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From: TSS (
Subject: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Minimal-Risk Regions and Importation of Commodities; Final Rule and Notice [Docket No. 03-080-3]
Date: January 4, 2005 at 6:49 am PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Minimal-Risk Regions and Importation of Commodities; Final Rule and Notice [Docket No. 03-080-3]
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2005 08:49:03 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################

[Docket No. 03-080-3]
RIN 0579-AB73

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Minimal-Risk Regions and
Importation of Commodities

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: We are amending the regulations regarding the importation of
animals and animal products to establish a category of regions that
present a minimal risk of introducing bovine spongiform encephalopathy
(BSE) into the United States via live ruminants and ruminant products
and byproducts, and we are adding Canada to this category. We are also
establishing conditions for the importation of certain live ruminants
and ruminant products and byproducts from such regions. These actions
will continue to protect against the introduction of BSE into the
United States while removing unnecessary prohibitions on the
importation of certain commodities from minimal-risk regions for BSE,
currently only Canada.

EFFECTIVE DATE: March 7, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information concerning ruminant
products, contact Dr. Karen James-Preston, Director, Technical Trade
Services, National Center for Import and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 River
Road Unit 38, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-4356.
For information concerning live ruminants, contact Lee Ann Thomas,
Director, Technical Trade Services, Animals, Organisms and Vectors, and
Select Agents, National Center for Import and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700
River Road Unit 38, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-4356.
For other information concerning this rule, contact Dr. Gary
Colgrove, Director, Sanitary Trade Issues Team, National Center for
Import and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 38, Riverdale, MD
20737-1231; (301) 734-4356.


I. Purpose


full text ;

Union: Meat plants violate mad cow rules Banned brains, spinal cords may
still enter food supplyBy

Jon Bonné


Dec. 20, 2004

Parts of cattle supposedly banned under rules enacted after the nation's
first case of mad cow disease are making it into the human food chain,
according to the union that represents federal inspectors in meat plants.

The National Joint Council of Food Inspection Locals, which represents
meat and poultry inspectors in federally regulated plants nationwide,
told the U.S. Department of Agriculture in a letter earlier this month
that body parts known as "specified risk materials" were being allowed
into the production chain.

The parts include the brains, skulls, spinal cords and lower intestines
of cattle older than 30 months. These body parts, thought to be most
likely to transmit the malformed proteins that cause bovine spongiform
encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, were banned from the human food
supply by USDA officials last January.

The union based its Dec. 8 complaint on reports from inspectors in
several states, though it declined to say which ones.

It said that the inspectors found heads and carcasses of some cows on
slaughter and processing lines that were not always correctly marked as
being older than 30 months. That age is the cutoff for rules governing
the use of higher-risk materials in human food; any animal older than 30
months must have any such parts removed before it can be cut up into meat.

But plant employees responsible for checking the age of cattle were not
always marking each older carcass. In the course of their regular work,
inspectors on the processing lines checked cattle heads themselves and
found some from older animals that had been passed through unmarked.

"We couldn't determine that every part out of there was from a cow under
30 months," Stan Painter, the union's chairman, told "There
was no way to determine which one was which."

The government and the beef industry frequently point to the SRM ban, as
it is known, as the single best measure to ensure that any meat possibly
infected by mad cow disease is kept out of the human food supply. The
ban was enacted this year after the first U.S. case of the disease was
detected in a Washington state dairy cow in December 2003.

Research has shown that most of the risk from infected animals lies in
neural tissue, such as the brain, not muscle meat. Mad cow disease has
been linked to a related human disease; both are always fatal.

USDA spokesman Steven Cohen said the ban was working, as were age checks
on cattle. "We feel very strongly that this is being done," Cohen said.
"It's being done correctly, and it's being verified by the people whose
job it is to do that."

Federal oversight for the age checks is usually performed by offline
inspectors  usually a more senior inspector at a plant who handles
larger issues such as food safety plans. They are directed to perform
spot checks on plant employees who perform the age checks using
paperwork as well as indicators such as the growth of the animals' teeth.

But current oversight would cover a small fraction of the total animals
that pass through any given plant  just 2 percent to 3 percent, by the
union's estimate.

In its letter, sent to the head of the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection
Service, the union also reported that some inspectors were "told not to
intervene" when they saw body parts of some older animals, sent for
packing with those of younger animals. This is despite export
requirements for certain parts that have been set by U.S. trading partners.

Specifically, the union said, kidneys from older animals were sent down
the line to be packed for the Mexican market, which prohibits them from
cows over 30 months. When the inspectors complained, Painter said, "The
agency basically told the inspectors, 'Don't worry about it.'"

Cohen said the age checks, which are usually performed before slaughter,
are meant to be handled by supervisors and veterinary medical officers.
"It is not the online inspectors whose role it is to determine" an
animal's age, Cohen said.

"The inspector on the line's role is to look for disease," he said. "If
an online inspector feels as though something is not being done they
should talk to their supervisors."

The online inspectors performed the checks on their own amid concerns
that older animals were not being marked as such, according to the union
and to an attorney familiar with the matter.

The cases referenced in the letter were apparently reported to
supervisors and to USDA district offices, Painter said, but the
inspectors were told, "Don't worry about it. That's the plant's

The union has not yet received a response, he added. Cohen said the
agency would have a response soon, and noted that the department's
inspector general is auditing how well plants comply with the ban.

Docket No, 04-047-l Regulatory Identification No. (RIN)
091O-AF46 NEW BSE SAFEGUARDS (comment submission)


Docket No. 2003N-0312 Animal Feed Safety System [TSS SUBMISSION]

Docket Management Docket: 02N-0273 - Substances Prohibited From Use in

Animal Food or Feed; Animal Proteins Prohibited in Ruminant Feed

Comment Number: EC -10

Accepted - Volume 2



File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat -

Page 1. J Freas, William From: Sent: To: Subject: Terry S. Singeltary

Sr. [] Monday, January 08,200l 3:03 PM freas ...

Asante/Collinge et al, that BSE transmission to the 129-methionine

genotype can lead to an alternate phenotype that is indistinguishable

from type 2 PrPSc, the commonest _sporadic_ CJD;

Docket Management Docket: 96N-0417 - Current Good Manufacturing Practice
in Manufacturing, Packing, or Holding Dietary Ingredients a
Comment Number: EC -2
Accepted - Volume 7

[PDF] Appendices to PL107-9 Inter-agency Working Group Final Report 1-1
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
Agent, Weapons of Mass Destruction Operations Unit Federal Bureau of
those who provided comments in response to Docket No. ...
Meager 8/18/01 Terry S. Singeltary Sr ...

Docket No. 2003N-0312 Animal Feed Safety System [TSS SUBMISSION
TO DOCKET 2003N-0312]

# Docket No: 02-088-1 RE-Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of
TSS 1/27/03 (0)

Docket Management

Docket: 02N-0276 - Bioterrorism Preparedness; Registration of Food Facilities, Section 305
Comment Number: EC-254 [TSS SUBMISSION]


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