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From: TSS ()
Subject: Joint Statement by Minister Andy Mitchell, Canada, and Secretary Johanns, BSE USDA 31 Mar 2005
Date: March 31, 2005 at 11:16 am PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Joint Statement by Minister Andy Mitchell, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and Secretary Mike Johanns, United States Department of Agriculture
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 13:19:33 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

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

Release No. 0110.05
Office of Communications

Joint Statement by Minister Andy Mitchell, Agriculture and Agri-Food
Canada, and Secretary Mike Johanns, United States Department of Agriculture

March 31, 2005 - Cartagena, Colombia

"We welcomed today this important opportunity to meet on the margins of
the 27th Cairns Group Ministerial meeting to discuss matters of mutual
importance to agriculture in our two countries.

"During this meeting we discussed the importance of increased political
commitment in order to achieve an ambitious conclusion to the WTO
agricultural negotiations. We also discussed the need for our continued
cooperation to keep the momentum of the talks on track in lead up to the
Hong Kong Ministerial meeting in December 2005.

"Additionally, we discussed BSE broadly and, in particular, the need to
build additional public awareness about the effectiveness of the risk
mitigation measures related to BSE that have been taken in North
America. In this regard, we recognize that it is important to promote an
increased awareness of the coordinated and effective approach that has
been undertaken to deal with BSE risk in North America, and how the
measures in place effectively protect human and animal health.

"We discussed how the multiple mitigation measures related to BSE have
been in place for a sufficiently long period for us to be able to
confirm that these initiatives to protect human health are working. We
recognized that Canada and the United States have had equivalent feed
bans in place since 1997, and that their effectiveness has been
established through several comprehensive reviews that have taken place
over the past year.

"We further noted that the minimal prevalence of BSE in the North
American herd has been corroborated by the results of the intensified
surveillance measures taken. As well, we acknowledged that the ultimate
measure for ensuring consumer safety, namely the removal of specified
risk materials from the human food chain has been in effect for months.
As a result of these measures, we can now substantiate what we have been
asserting since BSE was detected in North America almost two years ago:
North American beef is safe for consumers.

"We reasserted our commitment to the normalization of trade in live
cattle and beef products in North America. We discussed the status of
USDA's next step in resuming full trade with Canada, namely, moving
forward in an expeditious manner in the development of a plan to permit
the importation of animals 30 months of age and older for slaughter, as
well as meat from those animals. We agreed that decisions will be made
on the latest scientific information to assure that the protection of
public and animal health remains the highest priority for both of our

"We also discussed other issues relating to the need for increased
export opportunities for our agriculture sectors, both of which depend
on access to foreign markets to ensure their prosperity. We appreciated
the opportunity to share ideas about the pace and potential impact of
WTO agriculture negotiations, as well as about the challenges posed by
BSE in North America, and we look forward to meeting again."

Last Modified: 03/31/2005

THESE people actually believe what they are saying is true i think.
So much for TSE science.
SAD state of affairs...


Statement on Texas Cow With Central Nervous System Symptoms

horizonal rule

FDA 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, which is responsible for the safety of animal feed, immediately
began an investigation. On Friday and throughout the weekend, FDA
investigators inspected the slaughterhouse, the rendering facility, the
farm where the animal came from, and the processor that initially
received the cow from the slaughterhouse.

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.

Cattle with central nervous system symptoms are of particular interest
because cattle with bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE, also known
as "mad cow disease," can exhibit such symptoms. In this case, there is
no way now to test for BSE. But even if the cow had BSE, FDA's animal
feed rule would prohibit the feeding of its rendered protein to other
ruminant animals (e.g., cows, goats, sheep, bison).


What GAO Found
United States Government Accountability Office
Why GAO Did This Study
Accountability Integrity Reliability
To view the full product, including the scope
and methodology, click on the link above.
For more information, contact Robert A.
Robinson at (202) 512-3841 or
Highlights of GAO-05-101, a report to
congressional requesters
February 2005
FDAs Management of the Feed Ban Has
Improved, but Oversight Weaknesses
Continue to Limit Program Effectiveness
FDA has made needed improvements to its management and oversight of the
feed-ban rule in response to GAOs 2002 report, but program weaknesses
continue to limit the effectiveness of the ban and place U.S. cattle at
risk of
spreading BSE. Improvements made include FDA establishing a uniform
method of conducting compliance inspections and training FDA inspectors,
as well as state inspectors who carry out inspections under agreements with
FDA, on the new method. FDA also implemented new data-entry procedures
that are designed to more reliably track feed-ban inspection results.
Consequently, FDA has a better management tool for overseeing compliance
with the feed-ban rule and a data system that better conforms to standard
database management practices. However, various program weaknesses
continue to undermine the nations firewall against BSE. For example:
" FDA acknowledges that there are more feed manufacturers and
transporters, on-farm mixers, and other feed industry businesses that are
subject to the feed ban than the approximately 14,800 firms inspected to
date; however, it has no uniform approach for identifying additional
" FDA has not reinspected approximately 2,800, or about 19 percent, of
those businesses, in 5 or more years; several hundred are potentially
high risk. FDA does not know whether those businesses now use
prohibited material in their feed.
" FDAs feed-ban inspection guidance does not include instructions to
routinely sample cattle feed to test for potentially prohibited material as
part of the compliance inspection. Instead, it includes guidance for
inspectors to visually examine facilities and equipment and review
invoices and other documents.
" Feed intended for export is not required to carry a caution label Do not
feed to cattle or other ruminants, when the label would be required if
the feed were sold domestically. Without that statement, feed containing
prohibited material could be inadvertently or intentionally diverted back
to U.S. cattle or given to foreign cattle.
" FDA has not always alerted USDA and states when it learned that cattle
may have been given feed that contained prohibited material. This lapse
has been occurring even though FDAs guidance calls for such
" Although research suggests that cattle can get BSE from ingesting even a
small amount of infected material, inspectors do not routinely inspect or
review cleanout procedures for vehicles used to haul cattle feed.
More than 5 million cattle across
Europe have been killed to stop the
spread of bovine spongiform
encephalopathy (BSE), commonly
called mad cow disease. Found in
26 countries, including Canada and
the United States, BSE is believed
to spread through animal feed that
contains protein from BSE-infected
animals. Consuming meat from
infected cattle has also been linked
to the deaths of about 150 people
worldwide. In 1997, the Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) issued
a feed-ban rule prohibiting certain
animal protein (prohibited
material) in feed for cattle and
other ruminant animals. FDA and
38 states inspect firms in the feed
industry to enforce this critical
firewall against BSE. In 2002, GAO
reported a number of weaknesses
in FDAs enforcement of the feed
ban and recommended corrective
actions. This report looks at FDAs
efforts since 2002 to ensure
industry compliance with the feed
ban and protect U.S. cattle.
What GAO Recommends
GAO recommends FDA, among
other things, develop procedures
for finding additional firms subject
to the feed-ban and using tests to
augment inspections. FDA said the
study was thorough but disagreed
on four of nine recommendations.
GAO continues to believe that,
given the discovery of BSE in North
America and the oversight gaps
described in the report, the
recommended actions are needed
to protect U.S. cattle from BSE.

Highlights -

GAO-05-51, FOOD SAFETY: USDA and FDA Need to Better Ensure Prompt and
Complete Recalls of ...

... Discovery of an Animal in the United States Infected with BSE 39
Beef Recall Was Triggered by a BSE-Positive Sample from One Cow 39
Recall Begun in December ... Actions Related to the Discovery of an
Animal Infected with BSE 45 Table 4: USDA and FDA Actions on GAOs ...

"Controls Can Be Strengthened to Reduce the Risk of Disease Linked to
Unsafe Animal Feed" (GAO/RCED-00255).

GAO-02-183: Mad Cow Disease: Improvements in the Animal Feed Ban and
Other Regulatory Areas Would Strengthen U.S. Prevention Efforts

GAO-02-183, Mad Cow Disease: Improvements in the Animal Feed Ban and
Other Regulatory Areas Would Strengthen U.S. Prevention Efforts

September 2000 FOOD SAFETY
Controls Can Be
Strengthened to
Reduce the Risk of
Disease Linked to
Unsafe Animal Feed


In 1997, FDA issued a regulation to prevent BSE in the United
States. To assess compliance with this regulation, FDA and state inspectors
have visited over 9,100 firms, such as farms that produce their own feed
and rendering plants that process meat scraps for animal feed. Inspectors
found that, among other things, nearly 1,700 firms were not aware of the
regulation and thus could produce or use animal feed that was not in

Page 11 GAO/RCED-00-255 Safety of Animal Feed
BSE Regulation Has Not
Been Fully Implemented by
the Feed Industry
To determine how firms were implementing the June 1997 BSE regulation,
FDA, with the assistance of state officials, inspected over 9,100 firms
January 1998 through January 2000. Table 1 shows the types and number of
firms inspected.
Table 1: Types of Firms Inspected
a Includes haulers and distributors of feed, and firms or persons who
receive prohibited
materials directly from manufacturers.
Source: FDA.
The BSE inspection results revealed that 1,688 of the 9,184 firms were not
aware of the new BSE feed regulation. Furthermore, inspection results of
the 2,481 firms that were identified as handling prohibited material
Type of firm Number of firms inspected
Licensed feed mill 1,029
Nonlicensed feed mill 4,901
Ruminant feeder 1,400
Dairy farm 495
Renderer 211
Protein blender 121
Othera 1,027
Total 9,184
Page 12 GAO/RCED-00-255 Safety of Animal Feed
material that is not allowed to be fed to ruminantsrevealed some serious
deficiencies. For example:
" Required cautionary statement not on product label. Of the firms
inspected, 699, or 28 percent, did not label their products with the
required cautionary statement that the feed should not be fed to cattle
or other ruminants.
" Required records not properly maintained. One-hundred and thirtyseven
firms, or about 6 percent, did not properly maintain the name and
address of the consignee of their products, which would make it difficult
to trace sales of contaminated feed.
In addition, of the 1,771 firms that manufacture both prohibited and
nonprohibited material, 361, or 20 percent, did not have a system in place
to prevent commingling and cross-contamination, as required by the
Because renderers and FDA-licensed feed mills are at the greatest risk of
introducing BSE to a wide segment of the animal feed market, the
inspection results for these firms were particularly disturbing. For
" Twenty-three of the 211 renderers inspected, about 11 percent, were not
aware of the BSE regulation.
" Twenty-seven of the 163 renderers that handle prohibited material,
about 17 percent, did not label their products with the required
cautionary statement.
" Ten of the 63 renderers that manufacture both prohibited and
nonprohibited material, about 16 percent, did not have a system in place
to prevent commingling.
The results for the FDA-licensed feed mills were similar. For example,
" Sixty-three of the 1,023 mills, about 6 percent, were not aware of the
" Eighty-five of the 409 mills that handle prohibited material, about 21
percent, did not label their products with the required cautionary
" Thirty-seven of the 300 mills that manufacture both prohibited and
nonprohibited material, about 12 percent, did not have a system in place
to prevent commingling.
FDA told us that as a result of the BSE inspections, two warning letters
have been issued and five firms have voluntarily recalled products. As of
July 2000, however, FDA had not completed its analysis of the inspection
results and had not updated its enforcement strategy for achieving industry
compliance with the BSE regulation. FDA also told us that the next rounds
of BSE inspections will include only those firms that handle prohibited
material. In addition, FDA told us it will direct its efforts towards those
firms or segments of the industry that are not in compliance with the
FDA Has Not Established a
Time Frame for Issuing a
New Regulation to
Strengthen Controls for
Microbial Contamination
FDA is drafting a new regulation to strengthen controls over bacterial and
other contaminants in animal feed but has not established a timetable for
its issuance. FDA told us the new regulation is intended to limit
contamination in feed ingredients and will require manufacturers to (1)
evaluate all hazards associated with their feed ingredients, including but
not limited to microbial hazards; (2) determine which hazards pose a risk
to the safety of the product; and (3) establish controls to minimize these
risks. FDA also told us the new regulation would be modeled after the
hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) management practices
currently followed by nearly all firms that handle meat, poultry, and
Recent studies of animal feed demonstrate the need for this new
regulation. For example, several recent studies by USDA and others show
evidence of Salmonella in animal feed and in rendered animal proteins that
often become ingredients in animal feed.
No Regulations Issued to
Safeguard the Transport of
Animal Feed
As of July 2000, the Department of Transportation had not issued
regulations to ensure the safety of food, including animal feed, during
transport by rail vehicles or trucks, as directed by the Sanitary Food
Transportation Act of 1990. Transportation officials pursued a number
of. ...

snip... full text ;

suppressed peer review of Harvard study October 31, 2002

the youngest age of BSE case to date is 20 months old; As at: 31 May
2003 Year of onset Age youngest case (mnths) Age 2nd youngest case
(mnths) Age 2nd oldest case (yrs.mnths) Age oldest case (yrs.mnths) 1986
30 33 5.03 5.07 1987 30 31 9.09 10.00 1988 24 27 10.02 11.01(2) 1989 21
24(4) 12.00(2) 15.04 1990 24(2) 26 13.03 14.00 1991 24 26(3) 14.02 17.05
1992 20 26 15.02 16.02 1993 29 30(3) 14.10 18.10 1994 30(2) 31(2) 14.05
16.07 1995 24 32 14.09 15.05 1996 29 30 15.07 17.02 1997 37(7) 38(3)
14.09 15.01 1998 34 36 14.07 15.05 1999 39(2) 41 13.07 13.10 2000 40 42
17.08 19.09 2001 48(2) 56 14.10 14.11 2002 51 52 15.08 15.09(2) 2003 50
62 11.11 14.11

The implications of the Swiss result for Britain, which has had the most
BSE, are complex. Only cattle aged 30 months or younger are eaten in
Britain, on the assumption, based on feeding trials, that cattle of that
age, even if they were infected as calves, have not yet accumulated
enough prions to be infectious. But the youngest cow to develop BSE on
record in Britain was 20 months old, showing some are fast incubators.
Models predict that 200-300 cattle under 30 months per year are infected
with BSE and enter the food chain currently in Britain. Of these 3-5
could be fast incubators and carrying detectable quantities of prion.



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