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From: TSS ()
Subject: Report: Inspections of Canadian meat imports are lacking (so tell us something we don't know)
Date: January 10, 2006 at 7:05 am PST

Jan. 10, 2006, 6:36AM
Report: Inspections of Canadian meat imports are lacking


By LIBBY QUAID
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Two years ago, U.S. food safety officials warned that Canadian meat and poultry inspections were lacking, yet the Agriculture Department refused to stop the flow of imports from Canada, a department investigation found.

Since then, 4.4 billion pounds of processed meat made its way to U.S. supermarkets and restaurants, according to a report from the department's inspector general.
The Agriculture Department said Monday it had addressed problems at individual Canadian plants, some of which lost export privileges. "In no instance was public health placed at risk," said Richard Raymond, undersecretary for food safety.

Meanwhile, Canada has altered its system in an attempt to comply with U.S. rules. As the leading foreign supplier of fresh and frozen red meat to the U.S., Canada shipped more than $2 billion worth in 2004, according to department reports.

In a November 2003 memo to then-Secretary Ann Veneman, the department's Food Safety and Inspection Service warned that public health could be compromised if the agency didn't respond immediately to deficiencies in Canada's system.

Yet food safety officials postponed a review of Canada's system the following year. According to an internal e-mail, Veneman directed FSIS to work with Canadian inspection officials to resolve the differences.

"When FSIS officials returned to Canada in May 2005, they continued to find the same types of deficiencies they found in 2003," the report said.

The department halted shipments of beef and live cattle after the discovery of mad cow disease in Canada in 2003; those restrictions have since been lifted.

The report was obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

The inspector general identified three big concerns with Canadian inspections:

—Inspections were not done daily at Canadian food processing plants.

—Canada lacked adequate sanitation controls.

—Inspectors didn't sample ready-to-eat products for listeria, which can cause deadly food poisoning.

Daily inspections are required at U.S. processing plants, and the law requires foreign countries to have equivalent inspections.

U.S. officials halted imports from Australia in June 2004 and Belgium in 2003 because those countries didn't have daily inspections, the report noted.

A critic said the Agriculture Department seems to have a "make it up as we go" attitude in deciding which country's standards match U.S. standards.

"This undermines the integrity of American food safety standards and consumer confidence in our meat supply," said Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, senior Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Raymond noted that U.S. inspectors have doubled their testing for listeria at Canadian ports in the past two years.

Canada has made changes since last year, a Canadian Food Inspection Agency official said.

Daily inspections have been done at processing plants since late summer, said Bill Anderson, CFIA director of food of animal origin. Canada is still trying to get the Agriculture Department to accept its previous random inspection system, he said.

Canada's tests for listeria are internationally recognized, but inspectors there have switched to the U.S. approach of testing finished products, Anderson said. And all processing plants have been ordered to comply with sanitation controls similar to those in the U.S., he said.

The Agriculture Department said it will take until 2007 to make a final decision on whether Canada's system is equivalent to the U.S. system.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/3576944.html

Also Friday, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said the USDA is
investigating whether the United States wrongly imported millions of
pounds of Canadian beef that were banned because of mad cow disease
concerns.

R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America, a U.S. cattle industry group,
this week accused the USDA of improperly allowing imports of 3.5 million
pounds of Canadian bone-in meat products between September 2003 and
February 2004.

The beef products have been banned in the United States as a safety
precaution since Canada discovered a domestic case of mad cow disease
one year ago.

Reuters News Service contributed to this report.

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/business/2557679

Docket No. 03-080-1 -- USDA ISSUES PROPOSED RULE TO ALLOW LIVE ANIMAL
IMPORTS FROM CANADA

https://web01.aphis.usda.gov/BSEcom.nsf/0/b78ba677e2b0c12185256dd300649f9d?OpenDocument&AutoFramed


Date: 9/1/2004

GAIN Report Number: CA4063

CA4063

Canada

Livestock and Products

Annual

2004

http://www.fas.usda.gov/gainfiles/200409/146107419.pdf

BSE GBR RISK ASSESSMENT CANADA

snip...

Annex to the EFSA Scientific Report (2004) 2, 1-15 on the Assessment of the

Geographical BSE Risk of Canada

- 10 -

• However, SRM are rendered together with other slaughter waste and fallen stock.

However, according to the CD, MBM with SRM is not permitted to be fed to

ruminants.

Conclusion on the ability to avoid recycling

• Between 1980 and 1997 the Canadian system would not have been able to avoid

recycling of the BSE-agent to any measurable extent. If the BSE-agent was

introduced into the feed chain, it could have reached cattle.

• Since 1997 this ability gradually improved with the introduction of the ruminant

MBM ban and its implementation.

• Since cross-contamination cannot be excluded, and as SRM is still rendered by

processes unable to significantly reduce BSE-infectivity, the system is still unable to

avoid recycling of BSE-infectivity already present in the system or incoming.

3.2 Overall appreciation of the ability to identify BSE-cases and to

eliminate animals at risk of being infected before they are processed

Cattle population structure

• Cattle population: 12.15 Million in 1988 increasing to 14.6 Million in 2001;

• Of the total cattle population, 2.2 million are dairy cattle and 12.4 million are beef.

• The cattle population above 24 months of age: approx. 6.0 Million.

• Of the approximately 2.2 Million dairy cattle 2 Million are located in the two eastern

provinces Ontario and Quebec.

• Mixed farming (cattle and mono-gastric species) is usually not practiced; the

country expert estimated the proportion of mixed farming to be less than 1%.

• Individual regions traditionally have ID systems under provincial authorities. Brand

inspectors are present when cattle are assembled. It is estimated by the Canadians

that the level of a national, uniform ID for cattle is less than 10%; most of those

individual pedigree animals. Mandatory ID for the milk-fed veal sector was

implemented in Quebec in 1996, but does not contain information on the herd of

origin. An agreement of the relevant industries to develop a national cattle ID and

trace back strategy was reached on 1 May 1998 (starting in 2001).Since 2002, a

national identification program is existing. Al cattle leaving any farm premises must

be uniquely identified by ear tag.

BSE surveillance

• BSE was made notifiable in 1990.

• Every cow over one year of age exhibiting central nervous system signs suggestive

of BSE submitted to a laboratory or presented at an abattoir is subjected to a BSE

laboratory diagnostic test (histology and over the past years also PrPSc-based

laboratory tests).

• In addition, cattle submitted for rabies examination and found rabies negative are

examined for BSE. Samples are prepared immediately upon arrival to the federal

laboratory responsible for the rabies diagnostic for possible later BSE examination,

i.e. formalin fixation.

• Since the 1940’s, a rabies control program has been in place, where farmers,

veterinarians and the general public are well educated about this neurological

Annex to the EFSA Scientific Report (2004) 2, 1-15 on the Assessment of the

Geographical BSE Risk of Canada

- 11 -

disease. In 1990, when BSE was made notifiable, this awareness was extended to

suspicions of BSE.

• Since 1993 the number of brains examined per year did exceed the number

recommended by OIE (300 - 336 for countries with a cattle population over 24

months of age of 5.0 to 7.0 Million) in all years, except in 1995 (table 4).

year 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003

samples 225 645 426 269 454 759 940 895 1´020 1´581 3´377 3´361

Table 4: Number of bovine brains annually examined for CNS diseases, including BSE.

• According to the CD approx. 98% of the examined cattle were older than 24 months

and approx. 90% exhibited neurological symptoms. Although the identification

system of Canada does not document the birth date or age of the animals, according

to the CD, examination of the dentition is used to ascertain the maturity of the

animals.

• The list of neurological differential diagnoses for the 754 brains examined in 1997

included encephalitis (70 cases), encephalomalacia (19), hemophilus (7),

hemorrhage (2), listeriosis (38), meningoencephalitis (36), rabies (22), tumors (2),

other conditions (135) and no significant findings (423).

• Compensation is paid for suspect BSE cases as well as for animals ordered to be

destroyed (90-95% of market value with a maximum of 2,500 Can$ per cow).

• Diagnostic criteria developed in the United Kingdom are followed at ADRI,

Nepean. According to the very detailed protocol for the collection, fixation and

submission of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) specimens at abattoirs

under inspection by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the specimen shall be

shipped to National Center for Foreign Animal Disease, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

• In 2003, around 3000 animals from risk populations have been tested.

• According to the CD, it is aimed to test a minimum of 8000 risk animals (animals

with clinical signs consistent with BSE, downer cows, animals died on farm animals

diseased or euthanized because of serious illness) in 2004 and then continue to

progressively increase the level of testing to 30,000.

• In May 2003, Canada reported its first case of domestic BSE. A second case was

detected in the US on 23 December 2003 and traced back to Canadian origin. Both

were born before the feed ban and originated from Western Canada.

3.3 Overall assessment of the stability

For the overall assessment of the stability, the impact of the three main stability factors

(i.e. feeding, rendering and SRM-removal) and of the additional stability factor,

surveillance, has to be estimated. Again, the guidance provided by the SSC in its

opinion on the GBR of July 2000 (as updated January 2002) is applied.

Feeding

Until 1997, it was legally possible to feed ruminant MBM to cattle and a certain fraction of

cattle feed (for calves and dairy cattle) is assumed to have contained MBM. Therefore

feeding was "Not OK". In August 1997 a ruminant MBM ban was introduced but feeding

of non-ruminant MBM to cattle remained legal as well as feeding of ruminant MBM to

non-ruminant animals. This makes control of the feed ban very difficult because laboratory

differentiation between ruminant and non ruminant MBM is difficult if not impossible.

Annex to the EFSA Scientific Report (2004) 2, 1-15 on the Assessment of the

Geographical BSE Risk of Canada

Due to the highly specialised production system in Canada, various mammalian MBM

streams can be separated. Such a feed ban would therefore be assessed as "reasonably

OK", for all regions where this highly specialised system exists. However, several areas

in Canada do have mixed farming and mixed feed mills, and in such regions, an RMBM

ban would not suffice. Additionally, official controls for cattle feeds to control for the

compliance with the ban were not started until the end of 2003. Thus, for the whole

country, the assessment of the feeding after 1997 remains "Not OK".

Rendering

The rendering industry is operating with processes that are not known to reduce infectivity.

It is therefore concluded that the rendering was and is "Not OK".

SRM-removal

SRM and fallen stock were and are rendered for feed. Therefore SRM-removal is assessed

as "Not OK"

snip...

4.2 Risk that BSE infectivity entered processing

A certain risk that BSE-infected cattle entered processing in Canada, and were at least

partly rendered for feed, occurred in the early 1990s when cattle imported from UK in

the mid 80s could have been slaughtered. This risk continued to exist, and grew

significantly in the mid 90’s when domestic cattle, infected by imported MBM, reached

processing. Given the low stability of the system, the risk increased over the years with

continued imports of cattle and MBM from BSE risk countries.

4.3 Risk that BSE infectivity was recycled and propagated

A risk that BSE-infectivity was recycled and propagated exists since a processing risk

first appeared; i.e. in the early 90s. Until today this risk persists and increases fast

because of the extremely unstable BSE/cattle system in Canada.

5. CONCLUSION ON THE GEOGRAPHICAL BSE-RISK

5.1 The current GBR as function of the past stability and challenge

The current geographical BSE-risk (GBR) level is III, i.e. it is confirmed at a lower level

that domestic cattle are (clinically or pre-clinically) infected with the BSE-agent.

This assessment deviates from the previous assessment (SSC opinion, 2000) because at

that time several exporting countries were not considered a potential risk.

snip...

full text;


http://www.efsa.eu.int/science/efsa_scientific_reports/gbr_assessments/scr_annexes/563/sr02_biohaz02_canada_report_annex_en1.pdf

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Statement by Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman Regarding Canada's Announcement of BSE Investigation May 20, 2003
Date: Tue, 20 May 2003 12:53:17 -0500
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
To: BSE-L@uni-karlsruhe.de


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

Release No. 0166.03

Statement by Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman
Regarding Canada's Announcement of BSE Investigation
May 20, 2003


"I have spoken with Canada's Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lyle Vanclief a short time ago about Canada's investigation and feel that all appropriate measures are being taken in what appears to be an isolated case of bovine spongiform encephalophathy. Information suggests that risk to human health and the possibility of transmission to animals in the United States is very low.

"USDA is placing Canada under its BSE restriction guidelines and will not accept any ruminants or ruminant products from Canada pending further investigation. We are dispatching a technical team to Canada to assist in the investigation and will provide more detailed information as it becomes available."

"The United States remains diligent in its BSE surveillance and prevention efforts. In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration prohibited the use of most mammalian protein in the manufacture of animal feed intended for cows and other ruminants to stop the way the disease is thought to spread.

"Since 1989, the U.S. government has taken a series of preventive actions to protect against this animal disease. This includes USDA prohibitions on the import of live ruminants, such as cattle, sheep, goats and most ruminant products from countries that have or are considered to be at risk for having BSE.
"In fiscal year 2002, USDA tested 19,990 cattle for BSE using a targeted surveillance approach designed to test the highest risk animals, including downer animals (animals that are non-ambulatory at slaughter), animals that die on the farm, older animals and animals exhibiting signs of neurological distress."


#TSS

USDA News
oc.news@usda.gov
202 720-9035

########### http://mailhost.rz.uni-karlsruhe.de/warc/bse-l.html ############

FDA
Statement on BSE Cow in Alberta, Canada
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has
learned from the government of Canada that
the brain of an eight-year old cow in a remote
area of Alberta has tested positive for bovine
spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, also known as “Mad Cow Disease”).
According to Canadian officials, meat from the cow did not enter the food supply. The animal had been on the farm in Alberta for three years. Although BSE has not been shown to be transmitted among cows in a herd, as a precaution the herd in Alberta is being destroyed.


http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2003/NEW00908.html


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

Greetings BSE-L,

i believe i sent this through before, but thought under the circumstances,

i would pass through again. i did not read over all of it, maybe be more?

TSS

1994 UK EXPORTS BEEF VEAL USA , MEXICO $ CANADA ONLY

other Countries list in PDF file)

USA -------- TOTALS ''8'' TONS

CANADA -- TOTALS ''29'' TONS

1995 UK EXPORT BEEF AND VEAL TO USA AND CANADA

USA ------- TOTALS ''358'' TONS

CANADA --TOTALS ''24'' TONS

BONE-IN BEEF AND VEAL

USA-------- TOTALS ''10'' TONS (i think this is part of the 358 tons

above?)

UK EXPORT OF LIKE CATTLE TO USA AND CANADA

1986 TO 1996 USA TOTAL = 1297

1986 TO 1996 CAN TOTAL = 299

http://www.bseinquiry.gov.uk/files/mb/m11f/tab10.pdf

UK EXPORT MEAT OR OFFAL OF BOVINE ANIMALS DEC 1987

CANADA -- 64,526 KG

UK EXPORT OFFALS OF BOVINE ANIMALS FRESH CHILLED

OR FROZEN OTHER THAN LIVER DEC 1987 YTD

USA -- 45,943 KG

UK EXPORT MEAT OF BOVINE ANIMAL WITH BONE IN 1988

CANADA -- 4,163 KG

PREP OR PRES MEAT OR OFFAL OF BOVINE ANIMALS CUMULATIVE

TO DEC 1988

USA -------- 28,609 KG

CANADA -- 22,044 KG

MEAT OF BOVINE ANIMALS WITH BONE IN CUMULATIVE TO ANUAL 1989

USA -------- 17,880 KG

MEXICO---- 33,444 KG

BONELESS MEAT OF BOVINE 1989

USA --------111,953 KG

CANADA---1,800 KG

MEXICO --- 1,143,387 KG

EDIBLE OFFAL OF BOVINE ANIMALS 1989

USA -------- 19,980 KG

MEXICO--- 31,244 KG

MORE........

MEAT OF BOVINE ANIMALS BONELESS 1990

USA 146,443

http://www.bseinquiry.gov.uk/files/mb/m11g/tab05.pdf

Other US BSE risks: the imported products picture

http://www.mad-cow.org/00/jul00_dont_eat_sheep.html#hhh

GLOBAL EXPORTS OF UK SHEEP/GOATS (BSE?)...TSS

http://www.vegsource.com/talk/madco...es/9912070.html

Terry

Meat and bonemeal is not specifically classified for overseas trade

purposes. The nearest equivalent is listed as "flours and meals of meat

or offals (including tankage), unfit for human consumption; greaves". UK

exports of this to the US are listed below:

Country Tonnes

1980

1981 12

1982

1983

1984 10

1985 2

1986

1987

1988

1989 20

1990

Data for exports between 1975 and 1979 are not readily available. These

can be obtained (at a charge) from data retailers appointed by HM

Customs and Excise: BTSL (Tel: 01372 463121) or Abacus (01245 252222).

Best wishes

Simon Pearsall

Overseas trade statistics Stats (C&F)C

Simon

as discussed

thanks

Julie

-----

snip...end...no url...TSS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2004


Statement of Senator Tom Daschle on USDA’s Recall of Canadian Beef

WASHINGTON, DC - The Bush Administration announced today that 41,000
pounds of additional Canadian ground beef were allowed into the U.S.,
despite a current ban resulting from a Canadian Mad Cow Case.

Officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a recall notice
for 170,000 pounds of beef products that included the 41,000 pounds of
illegally imported Canadian ground beef. Senator Daschle issued the
following statement on USDA's actions:

"I am troubled that additional Canadian ground beef has been allowed
into the United States - despite a ban on such products. The Bush
Administration has wrestled with multiple issues related to the Canadian
border since the discovery of Mad Cow disease in Canada in May of 2003.
That's why I am glad the USDA's Inspector General agreed to my request
for an investigation into the regulatory policy and enforcement lapses
that undermined producers' and consumers' confidence in the agency.

"The Bush Administration should take this opportunity to announce they
will not re-open our border to additional Canadian beef products until
the Inspector General has completed her investigation and the necessary
policy reforms are put in place.

"Many of my colleagues on the Senate Agriculture Committee have joined
me in calling for an oversight hearing. Producers in South Dakota and
across the country deserve answers, and this latest recall announcement
only underscores the need for USDA to appear before Congress and provide
them."

------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://daschle.senate.gov/~daschle/pressroom/releases/04/07/2004729403.html

HARKIN SEEKS ANSWERS ABOUT USDA’S BSE TESTING APPROACH

WEDNESDAY, JULY 21, 2004
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today sent a letter to
Comptroller General David Walker requesting the Government
Accountability Office (formerly the General Accounting Office) look into
questions regarding the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) handling of
bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) surveillance. Since the discovery
of the disease in a cow in Washington state, a number incidents and
statements by USDA officials have raised concern about the department’s
approach to handling this issue.

“USDA is still stumbling to pull together a coherent strategy and
program of BSE testing and other measures to protect U.S. consumers and
our beef industry against the risks of BSE,” Harkin said. “While I
believe these risks are pretty small, we cannot be complacent until USDA
collects the information. Without information, we are only speculating
and whistling in the dark."

Specifically, Harkin cited questions as to the downer status of the
Washington state cow, failure to take samples from a suspicious cow at a
Texas slaughter facility, and concerns about the scientific and
statistical basis for USDA’s revised testing system.

Last week, USDA’s Office of Inspector General issued a scathing report
citing many shortcomings in USDA’s approach. Harkin is calling on GAO to
review additional concerns, including:

Has USDA identified the most scientifically valid sub-populations and
the proper statistical number of cattle to determine effectively the
prevalence of BSE in the United States?

Has USDA made provisions to obtain all the samples necessary to
determine accurately the existence and prevalence of BSE in the United
States?

Has USDA implemented effective procedures to assure that all parties
collecting samples for BSE testing are properly trained?

Is the voluntary sample submission protocol effective for obtaining a
sample population representative of the at-risk cattle population?

Has USDA identified proper incentives to assure suspect cattle on farms
will be reported?

Has USDA made provisions to assure the federal and state actions in the
surveillance plan are well coordinated?

Are there effective procedures and policies in place to ensure effective
coordination and co-regulation of BSE surveillance by APHIS and FSIS? A
copy of the letter is available upon request.


http://harkin.senate.gov/news.cfm?id=224521


> Terry S. Singeltary Sr. wrote:
>
>> ######## Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
>> #########
>>
>> Prosecutors eyeing possible criminal violations in cattle futures
>> market
>>
>>
>> By MARCY GORDON AP Business Writer
>> The Associated Press - Thursday, May 13, 2004
>>
>>
>> WASHINGTON
>>
>> Federal prosecutors are looking into possible criminal violations by
>> commodities traders who may have received advance knowledge about the
>> first U.S. case of mad cow disease and used it to reap profits in the
>> cattle futures market.
>>
>> The disclosure of an investigation by criminal authorities, being
>> conducted in tandem with a previously known civil probe by the Commodity
>> Futures Trading Commission, was made by agency chairman James Newsome on
>> Thursday in testimony before the Senate Agriculture Committee.
>>
>> "We take very seriously allegations of leaked information or people
>> trading upon leaked information. That is something we are looking at,"
>> Newsome said in response to a question from Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D. He
>> said the CFTC is cooperating in a probe with the U.S. attorney's office
>> in Washington, which is expected to be completed this summer.
>>
>> Newsome told reporters after the hearing, "There are potential
>> violations of both civil and criminal laws here."
>>
>> Justice Department spokesmen didn't immediately return a telephone call
>> seeking comment.
>>
>> In a months-long investigation, the CFTC has examined cattle-futures
>> trading data on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as far back as Dec. 9,
>> 2003 - the day a diseased Canadian Holstein was slaughtered in
>> Washington state and two weeks before the Agriculture Department
>> confirmed it as the country's first case of mad cow disease.
>>
>> The CFTC investigators have focused on traders who bet that cattle
>> prices would decline prior to the Dec. 23 announcement by Agriculture
>> Secretary Ann Veneman. The investigators have been trying to determine
>> whether information about the infected cow had been leaked, and by whom,
>> before Dec. 23.
>>
>> The source of any information leak also could be charged.
>>
>> Lawmakers have questioned Veneman about whether the department waited
>> too long before announcing that the diseased Holstein contracted the
>> disease in Canada, thereby fueling market uncertainty and unusual
>> volatility in prices of cattle futures traded on the mercantile
>> exchange.
>>
>> Veneman has said the USDA informed the public as quickly as it could -
>> initially that a Holstein in Washington state had mad cow, and later
>> that it was born in Canada and apparently became infected there.
>>
>> Prior to the announcement of the diagnosis on Dec. 23, the front-month
>> cattle futures contract settled for the day at 90.675 cents per pound on
>> the exchange. Within a week, the price had fallen below 74 cents per
>> pound, potentially yielding huge profits for investors who bet that the
>> price would fall by taking so-called short positions.
>>
>> Price movements "were clearly unusual," Conrad noted at the hearing. If
>> trading on advance information did occur, he said, "That is really
>> something that cannot be tolerated. That is something that throws the
>> credibility of the markets in question."
>>
>> Investors who take short positions borrow the securities or commodities
>> in question from a broker in hopes of replacing them later with cheaper
>> ones, thereby reaping a profit.
>>
>> The Chicago Mercantile Exchange has cooperated with the investigation,
>> CFTC officials have said.
>>
>> In cases of alleged illegal insider trading, the government doesn't
>> always bring criminal charges. It depends partly on the severity of the
>> alleged violations and how much money the person made from the
>> transactions.
>>
>> __
>>
>> On the Net:
>>
>> Commodity Futures Trading Commission: http://www.cftc.gov
>>
>> http://www.in-forum.com/ap/index.cfm?page=view&id=D82HSS500
>>
>> Statement of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
>> Issued: January 28, 2004
>>
>> U.S. COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION PURSUES "MAD COW" AND NATURAL
>> GAS INVESTIGATIONS
>>
>> Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
>> announced today that it is investigating two matters of broad public
>> interest. The first investigation, which began in late December 2003, is
>> looking at the possibility that certain commodity traders had advance
>> knowledge of an announcement last month that "mad cow" disease had been
>> found in a cattle herd in the northwestern U.S. A CFTC spokesman says
>> the investigation seeks to determine whether news of the announcement
>> was leaked in advance from government or other sources.
>>
>> snip...
>>
>> http://www.cftc.gov/opa/press04/opa0000-04.htm
>>
>> From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
>> (216-119-138-126.ipset18.wt.net)
>> Subject: U.S. Emergency Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Response Plan
>> Summary
>> Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 18:25:12 -0500
>> TO BSE-L
>>
>>
>> The mission of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is to enhance
>> the quality of life for the American people by supporting production
>> agriculture; ensuring a safe, affordable, nutritious, and accessible
>> food supply; caring for agricultural, forest, and range lands;
>> supporting sound development of rural communities; providing economic
>> opportunities for farm and rural residents; expanding global markets for
>> agricultural and forest products and services; and working to reduce
>> hunger in America and throughout the world.
>>
>> USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is responsible
>> for ensuring the health and care of animals and plants. APHIS improves
>> agricultural productivity and competitiveness and contributes to the
>> national economy and the public health. USDA's Food Safety and
>> Inspection Service (FSIS) is responsible for protecting the Nation's
>> meat and poultry supply--making sure it is safe, wholesome,
>> unadulterated, and properly labeled and packaged. These two agencies
>> have come together to lead USDA's actions in the prevention, monitoring,
>> and control of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the U.S.
>> livestock and food supply.
>> The public knows BSE as "MAD COW DISEASE", a disease linked to human
>> cases of new-variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (nvCJD). USDA knows BSE
>> as the disease that devastated the livestock industry in the United
>> Kingdom and shattered consumer confidence in Europe. BSE has affected
>> international trade and all aspects of the animal and public health
>> communities. It has called even greater attention to the U.S.
>> Government's accountability for a safe food supply.
>> No case of BSE has ever been found in the United States. Since 1989,
>> USDA has had a number of stringent safeguards in place to prevent BSE
>> from entering the country. USDA conducts an ongoing, comprehensive
>> interagency surveillance program for BSE. This surveillance program
>> allows USDA to monitor actively for BSE to ensure immediate detection in
>> the event that BSE were to be introduced into the United States.
>> Immediate detection allows for swift response. As an emergency
>> preparedness measure, USDA has developed this BSE Response Plan to be
>> initiated in the event that a case of BSE is diagnosed in the United
>> States. The Plan details comprehensive instructions for USDA staff as to
>> who is to do what, when, where, and how in the event that BSE were to be
>> diagnosed in the United States.
>>
>> BACKGROUND
>>
>> APHIS is responsible for being prepared for potential FOREIGN animal
>> disease outbreaks. The purpose of such preparation is to provide a
>> step-by-step plan of action in the event that a FOREIGN animal disease,
>> such as BSE, is detected in the United States. These plans, often
>> referred to as "RED BOOKS", provide guidance by outlining certain
>> actions that should take place, such as identification of a suspect
>> animal, laboratory confirmation, epidemiologic investigation, and animal
>> and herd disposition activities. Copies of Red Books for specific
>> FOREIGN animal diseases are distributed to agency headquarters and each
>> regional and field office to have in preparation for a disease outbreak.
>>
>> In 1990, APHIS developed a plan to respond to a confirmation of BSE in
>> the United States. In August 1996, a joint APHIS-FSIS working group
>> updated the BSE Red Book in accordance with current science and research
>> surrounding BSE and the related family of disease called transmissible
>> spongiform encephalopathies (TSE's). The BSE Red Book is officially
>> entitled BSE EMERGENCY DISEASE GUIDELINES.
>> The APHIS-FSIS working group determined that the BSE Red Book, which
>> detailed laboratory and field activities to be carried out in an
>> emergency, needed another component. After the March 1996 announcement
>> by the United Kingdom that BSE was linked to nvCJD, it became apparent
>> to the working group that the Plan needed to address communication
>> issues, both internally within USDA and the Federal Government and
>> externally to the public at large. A confirmed case of BSE would affect
>> such a vast array of stakeholders-consumers, cattle producers, the food
>> animal industry, international trading partners, animal and public
>> health communities, media, and others. Having clear, accurate
>> information readily available would build trust and credibility and
>> facilitate any response measures needed. There needed to be a
>> notification plan. Who was responsible for notifying who, what, when,
>> and how? The plan needed to identify clear channels of communication as
>> to ensure immediate collection and dissemination of accurate
>> information.
>> The joint APHIS--FSIS working group became formally known as the BSE
>> Response Team and is responsible for the development of this BSE
>> Response Response Plan. BSE Response Team members represent a mix of
>> backgrounds and expertise, including veterinary medicine, food safety,
>> public health, epidemiology, pathology, international trade, and public
>> affairs. The Team is coordinatied by two Team Leaders, one each from
>> APHIS and FSIS, who serve as liaisons and technical advisors to their
>> respective agencies on regulations and policies regarding BSE.
>> Over the past 2 years, the BSE Response Plan has been reviewed, edited,
>> revised, and approved by officials at all levels of APHIS, FSIS, and
>> USDA. The Plan has also been shared with other Government agencies, such
>> as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease
>> Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institutes of Health
>> (NIH), and other stakeholders, such as the Animal Ag Coalition.
>> The BSE Response Team monitors and assesses all ongoing events and
>> research findings regarding TSE's. The Team leaders are responsible for
>> ensuring that prevention and diagnostic measures are continually revised
>> and adjusted as new information and knowledge become available.
>>
>> NOTIFICATION: Roles and Responsibilities
>>
>> Surveillance
>>
>> As part of USDA's surveillance program for BSE in the United States,
>> veterinary pathologists and field investigators from APHIS and FSIS have
>> received training from British counterparts in diagnosing BSE. FSIS
>> inspects cattle before they go to slaughter; these inspection procedures
>> include identifying animals with central nervous system conditions.
>> Animals with such conditions are considered suspect for BSE, prohibited
>> from slaughter, and referred to APHIS for examination as explained
>> below.
>> Pathologists at APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL)
>> histopathologically examine the brains from these condemned animals. In
>> addition, samples are tested using a technique called
>> immunohistochemistry, which tests for the presence of the
>> protease-resistant prion protein (a marker for BSE). NVSL also examines
>> samples from neurologically ill cattle and nonambulatory ("DOWNER")
>> cattle identified on the farm or at slaughter and from rabies-negative
>> cattle submitted to veterinary diagnostic laboratories and teaching
>> hospitals.
>>
>> NOTIFICATION
>>
>> Because of their responsibility for examining condemned or BSE-suspect
>> animals, NVSL is the organization responsible for activating the
>> notification and BSE response process. It is NVSL that will begin the
>> activation of the BSE Response Plan. From the time a sample is
>> submitted, it takes 14 to 18 days to confirm a diagnosis of BSE In the
>> first 10 to 13 days, pathologists at NVSL have enough information to
>> either rule out BSE or determine the need for additional tests. If it is
>> determined that there is no evidence of BSE, the results are added to
>> the more than 7,500 others that have also been negative. NVSL maintains
>> these data.
>> If additional tests do suggest a presumptive diagnosis of BSE, an NVSL
>> pathologist will hand carry the sample to the United Kingdom for
>> confirmation. It is at this critical point, when NVSL suggests a
>> diagnosis of BSE and is preparing to send the sample to the United
>> Kingdom, that this BSE Response Plan is initiated. The Plan begins the
>> preliminary notification from NVSL to APHIS.
>>
>> Prelimanary Notification
>>
>> The director of NVSL is responsible for immediately notifying the APHIS,
>> Veterinary Services (VS) deputy administrator when tests suggest a
>> presumptive diagnosis of BSE.
>> Once NVSL has made a presumptive diagnosis of BSE, APHIS and FSIS field
>> activities will also be initiated. APHIS will receive notification
>> (either confirming or not confirming NVSL's diagnosis) from the United
>> Kingdom anywhere between 24 and 96 hours. (The international animal
>> health community has recognized the United Kingdom's Central Veterinary
>> Laboratory {CVL} as the world's reference laboratory for diagnosing BSE.
>> Other countries, including Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, the
>> Netherlands, Portugal, and Switzerland, have all sent samples to this
>> lab to confirm their first case of BSE).
>>
>> NVSL
>>
>> NVSL will provide all laboratory support in carrying out this BSE
>> Response Plan and serve as the liaison with CVL. NVSL will prepare its
>> facility to receive and process additional samples from the suspect
>> animal's progeny or herdmates or other suspects. NVSL will also
>> coordinate any other assistance from State or university diagnostic
>> laboratories if necessary.
>>
>> APHIS, VS DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR
>>
>> Veterinary Services is the animal health arm of APHIS and the program
>> responsible for carrying out field actions in response to BSE. Upon
>> notifiction of a presumptive diagnosis from NVSL, the APHIS, VS deputy
>> administrator immediately notifies the FSIS, Office of Public Health and
>> Science (OPHS) deputy administrator. APHIS and FSIS deputy
>> administrators will alert the BSE Response Team and activate the
>> Response Plan. The VS deputy administrator serves as the liaison between
>> the BSE Response Team and the APHIS administrator.
>> The APHIS, VS deputy administrator notifies the APHIS administrator and
>> the VS regional director of the State from which the suspect animal
>> originated.
>>
>> APHIS Administrator
>>
>> The APHIS Administrator immediately notifies the USDA Assistant
>> Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. This immediate
>> notification will be followed by an official informational memorandum
>> from the APHIS Administrator, through the Assistant Secretary for
>> Marketing and Regulatory Programs, to the Secretary of Agriculture. This
>> memorandum will be prepared by the BSE Response Team; a draft is
>> maintained by the Team leaders in the reserved section of their plans.
>> The APHIS Administrator is responsible for securing indemnity funds for
>> depopulation of the herd if CVL confirms NVSL's diagnosis.
>>
>> Assistant Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs
>>
>> The Assistant Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, in
>> conjuction with the Undersecretary for Food Safety, is responsible for
>> notifying the Secretary. The Assistant Secretary serves as the liaison
>> between APHIS and Department-level officials.
>>
>> Secretary of Agriculture
>>
>> The Secretary has the authority to declare a Federal EMERGENCY if
>> appropriate and approve funding as necessary. Information will be
>> provided to the Secretary up the chain of command from the BSE Response
>> Team.
>>
>> FSIS, OPHS Deputy Administrator
>>
>> The OPHS Deputy Administrator, together with the APHIS, VS Deputy
>> Administrator, alert the BSE Response Team leaders and instruct them to
>> assemble the BSE Response Team and activate the Plan. The OPHS Deputy
>> Administrator serves as the liaison between the BSE Response Team and
>> the FSIS Administrator.
>> The OPHS Deputy Administrator is responsible for notifying the FSIS
>> regional director in charge of the State from which the suspect animal
>> originated.
>>
>> FSIS Deputy Administrator
>>
>> The FSIS Deputy Administrator is responsible for notifying the
>> Undersecretary for Food Safety.
>>
>> Undersecretary for Food Safety
>>
>> The Undersecretary for Food Safety, in conjuction with the Assistant
>> Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, notifies the Secretary
>> of Agriculture.
>>
>> APHIS, VS, Regional Director
>>
>> The APHIS, VS regional director in charge of the State from which the
>> suspect animal originated notifies the VS Area Veterinarian-in-Charge
>> (AVIC) for that State. The regional director is the liaison between VS
>> field staff and the VS Deputy Administrator at headquarters. In
>> addition, the regional director shares all information with the BSE
>> Response Team.
>>
>> APHIS, VS, AVIC
>>
>> The VS AVIC, in cooperation with State animal health authorities, is
>> responsible for coordination the field activities surrounding the
>> emergency response to BSE. The AVIC assembles the local VS staff to
>> initiate activities outlined in the BSE Red Book including tracing the
>> progeny and herdmates of the suspect animal and beginning an
>> epidemiologic investigation. The VS AVIC coordinates with the State
>> Veterinarian to quarantine the suspect animal's herd of origin. The
>> State has the authority to order a routine quarantine for a neurological
>> disease. The BSE Response Team surveyed every State to determine if they
>> would utilize this authority in the event that NVSL identifies a
>> presumptive diagnosis of BSE. All States responded that they would issue
>> a quarantine.
>>
>> BSE Response Team
>>
>> The BSE Response Team leaders will notify each team member and instruct
>> them to assemble in the Situation Room at APHIS headquarters in
>> Riverdale, MD. The Team leaders are responsible for ensuring that all of
>> the Team's duties are fulfilled. It is their responsibility to ensure
>> that the technical information and expert recommendations reach the
>> decisionmakers in a timely fashion. Together with VS Emergency Programs
>> staff, the Team leaders will obtain APHIS, VS administrative support
>> staff in Riverdale, MD, to ready the room for use as BSE headquarters.
>> The Team will begin gathering and assembling information from APHIS and
>> FSIS region and field staff. The Team will pull the draft documents from
>> the third section in the Team leaders manuals and begin filling in
>> current information as it becomes available.
>>
>> Public Notification
>>
>> Should NVSL receive notice from CVL confirming a case of BSE, the next
>> level of notification is activated. Each player will follow the same
>> notification protocol as described above for preliminary notification to
>> confirm the diagnosis of a case of BSE.
>>
>> BSE Response Team
>>
>> The BSE Response Team will complete the informational memorandum for the
>> Secretary. The Team will prepare the letter to the Office of
>> International Epizootics (OIE), the international animal health
>> organization, for signature by the APHIS, VS Deputy Administrator. OIE
>> requires that all countries submit official notification within 24 hours
>> of confirming a diagnosis of BSE.
>> The BSE Response Team and the office of the APHIS, VS Deputy
>> Administrator would coordinate a teleconference to inform all APHIS
>> regional directors and AVIC'S.
>> The BSE Response Team and the office of the FSIS, OPHS Deputy
>> Administrator would coordinate a teleconference to inform all regional
>> and field FSIS offices.
>> The BSE Response Team would coordinate a teleconference to notify other
>> Federal agencies.
>> The BSE Response Team would coordinate a teleconference to notify key
>> industry/consumer representatives.
>> The BSE Response Team and APHIS International Services would notify
>> foreign embassies.
>> The BSE Response Team would establish a toll-free 800 telephone line for
>> industry representatives, reporters, and the public.
>> The BSE Response Team would coordinate with APHIS Legislative and Public
>> Affairs and USDA office of Communications to issue a press release the
>> day the diagnosis is confirmed. The press release would announce a press
>> conference to be held the morning after the diagnosis is confirmed......
>>
>> THE END
>>
>> POSTED TO BSE-L by me on;
>>
>> Date: Tue, 4 May 1999 18:25:12 -0500


snip...

MAD COW MARKET TIMING


Office of Inspector General OIG

Semiannual Report to Congress FY - 2005 - First Half

snip...


Stopping BSE at the Border—USDA Needs To

Strengthen Controls Over Canadian Beef Imports

Following the detection of a Canadian cow with bovine

spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or “mad cow disease”)

in May 2003, we examined the Animal and Plant Health

Inspection Service’s (APHIS) oversight of the importation

of beef products from Canada. Following requests from

four U.S. Senators, we began several reviews in June

2004 to explore whether USDA did not follow appropriate

safety measures, beginning sometime in the fall of 2003,

in allowing expanded Canadian beef imports into the

United States.

After the initial halt of imports, in August 2003 the

Secretary announced a list of low-risk products that would

be allowed from Canada. APHIS also allowed an

expansion in the type of Canadian facilities that could

produce items for export to the United States. The

gradual expansion occurred because agency employees

included products similar to those on the published lowrisk

list, but APHIS did not communicate this broadly.

As a result, from August 2003 to April 2004, APHIS issued

permits for products with questionable eligibility. Contrary

to publicly stated policy, the agency allowed the import of

products from Canadian facilities that produced both

eligible and ineligible products, increasing the possibility

that higher-risk product could be inadvertently imported.

APHIS also issued permits to allow the import of more

than 63,000 pounds of beef cheek meat with questionable

eligibility because the agency did not establish a clear

definition for “boneless beef.” Further, we found that

FSIS did not always communicate effectively about the

eligibility status of beef cheek meat, specifically to import

inspectors. In addition, APHIS issued 1,155 permits for

the importation of ruminant (e.g., cow, goat) products

from Canada without ensuring that the agency had an

appropriate system of internal controls to manage the

process for a suddenly overwhelming volume of requests.

From May through September 2004, we identified more

than 42,000 pounds of product with questionable

eligibility.

APHIS generally agreed to institute procedures for

communicating changes in policy and monitoring the

consistency between agency practice and publicly stated

policy, as well as to strengthen controls and finalize

procedures to issue and monitor permits. FSIS generally

agreed to implement controls to communicate the specific

eligibility of product when its eligibility status changes and

to implement an edit check in its import information

system to identify ineligible product. (Audit Report No.

33601-1-Hy, APHIS Oversight of the Importation of Beef

Products from Canada)


snip...


Restaurant Owner Sentenced for Smuggling Beef

from Japan, Importation of Which Is Prohibited Due

to Disease Concerns

In January 2005, a Los Angeles restaurant owner was

placed on probation for 60 months, to include 800 hours

of community service, after he pled guilty to smuggling

beef from Japan. Under 9 Code of Federal Regulations

(C.F.R.) § 94, beef from Japan is a prohibited product

for United States importation due to disease. On two

occasions in 2001 and 2002, inspectors in Anchorage,

Alaska, intercepted shipments sent from Japan that

were manifested as “book,” but upon inspection by

USDA and the United States Customs Service, were

found to contain approximately 25 kilograms of beef

inside a Styrofoam ice chest. Both shipments were

addressed to the restaurant owner. Shipping records

showed that the restaurant owner had received 13

shipments manifested as “book” from the same sender

in Japan in 2001 and 2002. All but one of the shipments

were in the same weight range as the two intercepted

shipments. The shipper and the restaurant owner were

subsequently indicted for various charges including

conspiracy and smuggling. An arrest warrant was

issued for the shipper, who is still in Japan.

http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/SarcFirstHalf05.pdf

MAD COW MARKET TIMING, if waiting 7+ months to confirm a case of mad cow
disease in TEXAS is not market
timing (that's after succeeding in covering up another mad cow with
absolutely no test at all), i don't know what is $$$


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?
By PURVA PATEL
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle
RESOURCES

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


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

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----
Multimedia:
• 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.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----
Other:
• 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.

purva.patel@chron.com


http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/business/3283743


Greetings,


>>>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.


Sincerely,


Susan Combs

Commissioner

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----
From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr. [mailto:flounder9@verizon.net]
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
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, 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.

####


http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/news/2004/NEW01061.html


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;


THE TEXAS GONZALES/PURINA INCIDENT SHOWED THAT 5.5 GRAMS OF
RUMINANT PROTEIN WAS FED TO CATTLE ;

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
P01-05
January 30, 2001
Print Media:
301-827-6242
Broadcast Media:
301-827-3434
Consumer Inquiries:
888-INFO-FDA

FDA ANNOUNCES TEST RESULTS FROM TEXAS FEED LOT

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
routinely.

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.

http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2001/NEW00752.html

MOST people have known that less than one gram is lethal.

THIS has been known for a decade or more.

Evidendly the FDA did not know. ...

TSS




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