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

From: TSS ()
Date: February 3, 2006 at 8:20 am PST

Feb. 2, 2006, 9:20PM
Cattle checks called flawed
Inspectors let suspect animals into food chain

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

WASHINGTON - Federal inspectors on the watch for mad cow disease have permitted animals unable to walk to enter the food chain, despite fears that such animals could harbor the dread illness.

Investigators for the Agriculture Department's Inspector General's Office found records at two unidentified slaughterhouses that showed inspectors for the Food Safety and Inspection Service had allowed 29 nonambulatory, or "downer," cows to be slaughtered between June 2004 and April 2005.

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service had issued rules that allowed its inspectors to give the green light to slaughter downer cows, if those animals were known to have suffered an acute injury after passing a previous inspection, the Inspector General noted in a report released Thursday.

But the investigators could find no records for 20 of the 29 animals that indicated the animals in question had suffered severe injuries.

The Inspector General's Office went further, saying that by allowing any of these animals into the food chain, the agency was not abiding by its own regulations.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service's policy states that all animals that are unable to walk will be kept out of the food chain "regardless of the reason for their nonambulatory status or the time at which they became nonambulatory," the Inspector General's report said.

USDA officials have promised to clarify their rules regarding the slaughter of nonambulatory animals.

In a review of 12 facilities across the country, investigators also learned that some downer animals were not tested for mad cow by USDA inspectors stationed at slaughterhouses, because the potentially diseased cows were separated out from healthier animals on premises adjacent to the slaughter facilities.

Agency inspectors "stated they did not believe that they had the authority to go into these sorting ... areas and require that the rejected animals be provided ... for sampling," the report noted.

Bill Hyman, executive director of the Independent Cattlemen's Association of Texas, said his organization's members were "disappointed to hear they're not abiding by their own rules. As cattle producers, we attempt to abide by the rules, and we would expect the USDA to abide by the same rules."

USDA rules also ban certain parts where mad cow, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, is most likely to develop.

Investigators found no evidence such materials entered the food chain, but they could not determine whether proper procedures were followed to ensure that was not happening in nine of the 12 facilities visited as part of the probe.

The Inspector General's report represents another black eye for the Agriculture Department and its efforts to assure the world American beef is safe.

The report comes two weeks after Japan again closed its borders to U.S. beef products after inspectors there discovered pieces of backbone in a veal shipment.

While such meat products would be deemed safe for human consumption in the United States, Japan has forbidden their import because of mad cow concerns. A USDA inspector had approved that shipment.

As a safeguard, the USDA requires removal of so-called specified risk materials, or SRM, such as brains and spinal cords, from older cattle.

"If you look at any audit that was ever done, we have found we have never had SRMs get in the food supply," Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns told Reuters on Thursday.


>>>"If you look at any audit that was ever done, we have found we have never had SRMs get in the food supply," Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns told Reuters on Thursday.<<<

reminds me of ;

'we have the embasils on the run"
"that is not Saddam you captured, that is Santa Clause" "
"There are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never!"
"They're coming to surrender or be burned in their tanks."
"I triple guarantee you, there are no American soldiers in Baghdad."

IF the insinuation from the fda that feeding cows to cows at the rate of 5.5 grams of potentially tainted TSE cows is perfectly safe, then it is very possible every cow out there is potentially tainted with TSE that enters the food chain;



FDA has determined that each animal could have consumed, at most and in total, five-and-one-half grams - approximately a quarter ounce -- of prohibited material. These animals weigh approximately 600 pounds.

It is important to note that the prohibited material was domestic in origin (therefore not likely to contain infected material because there is no evidence of BSE in U.S. cattle), fed at a very low level, and fed only once. The potential risk of BSE to such cattle is therefore exceedingly low, even if the feed were contaminated.


Nature 421, 459 (2003); doi:10.1038/421459a

All the President's yes-men?

George W. Bush's administration stands accused of biasing the process by
which the US government obtains scientific advice. There is a strong
case to answer, but the situation is not as unusual as it might at first

The relationship between science and politics is never perfect, but
critics charge that the current US administration has so politicized the
provision of scientific advice that it could permanently undermine
public trust.

Just last week, a storm of protest greeted the announcement that Jerry
Thacker, an HIV-positive Christian activist who has referred to AIDS as
a "gay plague", would be appointed to the Presidential Advisory
Commission on HIV and AIDS. Three months before, a committee advising
the Department of Health and Human Services on protecting volunteers in
clinical trials was asked to consider whether embryos should be included
within its remit (see Nature 420, 3 4; 2002) a move that critics saw
as part of a wider anti-abortion agenda.

The controversy extends to committees that review grant applications.
Potential appointees to the panel advising the National Institute for
Occupational Safety and Health, for instance, were asked their views on
office safety standards just one example, critics allege, of political
considerations impinging on appointments that should depend on
scientific merit. The fear is that scientists will refuse to serve on
panels that are seen as rubber stamps for administration policies,
undermining the quality of the advice given to government agencies and
eroding public trust.

Some of the recent developments are disturbing. If the committee on
human research subjects gets bogged down discussing abortion politics
instead of how to protect patients in clinical trials, lives could be
put at risk. Members of committees reviewing grant applications should
be selected for their scientific expertise, not their political views.

But successive US administrations, both Republican and Democrat, have
packed advisory committees with scientists and other experts who share
their political outlook. This only becomes a major issue for the
scientific community when the views in question jar with its majority
opinion, or the politicization is blatant.

Those with long memories say that the present outcry is reminiscent of
the furore inspired by Ronald Reagan's administration in the early
1980s, when it tried similar tactics with committees advising the
Environmental Protection Agency then seen as a thorn in the side of
the administration's pro-business policies. This sorry episode alienated
environmental scientists, but thankfully the administration eventually
backed off and most of the damage was repaired.

There is some comfort to be gained from the checks and balances inherent
to the system. The degree of transparency in the formulation of
science-led policy in the United States has few parallels in the rest of
the world. It is rare indeed for the public to be able to influence
government decisions about who sits on the panels and what they discuss.
And so far, public input seems to be having a positive effect last
week's storm led Thacker to withdraw from the HIV panel.

This does not mean that the critics should relax. They should look back
at the actions of previous administrations to determine the extent to
which the current moves represent a departure from accepted practice.
The National Academies' Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public
Policy is set to take up these questions at its next meeting on 19
February, providing a welcome and timely forum.

Scientists should fight undue attempts by the Bush administration to
politicize the advisory process, and extend the same scrutiny to future
administrations, whatever their political persuasion.

Macmillan MagazinesNature © Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2003 Registered No.
785998 England.

From: TSS ()
Subject: PrPSc distribution of a natural case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy
Date: August 8, 2005 at 12:28 pm PST

PrPSc distribution of a natural case of bovine
spongiform encephalopathy

Yoshifumi Iwamaru, Yuka Okubo, Tamako Ikeda, Hiroko Hayashi, Mori-
kazu Imamura, Takashi Yokoyama and Morikazu Shinagawa

Priori Disease Research Center, National Institute of Animal Health, 3-1-5
Kannondai, Tsukuba 305-0856 Japan


Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is a disease of cattle that causes
progressive neurodegeneration of the central nervous system. Infectivity
of BSE agent is accompanied with an abnormal isoform of prion protein

The specified risk materials (SRM) are tissues potentially carrying BSE
infectivity. The following tissues are designated as SRM in Japan: the
skull including the brain and eyes but excluding the glossa and the masse-
ter muscle, the vertebral column excluding the vertebrae of the tail, spinal
cord, distal illeum. For a risk management step, the use of SRM in both
animal feed or human food has been prohibited. However, detailed
PrPSc distribution remains obscure in BSE cattle and it has caused con-
troversies about definitions of SRM. Therefore we have examined PrPSc
distribution in a BSE cattle by Western blotting to reassess definitions of

The 11th BSE case in Japan was detected in fallen stock surveillance.
The carcass was stocked in the refrigerator. For the detection of PrPSc,
200 mg of tissue samples were homogenized. Following collagenase
treatment, samples were digested with proteinase K. After digestion,
PrPSc was precipitated by sodium phosphotungstate (PTA). The pellets
were subjected to Western blotting using the standard procedure.
Anti-prion protein monoclonal antibody (mAb) T2 conjugated horseradish
peroxidase was used for the detection of PrPSc.

PrPSc was detected in brain, spinal cord, dorsal root ganglia, trigeminal
ganglia, sublingual ganglion, retina. In addition, PrPSc was also detected
in the peripheral nerves (sciatic nerve, tibial nerve, vagus nerve).

Our results suggest that the currently accepted definitions of SRM in
BSE cattle may need to be reexamined.


T. Kitamoto (Ed.)
Food and Drug Safety



proceedings "PRIONS" of
International Symposium of Prion Diseases held in Sendai, October 31
to November 2, 2004.

Tetsuyuki Kitamoto
Professor and Chairman
Department of Prion Research
Tohoku University School of Medicine
2-1 SeiryoAoba-ku, Sendai 980-8575, JAPAN
TEL +81-22-717-8147 FAX +81-22-717-8148
Symposium Secretariat
Kyomi Sasaki
TEL +81-22-717-8233 FAX +81-22-717-7656



Vet Pathol 42:107–108 (2005)

Letters to the Editor


Absence of evidence is not always evidence of absence.

In the article ‘‘Failure to detect prion protein (PrPres) by

immunohistochemistry in striated muscle tissues of animals

experimentally inoculated with agents of transmissible spongiform

encephalopathy,’’ recently published in Veterinary

Pathology (41:78–81, 2004), PrPres was not detected in striated

muscle of experimentally infected elk, cattle, sheep, and

raccoons by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Negative IHC,

however, does not exclude the presence of PrPSc. For example,

PrPres was detected in skeletal muscle in 8 of 32

humans with the prion disease, sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob

disease (CJD), using sodium phosphotungstic acid (NaPTA)

precipitation and western blot.1 The NaPTA precipitation,

described by Wadsworth et al.,3 concentrates the abnormal

isoform of the prion, PrPres, from a large tissue homogenate

volume before western blotting. This technique has increased

the sensitivity of the western blot up to three orders

of magnitude and could be included in assays to detect

PrPres. Extremely conspicuous deposits of PrPres in muscle

were detected by IHC in a recent case report of an individual

with inclusion body myositis and CJD.2 Here, PrPres was

detected in the muscle by immunoblotting, IHC, and paraf-

fin-embedded tissue blot. We would therefore caution that,

in addition to IHC, highly sensitive biochemical assays and

bioassays of muscle are needed to assess the presence or

absence of prions from muscle in experimental and natural

TSE cases.

Christina Sigurdson, Markus Glatzel, and Adriano Aguzzi

Institute of Neuropathology

University Hospital of Zurich

Zurich, Switzerland


1 Glatzel M, Abela E, et al: Extraneural pathologic prion

protein in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. N Engl J

Med 349(19):1812–1820, 2003

2 Kovacs GG, Lindeck-Pozza E, et al: Creutzfeldt-Jakob

disease and inclusion body myositis: abundant diseaseassociated

prion protein in muscle. Ann Neurol 55(1):

121–125, 2004

3 Wadsworth JDF, Joiner S, et al: Tissue distribution of protease

resistant prion protein in variant CJD using a highly

sensitive immuno-blotting assay. Lancet 358:171–180,




Johanns et al are responsible for this continued year after year after year of blundering the BSE surveillance in the USA. They (HE) is no different than the TOP of ENRON, and Johanns et al should be on trial somewhere, if not here, then they will be judged in hell, along with there whole regime for ignoring the 'sound science' all for a buck. it's called GWs BSE MRR policy, the legal trading of all strains of BSE/TSE globally. ...TSS

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup

E-mail: (optional)


Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL: