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From: TSS ()
Subject: Releasing mad-cow test results debated Susan Combs Texas Ag Comm wants to cover-up Texas mad cows
Date: July 27, 2005 at 6:51 am PST

July 27, 2005, 12:11AM

Releasing mad-cow test results debated
Do regulators protect market or consumers?
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

AP file
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns tours a Utah beef processing plant in May.

Mad cow found in U.S. cow from Texas 6/24

• The connection between mad cow disease and humans
(Requires Flash plug-in)

Phone hot lines:
• USDA meat and poultry hot line: 1-888-674-6854
• Regular updates at 1-866-4USDACO.

• USDA news release on BSE finding 6/24
• Active USDA meat recalls
• Overview of the disease

Video courtesy Associated Press. (Free Real Player required.)

News of mad cow disease alone can move markets, stall trade negotiations and prompt nations to grow more skeptical of American beef.

The most recent case in Texas proved to be no different.

Although beef markets reacted mildly in late June to the confirmation of the nation's first home-grown case, damage was done. Nations such as Taiwan and Indonesia quickly restricted beef purchases from the U.S.

The bottom line, industry observers say: The type and timing of the information released by regulators can make all the financial difference in the world to ranchers, meat packers or anyone whose livelihood is tied to the price of beef.

But trying to find consensus among state and federal agencies can be difficult, as two recently obtained letters from Texas regulators to the U.S. Department of Agriculture show.

In December 2004, a month after a U.S. animal tested inconclusive for the brain-wasting disease, the heads of the Texas Agriculture Department and Texas Animal Health Commission expressed concerns with how the USDA handles such cases.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs suggested federal regulators wait until animals are confirmed positive or negative before disclosing results to the public.

"While markets may bounce back, enormous amounts of money can be lost in the interim," Combs wrote. "In fact, during the last inconclusive announcement, it is estimated that the market dropped $25 per head on cattle, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses to our cattle industry."

Outside market hours
The heads of the Texas Animal Health Commission, however, said the USDA should continue to announce inconclusive test results immediately upon receiving them, outside of market hours.

"Experience has shown it is impossible to prevent rumors from any number of sources," wrote Bob Hillman, executive director of the Animal Health Commission, and Richard Taylor, chairman. "Uncertainties and rumors are far more damaging to the market than known facts."

Ideally, Hillman said in an interview, the government wouldn't release any results until all confirmatory testing is done. But he'd rather the announcements be made to preempt inevitable leaks.

"If you can't protect the data, put it out there," he said.

USDA spokeswoman Amy Spillman said the department makes announcements after markets close whenever an animal tests inconclusive as part of its efforts to be as transparent as possible.

Both state agencies did agree, however, on keeping a lid on information that could hurt markets.

Both said the USDA should work with market regulators, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission, to "identify and encourage implementation of penalties that will strongly discourage comments" by labs, test manufacturers, and others that could fuel volatility or damage the market.

The USDA already has safeguards in place because an internal watchdog that investigates illegal leaks turns over information to the Justice Department, a spokeswoman said.

But the suggestion by state officials smacks of the Texas food-disparagement law that gave rise to Texas ranchers' $10.3 million lawsuit against TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey, said Michael Hansen, a senior research associate with Consumers Union.

He questioned if state officials are too concerned about protecting the industry from the effects of negative news.

A split mission
The Texas Agriculture Department's comments aren't surprising, given its primary goal is to promote Texas agriculture. But the Texas Animal Health Commission also lists on its Web site that part of its mission is "to protect human health from animal diseases and conditions that are transmissible to people."

Humans who eat infected meat can contract a variant of the brain-wasting ailment, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

The Texas Animal Health Commission, much like the USDA, is split between its obligations to the public and to the cattle industry, Hansen said.

"It seems as though they're more concerned about trade and economic interest of the cattle industry then either human public health or animal public health," he said, adding that the disclosure of tests that come back inconclusive are in the public's interest. "I would think that the debacle over the November cow perfectly shows why you have to have a more open and transparent system."

Hillman declined to comment on Hansen's remarks.

Initial screening last year on the 12-year-old Texas Brahman crossbreed that was confirmed as infected came back inconclusive, but results from a different test were negative, so the USDA cleared the animal of the disease.

Last month, the agency's internal watchdog ordered a third type of test that came back positive. Pressure from consumers for more testing helped spur the USDA to retest the animal, consumer groups say.

"If the inconclusive wasn't announced, we may have never known if it was positive," Hansen said.

Cattle ranchers also want to shield the markets, and some say releasing the cow's origins could help.

Shane Sklar, director of the Independent Cattlemen's Association of Texas, said secrecy encourages ranchers to turn in suspect cattle for testing because they can avoid stigma associated with the disease, but it also fuels uncertainty in the markets.

"As a rancher, the only reason I would like to know is to put an end to the volatility in the marketplace, because it will either have a disruption and then we can go back to normal, or we don't have anything at all," he said. "But speculation adds to volatility in the market. From that point, I would like to know, but for other reasons I'm not as anxious."

Should public know?
Consumer groups have insisted the public should know the cow's origins, despite government officials' concerns for the privacy of the rancher.

If they knew which ranch the animal came from, ranchers could determine if they have a cow from the same ranch or purchased similar feed as the rancher involved.

"If we don't know where an infected cow comes from, we will always view these as isolated incidents when they may be connected and may be a sign of a larger problem in the U.S. industry," said Craig Culp, spokesman for the Washington-based Center for Food Safety.


>>>Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs suggested federal regulators wait until animals are confirmed positive or negative before disclosing results to the public.

"While markets may bounce back, enormous amounts of money can be lost in the interim," Combs wrote. "In fact, during the last inconclusive announcement, it is estimated that the market dropped $25 per head on cattle, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses to our cattle industry."<<<

Susan Combs by no means has public and consumer health at heart while she is protecting the cattle industry. She is oblivious to mad cow disease. Her soul purpose is to protect the cattle industry at all cost, including my mothers life (DOD 12/14/97), or maybe one of your family members from any strain of mad cow disease in TEXAS. SHE helped cover-up mad cow disease in TEXAS both on that inconclusive that was positive so many times it will make your head spin. PLUS, the other mad cow in TEXAS they rendered without testing at all, that came from the top out of Austin. THEY should be tried for murder. corporate homicide is what i call it. they knew for years, but kept on keeping on.

IF, that positive, positive, positive, inconclusive, negative, and then 8 months later POSITIVE BY WEYBRIDGE mad cow in TEXAS would not have been made public back in November, people like myself that KNEW that cow was positive and that the USDA/COMBs et al were covering it up due to lack of proper testing, IF that news would not have been brought fourth to the public, that cow would have NEVER tested positive for mad cow disease. it was the fact that the data that was put forth in the public domain, that the public came forth and demanded that the testing be done properly and retested. THIS is what the industry and Susan Combs does not want to happen. They wish to keep it private and to manipulate the markets to there benefit, and not release the mad cow data to the public. I wrote Susan Combs on many occasions about this positive, positive, positive, incl. neg., and finally POSITIVE TEXAS MAD COW and about the one that got away, but the only thing that Susan Combs does is send me back a bought and paid for rubber stamped letter from the USDA/Industry;

----- Original Message -----
From: SusanCombs
To: Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2005 11:56 AM
Subject: RE: no mad cow cover up in TEXAS???

Dear Mr. Singeltary:

Thank you for contacting the Texas Department of Agriculture about the isolated case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy found in a Texas cow. I can assure you there has been no cover up by the state’s cattle industry or the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has kept the public informed at every step in the process.

First and foremost, it is important to remember that the safety procedures worked. This animal was banned from the food or feed supply, and long-standing safeguards have been in place to protect public health. Because the animal was unable to walk, it was removed from the food supply and was processed at a facility that handles animals unsuitable for human consumption. The carcass was incinerated.

Texas and American cattle producers are committed to producing and ensuring a safe food product – the same safe product their families are consuming. As far back as the late 1980s, the cattle industry began working with the U.S. government to take precautions and establish firewalls to protect public and animal health from BSE.

The United States has had an active surveillance program for BSE since 1990 to test a representative sample of the adult cattle population in the United States. With the discovery of a Canadian cow in Washington state in 2003, USDA expanded the surveillance program to test hundreds of thousands of high risk animals The surveillance program is designed to specifically determine whether BSE exists in the U.S. cattle population and if so, at what level.

The number of tests under the surveillance program far exceeds the level recommend by the World Animal Health Organization. With the original goal of testing 268,000 animals in a year, USDA would be able to find the disease if it occurred in as few as 1 in 10 million adult cattle with a 99 percent confidence level. Since the beginning of the program in June 2004, USDA has tested more than 400,000 animals and found only this one case, which confirms estimates that the prevalence of this disease in the U.S. cattle population is extremely low.

In regards to this particular animal, the laboratory in Weybridge, England found a very low level of abnormal prion protein in the brain. In addition, the abnormalities were isolated and not consistent throughout the brain – making it possible for one sample to test negative while another sample might test positive, which was the reason for the varying results.

Our cattle producers are working hard to produce the safest beef product in the world, and their strong vigilance is a solid commitment to American consumers.


Susan Combs


From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr. []
Sent: Wednesday, July 13, 2005 12:11 PM
To: SusanCombs
Subject: no mad cow cover up in TEXAS???

Greetings Honorable Susan Combs,

no cover-up of mad cow disease in Texas ???

if not, then maybe you can explain the 7+ month delay in the announcement of the secret postive test on that postive, positive, inconclusive, negative, postive, cow that WAS going to be slaughtered for human consumption, but
THEN went down and was sent to the champion pet food plant.

OR maybe you can explain to me the mad cow that got away. the one MAD COW TEXAS rendered without testing at all.

please explain these things to me if there is no cover up of TEXAS MAD COW disease???

thank you,
with kindest regards,

I am sincerely,

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
P.O. Box 42
Bacliff, Texas USA 77518

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).

FDA is sending a letter to the firm summarizing its findings and informing the firm that FDA will not object to use of this material in swine feed only. If it is not used in swine feed, this material will be destroyed. Pigs have been shown not to be susceptible to BSE. If the firm agrees to use the material for swine feed only, FDA will track the material all the way through the supply chain from the processor to the farm to ensure that the feed is properly monitored and used only as feed for pigs.

To protect the U.S. against BSE, FDA works to keep certain mammalian protein out of animal feed for cattle and other ruminant animals. FDA established its animal feed rule in 1997 after the BSE epidemic in the U.K. showed that the disease spreads by feeding infected ruminant protein to cattle.

Under the current regulation, the material from this Texas cow is not allowed in feed for cattle or other ruminant animals. FDA's action specifying that the material go only into swine feed means also that it will not be fed to poultry.

FDA is committed to protecting the U.S. from BSE and collaborates closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on all BSE issues. The animal feed rule provides crucial protection against the spread of BSE, but it is only one of several such firewalls. FDA will soon be improving the animal feed rule, to make this strong system even stronger.


IN TEXAS, we feed our cattle ruminant protein, and lots of it. but remember (the fda cannot seem to get this right)

.1 gram is lethal;


January 30, 2001
Print Media:
Broadcast Media:
Consumer Inquiries:


Today the Food and Drug Administration announced the results of tests
taken on feed used at a Texas feedlot
that was suspected of containing meat and bone meal from other domestic
cattle -- a violation of FDA's 1997
prohibition on using ruminant material in feed for other ruminants.
Results indicate that a very low level of
prohibited material was found in the feed fed to cattle.

FDA has determined that each animal could have consumed, at most and in
total, five-and-one-half grams -
approximately a quarter ounce -- of prohibited material. These animals
weigh approximately 600 pounds.

It is important to note that the prohibited material was domestic in
origin (therefore not likely to contain infected
material because there is no evidence of BSE in U.S. cattle), fed at a
very low level, and fed only once. The
potential risk of BSE to such cattle is therefore exceedingly low, even
if the feed were contaminated.

According to Dr. Bernard Schwetz, FDA's Acting Principal Deputy
Commissioner, "The challenge to regulators
and industry is to keep this disease out of the United States. One
important defense is to prohibit the use of any
ruminant animal materials in feed for other ruminant animals. Combined
with other steps, like U.S. Department
of Agriculture's (USDA) ban on the importation of live ruminant animals
from affected countries, these steps
represent a series of protections, to keep American cattle free of BSE."

Despite this negligible risk, Purina Mills, Inc., is nonetheless
announcing that it is voluntarily purchasing all 1,222
of the animals held in Texas and mistakenly fed the animal feed
containing the prohibited material. Therefore,
meat from those animals will not enter the human food supply. FDA
believes any cattle that did not consume
feed containing the prohibited material are unaffected by this incident,
and should be handled in the beef supply
clearance process as usual.

FDA believes that Purina Mills has behaved responsibly by first
reporting the human error that resulted in the
misformulation of the animal feed supplement and then by working closely
with State and Federal authorities.

This episode indicates that the multi-layered safeguard system put into
place is essential for protecting the food
supply and that continued vigilance needs to be taken, by all concerned,
to ensure these rules are followed

FDA will continue working with USDA as well as State and local officials
to ensure that companies and
individuals comply with all laws and regulations designed to protect the
U.S. food supply.

From: TSS (
Date: January 27, 2005 at 7:03 am PST

Risk of oral infection with bovine spongiform encephalopathy agent in primates

Corinne Ida Lasmézas, Emmanuel Comoy, Stephen Hawkins, Christian Herzog, Franck Mouthon, Timm Konold, Frédéric Auvré, Evelyne Correia, Nathalie Lescoutra-Etchegaray, Nicole Salès, Gerald Wells, Paul Brown, Jean-Philippe Deslys
Summary The uncertain extent of human exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)--which can lead to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD)--is compounded by incomplete knowledge about the efficiency of oral infection and the magnitude of any bovine-to-human biological barrier to transmission. We therefore investigated oral transmission of BSE to non-human primates. We gave two macaques a 5 g oral dose of brain homogenate from a BSE-infected cow. One macaque developed vCJD-like neurological disease 60 months after exposure, whereas the other remained free of disease at 76 months. On the basis of these findings and data from other studies, we made a preliminary estimate of the food exposure risk for man, which provides additional assurance that existing public health measures can prevent transmission of BSE to man.

Published online January 27, 2005

It is clear that the designing scientists must

also have shared Mr Bradley’s surprise at the results because all the dose

levels right down to 1 gram triggered infection.


6. It also appears to me that Mr Bradley’s answer (that it would take less than say 100

grams) was probably given with the benefit of hindsight; particularly if one

considers that later in the same answer Mr Bradley expresses his surprise that it

could take as little of 1 gram of brain to cause BSE by the oral route within the

same species. This information did not become available until the "attack rate"

experiment had been completed in 1995/96. This was a titration experiment

designed to ascertain the infective dose. A range of dosages was used to ensure

that the actual result was within both a lower and an upper limit within the study

and the designing scientists would not have expected all the dose levels to trigger

infection. The dose ranges chosen by the most informed scientists at that time

ranged from 1 gram to three times one hundred grams. It is clear that the designing

scientists must have also shared Mr Bradley’s surprise at the results because all the

dose levels right down to 1 gram triggered infection.

Re: BSE .1 GRAM LETHAL NEW STUDY SAYS via W.H.O. Dr Maura Ricketts

[BBC radio 4 FARM news]

2) Infectious dose:

To cattle: 1 gram of infected brain material (by oral ingestion)


Medical Sciences
Identification of a second bovine amyloidotic spongiform encephalopathy: Molecular similarities with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

Cristina Casalone *, Gianluigi Zanusso , Pierluigi Acutis *, Sergio Ferrari , Lorenzo Capucci , Fabrizio Tagliavini ¶, Salvatore Monaco ||, and Maria Caramelli *

*Centro di Referenza Nazionale per le Encefalopatie Animali, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Liguria e Valle d'Aosta, Via Bologna, 148, 10195 Turin, Italy; Department of Neurological and Visual Science, Section of Clinical Neurology, Policlinico G.B. Rossi, Piazzale L.A. Scuro, 10, 37134 Verona, Italy; Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia ed Emilia Romagna, Via Bianchi, 9, 25124 Brescia, Italy; and ¶Istituto Nazionale Neurologico "Carlo Besta," Via Celoria 11, 20133 Milan, Italy

Edited by Stanley B. Prusiner, University of California, San Francisco, CA, and approved December 23, 2003 (received for review September 9, 2003)

Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), or prion diseases, are mammalian neurodegenerative disorders characterized by a posttranslational conversion and brain accumulation of an insoluble, protease-resistant isoform (PrPSc) of the host-encoded cellular prion protein (PrPC). Human and animal TSE agents exist as different phenotypes that can be biochemically differentiated on the basis of the molecular mass of the protease-resistant PrPSc fragments and the degree of glycosylation. Epidemiological, molecular, and transmission studies strongly suggest that the single strain of agent responsible for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) has infected humans, causing variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The unprecedented biological properties of the BSE agent, which circumvents the so-called "species barrier" between cattle and humans and adapts to different mammalian species, has raised considerable concern for human health. To date, it is unknown whether more than one strain might be responsible for cattle TSE or whether the BSE agent undergoes phenotypic variation after natural transmission. Here we provide evidence of a second cattle TSE. The disorder was pathologically characterized by the presence of PrP-immunopositive amyloid plaques, as opposed to the lack of amyloid deposition in typical BSE cases, and by a different pattern of regional distribution and topology of brain PrPSc accumulation. In addition, Western blot analysis showed a PrPSc type with predominance of the low molecular mass glycoform and a protease-resistant fragment of lower molecular mass than BSE-PrPSc. Strikingly, the molecular signature of this previously undescribed bovine PrPSc was similar to that encountered in a distinct subtype of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.


C.C. and G.Z. contributed equally to this work.

||To whom correspondence should be addressed.

E-mail: .

>> Differences in tissue distribution could require new regulations
>> regarding specific risk material (SRM) removal.


full text ;

It was, however, performed in the USA in 1979, when it was shown that cattle inoculated with the scrapie agent endemic in the flock of Suffolk sheep at the United States Department of Agriculture in Mission, Texas, developed a TSE quite unlike BSE. 32 The findings of the initial transmission, though not of the clinical or neurohistological examination, were communicated in October 1988 to Dr Watson, Director of the CVL, following a visit by Dr Wrathall, one of the project leaders in the Pathology Department of the CVL, to the United States Department of Agriculture. 33 The results were not published at this point, since the attempted transmission to mice from the experimental cow brain had been inconclusive. The results of the clinical and histological differences between scrapie-affected sheep and cattle were published in 1995. Similar studies in which cattle were inoculated intracerebrally with scrapie inocula derived from a number of scrapie-affected sheep of different breeds and from different States, were carried out at the US National Animal Disease Centre. 34 The results, published in 1994, showed that this source of scrapie agent, though pathogenic for cattle, did not produce the same clinical signs of brain lesions characteristic of BSE.

Visit to USA ... info on BSE and Scrapie;f=12;t=000385


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