to reopen to American cattle, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns says he wants government scientists to continue testing about 1,000 cattle a day.

"I have just been very reluctant to even set a date as to when we would bring that to a close," Johanns said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It's safe to say the enhanced surveillance is going to extend beyond the end of December."

Critics said higher testing levels are needed to reassure Japan, the biggest buyer of U.S. beef, and other trading partners.

"I've said time and time again, there is little risk of BSE in U.S. beef,'' Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, senior Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee, said yesterday.

"But it is obvious that we have not yet convinced key trading partners of that."

Harkin and other legislators have been pressuring the department to do at least 20,000 more tests on cows that are healthy before testing is scaled back.

The country's first case of mad cow disease was confirmed in December 2003 in a Canadian-born cow in Washington state. In response, the Agriculture Department increased its testing in June 2004 from an average of about 55 daily to more than 1,000 a day.

Authorities have tested 516,496 animals and turned up a second case in a Texas-born cow that tested positive in June. The number of cows tested is about 1% of the 45 million adult cows in the U.S.

The U.S. closed its border to Canadian cattle in 2003 but it was reopened in July following a court battle with a group of U.S. ranchers.

this 'enhanced' bse surveillance program of june 2004 it boasted about like the 'harvard' bse risk assessment as 'biblical', when in fact as with the 'harvard' bse risk assessment, the june 2004 'enhanced' bse surveillance was a terrible failure, with some 9,200 of those tests only being IHC, the least likely to detect TSE, as was proven with the TEXAS mad cow (the one they finally decided to confirm some 7+ months later, thanks to the Honorable Phyllis Fong of the OIG. IF left up to Johanns, there would have never been a Texas mad cow confirmation. please, lets not kid ourselves.
they had to test almost 500,000 cattle before they came even close to getting the BSE/TSE testing protocol correct. something they claimed was correct long ago, via the 'bse red books'. this complete 'enhanced' bse surveillance program was a sham from the beginning, as was the harvard bse risk assessment, and that was proven to be a sham via the 'peer review' harvard bse risk assessment. the june 2004 'enhanced' bse surveillance program should be done all over again, but this time done correctly, to find TSE/BSE cases, not cover them up. if anyone would like me to reference all this again, i would be glad to do so. ...TSS

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