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From: TSS ()
Subject: McDonald's Corp. seven scientists and experts and a pharmaceutical supplier Seriologicals Corp. U.S. NOT PROTECTED AGAINST MAD COW DISEASE
Date: January 4, 2006 at 3:15 pm PST

Group: U.S. not protected against mad cow
LIBBY QUAID
Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Researchers and the nation's No. 1 burger seller say the government is not fully protecting animals or people from mad cow disease.

Stronger steps are needed to keep infection from entering the food chain for cattle, the critics wrote in comments to the Food and Drug Administration.

The group includes McDonald's Corp., seven scientists and experts and a pharmaceutical supplier, Serologicals Corp.

The government proposed new safeguards two months ago, but researchers said that effort "falls woefully short" and would continue to let cattle eat potentially infected feed, the primary way mad cow disease is spread.

"We do not feel that we can overstate the dangers from the insidious threat from these diseases and the need to control and arrest them to prevent any possibility of spread," the researchers wrote.

McDonald's said the risk of exposure to the disease should be reduced to zero, or as close as possible. "It is our opinion that the government can take further action to reduce this risk," wrote company Vice President Dick Crawford.

In people, eating meat or cattle products contaminated with mad cow disease is linked to a rare but fatal nerve disorder, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

No one is known to have contracted the disease in the United States. The disease has turned up in two people who lived in the U.S., but it's believed they were infected in the United Kingdom during an outbreak there in the 1980s and 1990s.

The U.S. has found two cases of mad cow disease in cows. Since the first case, confirmed in December 2003 in a Canadian-born cow in Washington state, the government has tested more than half a million of the nation's 95 million cows. The second case was confirmed last June in a Texas-born cow.

"While this surveillance has not uncovered an epidemic, it does not clear the U.S. cattle herd from infection," the researchers said.

The primary firewall against mad cow disease is a ban on using cattle remains in cattle feed, which the U.S. put in place in 1997. However, the feed ban has loopholes that create potential pathways for mad cow disease. For example, using restaurant plate waste is allowed in cattle feed.

The Food and Drug Administration proposed in October to tighten the rules, but critics said glaring loopholes would remain.

The FDA, which regulates animal feed, accepted public comments on the proposal through last month. An agency spokeswoman said Wednesday it would be inappropriate to respond to those comments.

The critics said their biggest concern is that tissue from dead animals would be allowed in the feed chain if brains and spinal cords have been removed. Brains and spinal cords are tissues that can carry mad cow disease.

In dead cattle that had the disease, infection had spread beyond brains and spinal cords. Leaving tissue from dead cattle in the feed chain would negate FDA's attempt to strengthen its safeguards, the critics said.

The most effective safeguards, they said, would be to:

_Ban from animal feed all tissues considered "specified risk materials" by the Agriculture Department, which requires that such materials be removed from meat that people eat. This includes tissues beyond the brain and spinal cord, such as eyes or part of the small intestine.

_Ban the use of dead cattle in animal feed.

_Close loopholes allowing plate waste, poultry litter and blood to be fed back to cattle.

Within the meat industry, many say the FDA proposal is effective, although some companies contend new rules are unneeded. The American Meat Institute Foundation, which represents meat processing companies, backs the FDA proposal.

"To take out the most potentially infected material, and that would be brains and spinal cords, that removes about 90 percent of the potential infectivity that is in an animal - if it's infected," said Jim Hodges, AMI Foundation president.

Mad cow disease is the common name for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, a degenerative nerve disease in cattle.

ON THE NET

Food and Drug Administration: http://www.fda.gov

American Meat Institute: http://www.meatami.com/


http://www.duluthsuperior.com/mld/duluthsuperior/living/health/13549744.htm

International Scientific Advisory Council
McDonald's International Scientific Advisory Council adds further strength to our beef safety program by providing independent expert scientific and medical advice on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

COUNCIL MEMBERS

Dr. Neil Cashman. Diener Professor of Neurodegenerative Diseases and Director, Neuromuscular Disease Clinic, Sunnybrook & Women's Health Sciences Center, University of Toronto. Specialist in motor neuron diseases and the cell biology of amyloid encephalopathies, including prion illnesses. Author of over 250 publications. Recipient of the 2000 Jonas Salk Prize for biomedical research.

Dr. Dean Danilson. Vice President QAFS, Tyson Foods, Inc. Responsible for quality assurance and food safety programs for the retail division for fresh beef, pork, poultry and ready-to-eat meats.

Dr. Linda Detwiler. Adjunct Professor, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Maryland. Also provides private animal health consulting services, with specializations in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, emergency preparedness, and animal product issues related to imports and exports. Formerly Senior Staff Veterinarian, Emergency Programs Staff, U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the unit principally responsible for surveillance, prevention, and education activities related to BSE. Member of various international working groups and advisory committees on TSEs. Author of numerous articles on the issues.

Alan A. Harris, M.D. Professor of Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine, Senior Assistant Chairman, Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Epidemiologist, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center. Specialist in public health and foodborne illnesses. Fellow, Infectious Diseases Society of America. Fellow, American College of Physicians. Member, Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America. Author or co-author of more than 140 scientific publications.

Dr. Beat Hörnlimann, MPH. Managing Director, SVISS Consulting, BSE 7192 Ltd., an organization that provides expert advice on public and animal health, particularly with respect to BSE. Formerly Chief Veterinary Officer, Public Health Department, Kanton Zug, Switzerland. Led Swiss BSE and scrapie eradication program and served in numerous other senior-level staff and advisory positions related to TSEs. Author of a book on prions and prion diseases in humans and animals.

Dr. David Kessler. Dean, School of Medicine, Yale University and former Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Author of A Question of Intent (on federal tobacco regulation efforts) and numerous articles in major medical journals. Member, Board of Directors, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Doctors of the World, National Center for Addiction and Substance, Henry Kaiser Family Foundation. Recipient of numerous medical public service awards, including the American Heart Association National Public Affairs Special Recognition Award, American Academy of Pediatrics Excellence in Public Service Award, and American Cancer Society Medal of Honor.

Dr. Colin Masters. Professor and Head, Department of Pathology, University of Melbourne. Specialist in neuropathology. Member, numerous national and international medical professional societies.

Dr. Carols Messuti. Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fishing, Government of Uruguay and Delegate to the OIE, the UN's principal agency for animal diseases.

Dr. Jeffrey W. Savell. Professor, E.M. ?Manny? Rosenthal Chairholder, and Leader, Meat Science Section, Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University. Specialist in meat quality/consistency, food safety and nutrition. Past President, American Meat Science Association; member, Institute of Food Technologists, American Society of Animal Science, HACCP Alliance. Author or co-author of more than 250 articles and co-author of the Laboratory Manual for Meat Science. Recipient of numerous awards for research and teaching.

Dr. James Toole. Walter C. Teagle Professor of Neurology, Professor of Public Health Sciences, and Director, Stroke Research Center, Wake Forest University School of Medicine. President, International Stroke Society; member and past-president, World Federation of Neurology; member and past-president American Neurological Association; fellow, Royal College of Physicians; master, American College of Physicians. Author of Cerebrovascular Disorders and over 600 medical textbook chapters; co-editor Handbook of Clinical Neurology. Former editor, Journal of the Neurological Sciences.


http://www.mcdonalds.com/corp/values/socialrespons/resrecog/expert_advisors0/international_scientific.html

06/09/05
BSE Roundtable Discussion Transcript


http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/issues/bse/BSE_roundtable_6_9_05.pdf

NOW, let us look at another BSE ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION by USDA et al in the year 2003, please note the BSE science on IHC testing then, and then compare to now, and then ponder those other 9,200 cattle of the infamous June 2004 BSE cover-up program, that did not have rapid testing or WB, just IHC, the lease likely to find BSE/TSE ;

USDA 2003

We have to be careful that we don't get so set in the way we do things that
we forget to look for different emerging variations of disease. We've gotten
away from collecting the whole brain in our systems. We're using the brain
stem and we're looking in only one area. In Norway, they were doing a
project and looking at cases of Scrapie, and they found this where they did
not find lesions or PRP in the area of the obex. They found it in the
cerebellum and the cerebrum. It's a good lesson for us. Ames had to go
back and change the procedure for looking at Scrapie samples. In the USDA,
we had routinely looked at all the sections of the brain, and then we got
away from it. They've recently gone back.
Dr. Keller: Tissues are routinely tested, based on which tissue provides an
'official' test result as recognized by APHIS
.

Dr. Detwiler: That's on the slaughter. But on the clinical cases, aren't
they still asking for the brain? But even on the slaughter, they're looking
only at the brainstem. We may be missing certain things if we confine
ourselves to one area.


snip.............


Dr. Detwiler: It seems a good idea, but I'm not aware of it.
Another important thing to get across to the public is that the negatives
do not guarantee absence of infectivity. The animal could be early in the
disease and the incubation period. Even sample collection is so important.
If you're not collecting the right area of the brain in sheep, or if
collecting lymphoreticular tissue, and you don't get a good biopsy, you
could miss the area with the PRP in it and come up with a negative test.
There's a new, unusual form of Scrapie that's been detected in Norway. We
have to be careful that we don't get so set in the way we do things that we
forget to look for different emerging variations of disease. We've gotten
away from collecting the whole brain in our systems. We're using the brain
stem and we're looking in only one area. In Norway, they were doing a
project and looking at cases of Scrapie, and they found this where they did
not find lesions or PRP in the area of the obex. They found it in the
cerebellum and the cerebrum. It's a good lesson for us. Ames had to go
back and change the procedure for looking at Scrapie samples. In the USDA,
we had routinely looked at all the sections of the brain, and then we got
away from it. They've recently gone back.

Dr. Keller: Tissues are routinely tested, based on which tissue provides an
'official' test result as recognized by APHIS
.

Dr. Detwiler: That's on the slaughter. But on the clinical cases, aren't
they still asking for the brain? But even on the slaughter, they're looking
only at the brainstem. We may be missing certain things if we confine
ourselves to one area.


snip...


FULL TEXT;


Completely Edited Version
PRION ROUNDTABLE


Accomplished this day, Wednesday, December 11, 2003, Denver, Colorado


2005


National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) Immunohistochemistry (IHC) Testing Summary

The BSE enhanced surveillance program involves the use of a rapid screening test, followed by confirmatory testing for any samples that come back "inconclusive." The weekly summary below captures all rapid tests conducted as part of the enhanced surveillance effort. It should be noted that since the enhanced surveillance program began, USDA has also conducted approximately 9,200 routine IHC tests on samples that did not first undergo rapid testing.


http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/issues/bse_testing/test_results.html


TSS




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