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From: TSS ()
Subject: Johann's et al at USDA feed Japan more mad cow lies and false reassurances
Date: March 12, 2006 at 7:34 pm PST


US, Japan officials meet after mad cow alert
Staff and agencies
12 March, 2006


By Charles Abbott 1 hour, 41 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns met with his Japanese counterpart to tell him of a possible new U.S. case of mad cow disease that may turn out to be another false alarm, a spokesman said on Sunday.

It will be four to seven days before scientists at an Agriculture Department laboratory in Ames, Iowa, complete two definitive tests for the brain-destroying disease, formally called bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE .

Discovery of the suspect animal came at a delicate time in U.S. efforts to rebuild beef exports to wary countries overseas, especially traditionally major export customers such as Japan and South Korea .

Beef exports plummeted following the first U.S. case, in December 2003, in a dairy cow in Washington state. The second case was a Brahma crossbreed beef cow in Texas in November 2004.

Johanns told Japanese Agriculture Minister Shoichi Nakagawa of the possible third case while in London for a meeting of the G6 trade powers, said USDA spokesman Ed Loyd. He said he did not know Nakagawa‘s response.

It was on the sidelines of the meeting on Saturday, said Loyd. The men had met a day earlier to discuss refinements to U.S. meat inspection procedures in response to a violation of U.S.-Japan beef trade rules.

Japan banned U.S. beef for two years before relenting at the end of 2005. Then Tokyo suspended U.S. beef imports on January 20 after its inspectors found part of a backbone -- forbidden under U.S.-Japan trade rules -- in a shipment of veal.

South Korea was set to reopen its market to U.S. beef in a few weeks.

USDA ordered the definitive tests at Ames after learning on Friday night that a brain sample from the suspect animal had yielded "inconclusive" results from less accurate, rapid-screening tests.

There have been five other "inconclusives" but only one finding of mad cow disease since USDA began stepped-up tests of older and "high-risk" cattle.

More than 640,000 head have been tested since the expanded surveillance program started in June 2004.

U.S. farm groups took a wait-and-see attitude to the latest report. Since the first U.S. case of mad cow, there have been "enough potential false positives," said a farm lobbyist, that no one was spooked by a first-round test result.

http://www.newsone.ca/westfallweeklynews/stories/index.php?action=fullnews&id=156705

> U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns met with his Japanese counterpart to tell him of a possible new

> U.S. case of mad cow disease that may turn out to be another false alarm, a spokesman said on Sunday.

WITH THE USDA's BSE TESTING PROTOCOLs to date, no doubt there is a great chance of it being false positive.

> There have been five other "inconclusives" but only one finding of mad cow disease since USDA began

> stepped-up tests of older and "high-risk" cattle.

so, what are the chances of having 4 false positives (2 of them back to back within days) out of 5 rapid BSE test out of some 600,000 test taken since june 2004? they would have had 5 out of 5 inconclusive if not for the Honorable Phyllis Fong of the OIG finally making them confirm that cow 8 months later, after the whole world figured out that cow was mad before the USDA did. NOT to speak of the 9,200 cows they never even used those rapid test on, or WB, nope, just the least likely to find BSE i.e. the IHC, and those were probably the most high risk cattle, the ones stumbling and staggering and cannot stand, the ones the USDA use to not test at all, just send straight to the render. i will say again with great confidence, the june 2004 enhanced bse surveillance program was another total failure, the testing protocols were flawed up until now, and we will see how they handle this one. ...TSS






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