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From: TSS ()
Subject: MAD COW SECRECY bill PASSES 68-0 now goes to the Senate for a vote UTAH
Date: February 15, 2005 at 11:24 am PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: MAD COW secrecy bill now goes to the Senate for a vote UTAH
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2005 13:20:55 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

Utah House approves sealing records on livestock and disease


Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY - With no debate, House representatives on Tuesday
approved a measure that ensures the public won't be able to see state
records on livestock populations and efforts to trace diseased animals.

The 68-0 vote came as Utah prepares to join a national identification
program for livestock that would make it possible for diseased animals
to be traced back to their farm of origin within 48 hours.

The secrecy bill now goes to the Senate for a vote.

Rep. Craig Buttars, a Republican who runs a 220-head Holstein dairy farm
in Lewiston, said farmers should be able to expect privacy for records
on livestock operations and animals.

"We don't want the public and those who want to harm us to have access
to records that could give them the opportunity to harm our operations,"
he said Tuesday.

At least five other states - Kansas, Kentucky, Idaho, Nebraska and
Washington - have similar animal identification laws, though only Idaho
exempts cattle records from public disclosure, according to the National
Conference of State Legislatures.

The Utah measure may be in line with "a long history of manipulating
agricultural information for protectionist reasons," said Laurie
Garrett, a national health policy expert and fellow at the Council on
Foreign Relations.

There's little value in keeping the information from the public, said
James R. Greenwood, director of environmental health and safety at the
University of California at Los Angeles.

In brief floor remarks Tuesday Buttars rejected this criticism, saying
other businesses "wouldn't want people to come off the street and go
through their personal records."

The Utah Department of Agriculture is compiling records of farms,
ranches and other livestock operations in Utah. It plans to require
farmers to register all animals at birth for a state database.

The ability of government regulators to trace livestock became apparent
following the discovery of the nation's first case of mad cow disease in
a Washington state Holstein in December 2003. The cow's origins were
later traced to Canada, but not before dozens of countries closed their
borders to U.S. beef products.

Earlier this year, Washington state started assigning identification
numbers to farms and ranches - a precursor to the broader animal
identification system.


> Rep. Craig Buttars, a Republican who runs a 220-head Holstein dairy
> farm in Lewiston, said farmers should be able to expect privacy for
> records on livestock operations and animals.
> "We don't want the public and those who want to harm us to have access
> to records that could give them the opportunity to harm our
> operations," he said Tuesday.

SEEMS what happened with the Washington MAD COW and it's cohorts
that went to who knows how many dinner plates, will now be law in UTAH
and these other states ;

* GAO-05-51 October 2004 FOOD SAFETY (over 500 customers receiving
potentially BSE contaminated beef) - TSS 10/20/04

October 2004 FOOD SAFETY
USDA and FDA Need
to Better Ensure
Prompt and Complete
Recalls of Potentially
Unsafe Food


Page 38 GAO-05-51 Food Recall Programs
To examine the voluntary recall of beef products associated with the
December 2003 discovery of an animal infected with BSE, we analyzed the
distribution lists USDA collected from companies and the verification
checks it conducted to develop a diagram illustrating the location and
volume of recalled beef that reached different levels of the distribution
chain. We compared the distribution lists and verification checks to
identify how many customers listed on the distribution lists did not
the recalled beef and the number of customers not listed on distribution
lists that received the recalled beef. We interviewed USDA and FDA staff
involved with the recall to understand the timing of recall actions and the
challenges encountered during the recall.
To develop information on the 2002 recall of ground beef by a ConAgra
plant in Greeley, Colorado, we reviewed USDAs recall file and other
documents on the recall. We also met with the departments Office of
Inspector General and reviewed the Inspector Generals September 2003
We conducted our review from May 2003 through August 2004 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
1U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, Great
Plains Region Audit
Report: Food Safety and Inspection Service: Oversight of Production
Process and Recall at
ConAgra Plant (Establishment 969), Report No. 24601-2-KC (September 2003).
Page 39 GAO-05-51 Food Recall Programs
Appendix II
Federal Actions Associated with the
Discovery of an Animal in the United States
Infected with BSE Appendix II
On December 23, 2003, USDA announced that a cow in the state of
Washington had tested positive for BSEcommonly referred to as mad
cow disease. This appendix describes the actions USDA took to recall the
meat and the actions FDA took with respect to FDA-regulated products,
such as animal feed and cosmetics, made from rendered parts of the
Beef Recall Was
Triggered by a BSEPositive
Sample from
One Cow
On December 9, 2003, the recalling company slaughtered 23 cows. USDA,
in accordance with its BSE surveillance policy at the time, took a
sample of
1 cow that was unable to walk, although the condition of the tested cow is
now disputed. USDA did not process the sample in its Ames, Iowa National
Veterinary Services Laboratory in an expedited manner because the cow
did not show symptoms of neurological disorder. USDA test results
indicated a presumptive positive for BSE on December 23, 2003.
Recall Begun in
December 2003 Was
Completed in March
On December 23, 2003, after learning about the positive BSE test, USDA
headquarters notified the Boulder District Office, which is the field
with jurisdiction over the recalling firm. The Boulder District began
gathering information about the recalling companys product distribution.
Field staff telephoned the recalling company and were on-site at 7:00 p.m.
The Boulder District initially thought 3 days of the recalling companys
production would have to be recalled, but further examination of facility
cleanup and shipping records revealed that it was only necessary to
recall 1
day of production. USDA recall staff convened at 9:15 p.m. and discussed
the science related to BSE and whether the recalling companys cleanup
practices were sufficient to limit the recall to 1 day of production.
Following USDAs determination to conduct a Class II recallthat is, the
beef posed a remote possibility of adverse health consequencesUSDA
contacted the recalling company to discuss recall details and the press
release. The press release and Recall Notification Report were released
that evening.
On December 24, 2003, USDAs Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)
sent inspectors to the recalling companys primary customers to obtain
secondary customer distribution lists and product shipping records. USDA
conducted 100 percent verification checks for this recallit contacted
every customer that received the recalled meat. This level of verification
checks is well above the percentage of checks conducted by USDA district
offices for the Class I recalls we reviewed.
Appendix II
Federal Actions Associated with the
Discovery of an Animal in the United States
Infected with BSE
Page 40 GAO-05-51 Food Recall Programs
On December 26, 2003, USDA began checking the primary and secondary
customers of the recalling company that it was aware of, although the
entire product distribution chain was unknown. During the checks, USDA
tried to determine if the product was further distributed, and it used
verification checks to acquire distribution lists for secondary and
customers of the recalling company.
Verification checks continued until February 25, 2004. Three USDA
districts conducted these verification checks. The Boulder District
coordinated the checks and assigned checks to the Minneapolis District
Office for customers in Montana and to the Alameda District Office for
customers in California. USDA required that 100 percent of the primary
checks, 50 percent of the secondary checks, and 20 percent of the tertiary
checks be conducted on-site. According to USDA, more than 50 percent of
the secondary checks were actually conducted on-site. FDA officials
helped conduct verification checks. According to USDA, the recall took a
long time to complete because USDA contacted each customer at least
twice. USDA first contacted each customer to conduct the check and again
to verify product disposition.
On February 25, 2004, the Boulder District concluded that the recall was
conducted in an effective manner. On March 1, 2004, USDAs Recall
Management Division recommended that the agency terminate the recall,
and USDA sent a letter to the recalling company to document that USDA
considered the recall to be complete.
Recall Was
Complicated by
Inaccurate Distribution
Lists and Mixing of
Contaminated and
Noncontaminated Beef
USDA used distribution lists and shipping records to piece together where
the recalled product was distributed. According to USDA, one of the
recalling companys three primary customers was slow in providing its
customer list. USDA could not begin verification activities for that
customer without this list. Furthermore, some customers of the recalling
company provided USDA with imprecise lists that did not specify which
customers received the recalled product. As a consequence, USDA could
not quickly determine the scope of product distribution and had to take
time conducting extra research using shipping invoices to determine which
specific customers received the product.
Even when USDA determined the amount and location of beef, the agency
still had trouble tracking the beef in certain types of establishments,
as grocery store distributors. USDA could not easily track the individual
stores where those distributors sent the beef because of product mixing
Appendix II
Federal Actions Associated with the
Discovery of an Animal in the United States
Infected with BSE
Page 41 GAO-05-51 Food Recall Programs
and the distributors record-keeping practices. Generally, distributors
purchase beef from multiple sources, mix it in their inventory, and lose
track of the source of the beef they send to the stores that they
supply. To
deal with this problem, USDA first identified the dates when recalled beef
was shipped to the distributors and then asked for a list of the stores
were shipped any beef after those dates. Consequently, some stores were
included in the recall that may never have received recalled beef.
The recall was also complicated by repeated mixing of recalled beef with
nonrecalled beef, thereby increasing the amount of meat involved in the
recall. The recalling company slaughtered 23 cows on December 9, 2003,
and shipped those and 20 other carcasses to a primary customer on
December 10, 2003. The recalling companys carcasses were tagged to
identify the slaughter date and the individual cow. The primary customer
removed the identification tags and mixed the 23 recalled carcasses with
the 20 nonrecalled carcasses. Because the carcasses could not be
distinguished, the recall included all 43 carcasses at the primary
After one round of processing at the primary customer, the meat from the
carcasses was shipped to two other processing facilities. Both
establishments further mixed the recalled meat from the 43 carcasses with
meat from other sources. In all, the mixing of beef from 1 BSE-positive cow
resulted in over 500 customers receiving potentially contaminated beef.
Imprecise distribution lists and the mixing of recalled beef combined to
complicate USDAs identification of where the product went. Specifically,
on December 23, 2003, USDAs initial press release stated that the
company was located in Washington State. Three days later, on December
26, 2003, USDA announced that the recalled beef was distributed within
Washington and Oregon. On December 27, 2003, USDA determined that one
of the primary customers of the recalling firm distributed beef to
in California and Nevada, in addition to Washington and Oregon, for a total
of four states. On December 28, 2003, USDA announced that some of the
secondary customers of the recalling company may also have distributed
the product to Alaska, Montana, Hawaii, Idaho, and Guam, for a total of
eight states and one territory.
On January 6, 2004, over 2 weeks from recall initiation, USDA determined
that the beef went to only six statesWashington, Oregon, California,
Nevada, Idaho, and Montanaand that no beef went to Alaska, Hawaii, or
Guam. To reach that conclusion, USDA used the distribution lists, shipping
records, and sales invoices that it received from companies to piece
together exactly where the recalled beef may have been sent. The lists
Appendix II
Federal Actions Associated with the
Discovery of an Animal in the United States
Infected with BSE
Page 42 GAO-05-51 Food Recall Programs
showed that 713 customers may have received the recalled beef; 6 of those
may have received beef from more than one source. USDA determined that
176 customers on the lists did not actually receive recalled beef,
the customers in Guam and Hawaii. USDAs review also indicated that
recalled beef was probably not shipped to Alaska or Utah, and USDA
checked 2 retailers in Alaska and 3 retailers in Utah to confirm that
was the
case. In total, USDA conducted verification checks on 537 of the 713
customers on the lists. USDAs initial checks identified an additional 45
customers that may have received the recalled beef that were not included
on the distribution lists, for a total of 582 verification checks. Figure 4
summarizes USDAs verification efforts during the recall.
Appendix II
Federal Actions Associated with the
Discovery of an Animal in the United States
Infected with BSE
Page 43 GAO-05-51 Food Recall Programs
Figure 4: USDAs Recall Verification Checks by Location and Customer
Type for Meat Associated with the Animal Infected with
Note: USDA checked 15 primary, 40 secondary, and 526 tertiary customers
plus the recalling
company, for a total of 582 verification checks.
USDAs press release stated that the recall involved 10,410 pounds of beef
products, and the USDA recall coordinator for this recall told us that
downstream processors mixed the recalled beef with nonrecalled beef, for
a total of more than 38,000 pounds of beef that was distributed at the
secondary customer level. According to USDA officials involved with the
D = Distributor
R = Retailer
SF = Storage facility
P = Processor
Primary customers
(15 total)
(WA) 1 R
1 P
(WA) 1 P
1 P
11 R
Secondary customers
(40 total)
Tertiary customers
(526 total)
1 R
1 SF
3 D
3 D
2 dual D
59 R
79 R
5 R
3 R
4 R
161 R
8 R
15 R
2 R
31 R
(OR) 8 R
10 R
5 R
10 R
2 R
17 R
5 R
1 D
11 R
85 R
3 D
(OR) 11 R
2 D
(CA) 26 R
2 R
( ) Acronyms in parentheses are postal abbreviations for each state.
Source: GAO analysis of USDA verification check documents.
Appendix II
Federal Actions Associated with the
Discovery of an Animal in the United States
Infected with BSE
Page 44 GAO-05-51 Food Recall Programs
recall, the precise amount of meat that was sold at the retail level is
unknown because retailers at the tertiary level further mixed nonrecalled
meat with potentially contaminated meat. USDA told us that more than
64,000 pounds of beef was ultimately returned or destroyed by customers,
and that, because of the mixing, it was not able to determine how much of
the original 10,410 pounds of recalled beef was contained in the 64,000
pounds that were recovered.
FDAs Role in USDAs
Parts of the BSE-infected animal slaughtered on December 9, 2003, were
not used for food, but they were sent to renderers to be separated into raw
materials, such as proteins and blood. Rendered materials are used for
many purposes, including cosmetics and vaccines. FDA has jurisdiction
over renderers.
When USDA learned of the BSE-infected cow on December 23, 2003, the
agency immediately notified FDA. On December 24, 2003, FDA sent an
inspection team to a renderer that handled materials from the BSE cow.
Inspectors confirmed that the parts of the slaughtered BSE positive cow
were on the premises. FDA later identified a second company that
potentially rendered material from the slaughtered BSE cow. Both
renderers agreed to voluntarily hold all product processed from the
diseased cow and dispose of the product as directed by FDA and local
On January 7, 2004, 15 containers of potentially contaminated, rendered
material (meat and bone meal) were inadvertently loaded on a ship, and on
January 8, 2004, the ship left Seattle, Washington, for Asia. The renderer
initiated steps to recover the shipped material, so it could be disposed
of as
directed by FDA and local authorities. The ship carrying the material
returned to the United States on February 24, 2004, and the material was
disposed of in a landfill on March 2, 2004.
On January 12, 2004, FDA asked both renderers to expand their voluntary
holds to rendered materials processed from December 23, 2003, through
January 9, 2004, because they may have rendered some recalled meat or
trim that was recovered from retail establishments. Both renderers agreed
to the expanded product hold. In total, FDA requested that renderers
voluntarily hold approximately 2,000 tons of rendered material. FDA
confirmed that none of the potentially contaminated, rendered material
entered commerce, because FDA accounted for all rendered material. FDA
Appendix II
Federal Actions Associated with the
Discovery of an Animal in the United States
Infected with BSE
Page 45 GAO-05-51 Food Recall Programs
reported that no recall was necessary because no product was distributed
commercially by the rendering companies.
Worked Together on
the Recall
USDA and FDA worked together in two ways. First, both agencies notified
each other if their investigations yielded any information about products
within the jurisdiction of the other agency. For instance, when conducting
the second round of verification checks, USDA tracked the disposition of
the product to renderers and landfills and notified FDA when the product
went to renderers. Second, FDA officials helped conduct verification
checks. FDA conducted 32 of the 582 verification checks (approximately 5
percent) for the USDA recall. Officials from both agencies indicated they
regularly interacted and shared information. Table 3 outlines the agencies
Table 3: Detailed Timeline of USDA, FDA, and Company Actions Related to
the Discovery of an Animal Infected with BSE
Date USDA recall actions FDA actions Company actions
12/9/03 " USDA samples cow for BSE. " BSE cow is slaughtered.
12/11/03 " Sample is sent to Ames, Iowa, for BSE
" Recalling company sends
carcasses to primary customer for
12/12/03 " Primary customer sends meat
products to two other primary
customers for further processing.
12/12 -
" Other primary customers distribute
recalled product to secondary
" Secondary customers distribute
recalled product to tertiary
12/23/03 " BSE test results are presumptively
" Recall meeting.
" Initiation of voluntary recall.
" Press release.
" FDA notified of BSE test results.
" FDA dispatches investigation teams.
12/24/03 " FDA inspects Renderer 1.
" FDA determines some rendered
material from Renderer 1 is intended
for Indonesia.
" FDA discovers some material may
have been sent to Renderer 2.
" Renderer 1 agrees to hold remaining
rendered material.
" Recalling company contacts
primary customers.
" Primary customers contact their
Appendix II
Federal Actions Associated with the
Discovery of an Animal in the United States
Infected with BSE
Page 46 GAO-05-51 Food Recall Programs
12/25/03 " USDA receives confirmation from
reference lab in England that cow in
question is BSE positive.
12/26/03 " Verification checks begin
" USDA announces recalled product in
Washington State and Oregon.
" FDA begins process of comparing
records to ensure all products from
Renderers 1 and 2 are accounted for.
" Renderer 2 agrees to hold all material
that may have been derived from
BSE cow. None of the rendered
material has been distributed.
12/27/03 " USDA announces recalled product was
distributed in Washington State,
Oregon, California, and Nevada.
" FDA issues statement confirming that
the rendering plants that processed
all of the nonedible material from the
BSE cow have placed a voluntary
hold on all of the potentially infectious
product, none of which had left the
control of the companies and entered
commercial distribution.
12/28/03 " USDA announces recalled product was
distributed in Washington State,
Oregon, California, Nevada, Montana,
Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii, and Guam.
12/29/03 " Food Safety and Inspection Service
determines that the recalled meat
products were distributed to 42
locations, with 80 percent of the
products distributed to stores in
Oregon and Washington State.
12/31/03 " FDA offers assistance to USDA to
complete recall verification checks.
1/6/04 " USDA determines recalled product
was only distributed in Washington
State, Oregon, California, Nevada,
Montana, and Idaho.
1/8/04 " FDA is notified by the renderer that
some of the rendered material on
hold from Renderer 1 was
inadvertently shipped to Asia.
Renderer 1 commits to isolate and
return the rendered material.
" Rendering company notifies FDA of
shipment of product on hold.
(Continued From Previous Page)
Date USDA recall actions FDA actions Company actions
Appendix II
Federal Actions Associated with the
Discovery of an Animal in the United States
Infected with BSE
Page 47 GAO-05-51 Food Recall Programs
Source: GAO analysis of USDA and FDA information.
1/12/04 " FDA advises Renderers 1 and 2 that
they may have rendered meat or trim
subject to recall from retail stores.
" FDA requests Renderers 1 and 2 to
place all rendered material from
December 23 to January 9 on hold.
" FDA determines neither renderer had
shipped rendered material
manufactured after December 23,
2/9/04 " All rendered material was disposed of
in landfill, except material shipped to
2/24/04 " Ship carrying rendered material
returns to U.S. port.
2/25/04 " Verification checks complete.
" USDA Boulder District Office
concludes recall is effective.
3/1/04 " Recall is closed.
3/2/04 " FDA observes disposal in landfill of
remaining rendered material...



1. Food Safety: USDA and FDA Need to Better Ensure Prompt and Complete
Recalls of Potentially Unsafe Food. GAO-05-51, October 7.tss
Highlights -

GOD HELP US, CAUSE our federal gov. will not. they owe to
much to the ones that put them in office...TSS

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