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From: TSS (
Subject: NBC DATELINE NBC April 2, 1996 IT'S CALLED MAD COW DISEASE, and it's caused an uproar overseas
Date: November 2, 2004 at 9:38 am PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: NBC DATELINE NBC April 2, 1996 IT'S CALLED MAD COW DISEASE, and it's caused an uproar overseas
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 2004 11:43:40 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy


I thought some might be interested in reading this old transcript about
BSE aka mad cow disease. THE late Dr. Richard Marsh was interviewed
with some officials and self described Medical detectives. A part of the
transcript does not pertain to BSE aka mad cow issue so I have snipped
that out. Hope some find interest in this...TSS

Dateline NBC
April 2, 1996 Page 1

CO-HOSTS: Jane Pauley and Stone Phillips

Announcer: This is DATELINE Tuesday, April 2nd, 1996. Tonight:

STONE PHILLIPS: (Voiceover) It's called mad cow disease, and it's
caused an uproar overseas.

(Cow Falling down, McDonalds advertisement)

Unidentified Woman #1. (in British government chamber) Order! Order! Order!

PHILLIPS: (Voiceover) But's what happening on this side of the ocean?

(Farmland; cowboy riding horse)

Dr. WILLIAM HOUSTON: We have the most abundant, affordable, diverse, and
safe food supply in the world.

PHILLIPS: (Voiceover) American beef is safe. But Len Cannon asks, 'Has
the government done enough to make sure it stays that way?'

(Cows: Len Cannon reporting; cows)

LEN CANNON reporting: Do you believe that with simply rolling the dice and
gambling and eventually it's going to catch up with us?



Announcer: From Studio 3B in Rockefeller Center, here is Stone Phillips.

STONE PHILLIPS: Good evening. When the safety of our food supply is
called into question, it certainly grabs our attention. Some food scares
are valid --
E coli in hamburger meat, for example -- while others are questionable,
like the alar scare with apples six years ago. Sometimes media reports help
warn the public, other times they can cause undue panic. So what to make
of the
latest crisis? Mad cow disease. It sent Great Britain reeling and the
fear is
serious, passing on a fatal brain disease to humans through beef products.
It has not shown up here in the United States where the government says the
beef supply is safe. But is enough being done to keep that that way? Here's
Len Cannon.

Offscreen voice #1: It's a panic. I''ve not seen anyone buying beef.

Offscreen voice #2: How many of them have contracted this disease?

Unidentified Woman #1: In the end he eventually died

Unidentified Man #1: It's an absolute catastrophe.

LEN CANNON reporting: (Voiceover) Millions of Brits are in an uproar.

(British House of Parliament)

Unidentified Woman #2: (Speaking in British House of Parliament)
Order! Order! Order!

CANNON: (Voiceover) Afraid that they've poisoned themselves with the food
they eat

(Hamburger meat)

Unidentified Woman #3: (Speaking in British House of Parliament) i said that
public confidence was hanging by a thread. Now public confidence has

CANNON: (Voiceover) What has much of Britain in a panic is the thought
that young people are getting sick and dying because they've eaten beef,
British Beef--a thought so unsettling, that 10 days ago McDonald's in
Britain announced
it would no longer use British beef.

(BBC logo: woman newscaster; man newscaster, cows; newspaper headlines;

CANNON: (Voiceover) The story actually began a decade ago, when another
mysterious brain disease, known as BSE started killing hundreds of
British cattle.
Scientists had no idea why. The cattle became sick, disoriented, unable
to walk,
only to fall down and die. Year after year the British government said
'Don't worry, British beef was safe to eat.' In 1990, the then British
agriculture minister went on TV to feed his daughter a hamburger. Then
two weeks ago,
a stunning about face. The government admitted it might have been wrong
all these years. It said that the brain disease which had stricken the
people, most likely was caused by the disease in British cows.

(Cows eating hay; cows and birds; cows falling down; cows running; racks
of beef; man eating; cows; man feeding a little girl a hamburger; city
of London; House of Parliament; video of boy in bed)

Unidentified Man #2: (Speaking in British House of Parliament) The most
likely explanation at present is that these cases are linked to exposure
to BSE.

CANNON: (Voiceover) Here's how some scientists believe the disease
spreads. A sheep suffering from scrapie a deadly brain infection, dies.
It's remains are fed to cattle. The cattle's brain becomes infected. It
dies. It's remains are fed to other cattle. The infection then spreads.
Finally, the theory goes;
A person eats beef rom an infected cow and contracts a human form of the
deadly brain disease. The brain disease is known as scrapie in sheep,
BSE in cattle, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Different names
for the same disease? The link from sheep to cattle is fairly certain. But
scientist are uncertain how, or even if the disease moves from cattle to

(Picture of a sheep, cow, cows, people, graphic of disease names; cow
falling down)

CANNON: Now the question is, how does any of this affect you? There have
been no reported cases of young American diagnosed with the rare brain
that has struck in Britain. And there is not a single reported case of
the British Cattle disease in this country either.

(Voiceover) And one more thing. In America, there are fewer sheep than in
Britain to spread the disease in the first place. American agriculture
officials offer assurances about our own food supply.

(Cows; cows grazing in grass; people walking cows)

Dr. WILLIAM HOUSTON: I am very confident we do not have BSE in
the United States.

CANNON: (Voiceover) Dr. William Houston is with the United States
Department of Agriculture

(Dr. Houston)

Dr. HOUSTON; We want to be able to continue to reassure the American
public that we have the most abundant, affordable, diverse, and safe
food supply in the world.

CANNON: (Voiceover) No one disputes that. But the question remains, has
the US government done all that needs to be done to make sure the beef
supply here is as safe as possible; to ensure that BSE, the disease
which has afflicted cattle in Britain, never strikes here.

(Butchers moving sides of beef in meat packing plant; butchers cutting
meat; men walking with cow; cow failing down)

CANNON: Some scientists say, 'Maybe not, that we may have repeated some
of the same mistakes made in Britain.'

(Voiceover) For instance, it may come as a surprise to you that American
cattle are commonly fed the remains of sheep and other cattle, even
though the practice was banned in Britain seven years ago. In theory,
feeding the ground up animals to cattle would make them stronger and
more productive. But the practice was stopped in Britain when scientists
there came to suspect that the cattle were getting the brain disease
after eating the animal remains.

(Cows eating hay; cows walking; cows being milked; cows walking; cow
shaking head)

CANNON: Do you believe that because we continue to use this feed, that
we're simply rolling the dice?

DR. RICHARD MARSH: I think it's a sure thing. I think it's like

CANNON: (Voiceover) Veterinarian Dr. Richard Marsh is a controversial
professor of animal health and biomedic sciences a the University of
He sat on a US government panel appointed to investigate BSE. And for years
was one of the lone voices warning about a potential danger.

(Dr. Marsh being interviewed; Dr. Marsh working in lab; Dr. Marsh looking in

Dr. Marsh: Because the longer we continue with this practice, the more
sure we
are that we are going to develop these infections.

CANNON: (Voiceover) Others have expressed concern as well.

(Building and city street)

Dr. PAUL BROWN: Any time you take tissues from one body and in any form
transfer them to another body, you run a slight risk.

CANNON: (Voiceover) The irony is that cattle naturally are vegetarians,
and adding animal protein to their diet is unnatural, and some scientist
fear potentially dangerous.

(Cows eating)

CANNON: Is there enough science out there to say we should ban all forms
of animal byproducts to be fed to other animals?

DR. BROWN: Well, you are looking at the possibility of a natural science
in Great Britain. If this turns out to be BSE in humans in Great Britain,

CANNON: Meaning that we should definitely ban...

DR. BROWN: Meaning--meaning that we SHOULD NEVER AGAIN IN--

CANNON: (Voiceover) In fact, two years ago, the US Food and Drug
Administration proposed a ban on feeding sheep remains offal to cattle,
but the recommendation never went into effect.

(US FDA report)

CANNON: Britain did it several years ago. The FDA recommended it two
years ago. Why is it taking so long to decide?

DR. HOUSTON: Well, Britain did it in the face of an epidemic. They did
it when BSE was already identified.

CANNON: Do we need an epidemic to--to spur us on, to decide to suddenly
do it?

DR. HOUSTON: Absolutely not. That's why we're putting in--have put into
place a whole series of activities, additional activities beginning in 1989.

CANNON: (Voiceover) The US government did take a number of steps to
protect the US cattle supply after the cattle brain disease BSE was
in Britain. First, banning the import of all British cattle and
monitoring the ones already here.

(Cows in stockyards: man moving cattle in pen)

DR. HOUSTON: We as medical detectives went out and found these cattle.
tracked down these cattle. We're please to say that we can find no
evidence to date that any of those animals succumbed to BSE.

CANNON: (Voiceover) That's true. But before the ban, 499 British cows
were already in the United States. And the medical detectives never
found all of them.

(Cows in field in the fog; cows grazing; graphic of squares with 499 in
one square)

CANNON: We understand that out of that 499 British cattle, 34 have not
been accounted for.

DR. HOUSTON: That's right.

CANNON: You're telling me there are 34 British cows in the United States
we can't find that could potentially have the disease

DR. HOUSTON: We're concerned about it. We don't want BSE in the
United States. So we're trying to look at all the possible sources of
risk and address those.

CANNON: (Voiceover) Not only are 34 of the British imported cows missing,
but the Agriculture Department acknowledges another 343 of those British
cows died or were slaughtered, leaving open the possibility that they were
ground up and eaten by other animals or people.

(Cows; graphic of square with 34 and 343 in two of the squares; cows
grazing in field in the fog)

CANNON: And were they tested for BSE once they died or were slaughtered
or whatever?

DR. HOUSTON: We've tested some of them.

CANNON: Some of them?

DR. HOUSTON: Correct.

CANNON: (Voiceover) Actually, the USDA acknowledges that less than a
dozen of those 343 British cattle were ever tested for BSE. The
Agriculture Department does say that it's testing of American cattle for
BSE is now more extensive than ever before. And it's effective,
economically sound, and based on risk analysis. But critics say it is
not enough.

(Calf and cow; cows eating hay; man looking in microscope; slide under
microscope; sample of slide viewed through a microscope, glass slide
held between fingers)

DR. HOUSTON: We have collected, I think, it's 2791 brains that we've
looked at.

CANNON: And with a cattle population of over 100 MILLION, is that
enough to look at to determine whether the cattle in this country are BSE

DR. HOUSTON: You target collection of these brains from ani--animals
that are showing clinical signs or symptoms that might be BSE.

CANNON: (Voiceover) And there is something else to think about.
Though many experts dismiss his theories as unproven, Wisconsin
Professor Marsh speculates that some American cows already suffer from
a disease similar to BSE. What does he base that on?

(Cows grazing; lab worker working with test tubes; Dr. Marsh working;
pitchfork; cows eating hay)

DR. MARSH: This mink that I'm looking at...

CANNON: (Voiceover) Well, in 1985, Marsh says a Wisconsin farmer
raising mink had his entire herd wiped out by a deadly brain disease.
And the farmer said the only thing he fed the mink were dead cows. Did
eating the dead cows cause the mink to die. To see, Marsh reversed the
process, taking the
disease from the mink and injecting the other healthy cows. Sure enough,
the cows got sick.

(Dr. Marsh looking in microscope; minks in cages; pictures of cows and mink)

DR. MARSH: What it told us was that there was an infection-an
unrecognized infection in American cattle in the state of Wisconsin
that's transmissible to mink.

CANNON: (Voiceover) Years later, in 1990, the USDA conducted it's own
experiments to try and figure out how the cattle disease is transmitted.
During those experiments, it identified an abnormal protein known as a
prion, like the one that causes BSE.

(Lab workers; cows; cells)

CANNON: is the government testing for this particular protein in cattle?

DR. HOUSTON: Absolutely.

CANNON: And how many cattle have you tested for this protein?

DR. HOUSTON: It's a hundred and...

CANNON:...Fifty six.

DR. HOUSTON: ...fifty, something like that. That's--that's probably the

DR. MARSH: 156 cows out of 100 MILLION. NO, I--I don't think that's
an adequate sample.

CANNON: What do you do, test 100 million cows?

DR. MARSH: That's the problem.

CANNON: (Voiceover) Because no matter what form the disease takes, there
is no diagnostic test while the cattle are still alive. And they can be
sick for several years before developing symptoms.

(Medical equipment; cows eating hay)

CANNON: How long is the incubation period for this disease?

DR. HOUSTON: It ranges from three to eight years.

CANNON: (Voiceover) In the United States, beef cattle go to slaughter
before they ever reach that age.

(Slabs of beef hanging on hooks)

DR. MARSH: The hazard is there before the diagnosis is made.

CANNON: If you don't see the symptoms in a cow, then you assume that
they do not have the disease.

DR. HOUSTON: What I'm trying to say is that we believe that symptomatic
cows - if the disease occurs in the United States, there would be

CANNON: (Voiceover) But cattlemen aren't waiting to find out. Late last
Friday, groups representing the entire livestock industry announced that
it's members would no longer feed animal remains to cattle. But it's only a
voluntary measure. There are no government regulations requiring it, and
it may
take a year and a half before the ban is mandatory.

(Farm, cattle eating; farmer giving hay to cattle)

CANNON: So what does that say for those of us a home eating steak?

DR. MARSH: If you're eating American beef, you're eating a totally safe
product as far as I can tell.

CANNON: So if you believe that, then why stop using this animal
byproduct in feed?

DR. MARSH: If you can do something right now to prevent us from getting
infected down the road, you damn well better do it. That's what the American
Public's telling them. I hope they're listening.

PHILLIPS: As Len Cannon reported, the US Department of Agriculture is
trying to track down 34 British cows still unaccounted for in this country.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of these animals, you can
call the USDA so the cows can be checked.

ANNOUNCER: ...snip...end...TSS

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)

* 167 kB Report

* 105 kB 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 90s 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


From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr. []
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2003 1:03 PM
Cc:;; BSE-L
Subject: Docket No. 2003N-0312 Animal Feed Safety System [TSS SUBMISSION
TO DOCKET 2003N-0312]

Greetings FDA,


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
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

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

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