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From: TSS ()
Subject: FEDS UNSURE IF MAD COW SAFEGUARDS FOLLOWED FLAMING REPORT BY OIG PROVES TEXAS COVERED UP MAD COW DISEASE
Date: February 2, 2006 at 2:00 pm PST

FEDS UNSURE IF MAD COW SAFEGUARDS FOLLOWED


FEB. 2 4:52 P.M. ET Investigators could not determine whether beef slaughterhouses and packing plants obeyed safeguards designed to keep mad cow disease from reaching humans, an Agriculture Department audit found.

The audit, performed throughout 2005 and released Thursday, turned up a case of mad cow disease last year in a Texas cow.

The department's inspector general didn't find that at-risk tissues -- brains, spinal cords and other nerve parts from older animals -- had entered the food supply.

But investigators found it impossible to say whether slaughterhouses were following the rules, according to the report.
The rules were made in response to the first U.S. case of mad cow disease, in 2003. They say at-risk tissues must be removed when older animals are slaughtered. Infection levels from mad cow disease are believed to rise with age.

The Agriculture Department cited slaughterhouses or processing plants more than 1,000 times in 2004 and 2005 for violating the rules.

A department official pointed out that's less than 1 percent of all inspections. Those citations have been dropping, said Kenneth Petersen, assistant administrator for the department's Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Officials have already taken steps to better enforce the rules, said FSIS administrator Barbara Masters.

"FSIS is confident it is successfully carrying out its mission to protect public health," Masters said.

----

On the Net:

Food Safety and Inspection Service: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/



Copyright 2005, by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8FH7UG8J.htm?campaign_id=apn_home_down&chan=db

Audit Report Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Surveillance Program – Phase II and Food Safety and Inspection Service Controls Over BSE Sampling, Specified Risk Materials, and Advanced Meat Recovery Products - Phase III

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL Washington, D.C. 20250 January 25, 2006 REPLY TO ATTN OF: 50601-10-KC TO: W. Ron DeHaven Administrator Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Barbara Masters Administrator Food Safety and Inspection Service ATTN: William J. Hudnall Deputy Administrator Marketing Regulatory Program Business Services William C. Smith Assistant Administrator Office of Program Evaluation, Enforcement, and Review FROM: Robert W. Young /s/ Assistant Inspector General for Audit SUBJECT: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Surveillance Program - Phase II and Food Safety and Inspection Service - Controls Over BSE Sampling, Specified Risk Materials, and Advanced Meat Recovery Products - Phase III This report presents the results of our audit of the enhanced BSE surveillance program and controls over specified risk materials and advanced meat recovery products. Your written response to the official draft report, dated January 20, 2006, is included as exhibit G with excerpts of the response and the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) position incorporated into the Findings and Recommendations section of the report, where applicable. We accept the management decisions for all recommendations. Please follow your agency’s internal procedures in forwarding documentation for final action to the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO). We are providing a separate memorandum to the agencies and OCFO that provides specific information on the actions to be completed to achieve final action. We appreciate your timely response and the cooperation and assistance provided to our staff during the audit USDA/OIG-A/50601-10-KC/ Page i

Executive Summary

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Surveillance Program - Phase II and Food Safety and Inspection Service - Controls Over BSE Sampling, Specified Risk Materials, and Advanced Meat Recovery Products - Phase III

Results in Brief This report evaluates elements of the interlocking safeguards in place to protect United States (U.S.) beef from Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, widely known as BSE or "mad cow disease." Since 1990, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), has led a multi-agency effort to monitor and prevent BSE from entering the food supply. After discovering a BSE-positive cow in December 2003, APHIS expanded its BSE surveillance program. To further protect the food supply, USDA banned materials identified as being at risk of carrying BSE (specified risk materials (SRM)), such as central nervous system tissue. As part of this effort, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) required beef slaughter and processing facilities to incorporate controls for handling such materials into their operational plans. Onsite FSIS inspectors also inspect cattle for clinical signs in order to prevent diseased animals from being slaughtered for human consumption. To evaluate the effectiveness of the safeguards, we assessed APHIS’ implementation of the expanded surveillance program, as well as FSIS’ controls to prevent banned SRMs from entering the food supply.

In June 2004, APHIS implemented its expanded surveillance program; participation by industry in this surveillance program is voluntary. As of May 2005, over 350,000 animals were sampled and tested for BSE. To date, two animals tested positive for BSE; one tested positive after implementation of the expanded surveillance program.

USDA made significant efforts to implement the expanded BSE surveillance program. Much needed to be done in a short period of time to establish the necessary processes, controls, infrastructure, and networks to assist in this effort. In addition, extensive outreach and coordination was undertaken with other Federal, State, and local entities, private industry, and laboratory and veterinary networks. This report provides an assessment as to the progress USDA made in expanding its surveillance effort and the effectiveness of its controls and processes. This report also discusses the limitations of its program and data in assessing the prevalence of BSE in the U.S. herd.

snip...


40 ELISA test procedures require two additional (duplicate) tests if the initial test is reactive, before final interpretation. If either of the duplicate tests is reactive, the test is deemed inconclusive.

41 Protocol for BSE Contract Laboratories to Receive and Test Bovine Brain Samples and Report Results for BSE Surveillance Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), dated October 26, 2004.

42 The NVSL conducted an ELISA test on the original material tested at the contract laboratory and on two new cuts from the sample tissue.

43 A visual examination of brain tissue by a microscope.

44 A localized pathological change in a bodily organ or tissue.

SNIP...

PLEASE SEE FLAMING EVIDENCE THAT THE USDA ET AL COVERED UP MAD COW DISEASE IN TEXAS ;

PAGE 43;

Section 2. Testing Protocols and Quality Assurance Controls

snip...

FULL TEXT 130 PAGES

http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/50601-10-KC.pdf


TSS






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