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From: TSS ()
Subject: Re: Consumers Union asks feds to retest suspect mad cow after crucial test omitted
Date: March 8, 2005 at 2:32 pm PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Consumers Union asks feds to retest suspect mad cow after crucial test omitted
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2005 15:55:41 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
To: BSE-L@KALIV.UNI-KARLSRUHE.DE
References: <421D4324.8050405@wt.net> <421E4F9E.50109@wt.net>


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

© SEAC 2004
- 5 -
17. Professor Bostock, Chair of the Expert Panel, presented this item.
18. A survey published by Defra on the national surveillance of scrapie in
Great Britain showed that out of 29,201 animals screened, the TSE
status of 28 animals could not be determined due to inconclusive
analytical results (28 out of 29,201 abattoir sheep). These animals
tested positive by the Bio-Rad Platelia ELISA assay but negative by
confirmatory immunohistochemistry (an OIE approved TSE test). At the
request of FSA & Defra, an Expert Panel ('the panel'), chaired by
Professor Bostock, met on the 17th September 2003 to review these
findings.
19. Professor Bostock summarised the panelís conclusions outlined in the
formal statement published on the SEAC web site. Members noted that
the restrictions of commercial confidentiality meant the panel did not
have access to critical data required to assess the preliminary
research. Members commented that non-optimal conditions for
Proteinase K digestion could lead to false positives in the Bio-Rad
Platelia assay. Professor Bostock acknowledged that the panel had
considered this possibility but again the lack of details on the
experimental reagents meant the panel was unable to assess this.
20. Members were informed that 7 out of the 28 unclassifiable samples in
the UK study originated from ARR/ARR sheep, which are considered
fully resistant to scrapie. SEAC agreed with the panelís comment that it
was not possible at this stage to comment on the significance of these
preliminary results for the NSP but endorsed the expert panelís
recommendation that infectivity studies in mice using the unclassifiable
samples was of high priority. Given the reports of unusual results
reported from the UK, Norway (the Nor98 cases) and Germany (two
positive results in ARR homozygous sheep) it was suggested that
perhaps the case definition of scrapie might be too narrow. Members
agreed it was important to determine if these unclassified results
represented PrPc with an intermediate form of a Proteinase K
resistance protein, which results from changes in conformation or
aggregation state.
SEAC 81/1
21. Professor Bostock informed SEAC that the panel had reviewed the
available data on Western blot and immunohistochemistry (IHC) PrP
patterns in samples from experimental BSE in sheep. These data did
not resemble patterns detected in the UK unclassified samples. The
committee noted the panel's further research recommendations to
sequence the PrP gene in the unclassified samples to investigate if
there was any genetic component to these anomalous results.
22. Members were informed that anomalous results were being detected in
different laboratories across Europe using a variety of diagnostic tests.
For example, the positive ARR case reported in Germany had tested
negative by the Prionics LIA test and positive on the SAF immunoblot
and Bio-Rad tests. Members were informed that the French and
German investigators have now exchanged reagents, which will allow
comparison of the different experimental methodologies. It is not known
if the concentration of Proteinase K resistant PrP varies between
different tissue sites in the brain. Another complicating factor in terms
of interpreting the significance of these results is that different
countries
adopt different approaches to the selection of tissue target sites for
examination using the different tests (screening and confirmatory). To
try and control for this in the UK, the sampling method in the UK has
been changed recently to allow testing by screening and confirmatory
tests on the left and right sides of the obex, which will provide
equivalent target sites for different tests. Differences in results will
therefore reflect differences in test sensitivity rather than differences in
concentration of PrPres. Although there is some agreement amongst
EU National Reference laboratories that such an approach should be
adopted by all, this is not yet in place.
23. SEAC agreed with the panel's recommendation that animal heads are
retained for 24 hours pending the rapid test result to provide additional
material for research purposes. However SEAC acknowledged the
major logistical issues that this proposal entailed. Members endorsed
the panel's recommendation that epidemiological investigations should
continue and if any of the unclassified samples originated from farms
with previous cases of BSE or scrapie they should be investigated
further....

snip...

http://www.seac.gov.uk/papers/draftseac80mins.pdf

I GUESS USDA ET AL FIGURE WE WILL FORGET ABOUT
THIS COVER UP OF THOSE TEXAS MAD COWS,
not going to happen. they might, but i will never forget it.
they will be held accountable one day, either here or up there...

TSS

Terry S. Singeltary Sr. wrote:

> ##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
> #####################
>
> GW SAYS DONT MESS WITH TEXAS OR ITS MAD COWS.
> SOME HISTORY ON THOSE TEXAS MAD COWS.
>
> United Press International: USDA vet: Texas mad cow breach not unique...
> Published 5/4/2004 5:01 PM WASHINGTON
>
> http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20040504-012834-2365r
>
>
> United Press International: USDA orders silence on mad cow in ...
> Published 5/11/2004 10:16 PM WASHINGTON
>
> http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20040511-015527-4917r
>
>
> Feds reviewing Texas mad cow breach - (United Press International)
> By Steve Mitchell United Press International.
> Washington, DC, May. 5 (UPI) -- The US Department ...
>
> http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20040505-064316-1509r.htm
>
>
>
> No mad cow tests at Texas firm in 2004
>
> By Steve Mitchell
> United Press International
> Published 5/14/2004 11:06 AM
>
> WASHINGTON, May 14 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture did not
> test any cows for mad cow disease in the past seven months at the same
> Texas facility where federal testing policies for the deadly disorder
> were violated last month, United Press International has learned.
>
> http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20040513-065401-5285r
>
> USDA Ordered that Suspected Mad Cow in Texas Not Be Tested.
> USDA's San Angelo vets and techs ordered not to test suspect cow.
> by Daniel ...
>
> USDA Ordered that Suspected Mad Cow in Texas Not Be Tested
>
> USDA's San Angelo vets and techs ordered not to test suspect cow
>
> by Daniel Yovich on 5/5/04 for Meatingplace.com
>
> It was a trio of Agriculture Department staff < two veterinarians and one
> technician < who were supposed to follow agency protocol by testing what
> they determined was an older cow that likely had a central nervous system
> disorder when it arrived April 27 at the Lone Star Beef plant in San
> Angelo,
> Texas.
>
> One government source and another within the industry, both of whom
> say they
> have firsthand knowledge of events that day, said the final call on
> not to
> test the animal was made by an APHIS supervisor in Austin, Texas,
> after an
> APHIS technician at the plant advised her supervisor she was preparing to
> take a tissue sample from the culled animal for BSE testing. Both sources
> spoke to Meatingplace.com on condition of anonymity, and USDA
> officials did
> not return telephone calls Tuesday seeking comment and confirmation of
> the
> allegations.
>
> What USDA has confirmed is that the agency's standard operating
> procedures
> call for animals condemned due to a possible CNS disorder be kept until
> APHIS officials can collect samples for testing. That clearly was done in
> this case. The animal sat for more than 90 minutes and less than two
> hours
> after it was condemned, stunned and killed before the APHIS tech told
> Lone
> Star Beef management to dispose of the animal "in a routine manner."
>
> As a condemned cow, there was never any chance that the meat from the
> animal
> would enter the food chain. What is less clear is what went wrong at USDA
> and why.
>
> USDA spokesman Ed Loyd said the agency was conducting an investigation
> into
> the issue < attempting to establish a timeline and chronology of who was
> involved and who made the decisions last week in San Angelo.
>
> What is clear, in the mind of the two sources who spoke to
> Meatingplace.com
> , is that all three of USDA's key decision makers on the ground at the
> San
> Angelo plant were overruled by a staffer with more authority in Austin.
>
> "Everybody expected a test, and then the word came that there wasn't
> going
> to be any test," one source said. "I'm not sure why that decision was
> made,
> and I'm not going to speculate about the reasons for it. But I think what
> USDA is going to find is that the final decision was made up the food
> chain,
> and I think a lot of people will be interested in why that decision was
> made."
>
>
> http://www.organicconsumers.org/madcow/notest050704.cfm
>
>
> Forums - Congressman Waxman's Letter and Texas Mad Cow
> June 12th, 2004, 01:59 PM, #1. Terry. Registered User. Join Date: Oct
> 2002. Location:
> Bacliff, Texas. Posts: 408. Congressman Waxman's Letter and Texas Mad
> Cow. ...
>
> http://www.prwatch.org/forum/showthread.php?t=4292&goto=nextnewest
>
> MORE on that OTHER LITTLE OLD MAD COW FROM TEXAS (real player)
>
> Assigned vet wanted it tested.
>
> Gov. insp. over rided and decided not to test.
>
> SYSTEM broken around the Country.
>
> PROBLEMS NATION WIDE!
>
> APHIS inspectors do not follow through.
>
> http://www.npr.org/dmg/dmg.php?prgCode=ME&showDate=07-May2004&segNum=8&mediaPref=RM
>
>
> FDA LAME EXCUSE
>
> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
> Statement
> May 4, 2004
>
> Media Inquiries: 301-827-6242
> Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA
>
>
> Statement on Texas Cow With Central Nervous System Symptoms
>
> On Friday, April 30 th , the Food and Drug Administration learned that
> a cow with central nervous system symptoms had been killed and shipped
> to a processor for rendering into animal protein for use in animal feed.
>
> FDA's investigation showed that the animal in question had already
> been rendered into "meat and bone meal" (a type of protein animal
> feed). Over the weekend FDA was able to track down all the implicated
> material. That material is being held by the firm, which is
> cooperating fully with FDA.
>
>
> http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/news/2004/NEW01061.html
>
> OOPS...
>
>
> Letter and Texas Mad Cow
> Forums > Books by PR Watch Staff > Mad Cow USA > Congressman Waxman's
> Letter
> and Texas Mad Cow. View Full Version : Congressman Waxman's ...
>
> http://www.prwatch.org/forum/archive/index.php/t-4359.html
>
>
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: MAD COW CONFIRMED TEXAS COW (rumor)
> Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2004 17:16:23 -0600
> From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
> Reply-To: BSE-L
>
>
> http://www.vegsource.com/talk/madcow/messages/93583.html
>
>
> Re: MAD COW CONFIRMED TEXAS COW (rumor)
>
> http://www.vegsource.com/talk/madcow/messages/93584.html
>
>
> BSE ( test results ;-) Texas Animal Health Commission News Release ...
>
> Counting that one and the other positive, positive, inconclusive, and
> finally
> declared and documented as negative cows (NO WB), the USA in my ...
>
> http://www.vegsource.com/talk/madcow/messages/93884.html
>
> Re: ''INCONCLUSIVE'' IS NEGATIVE or so they claim...OFFICIAL ...
>
> would not be telling us of any 'inconclusive', but > they ... because
> the likelihood >
> of it > being positive was very ... tell you why, they wanted a
> negative so bad ...
>
> http://www.vegsource.com/talk/madcow/messages/93990.html
>
>
> Forums - Mad Cow USA
> ... 2nd Positive Inconclusive Negative For Bse Usa; 1st Positive
> Inconclusive Is Negative; ...
> PUBLIC COMMENTS ON USDAíS DOWNED ANIMAL BAN: [Docket No. ...
>
> http://www.prwatch.org/forum/archive/index.php/f-11.html
>
>
> Forums - Dr. Ron DeHaven DOING THE MAD COW TEXAS TWO-STEP AGAIN
> ... Dec 2, that IHC- DOES NOT MEAN IT IS NEGATIVE. ... so many
> errors (i am assuming X meant
> inconclusive), why are ... at the sheep that tested IHC- but were
> positive''. ...
>
> http://www.prwatch.org/forum/showthread.php?t=5264
>
>
> CJD WATCH... positive and histopathology and immunohistochemistry
> negative) with the ... 2005 positive
> The case was confirmed on ... Origin of infection: unknown or
> inconclusive. ...
>
> http://disc.server.com/discussion.cgi?disc=167318;article=1927;title=CJD%20WATCH
>
>
> Re: BSE 'INCONCLUSIVE' IN USA, FROM TEXAS ???
>
> ... Date: February 1, 2005 at 3:08 pm PST. In Reply to: Re: BSE
> 'INCONCLUSIVE' IN USA,
> FROM TEXAS ??? posted by TSS on November 19, 2004 at 9:41 am: ...
>
> http://www.vegsource.com/talk/madcow/messages/93989.html
>
>
> BSE 'INCONCLUSIVE' IN USA, FROM TEXAS ???
>
> http://www.vegsource.com/talk/madcow/messages/93563.html
>
>
> Forums - View Single Post - Re: MAD COW CONFIRMED TEXAS COW (rumor ......
> Harrison >> November 22, 2004 >> >> Test results for the BSE
> inconclusive are not ...
> was just this...damn, >> i will not sleep tonight/// >> TSS >> >>
>
> http://www.prwatch.org/forum/showpost.php?p=12049&postcount=3
>
>
> Forums - Bse Usa 'inconclusive' Test Reported Nov. 18, 2004
> ... Because this test is only an inconclusive test result, we ...
> animal presented for slaughter is sampled for BSE, holding the ...
> tss USDA News oc.news@usda.gov
>
> http://www.prwatch.org/forum/showthread.php?t=5160
>
>
> Nebraska Outdoor Forum: Study of Atypical Bse Project Number: 3625
> .. ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/dec04/ TSS Terry S ... mice from the
> experimental cow brain
> had been inconclusive. ... clinical signs of brain lesions
> characteristic of BSE. ...
>
> http://www.ngpc.state.ne.us/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=12;t=000385
>
>
>
> CJD WATCH
>
> ... that the USA is now facing, an epidemic of > ''INCONCLUSIVE''
> TSEs...TSS > > Terry
> S ... 5:15 this evening, we were notified that an >> inconclusive BSE
> test result ...
>
>
> http://disc.server.com/discussion.cgi?disc=167318;article=1490;title=CJD%20WATCH
>
>
>
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: US CHOICE OF MAD COW TEST QUESTIONED
> Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2004 16:12:06 -0600
> From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
> Reply-To: BSE-L
>
>
> US CHOICE OF MAD COW TEST QUESTIONED
>
> The US plans to measure the incidence
> of mad cow disease in its cattle with a
> test that its own officials have said gives
> too many false positives. Some experts
> fear the choice reflects an official desire
> to downplay the impact of the first
> positive BSE tests that emerge, when
> they turn out not to be confirmed.
>
> Last week the US Department of
> Agriculture (USDA) approved two tests,
> including one made by the Californian
> firm BioRad, for screening up to 300,000
> cattle for BSE, starting in July. No more
> tests will be licensed for months.
> Announcing the testing plan, chief
> veterinary officer Ron DeHaven cautioned
> that "there will be positive results",
> many of them false.
>
> BioRad's antibody-based test for the
> prion protein that causes BSE has given
> numerous false positives in Belgium and
> Germany. And in Japan only 8 of 113 cattle
> that repeatedly tested positive with
> BioRad were confirmed by slower tests
> that do not give false positives.
>
> The USDA even wrote last May that
> "it is well known" that tests like
> BioRad's give false positives. It states
> that other kinds of quick tests are more
> suitable for testing for very low levels of
> BSE, which are expected in the US.
>
> The second quick test approved by
> the USDA, made by Maine-based IDEXX,
> could also in theory give false positives.
> It remains unclear how reliable it is,
> because there has been little practical
> experience with the test so far. It is not
> yet approved for use in Europe, where
> the vast majority of BSE tests are done.
>
>
> Debora MacKenzie,
> Brussels correspondent,
> New Scientist.
> tel +32-2-245-0412
> fax +32-2-245-0552
> mobile +32-49-754-0444
>
> http://www.newscientist.com/
> =======================
>
> Greetings,
>
> odd that the USDA et al approves two US-OWNED tests that are
> _known_ to give false positives, when they know other rapid
> TSE test are much more reliable. IT's like they purposely do
> not want to find any TSE in the USA bovine, so they pick the
> worst test available. The USDA own experts think BioRad is
> not suitable for supposedly BSE/TSE free and low incidence
> areas, so why did they choose this test and or the IDEXX,
> which i dont think has even been submitted to the EU for evaluation
> and has no commercial experiance to my knowledge. You could
> almost get the feeling they are deliberately skipping over
> Prionics for the least supperior TSE rapid test. I believe
> the Canadians finally did choose prionics. maybe paul or marcus
> might comment? seems if North America is going to be a
> consolidated BEEF trading market amongst themselves and expect
> to export there tainted products everywhere, they could at least
> come up with the same TSE rapid Test. how can one use a less
> reliable test and the other use a more reliable test, and it
> all be the same? i know there is a word Dehaven used, but it
> slips my mind now, (consolidated markets) that's not it,
> but you get the just of my thoughts, i think;-)...TSS
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
> To: BSE-L
> Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2004 6:57 PM
> Subject: Re: [BSE-L] FIRE UP THE PIT, THE FIRST BSE POSITIVE
> INCONCLUSIVE IS NEGATIVE
>
>
> > greetings list members,
> >
> > > -------- Original Message --------
> > > Subject: Re: ANOTHER POSSIBLE MAD COW CASE IN THE USA
> > > Date: Sat, 26 Jun 2004 13:55:42 -0500
> > > From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
> > > Reply-To: BSE-L
> > > To: BSE-L
> > > References:
> > >
> > >
> > snip...
> >
> > > on the other, i wonder if this is another faked incident like the
> feed
> > > bag
> > > event in texas a couple of years back ("the system worked!").
> surprise
> > > surprise this one won't be confirmed. in essence, a drill to train
> > > trading
> > > partners not to respond to a positive test kit result. dull the
> > > response of
> > > media and public. a steady drumbeat of "inconclusive" positives and
> > > anticlimatic followups 4-7 days later (say friday pm before 4th of
> july
> > > weekend) of which occasionally one will be positive as "expected" so
> > > as not
> > > to be newsworthy.
> > >
> > > the lack of detail makes it impossible for the press to follow up,
> > > "refused
> > > to identify if the
> > > suspect animal was a cow or a steer, its age, location or any other
> > > information. not going to be any tv crews swarming around a
> > > slaughterhouse
> > > or interviewing another dave lothan. total control. just a statistic.
> > >
> > > problem solved...
> > >
> > > REFERENCE PURINA MILL INCIDENCE RIGHT AFTER THE INFAMOUS
> > > 50 STATE USA BSE EMERGENCY CONFERENCE CALL OF JAN. 9, 2001
> >
> >
> > snip...
> >
> >
> > TOM's TAKE TODAY;
> >
> > >i don't share your view (patty hearst syndrome?) that usda has been
> > >transparent or honest. how could they be unaware, during the long
> selection
> > >process leading to BioRad, of the very low false positive rates
> observed in
> > >Europe, yet the chief guy at usda has repeatedly turned the rates
> > >completely upside down, from 1 in 1000 to 999 in a 1000 for a biorad
> > >positive being confirmed positive.
> > >
> > >while i don't know how many false positive or total tests japan has
> done,
> > >the rates you cite from japan are not consistent with europe or
> usda. even
> > >at face value, you are quoting a 1 in 5 chance of confirmation. with 2
> > >cows, that is 16/25 of both being negative or 9/25 of one or more true
> > >positives, that's 36%, making a liar out of the usda guy (who is
> not a pr
> > >person but way up in the professional staff).
> > >
> > >for a $20 rapid test kit it makes sense to run a presumptive positive
> > >another couple of times the same day. this lowers the rate to 1 in
> 100,000
> > >without the ridiculous 4-7 day delay which in my opinion is solely
> intended
> > >to make yet another Friday pm announcement on the biggest meat buying
> > >weekend of the year (since they can't stall until christmas eve
> this time)
> > >plus give them 3-6 days to ramp up their pr engine plus tip off
> friends in
> > >the commodities pit again.
> > >
> > >i think it is a little manipulative not to disclose the ages of the
> cow and
> > >whether they are from the same test lab. like the market is not making
> > >speculation now?
> > >
> > >it is very very clear to me that they do not want to test large
> numbers of
> > >cows in the manner of japan and europe. this is not because of kit
> > >economics but because every last country that has done so, has
> found higher
> > >numbers than their ag agencies had ever indicated possible.
> > >
> > >while we can wait for their next announcement, the truth is we have
> no idea
> > >whether a non-confirmation will be the truth because testing is a
> totally
> > >closed agency shop, eg Creekstone.
> > >
> > > they would never never never allow a university lab like
> prusiner's to get
> > >their hands on this sample. why don't you throw your weight behind
> getting
> > >some sample retested in europe with biorad and prionics and by
> prusiner,
> > >just to restore confidence in usda?
> > >
> > >i do feel it is possible for there to be glitches in start-up with
> so new
> > >many labs getting going, though i am not aware of anything technically
> > >groudnbreaking, quite the contrary, about the biorad tests
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> >
> > NOW, why are we using the BIO-RAD _if_ PRIONICS is better?
> >
> > OR maybe PRIONICS is not as complicated as BIO-RAD?
> >
> > either way, we have some 8,585 (BSE-expanded) test so far and the
> > 1st of 2 positive ''inconclusives'' in the 1st month is negative.
> OH, don't
> > forget about the mad cow in TEXAS, that don't count though?
> > something seems terribly wrong here.
> >
> > TSS
> >
> >
> > Terry S. Singeltary Sr. wrote:
> >
> > >
> > >
> > > Release No. 0272.04
> > >
> > > Contact:
> > > USDA Press Office (202) 720-4623
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Statement By Deputy Administrator Dr. John Clifford For The Animal
> And
> > > Plant Health Inspection Service
> > >
> > > June 30, 2004
> > >
> > > At approximately, 3:45 p.m. today, we were notified by the USDA
> > > National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa
> that the
> > > inconclusive screening test sample reported on June 25, tested
> negative
> > > for BSE upon confirmatory testing.
> > >
> > > NVSL used the world-recognized gold-standard test for BSE, the
> > > immunohistochemistry test to confirm this finding.
> > >
> > >
> > > http://www.usda.gov/Newsroom/0272.04.html
> > >
> > >
>
> simply amazing that countries are willing to expose there people to
> all this TSE...
>
>
> TSS
>
>
>
>
> Terry S. Singeltary Sr. wrote:
>
>> ##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
>> #####################
>>
>> EMBARGOED for release
>> 9 a.m. (EST) Thursday, Feb. 24, 2005
>>
>> www.NotinMyFood.org
>>
>> Consumers Union asks feds to retest suspect mad cow after crucial
>> test omitted
>>
>> USDA urged to follow internationally recognized procedures
>>
>> WASHINGTON, DC. -- Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports,
>> today asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to retest a cow
>> suspected in November 2004 of having mad cow disease, using a
>> critical, internationally recognized test that the agency failed to
>> use. The test, called the Western blot, is used by authorities in
>> Japan and Europe when making a final determination as to whether a
>> suspect cow has the fatal brain-wasting affliction, which can be
>> passed on to humans.
>>
>> A Consumers Union delegation met earlier this month with USDA
>> officials and today issued a letter to USDA Secretary Mike Johanns
>> urging the agency to revise its testing methods. CU is asking the
>> agency to retest the November cow using the Western blot and to send
>> samples from the cow to the United Kingdom for an independent
>> evaluation.
>>
>> Given the potential consequences to both public health and the
>> cattle industry if this brain-wasting disease were to become
>> established here, it is extremely important that every scientifically
>> justifiable step be taken to prevent it, said the letter signed by
>> Michael Hansen, PhD., a biologist with Consumers Union and
>> spokesperson for its www.NotinMyFood.org campaign and Jean Halloran,
>> director of CUs Consumer Policy Institute.
>>
>> The USDA limited its confirmatory testing in November 2004 to the
>> immunohistochemistry (IHC) test, which it describes as the gold
>> standard. The result of the IHC test was negative. USDA did not
>> perform the Western blot test, even though it had previously used
>> both IHC and the Western blot test in confirming the first U.S. case
>> of mad cow disease, from Washington State in December, 2003. The USDA
>> also sent material from the 2003 Washington State cow to the United
>> Kingdom for further review of its results.
>>
>> Scientists in Japan and Belgium have reported that suspect cows may
>> be negative on the IHC and still register as positive on the Western
>> blot. Such cows are universally regarded as infected.
>>
>> The IHC test is more subjective than the Western blot test, relying
>> on the judgment of a skilled scientist is assessing the appearance of
>> thin slices of brain material under a microscope, Hansen said. The
>> Western blot test is more objective, with results that can be read by
>> any technician. In the U.S., the IHC test is performed by a USDA
>> scientist at a USDA laboratory in Ames, Iowa.
>>
>> The cow USDA assessed in November 2004 had come up as suspect for
>> mad cow disease in two runs of the Biorad quick test. The Biorad
>> test has been used to screen over 200,000 cows for mad cow disease
>> since USDA began a new testing initiative in July 2004. However, all
>> international authorities agree that the Biorad screening test can
>> give a false positive result. Thus it must be confirmed by other
>> tests. CU urges USDA to use both Western blot and IHC for confirmation.
>>
>> The USDA should operate out of an abundance of caution in its
>> efforts to keep the U.S. food supply safe from (mad cow disease),
>> the letter to Johanns stated. The experience of the United Kingdom,
>> where millions of cattle have been destroyed, beef exports blocked
>> for many years and 147 people have died, painfully demonstrates the
>> consequences of insufficient action to prevent the spread of mad
>> cow disease.
>>
>> # # #
>>
>>
>> Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, is an independent,
>> nonprofit testing and information organization serving only the
>> consumer. We are a comprehensive source of unbiased advice about
>> products and services, personal finance, health nutrition, and other
>> consumer concerns. Since 1936, our mission has been to test products,
>> inform the public, and protect consumers.
>>
>>
>> ===================================
>>
>> February 24, 2005
>>
>> Hon. Mike Johanns
>> Secretary of Agriculture
>> US Department of Agriculture
>> 1400 Independence Avenue, SW
>> Washington, DC 20250
>>
>> Dear Secretary Johanns:
>>
>> We appreciate having had the opportunity to meet with you on February
>> 9, 2005 with the Food Safety Coalition. Because we had limited time
>> on that occasion, we are following up with a letter explaining our
>> concerns on one issue that is especially important to Consumers
>> Union: USDAs bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known
>> as mad cow disease, testing procedures.
>>
>> For reasons we explain below, we urge USDA to expand its testing
>> protocol to bring it in line with those of Europe and Japan, by
>> including a test called the Western blot when evaluating cows
>> suspected of mad cow disease, such as the suspect cow identified in
>> November, 2004. Under current USDA testing protocols, it is possible
>> that USDA will miss cases of mad cow disease that could be confirmed
>> through additional testing.
>>
>> As Secretary of Agriculture, you face the important and very
>> difficult responsibility of preventing mad cow disease in the United
>> States. Given the potential consequences to both public health and
>> the cattle industry if this brain-wasting disease were to become
>> established here, it is extremely important that every scientifically
>> justifiable step be taken to prevent it. It is especially critical to
>> understand to what extent the disease may already be present in the
>> United States, now that one case was discovered in Washington State
>> in December, 2003.
>>
>> As you know, the USDA has tested some 230,000 cattle since June,
>> 2004, for mad cow disease. Although this seems like a large number,
>> it is still less than 1% of the 35 million cattle slaughtered
>> annually in the US. The number of cows tested should be increased.
>>
>> Consumers Union also believes that USDAs testing protocol should be
>> expanded. USDAs testing protocol specifically does not include the
>> Western blot test (accompanied by a sodium phosphotungstinic acid
>> [NaPTA] precipitation step), a test used by all European Union
>> countries and Japan. When a cow in the USDA testing program is
>> considered suspect as a result of positives in two runs of the Biorad
>> quick test, as happened in November, 2004, it is sent to the USDA
>> Ames Iowa laboratory for further evaluation. That evaluation includes
>> only an immunohistochemistry test (IHC), which USDA refers to as
>> the gold standard. We disagree with that characterization. Recent
>> studies in Belgium and Japan have shown that the IHC test misses some
>> cases of mad cow disease. A letter in last months Veterinary
>> Pathology, from one of the worlds leading authorities on mad cow
>> disease testing, pointed out that the Western blot, when accompanied
>> by the NaPTA step, is far more sensitive than IHC in detecting the
>> mad cow disease infectious agent .
>>
>> In fact, USDA used both the IHC and Western blot tests to confirm its
>> first case of mad cow disease, in December 2003. According to a USDA
>> publication, the Western blot test was crucial to identifying that
>> case. It is thus difficult to understand why USDA did not again use
>> the Western blot test along with IHC on its second suspect cow.
>>
>> We therefore urge you to go back and retest--using the Western blot
>> test with the NaPTA step--the suspect cow that was identified in
>> November, 2004, and to send appropriate material from that cow to the
>> United Kingdom laboratories for an independent evaluation. We further
>> urge you to revise USDA policy and routinely use the Western blot
>> test with the NAPTA step, as well as the immunohistochemistry (IHC)
>> test, for confirmation of suspect mad cow cases.
>>
>> The USDA should operate out of an abundance of caution in its
>> efforts to keep the US food supply safe from BSE. The experience of
>> the United Kingdom, where millions of cattle had to be destroyed,
>> beef exports were blocked for many years, and 147 people have died,
>> painfully demonstrates the consequences of insufficient action to
>> prevent the spread of mad cow disease.
>>
>> The trust of American consumers, and of foreign markets, in the
>> safety of American beef, rests on having confidence that USDA is
>> utilizing the best science available, comparable to that used in
>> other scientifically advanced countries.
>>
>> A copy of a prior letter on this subject, which we sent to Dr. John
>> R. Clifford, Deputy Administrator of the Animal Plant Health
>> Inspection Service, is attached and we understand is in the process
>> of being answered.
>>
>> We look forward to hearing from you about whether you will direct
>> USDA to retest the November 2004 suspect cow and revise USDA policy
>> to routinely use the Western blot as well as IHC on all suspect animals.
>>
>> Sincerely,
>>
>> Jean Halloran, Director Michael K. Hansen, Ph.D.
>> Consumer Policy Institute Senior Research Associate
>>
>>
>> Cc: Dr. John R. Clifford
>>
>> =====================================
>>
>> ooops...
>>
>> TERRY'S TEXAS MAD COWs STILL LIVES...TSS
>>
>> ######### https://listserv.kaliv.uni-karlsruhe.de/warc/bse-l.html
>> ##########
>>
>>
>
>
> ######### https://listserv.kaliv.uni-karlsruhe.de/warc/bse-l.html
> ##########
>

######### https://listserv.kaliv.uni-karlsruhe.de/warc/bse-l.html ##########






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