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From: TSS ()
Subject: Johanns clarifies appeal to Japanese to remove limits from beef trade
Date: August 3, 2006 at 9:51 am PST

Johanns clarifies appeal to Japanese to remove limits from beef trade

by Pete Hisey on 8/3/2006 for Meatingplace.com

Fresh from a lightning tour of Iraq, where he met with Prime Minister Al-Alaki and agricultural officials, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns clarified his oft-repeated request that Japan fully open its market to U.S. beef, even before the first shipments under the new agreement land in Tokyo.

His request has been mistranslated as a demand that beef from cattle up to 30 months of age be allowed, he said during a press briefing yesterday. "It's not even based on 30 months anymore," he pointed out. "It's based on risk assessment, and it's all specified in the OIE (International Organization for Animal Health) standards."

That would mean that beef from cattle of any age should be allowed into any given market if any beef at all is allowed. If a country qualifies as minimal risk or better, the main qualification would be whether the cattle were born before or after a comprehensive feed ban had been put into place and deemed effective.

"Otherwise, what stops me from saying I don't want any beef from Japan unless it's beef from animals 10 months or younger?" said Johanns. "That wouldn't be very fair to Japan; it wouldn't be fair to the Japanese producer."

Johanns is facing a similar dilemma, from the other side, in introducing a rule allowing the import of Canadian cattle over 30 months of age. That proposed rule was withdrawn before it was actually published for public comment after the discovery of a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in an animal born well after Canada's feed ban went into effect, a discovery that could affect Canada's status as a minimal risk market. USDA has sent a scientist to Canada to investigate that finding, and withdrew the proposed rule temporarily until it could establish whether or not the latest case of BSE would affect Canada's status as an exporting country.


http://www.meatingplace.com/MembersOnly/webNews/details.aspx?item=16325


Greetings,

Johanns states ;

>>> "It's not even based on 30 months anymore," he pointed out. "It's based on risk assessment, and it's all specified in the OIE (International Organization for Animal Health) standards." <<<


gee, is that suppose to make us feel better ?



>>>Johanns is facing a similar dilemma, from the other side, in introducing a rule allowing the import of Canadian cattle over 30 months of age. That proposed rule was withdrawn before it was actually published for public comment after the discovery of a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in an animal born well after Canada's feed ban went into effect, a discovery that could affect Canada's status as a minimal risk market. <<<


USDA GIVITH, AND USDA i.e. industry, TAKETH AWAY, there is nothing 'science based' on GWs/OIE BSE MRR policy, it was nothing more than a legal tool to trade all strains of TSE globally, and it might come back to haunt Canada now, since there BSE surveillance system was based on finding animals with BSE, unlike the USA June 2004 Enhanced BSE cover-up... oops, i mean surveillance program. Seems Canada got Bushwhacked. Seems Johanns et al are flip flopping again. nothing like USDA junk science on TSE and there precious commodities and futures and MRR policy. ...


CJD-related disease can incubate for 50 years

snip...


Since the North American cattle industry has been so highly integrated, not only by cattle movements, but also feed, and the fact both countries blatantly ignored feed bans, what makes the USA cattle industry so much safer than the Canadian ?


Based on our scientific knowledge of the disease, we have taken several key steps - some of which have been in place for years -- to safeguard the health of U.S. livestock and our food supply from BSE. And we are fortunate that Canada shares our commitment and overall approach to dealing with this disease by taking comparable and effective measures consistent with ours. This is especially important given that historically the North American cattle industry has been highly integrated.


http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB/.cmd/ad/.ar/sa.retrievecontent/.c/6_2_1UH/.ce/7_2_5JM/.p/5_2_4TQ/.d/0/_th/J_2_9D/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?PC_7_2_5JM_contentid=2005%2F06%2F0204.xml

JUST because Canada is looking harder to document BSE cases than the USDA, does not make it have more BSE cases, just makes it look like USDA is not looking hard enough. I find it rather comical that Dehaven/Johanns et al preach the OIE gospel on testing figures when they repeatedly repeat, the infamous OIE safeguards and math numbers of testing for a disease of some 400 cattle out of some 100 million. WHEN defending there BSE cover-up program ....... i mean surveillance program, USDA et al boast about these figures and that they are testing 10 x those 400 head of cattle, then on the flop, defending the higher and more frequent numbers of BSE in Canada, they boast the same, but from the opposite end of spectrum, defending higher numbers of BSE. talk about the pot calling the kettle black ...

FLIP ;


SEC. JOHANNS: Larry, thank you very much, and to everyone out there good morning. Thank you also for joining us today as we talk about BSE surveillance in the United States.

USDA will soon be transitioning to an ongoing BSE surveillance program after having successfully achieved our goals with the enhanced surveillance program. The ongoing surveillance program will involve sampling approximately 40,000 animals each year. As with the enhanced surveillance, the focus will be on cattle populations where the disease is most likely to be found and samples will be taken from a variety of locations.

This approach will maintain our ability to detect BSE even at the very, very low levels that the analysis shows it might exist in the United States. It will also enable us to identify any change in BSE prevalence if a change were to occur. This ongoing BSE surveillance program will exceed surveillance guidelines set forth by the World Animal Health Organization, also known as OIE.

In fact, the program will provide at testing at a level ten times that which is recommended by the OIE.

FLOP ;


REPORTER: Well, thank you, Larry. And thank you, Mr. Secretary, for taking the questions. This is actually a question first for Dr. DeHaven, and then I'll follow up with you, Mr. Secretary, if I can.

Dr. DeHaven, are you convinced that the Canadian testing system meets OIE standards given the large number of positives they have had with a relatively much lower testing sample? And then Mr. Secretary, if I could follow up, is it true? I've been hearing reports that the big stumbling block with Korea is a commingling of American and Canadian beef on our slaughter lines. And can we resolve that without some other internal controls about Canadian beef coming in?

DR. DEHAVEN: Peter, thank you for your question. This is Ron DeHaven. And let me take the questions in a little bit reverse order in terms of the adequacy of their program; and you indicated a lower level of testing in Canada. If you look at the number of animals that they are testing in Canada in comparison to their adult cattle population as a percentage, and then compare what we are testing, they in fact are testing a proportionate sample consistent or actually exceeding the number that we are. So I would argue that in fact they do have a testing program in Canada that not only meets OIE requirements but far exceeds it.

And arguably the fact that they have now found six or seven cases in Canada is evidence that their surveillance system is working. They are finding the cases that are there. I think there's a lot of epidemiological evidence that is relevant-- for example, the clustering effect that they are finding and where they're finding those samples. But here again I think the fact that they have now found six or seven positive animals is evidence that they are testing at an appropriate level consistent with the testing that we're doing and in excess of OIE requirements.


http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB/.cmd/ad/.ar/sa.retrievecontent/.c/6_2_1UH/.ce/7_2_5JM/.p/5_2_4TQ/.d/3/_th/J_2_9D/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?PC_7_2_5JM_contentid=2006%2F07%2F0256.xml&PC_7_2_5JM_parentnav=TRANSCRIPTS_SPEECHES&PC_7_2_5JM_navid=TRANSCRIPT#7_2_5JM

SO, if you dont have BSE or a low level, then you preach the OIE BSE gospel.

AND if you do have an increased number of BSE and even if it is clustering, then you still preach the OIE BSE gospel.

REGARDLESS, IF YOU GO BY OIE BSE GUIDELINES, you are going to have BSE, and if you look at all the other countries that went by these same OIE guidelines, they too went down with BSE.

SO what does this tell the 'lay' person, if you go by OIE guidelines only and even exceed it by USA standards, or even more by Canadian standards, you still get BSE.

confusious is confused again ;-) then why are we still going by OIE guidelines $$$


also, Johanns states ;

SEC. JOHANNS: I might just add a thought to Dr. DeHaven's comments, and then I'll address your question on South Korea. Keep in mind that from a food safety standpoint, the real key here is the removal of the specified risk materials. Those who are trying to convince their consumers that universal testing or 100 percent testing somehow solves the problem, really are misleading. You solve the problem by dealing with the problem; you solve the problem by removing specified risk materials. And that's how you protect human health. ..........


http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB/.cmd/ad/.ar/sa.retrievecontent/.c/6_2_1UH/.ce/7_2_5JM/.p/5_2_4TQ/.d/3/_th/J_2_9D/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?PC_7_2_5JM_contentid=2006%2F07%2F0256.xml&PC_7_2_5JM_parentnav=TRANSCRIPTS_SPEECHES&PC_7_2_5JM_navid=TRANSCRIPT#7_2_5JM


COULD someone please explain to me that by testing for BSE, and by removing these documented BSE animals when they are found, how is this NOT protecting human health, especially when all SRMs are NOT being removed, and the fact as we speak, there is a Nationwide mad cow feed recall of some 10,878.06 tons of mad cow feed product srms, going to cattle for human and animal consumption, so please explain to me, by removing these mad cows, that were found by testing, how is this not protecting human/animal health in some way ??? IS this some kind of reverse BSE psychology there using now ???


TSS

snip...

full text ;

http://blogs.nature.com/news/blog/2006/06/cjdrelated_disease_can_incubat.html

ALSO ;


SO, the already terribly flawwed OIE BSE surveillance system is too burdensome for trade.
Aint that just too bad. SO, they decide to make it even weaker. The damn thing never worked
anyway. ALL one has to do is look at the documented BSE Countries that went by it. Did them
a lot of good.

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...

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

http://brain.hastypastry.net/forums/archive/index.php/t-54550.html


THE OIE has now shown they are nothing more than a National Trading Brokerage for all strains of animal TSE.
AS i said before, OIE should hang up there jock strap now, since it appears they will buckle every time a country makes some political hay about trade protocol, commodities and futures. IF they are not going to be science based, they should do everyone a favor and dissolve there organization. With Science like this, Japan would be fully justified in declining to be a member. ...


Terry S. Singeltary Sr. P.O. BOX 42 Bacliff, TEXAS USA


a.. BSE OIE


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