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From: TSS ()
Subject: Government to scale back mad cow testing dispite confirmation of third case
Date: March 14, 2006 at 6:42 pm PST


Posted on Tue, Mar. 14, 2006

Government to scale back mad cow testing
LIBBY QUAID
Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Despite the confirmation of a third case of mad cow disease, the government intends to scale back testing for the brain-wasting disorder blamed for the deaths of more than 150 people in Europe.

The Agriculture Department boosted its surveillance after finding the first case of mad cow disease in the United States in 2003. About 1,000 tests are run daily, up from about 55 daily in 2003.

The testing program detected an infected cow in Alabama last week, and further analysis confirmed Monday that the animal had mad cow disease.

Still, a reduction in testing has been in the works for months. The department's chief veterinarian, John Clifford, mentioned it when he announced the new case of mad cow disease.

"As we approach the conclusion of our enhanced surveillance program, let me offer a few thoughts," Clifford said, explaining that the U.S. will follow international standards for testing.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns pointed out testing is not a food safety measure. Rather, it's a way to find out the prevalence of the disease.

"Keep in mind the testing was for surveillance," Johanns told reporters Monday in Warsaw, Poland, where he was attending trade talks. "It was to get an idea of the condition of the herd."

Higher testing levels were intended to be temporary when they were announced two years ago.

Yet consumer groups argue more animals should be tested, not fewer. Officials haven't finalized new levels, but the department's budget proposal calls for 40,000 tests annually, or about 110 daily.

"This would be a tenth of a percent of all animals slaughtered," Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives at Consumers Union, said Tuesday. "This starts to be so small that in our opinion, it approaches a policy of don't look, don't find."

Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin said the confidence of American consumers and foreign customers is at risk.

"USDA ought to continue a sound surveillance testing program to demonstrate that U.S. beef is indeed safe and that anti-BSE safeguards are, in fact, working," said Harkin, senior Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Consumer groups want every animal to be tested, said Gary Weber, head of regulatory affairs for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association in Denver.

"It's not cost-effective; it's not necessary," Weber said. "The consumers we've done focus groups with are comfortable that this is a very rare disease and we've got safeguards in place."

He mentioned government protections to keep the disease from the food chain for people or animals.

"All those things add up to safety," he said.

The department mostly tests older cows with symptoms of the disease. Infected cows can show signs of nervous system disorder, such as aggression, lack of coordination, inability to walk or abnormal posture. In the latest case, the cow couldn't walk. It was a "downer," another sign of the disease. Dead cows are also suspect.

Tests are done on brain tissue from cows, so animals must be killed before they can be tested. There is no test for the disease in a live animal.

Since June 2004, the department has tested 652,697 cows for the disease. The nation has about 95 million cattle.

The medical name for mad cow disease is bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE. In humans, eating meat contaminated with BSE is linked to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a rare and deadly nerve disease.

An outbreak in the United Kingdom killed more than 180,000 cows and was blamed for more than 150 human deaths. It began in 1986 and spread throughout Europe, peaking in 1993.

The first American case appeared 10 years later in Washington state in a Canadian-born cow. The disease was found again last June in a Texas cow.

ON THE NET

Agriculture Department: http://www.usda.gov

http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/news/breaking_news/14098470.htm


greetings,


> WASHINGTON - Despite the confirmation of a third case of mad cow disease, the

> government intends to scale back testing

is this not the biggest hoot you ever heard, they never started with any kind of credible BSE testing protocol to begin with. the usda june 2004 enhanced bse surveillance program is the biggest joke now going around the globe now. everyone is laughing at it. if the long arm of GWs regime does not come forth and demand the complete overhaul of the usda minus home land security, and retest at least everyone of the 600,000+ cows in the enhance cover-up of june 2004 of bse, then this past 20 months of so of testing has fooled no one, maybe some at the federal gov level and some cattle ranchers/feeders, but most of them are as fed up with usda et al as i am. ....

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. This was done to ensure that samples inappropriate for the rapid screen test were still tested, and also to monitor and improve upon IHC testing protocols. Of those 9,200 routine tests, one test returned a non-definitive result on July 27, 2005. That sample underwent additional testing at NVSL, as well as at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Weybridge, England, and results were negative.
To view the IHC testing numbers from 1990 through 2004, click on the following link: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/issues/bse/surveillance/figure2f.html

Weekly Summary

Cumulative Total from June 1, 2004: 439,126


http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/issues/bse/surveillance/figure2f.html


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

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


yep, Dr. Detwiler tried telling them, but GW et all and there 'corporate science' know's best $$$


Testing Options for Mad Cow Said Limited

By LIBBY QUAID
The Associated Press
Wednesday, August 17, 2005; 8:04 PM


WASHINGTON -- The Agriculture Department acknowledged Wednesday that its testing options for mad cow disease were limited in 9,200 cases despite its effort to expand surveillance throughout the U.S. herd.

In those cases, only one type of test was used _ one that failed to detect the disease in an infected Texas cow.


The department posted the information on its Web site because of an inquiry from The Associated Press.

Conducted over the past 14 months, the tests have not been included in the department's running tally of mad cow disease tests since last summer. That total reached 439,126 on Wednesday.

"There's no secret program," the department's chief veterinarian, John Clifford, said in an interview. "There has been no hiding, I can assure you of that."

Officials intended to report the tests later in an annual report, Clifford said.

These 9,200 cases were different because brain tissue samples were preserved with formalin, which makes them suitable for only one type of test _ immunohistochemistry, or IHC.

In the Texas case, officials had declared the cow free of disease in November after an IHC test came back negative. The department's inspector general ordered an additional kind of test, which confirmed the animal was infected.

Veterinarians in remote locations have used the preservative on tissue to keep it from degrading on its way to the department's laboratory in Ames, Iowa. Officials this year asked veterinarians to stop using preservative and send fresh or chilled samples within 48 hours.

The department recently investigated a possible case of mad cow disease that turned up in a preserved sample. Further testing ruled out the disease two weeks ago.

Scientists used two additional tests _ rapid screening and Western blot _ to help detect mad cow disease in the country's second confirmed case, in a Texas cow in June. They used IHC and Western blot to confirm the first case, in a Washington state cow in December 2003.

"The IHC test is still an excellent test," Clifford said. "These are not simple tests, either."

Clifford pointed out that scientists reran the IHC several times and got conflicting results. That happened, too, with the Western blot test. Both tests are accepted by international animal health officials.

The formal name for mad cow disease is bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE.

In humans, consuming meat products tainted with BSE is linked to a fatal disorder called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The disease has killed about 150 people, most of them in Britain, where there was an outbreak in the 1980s and 1990s.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/17/AR2005081701635.html


THE USA JUNE 2004 Enhanced BSE program was a sham. it should be totally scrapped and every cow for human and or animal consumption should be retested, with proper protocol annually for 5 years. nothing less should be accepted now. the feed ban was a sham, the testing was a sham, it is exactly as myself and many others have been saying for almost a decade. TSEs are rampant in the USA. THIS is why GW et al force fed everyone this BSe MRR policy, nothing more than a legal pass to trade all TSEs from the USA around the Globe. commodities and futures, to hell with human health.

THE USA BSE GBR RISK ASSESSMENT SHOULD BE IMMEDIATELY REASSESSED TO BSE GBR IV.

>>>"There's no secret program," the department's chief veterinarian, John Clifford, said in an interview. "There has been no hiding, I can assure you of that."<<<


r i g h t, and there's no mad cows in the USA and North America. these people are as corrupt as they get.

THERE should be an inquiry into this continued incompetence of the USDA et al. my God, we have all become exposed to this deadly agent due to there continued lies, deceit and cover ups.in essence, what the USDA did in force feeding the globe all these TSEs, was far worse than what MAFF did in exporting there poison around the globe in the 80s. the USA has exposed the globe to there poison by this BSE/TSE MRR policy, and if you dont eat it, they'll just through sanctions at you. ...


EFSA Scientific Report on the Assessment of the Geographical BSE-Risk (GBR) of the United States of America (USA)
Publication date: 20 August 2004
Adopted July 2004 (Question N° EFSA-Q-2003-083)

Report

Summary
Summary of the Scientific Report

The European Food Safety Authority and its Scientific Expert Working Group on the Assessment of the Geographical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Risk (GBR) were asked by the European Commission (EC) to provide an up-to-date scientific report on the GBR in the United States of America, i.e. the likelihood of the presence of one or more cattle being infected with BSE, pre-clinically as well as clinically, in USA. This scientific report addresses the GBR of USA as assessed in 2004 based on data covering the period 1980-2003.

The BSE agent was probably imported into USA and could have reached domestic cattle in the middle of the eighties. These cattle imported in the mid eighties could have been rendered in the late eighties and therefore led to an internal challenge in the early nineties. It is possible that imported meat and bone meal (MBM) into the USA reached domestic cattle and leads to an internal challenge in the early nineties.

A processing risk developed in the late 80s/early 90s when cattle imports from BSE risk countries were slaughtered or died and were processed (partly) into feed, together with some imports of MBM. This risk continued to exist, and grew significantly in the mid 90’s when domestic cattle, infected by imported MBM, reached processing. Given the low stability of the system, the risk increased over the years with continued imports of cattle and MBM from BSE risk countries.

EFSA concludes that the current GBR level of USA is III, i.e. it is likely but not confirmed that domestic cattle are (clinically or pre-clinically) infected with the BSE-agent. As long as there are no significant changes in rendering or feeding, the stability remains extremely/very unstable. Thus, the probability of cattle to be (pre-clinically or clinically) infected with the BSE-agent persistently increases.


http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/efsa_scientific_reports/gbr_assessments/573_en.html


From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr. [flounder@wt.net]
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2003 1:03 PM
To: fdadockets@oc.fda.gov
Cc: ggraber@cvm.fda.gov; Linda.Grassie@fda.gov; BSE-L
Subject: Docket No. 2003N-0312 Animal Feed Safety System [TSS SUBMISSION
TO DOCKET 2003N-0312]

Greetings FDA,

snip...

PLUS, if the USA continues to flagrantly ignore the _documented_ science to date about the known TSEs in the USA (let alone the undocumented TSEs in cattle), it is my opinion, every other Country that is dealing with BSE/TSE should boycott the USA and demand that the SSC reclassify the USA BSE GBR II risk assessment to BSE/TSE GBR III 'IMMEDIATELY'. for the SSC to _flounder_ any longer on this issue, should also be regarded with great suspicion as well. NOT to leave out the OIE and it's terribly flawed system of disease surveillance. the OIE should make a move on CWD in the USA, and make a risk assessment on this as a threat to human health. the OIE should also change the mathematical formula for testing of disease. this (in my opinion and others) is terribly flawed as well. to think that a sample survey of 400 or so cattle in a population of 100 million, to think this will find anything, especially after seeing how many TSE tests it took Italy and other Countries to find 1 case of BSE (1 million rapid TSE test in less than 2 years, to find 102 BSE cases), should be proof enough to make drastic changes of this system. the OIE criteria for BSE Country classification and it's interpretation is very problematic. a text that is suppose to give guidelines, but is not understandable, cannot be considered satisfactory. the OIE told me 2 years ago that they were concerned with CWD, but said any changes might take years. well, two years have come and gone, and no change in relations with CWD as a human health risk. if we wait for politics and science to finally make this connection, we very well may die before any decisions
or changes are made. this is not acceptable. we must take the politics and the industry out of any final decisions of the Scientific community. this has been the problem from day one with this environmental man made death sentence. some of you may think i am exaggerating, but you only have to see it once, you only have to watch a loved one die from this one time, and you will never forget, OR forgive...yes, i am still very angry... but the transmission studies DO NOT lie, only the politicians and the industry do... and they are still lying to this day...TSS


http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/dockets/03n0312/03N-0312_emc-000001.txt

still disgusted in bacliff texas...TSS




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