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From: TSS ()
Subject: Texas mad cow case demonstrates weaknesses in testing
Date: August 3, 2005 at 6:03 am PST

Texas mad cow case demonstrates weaknesses in testing

Posted on Wed, Aug. 03, 2005


Knight Ridder Newspapers

FORT WORTH, Texas - (KRT) - Although meat from a 12-year-old Texas beef cow with mad cow disease never entered the food supply, critics of the Agriculture Department said the twisted, seven-month-long tale of this animal highlighted bureaucratic missteps and weaknesses in the food safety system.

Public confidence wasn't enhanced last week when the USDA announced that a private veterinarian had "forgotten" about a brain tissue sample he took in April. It came from another cow now suspected of having had the brain-wasting disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Definitive tests are under way.

Watchdog groups awarded barely passing marks to the department for its handling of the Texas cow, which turned up dead at a Waco packing plant Nov. 15. The USDA finally confirmed the mad cow case June 10 after multiple tests.

"USDA gets a D or D minus," said Caroline Smith Dewaal of the Washington-based advocacy group, Center for Science in the Public Interest. "The best thing that came out of this is the work of the inspector general."

It was the department's in-house watchdog, Inspector General Phyllis Fong, who skirted the USDA hierarchy by ordering retesting with a different method more than six months after a routine second-round test, known as the immunohistochemistry (IHC) test, proved negative for BSE.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, who assumed office in January, has said he neither knew about nor authorized the retesting by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.

Just why Fong, a lawyer who grew up in Hawaii, acted in such a forthright, hierarchy-dodging manner has puzzled many involved in the industry.

In a statement, her office said the retesting was prompted by a review of "voluminous records" showing an unusual pattern of conflicting test results in the case. Industry sources say there is speculation that she responded to concern expressed in scientific circles.

Two early tests, one reportedly conducted at Texas A&M University and a second in Ames, produced conflicting results - one inconclusive, one negative.

Unbeknownst to Fong and the public, Ames researchers had also used an experimental rapid version of the IHC test on brain tissue from the Texas cow. That proved positive for BSE, but staff members thought the result was technically flawed and the USDA didn't disclose until just recently that the Ames lab had conducted the experimental test.

Months later, Fong stepped in and ordered more tests. A "Western blot" test proved positive, as did later tests at a lab in Weybridge, England.

Finally in June, two days after the Weybridge lab confirmed the mad cow case, a chastened USDA announced that in addition to the routine IHC test, it was adopting the Western blot procedure whenever an initial "BioRad" screening test points to possible BSE. In addition, backup tests will now be conducted at Britain's national veterinary laboratory in Weybridge when earlier test results conflict or are inconclusive.

All this sounded familiar to Consumers Union.

In February, the nonprofit public interest group that publishes Consumer Reports urged the USDA to take those same steps in regard to the Texas cow, noted Michael Hansen, a senior researcher with the organization.

In hindsight, the March 18 response to Consumers Union by Jere Dick, associate deputy administrator of USDA's animal health policy and programs, smeared egg clearly across the department's collective face.

Referring to the Texas cow, Dick wrote:

"We are confident in the expertise of USDA's laboratory technicians conducting BSE testing and do not feel that such confirmatory testing by the Weybridge laboratory is generally necessary, nor would the use of the Western blot test have enhanced the result of our November 2004 testing."

The opposite turned out to be true.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, noted the obvious in a July 7 letter to Johanns:

"Without the prompting of the (inspector general's office), we still would not know that the brain sample in question tests BSE-positive."

While Americans should have no misgivings about eating steaks and hamburgers, Harkin said, "there is a limit to how much of its own errors, inconsistencies and lack of transparency USDA can reasonably expect consumers to abide and still have confidence in the safety of beef."

All the criticism might obscure the fact that meat from diseased livestock has been kept out of the food supply. BSE is carried by hard-to-destroy protein prions, which scientists believe can cause a rare human disease - variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob - if found in beef.

The food supply has been protected by a ban for human consumption of tissue most prone to prion contamination, including beef brain, scrapings from the spinal column, and a small section of the intestine.

USDA's animal health officials were dealing with a highly unusual situation, said Keith Belk, a Colorado State University animal science professor who closely follows the BSE issue.

"There clearly were some mistakes made, but this was a pretty unique cow," Belk said. "She had the disease, and it incubated for a long time. But it apparently received a light dose of prions that were very sporadically spread" in the brain tissue.

The tissue sample, a pie-slice-shaped sliver taken from the obex, a slight bulge in the brain stem, had so few BSE prions at some points that a British expert, Dr. Danny Matthews of Weybridge, said tests easily could have missed them.

Matthews has said BSE is becoming rarer and more difficult to detect because of effective bans on tainted cattle feeds, which are believed to spread the disease.

Some of the missteps, ironically, were caused by USDA staff doing exactly what they were supposed to do - faithfully following measures that go far beyond international standards, Belk said in a call from Fort Collins, Colo.

"They appeared to have made some significant errors, which unfortunately made them appear foolish," Belk said. "Most scientists around the world would have argued that they should have run both the Western blot and IHC tests. I think they would have liked to have done so; but because of policy in place, their hands were tied."

Under lab rules in effect in November, the USDA staff in Ames was not permitted to carry out any other type of test after it received a negative result from the second round of testing, using the IHC method.

Communication miscues haven't helped the USDA's image in its handling of the Texas case.

In June, the USDA finally confirmed that the yellow to cream-colored cow had arrived dead at a meatpacking plant, not a dog food plant as originally reported.

And it had not been a downer - a live but nonwalking animal - as described by officials for nearly seven months. Making matters worse, the initial description of the cow as an Angus was wrong, and some of its high-risk body parts were tossed in a bin with those of other cattle, creating the need to run a number of DNA tests.

Dewaal also criticized the successful effort to keep the name and location of the ranch that produced the Brahman cross-bred cow secret. The ranch has been speculated to be somewhere in Southeast Texas.

"Who are they protecting?" she asked. "The only person it protects is the rancher."

But officials like Carla Everett, a spokeswoman with the Texas Animal Health Commission, say that maintaining confidentiality is necessary to prevent such operations from being needlessly stigmatized and to ensure future cooperation from ranches to which other diseased animals might be traced.

Although chastened, the USDA said it had no choice but to treat the Texas cow case as it had.

"It was handled within our protocol with few exceptions," said Jim Rogers, a spokesman for the department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

But the department is owning up to some mistakes.

Johanns has acknowledged that some things should have been done differently, Rogers said. Among them: Animal parts from different cattle should not have been commingled as they were at the Waco pet food plant; the Ames laboratory should not have run an experimental test while running the official test; and the lab made a verbal disclosure, but it should have presented a written report.

Whatever steps the USDA takes, it could find itself in a no-win situation, Rogers said.

In November, Western blot was not part of the testing protocol because it was not deemed appropriate in that situation.

"Let's go back in time and say we had conducted Western blot," Rogers said. "We would have critics saying we had stepped outside our protocol."

In fact, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association publicly criticized the inspector general for stepping out of the testing routine - just before it became clear that her irregular action had turned up the positive BSE finding.

Reinforcing experts' description of the Texas cow as an unusual case, Rogers noted that after Fong requested that Western blot be used on the brain sample, "they tested it 10 times - five of which were negative and five positive."

The results could be far different depending on what part of the sample was examined because of the erratic spread of BSE prions. Scientists believe that these submicroscopic flecks of protein spread BSE, a rare but always fatal disease discovered in 1986, through feed contaminated with rendered cattle parts.

The infected Texas cow was born before such tainted feed was banned in the United States in 1997. Ninety-seven percent of beef now consumed by Americans comes from cattle born after the ban, according to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

By comparison, Japan did not ban such feed until 2001, possibly contributing to the 20 BSE cases there - and a heightened popular distrust of its food security program, Belk said. That lack of public confidence prompted testing of every animal going to slaughter and a continued reluctance to end a 19-month ban on U.S. beef imports.

While such feed is banned for cattle, it can still be fed to pigs and chickens, which cannot contract BSE.

But some scientists and consumer groups, fearing mislabeling of sacks or other human errors, have urged the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates the feed industry, to act on its own January 2004 recommendation and ban it for poultry and pigs, too.

Of the 153 worldwide cases of a fatal human ailment believed caused by BSE-contaminated beef products, the only victim of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the United States was a Florida woman who had lived in Britain when such tainted food was available.

Six months after the first U.S. case in a Canadian-born dairy cow was discovered in December 2003, scientists said BSE was probably present at low levels in the U.S. herd, and the USDA launched a widespread surveillance effort. The beef industry notes that the Texas animal was the only cow found with BSE after 419,113 high-risk animals have been tested.

In the most recent case, involving a cow that was euthanized after severe calving problems whose test samples were forgotten about, the carcass was incinerated. The Texas and Washington state cows were discovered before they entered the food chain, reinforcing the government and industry's insistence that world-class firewalls have kept U.S. consumers protected.

After the Texas cow arrived dead at a Waco packinghouse, it was trucked across town to a dog food plant, where test samples were taken. The animal's body, kept segregated, was incinerated at Texas A&M University.

Unfortunately, by then its parts were commingled with three other cattle, making the difficult task of tracing a suspect cow without a mandatory national animal identification program even harder. This was seen as another blunder by authorities.

Hansen of Consumers Union complained that little is known publicly about the 419,113 tested cattle - or many others with central nervous system problems that were never examined.

He cited an August 2004 audit by the inspector general's office as saying that only a fraction of the highest-risk cattle - erratic-acting animals that tested negative for rabies - were not given the rapid BioRad test for BSE.

In fiscal 2003, for example, 108 Texas cattle were tested and found clean for rabies, but only 29 of this high-risk group were checked for BSE. In South Dakota, 81 tested cattle were negative for rabies, but none were given BSE tests.

Rogers conceded that there was a "mix-up" in states where testing guidelines were not clearly understood. The confusion has been remedied, and by late September, all animal inspectors understood that such high-risk cattle must be tested for BSE, he said.

Chief among complaints by watchdog groups like Consumers Union and the Center for Science in the Public Interest is that the United States - unlike the European Union, Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand - still has no mandatory national identification program for tracking cattle. An ID program would help quickly trace the origins of a contaminated cow.

As the mad-cow story developed this summer, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association got a head start on Johanns by saying it was starting its own animal ID system and hoped to have it operational in January 2007.

The association is seeking to have a system that would eventually be taken over as the national program. It envisions one that would ensure confidentiality of certain proprietary data that cattle operations and others want withheld for competitive reasons.

"For example, Cargill doesn't want Tyson to know where they purchase cattle," said Belk of Colorado State, referring to major beef processing companies.

And ranchers, some of whom have run cattle for generations, are worried about consumer lawsuits, he said.

"If you can determine where something comes from, it opens the door to liability," Belk said.

Johanns had announced that the government's mandatory ID system won't be up and running until 2009.

"I think the system is flawed as long as we don't have a national mandatory system for tracking cows," said Dewaal, who noted that Canada went from a voluntary to a mandatory system in one year. "We may be better at finding the one infected animal but not others similarly exposed to the disease.

"And we are surprised by the extraordinary delay."

Consumers, ever more concerned about food safety, are putting money where their mouths are and demanding beef traceability.

In Texas, chains such as United Market Street, Whole Foods and Central Market are offering source-verified beef - meat whose herd or ranch origin is spelled out to consumers.

In doing so, the market will push for an animal ID system to be implemented before 2009, Belk predicted. And source verifiability might be needed to re-establish lost export markets, he said.

And such traceability carries plenty of benefits.

Some systems could go beyond a mandatory animal ID system, Belk said, providing useful information: Is the animal free of antibiotics? Was it given vitamin E for a certain antioxidant level?

The producer could also receive feedback on whether livestock management techniques led to more tender cuts, for example.

"It's not all related to safety," Belk said.



_Nov. 11, 2004

A no longer productive 12-year-old beef cow is sold at a Texas auction.

_Nov. 15, 2004

A cattle buyer ships the cow and others to H&B Packing Co. in Waco, where it arrives dead. The animal is transported across town to Champion Pet Food Co., where its head is severed and shipped to a laboratory at Texas A&M University in College Station.

_Nov. 18, 2004

Results of two Bio Rad rapid tests are announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as "inconclusive," meaning positive for this error-prone, sensitive method of determining bovine spongiform encephalopthy, or BSE. This prompts rounds of confirmatory tests.

_Nov. 23, 2004

Results are negative on brain tissue sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, for two immunohistochemistry (IHC) tests. A positive result four days earlier from an experimental rapid IHC test is not released because researchers believe that it was technically flawed.

_June 10, 2005

The USDA announces that a Western blot test ordered by the department's inspector general without Agriculture Secretary Mike Johann's knowledge is positive for BSE.

_June 24, 2005

Britain's national veterinary laboratory gets positive results using both IHC and Western blot tests. Johanns also discloses British confirmation that the Ames' experimental IHC test was positive for BSE.

_July 11, 2005

Sixty-seven cattle from the infected cow's herd test negative for BSE with the Bio-Rad method. Investigators are still trying to track down the infected cow's last two calves.



© 2005, Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Visit the Star-Telegram on the World Wide Web:

Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services


Aguzzi Letter

Markus Moser Prionics BSE-L

Q&A Dr. Jean-Philippe Deslys


> > -------- Original Message --------
> > Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 15:37:28 -0600
> > From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
> > To:
> >
> >
> >
> > Hello Susan and Bio-Rad,
> >
> > Happy Holidays!
> >
> > I wish to ask a question about Bio-Rad and USDA BSE/TSE testing
> > and there inconclusive. IS the Bio-Rad test for BSE/TSE that
> > or is there most likely some human error we are seeing here?
> >
> > HOW can Japan have 2 positive cows with
> > No clinical signs WB+, IHC-, HP- ,
> > BUT in the USA, these cows are considered 'negative'?
> >
> > IS there more politics working here than science in the USA?
> >
> > What am I missing?
> >
> >
> >
> > -------- Original Message --------
> > Subject: Re: USDA: More mad cow testing will demonstrate beef's safety
> > Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 09:26:19 -0600
> > From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
> > snip...end
> >
> >
> > Experts doubt USDA's mad cow results
> snip...END
> WELL, someone did call me from Bio-Rad about this,
> however it was not Susan Berg.
> but i had to just about take a blood oath not to reveal
> there name. IN fact they did not want me to even mention
> this, but i feel it is much much to important. I have omitted
> any I.D. of this person, but thought I must document this ;
> Bio-Rad, TSS phone conversation 12/28/04
> Finally spoke with ;
> Bio-Rad Laboratories
> 2000 Alfred Nobel Drive
> Hercules, CA 94547
> Ph: 510-741-6720
> Fax: 510-741-5630
> at approx. 14:00 hours 12/28/04, I had a very pleasant
> phone conversation with XXXX XXXXX about the USDA
> and the inconclusive BSE testing problems they seem
> to keep having. X was very very cautious as to speak
> directly about USDA and it's policy of not using WB.
> X was very concerned as a Bio-Rad official of retaliation
> of some sort. X would only speak of what other countries
> do, and that i should take that as an answer. I told X
> I understood that it was a very loaded question and X
> agreed several times over and even said a political one.
> my question;
> Does Bio-Rad believe USDA's final determination of False positive,
> without WB, and considering the new
> atypical TSEs not showing positive with -IHC and -HP ???
> ask if i was a reporter. i said no, i was with CJD Watch
> and that i had lost my mother to hvCJD. X did not
> want any of this recorded or repeated.
> again, very nervous, will not answer directly about USDA for fear of
> retaliation, but again said X tell
> me what other countries are doing and finding, and that
> i should take it from there.
> "very difficult to answer"
> "very political"
> "very loaded question"
> outside USA and Canada, they use many different confirmatory tech. in
> house WB, SAF, along with
> IHC, HP, several times etc. you should see at several
> talks meetings (TSE) of late Paris Dec 2, that IHC- DOES NOT MEAN IT IS
> NEGATIVE. again, look what
> the rest of the world is doing.
> said something about Dr. Houston stating;
> any screening assay, always a chance for human
> error. but with so many errors (i am assuming
> X meant inconclusive), why are there no investigations, just false
> positives?
> said something about ''just look at the sheep that tested IHC- but were
> positive''. ...
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: Your questions
> Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2004 15:58:11 -0800
> From: To:
> Hi Terry:
> ............................................snip Let me know your phone
> number so I can talk to you about the Bio-Rad BSE test.
> Thank you
> Regards
> Bio-Rad Laboratories
> 2000 Alfred Nobel Drive
> Hercules, CA 94547
> Ph: 510-741-6720
> Fax: 510-741-5630
> Email: =================================
> #########
> =====================================================
> =====================================================
> END....TSS



still disgusted in Bacliff, Texas

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.

#################### ####################

----- Original Message -----
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Sent: Saturday, June 25, 2005 4:24 PM
Subject: Re: Transcript of conference with media of Johann et al on the latest BSe in USA Release No. 0233.05

> ##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################
> Greetings,
> A few comments please;
> >>>REPORTER: "Mr. Secretary, Dr. Clifford in the Friday teleconference we
> all remember so well mentioned (unclear) in general about the possibility of
> atypical case. Is there anything to suggest that would be the case here or
> is this a case of something kind of sticking out -- <<<
> >>>SEC. JOHANNS: "Go ahead.<<<
> >>>DR. CLIFFORD: "The molecular protein patterns of this particular BSE case
> were very much like some that have been found in France, not those found
> typically in the UK. However, there's a lot to be learned about the
> phenotypic expression of BSE that's unknown. So for the purposes of
> internationally, this is a case of BSE.<<<
> >>>"We would describe this as a case of BSE with a molecular pattern that
> differs from those that you would see classically from the UK. <<<
> Greetings again,
> THE molecular protein patterns of the cattle at Mission Texas were much
> different too. so, i would be curious if there is any comparison;
> >> Differences in tissue distribution could require new regulations
> >> regarding specific risk material (SRM) removal.
> snip...end
> 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
> Greetings again,
> > The results were not published at this point, since the attempted
> transmission
> > to mice from the experimental cow brain had been inconclusive
> > 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.
> OR, what about Japan atypical cases. here we have a case where they find the
> BSE/TSE agent in the
> WHY is USA insisting _now_ not to use WB, when on the 1st _confirmed_ case
> Dec. 23, 2003
> USA mad cow, WB was used ???
> maybe this is the reason ;
> JAPAN BSE # 8 & 9 cow
> 8. 6/10/2003 Holstein Steer 13/10/2001 23 mths
> No clinical signs WB+, IHC-, HP-
> 9. 4/11/2003 Holstein Steer 13/1/2002
> 21 mths No clinical signs WB+, IHC-, HP-
> ===========
> More information on the first 11 Japanese BSE-cases can be found on the
> website of the Japanese Embassy in the US:
> ORAL 8
> Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Japan
> Takashi Yokoyama, Kumiko M. Kimura, Morikazu Shinagawa
> Prion Disease Research Center, National Institute of Animal Health, Japan
> Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) has become an important problem
> not only for animal industry, but
> also for public health. In Japan, BSE was first recognized in September
> 2001 by fallen stock surveillance.
> Since October 2001, BSE examination for all cattle slaughtered at
> abattoirs has started. In April 2004, all dead
> cattle examination (over 24 months) has been conducted at livestock
> hygiene service center. Samples positive
> in enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) are further subjected to
> western blot (WB) and
> immunohistochemistry (IHC). Thirteen BSE cases have been reported by
> September 2004. Twelve cases
> were classified as typical BSE, and the remained one was an atypical
> BSE. Variant forms of BSE with atypical
> histopathological and/or biochemical phenotype were reported in Italy
> and France. Further study is required
> for BSE prion characteristics.
> To characterize BSE prion properties, brain homogenates of Japanese BSE
> cases were intracerebrally
> inoculated into wild-type mice. The first case (BSE/Chiba) was
> successfully transmitted to rodents. The mean
> incubation periods (409.0 days) in this experiment was preferably longer
> than that of previously reported.
> PrPSc distribution, prion titer, mice susceptibility and/or storage
> condition of sample might be influenced the
> result. Recently, we introduced transgenic mice that overexpress a
> bovine PrP gene to overcome the species
> barrier problem. These mice are expected to accelerate the transmission
> experiment of BSE prion.
> Transmission of atypical BSE case is undergoing by using these
> transgenic mice.
> Department of Prion Research
> Tohoku University School of Medicine
> 2-1 Seiryo-cho Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8575, JAPAN
> Tel: +81-22-717-8233
> Fax: +81-22-717-8148
> In Reply to: Re: Detection of prion in peripheral nerve (11th BSE case of
> Japan) posted by TSS on November 8, 2004 at 8:16 am:
> Japan Consumer Press online
> Nippon shouhisha shinbun
> s%20anomalous%20prion.htm
> Last modified, 11/09/2004 13:42:49
> BSE death cow's anomalous prion detected from peripheral nerve tissue,
> suprarenal gland
> First time from non-Specified Risk Material, or SRM
> National Institute of Animal Health Animal announced on November 1 that it
> had detected the anomalous prion protein that was the etiologic agent of the
> mad cow disease, or BSE, or bovine spongiform encephaalopathy, from the
> peripheral nerve tissue and the suprarenal gland of the cow of the age in
> the mad cow disease for the dying infection 94 months on March 9 this year.
> Japan is obligating the removal of the Specified Risk Material, or SRM such
> as the head, the spinal cord, the vertebral columns, and the small
> intestines that accumulate the anomalous prion protein easily as a BSE
> (bovine spongiform encephaalopathy) measures.
> Because the mad cow disease etiologic agent was detected from a tissue
> different from the Specified Risk Material, or SRM, the review of the
> Specified Risk Material, or SRM might be urged on the Japanese Government.
> International Symposium of PRION DISEASES for food and drug safety
> national institute of animal health(only in Japanese)
> The statement of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
> (only in Japanese)
> Yomiuri on line (only in Japanese)
> Asahi on line(only in Japanese)
> Mainichi on line(only in Japanese)
> 000c.html
> >>>SEC. JOHANNS: "We're just not going to confirm anything about the animal
> until we get the epidemiological work done. And I hope you understand we
> want to be very, very careful about that.
> REPORTER: "Why? <<<
> I AGREE, why not, you have had 7 or 8 months already. Incinerated the
> complete cow (or so you claim) so there is
> is no evidence or other tissue samples to be sent around the world to study
> this supposedly atypical BSE case. then froze the few grams of tissue sample
> you did have so as to destroy further evidence, when proper BSE protocol
> calls for it NOT to be frozen and ample material taken for further testing
> if inconclusive is the case, were never followed. were they ever intended to
> be followed? YOU fumbled the ball again USDA/APHIS/FDA. YOU move the goal
> posts any time you wish, does not matter what quarter of the game we are in.
> YOU have lost all credibility with the world. All this, and you blame Phylis
> Fong and the GAO? Simply not so. You only have to look in the mirror, but
> while contiplating, consider the millions and millions you are responsible
> for exposing this deadly agent too via a multitude of routes and sources.
> >>>DR. CLIFFORD: "As far as the case of spontaneous, that's a theory. It's
> one that has not been proven. It may or may not be correct or accurate.<<<
> >>>"As far as how much bad feed may be gone out there undetected, we have
> tested over 388,000 samples from a high-risk population. If there was large
> numbers of BSE cases in the United States, we would have detected them.<<<
> >>>"The IHC test here has been used on three samples. That biorad or rapid
> screening test detected the sample. The biorad test is widely used
> internationally and has a high degree of sensitivity." <<<
> THOSE 388,000 TEST ARE MEANINGLESS. they must be retested properly.
> THE Bio-Rad test is only as good and as sensitive as the one giving the test
> and as bad as this testing was flubbed, one only wonders about the rest of
> those 388,000 head of cattle. for goodness sake, if they cant follow proper
> protocol about freezing tissue sample and taking enough sample material,
> then i wonder very seriously about the rest of the testing protocols. with
> this
> unreported 3 POSITIVE test on this cow out of Ames, just makes one ponder
> even further about those other 388,000 rapid tests with those crappy weak
> antibodies. these weak antibodies were there assurance that Bio-Rad would
> never confirm a case of BSE/TSE in the USA.
> AS Sentor Waxman stated, there must be an investgation into the failer of
> this BSE/TSE testing protocol.
> HEADS SHOULD ROLL. enough is enough.
> >>>And here a year later I can stand in front of people and say, this is
> what we've found. Now, those questions I think were great questions a year
> ago, but we have irrefutable scientific proof that we've done all these
> tests and this is really what we've come down to. <<<
> >>>"The science very, very clearly is on our side here. There just isn't any
> doubt about it, and that's what we try to urge people to do is focus on the
> science, the testing process, the removal of the SRMs, the
> ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban. <<<
> I hate to be the one that tells Johann, but the USA is still feeding
> ruminants to ruminants in 2005. THE Aug. 4, 1997 runimant to ruminant feed
> ban was nothing more than ink on paper that was not enforceable. it was
> voluntary and partial.
> NONE of this would have been done without GAO and OIG investigations and
> repremands and then USDA/APHIS et al insist on not going by sound science.
> INSTEAD they wish to go by the OIE guidelines, which by the way, all other
> documented BSE countries went by those same guidelines. These guidelines are
> terribly flawed and are designed on NOT finding BSE/TSE. These OIE BSE/TSE
> guidelines were designed for the legal trading of all animal TSEs. There is
> no sound BSE/TSE science there.
> >>>"Our scientists agree that the freezing did not compromise the integrity
> of the sample. The IG does not dispute that conclusion, but because freezing
> can compromise the sample and our protocol indicates samples should not be
> frozen, I am dispatching USDA's staff to go over the protocols at the
> locations where samples are collected to ensure that the samples are not
> frozen.<<<
> >>>"The second concern the IG expressed and the last one on my list relates
> to inadequate paperwork. When the IHC test was conducted in November, no
> formal report was completed. The results were relayed as you know, but the
> paperwork was not finished. Clearly, documentation is an important component
> of sensitive scientific activity. Completing the paperwork is necessary.
> I've stressed the importance of complete and accurate documentation, and
> I've directed our administrators to spot-check lab activity to make sure
> that the reports are completed in the future.<<<
> >>>"Now if I might just wrap up my comments with a little bit of
> perspective. We can discuss the differing test results, we can debate the
> best use of antibodies two years ago, now, and in the future, but we must
> remember that we are talking about a single case, one sample, and it has
> been subject now to a tremendous amount of testing.<<<
> >>>"In fact in my meeting with the Inspector General and her staff I was
> assured that the protocols were followed in the cases they examined except
> this one.<<<
> FDA Statement
> 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.
> ####


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