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From: TSS ()
Subject: Cornyn's wish for a more open government moves forward
Date: August 12, 2007 at 9:08 am PST

Aug. 12, 2007, 1:01AM
DELEGATION WATCH
Cornyn's wish for a more open government moves forward


By MICHELLE MITTELSTADT
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Sen. John Cornyn is always fond of talking about how he wants to bring some Texas sunshine to Washington.

Well, after months of his bill being bottled up by a fellow Republican at the Justice Department's urging, Cornyn and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., recently succeeded in getting the Senate to approve a strengthening of the Freedom of Information Act.

And not a moment too soon, says the Coalition of Journalists for Open Government, which reports that the government has processed 20 percent fewer open-records requests by the public and the media over the past nine years, while the request backlog has tripled.

Though the law requires agencies to provide an initial response in 20 days and deliver relevant documents in a timely manner, rare is the newsroom where reporters don't have tales of requests sometimes taking years to be honored.

The Cornyn-Leahy bill would speed response times, close loopholes that deny access to records and encourage agencies to be more open.

"Open government reforms should be embraced by conservatives, liberals and anyone who believes in the freedom and the dignity of the individual," Cornyn said.

The legislation, he said, "strengthens the view that the Freedom of Information Act establishes a presumption of openness."

The Bush administration has not exactly tipped to the side of more disclosure. In an October 2001 memo, then Attorney General John Ashcroft replaced a policy that placed a premium on disclosure with one emphasizing agencies' ability to withhold records.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/politics/5046971.html

i'm still waiting. ...tss

----- Original Message -----
From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
To: SANET-MG@LISTS.IFAS.UFL.EDU
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 4:36 PM
Subject: Re: [SANET-MG] FOIA REQUEST FOR ATYPICAL TSE INFORMATION ON VERMONT SHEEP


FOIA APPEAL
Reference FOIA 07-566

DECLARATION OF EXTRAORDINARY EMERGENCY BECAUSE OF AN ATYPICAL T.S.E.
(PRION DISEASE) OF FOREIGN ORIGIN IN THE UNITED STATES [Docket No. 00-072-1]


Mouse Bio-Assays

July 11, 2007


TO:

Administrator
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Ag Box 3401
Washington, DC 20250-3401

C.C.

USDA OIG FOIA
Honorable Phyllis Fong
1400 Independence Ave., SW, Mail Stop 2308
Washington, D.C. 20250

C.C.

Honorable Chairman Henry Waxman
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
U.S. House of Representatives
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515


Reference FOIA 07-566


To Whom it may concern,

I respectfully wish to appeal the following answer I got from FOIA 07-566
request, see letter that i am appealing and reasons to follow ;


================================

USDA

JULY 3, 2007

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

Dear Mr. Singeltary:


This is in response to your March 15, 2007, Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) request for records related to bio-assays of sheep imported from
Belgium. Your request was received in this office on March 27, 2007, and
assigned case number FOIA 07-566. We apologize for the delay of this
response.

For your information, the FOIA is designed to allow the public access to
agency records, not to answer questions. After consulting with agency staff,
we were informed up to two years is required for a final result on the
bio-assay. Therefore, we did not locate any records responsive to your
request. You may appeal our no records determination. If you choose to
appeal, your appeal must be in writing and must be sent within 45 days of
the date of this letter to:

snip...

To assist the Administrator in reviewing your appeal, provide specific
reasons why you believe modification of the determination is warranted.

If you have any questions, please contact..............


Sincerely


Cheri A. Oswalt
Acting Director
Freedom of Information $ Privacy Act Staff
Legislative and Public Affairs

=========================


SPECIFIC REASONS


> For your information, the FOIA is designed to allow the public access to

> agency records, not to answer questions.


IF the pubic is consistantly told that the agency has done said mouse
bio-assay or any other request,
but yet the agency in question, consistantly lies about said mouse
bio-assay, or any other request,
are you saying we cannot question these actions via FIOA, this is the public
last resort ???


> After consulting with agency staff, we were informed up to two years is

> required for a final result on the bio-assay.

> Therefore, we did not locate any records responsive to your request.


OVER 3 years ago, on May 20, 2004, I was told ;


> --- Original Message ---
>
>
> Subject: Re: hello Dr. Sutton.question please.scrapie.TSS
> Date: Thu, 20 May 2004 14:36:09 -0400
> From: Jim.D.Rogers@aphis.usda.gov
> To: flounder@wt.net
>
> Dear Mr. Singeltary,
>
> The Western blot tests on these animals were completed in April of this
> year. That means that we can begin the mouse inoculations. To get the
> results of the Western blot tests, you will need to submit a Freedom of
> Information Act request through our FOIA office. The FAX number there is
> 301-734-5941.
>
> Have a nice day,
>
> Jim Rogers
> APHIS LPA


=========================================================


OVER 5 YEARS AGO WE WERE ALL TOLD THIS ;


>> Imported
>> Belgium/Netherlands
>> Sheep Test Results
>> Background
>> Factsheet
>> Veterinary Services April 2002
>> APHIS
>
>
>
> snip...
>
>> Additional tests will be conducted to determine
>> exactly what TSE the animals have BSE or scrapie.
>> These tests involve the use of bioassays that consist
>> of injecting mice with tissue from the infected animals
>> and waiting for them to develop disease. This testing
>> may take at least 2 to 3 years to complete.
>
>
>
> http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/pubs/fsheet_faq_notice/fs_ahvtsheeptr.pdf


=====================================================


What are the results of those mouse bio-assays ???

Have they even started ???

IF not, when will they begin ???

IF so, when did they begin this time ???

IF these mouse bio-assays have not yet started, and have been put off for 5
years, this
being the 3rd time, now going beyond 7 years when finished, will the agency
please explain
this delay on such an important animal and human health matter ???


Thank You,
kind regards,

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


SOURCES for concern ;


Recently the question has again been brought up as to whether
scrapie is transmissible to man. This has followed reports that the
disease has been transmitted to primates. One particularly lurid
speculation (Gajdusek 1977) conjectures that the agents of scrapie,
kuru, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and transmissible encephalopathy of
mink are varieties of a single "virus". The U.S. Department of
Agriculture concluded that it could "no longer justify or permit
scrapie-blood line and scrapie-exposed sheep and goats to be processed
for human or animal food at slaughter or rendering plants" (ARC 84/77)"
The problem is emphasised by the finding that some strains of scrapie
produce lesions identical to the once which characterise the human
dementias"

Whether true or not. the hypothesis that these agents might be
transmissible to man raises two considerations. First, the safety
of laboratory personnel requires prompt attention. Second, action
such as the "scorched meat" policy of USDA makes the solution of the
acrapie problem urgent if the sheep industry is not to suffer
grievously.

snip...

76/10.12/4.6

http://www.bseinquiry.gov.uk/files/yb/1976/10/12004001.pdf


J Infect Dis 1980 Aug;142(2):205-8

Oral transmission of kuru, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and scrapie to
nonhuman primates.

Gibbs CJ Jr, Amyx HL, Bacote A, Masters CL, Gajdusek DC.

Kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease of humans and scrapie disease of sheep
and goats were transmitted to squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) that were
exposed to the infectious agents only by their nonforced consumption of
known infectious tissues. The asymptomatic incubation period in the one
monkey exposed to the virus of kuru was 36 months; that in the two monkeys
exposed to the virus of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease was 23 and 27 months,
respectively; and that in the two monkeys exposed to the virus of scrapie
was 25 and 32 months, respectively. Careful physical examination of the
buccal cavities of all of the monkeys failed to reveal signs or oral
lesions. One additional monkey similarly exposed to kuru has remained
asymptomatic during the 39 months that it has been under observation.

PMID: 6997404
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=6997404&dopt=Abstract


EVIDENCE OF SCRAPIE IN SHEEP AS A RESULT OF FOOD BORNE EXPOSURE

This is provided by the statistically significant increase in the incidence
of sheep scrape from 1985, as determined from analyses of the submissions
made to VI Centres, and from individual case and flock incident studies.
........

http://www.bseinquiry.gov.uk/files/yb/1994/02/07002001.pdf


AS implied in the Inset 25 we must not _ASSUME_ that
transmission of BSE to other species will invariably
present pathology typical of a scrapie-like disease.

snip...

http://www.bseinquiry.gov.uk/files/yb/1991/01/04004001.pdf


Published online before print October 20, 2005

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 10.1073/pnas.0502296102
Medical Sciences

A newly identified type of scrapie agent can naturally infect sheep with
resistant PrP genotypes

( sheep prion | transgenic mice )

Annick Le Dur *, Vincent Béringue *, Olivier Andréoletti , Fabienne Reine *,
Thanh Lan Laï *, Thierry Baron , Bjørn Bratberg ¶, Jean-Luc Vilotte ||,
Pierre Sarradin **, Sylvie L. Benestad ¶, and Hubert Laude *
*Virologie Immunologie Moléculaires and ||Génétique Biochimique et
Cytogénétique, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, 78350
Jouy-en-Josas, France; Unité Mixte de Recherche, Institut National de la
Recherche Agronomique-Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Toulouse, Interactions
Hôte Agent Pathogène, 31066 Toulouse, France; Agence Française de Sécurité
Sanitaire des Aliments, Unité Agents Transmissibles Non Conventionnels,
69364 Lyon, France; **Pathologie Infectieuse et Immunologie, Institut
National de la Recherche Agronomique, 37380 Nouzilly, France; and
¶Department of Pathology, National Veterinary Institute, 0033 Oslo, Norway


Edited by Stanley B. Prusiner, University of California, San Francisco, CA,
and approved September 12, 2005 (received for review March 21, 2005)

Scrapie in small ruminants belongs to transmissible spongiform
encephalopathies (TSEs), or prion diseases, a family of fatal
neurodegenerative disorders that affect humans and animals and can transmit
within and between species by ingestion or inoculation. Conversion of the
host-encoded prion protein (PrP), normal cellular PrP (PrPc), into a
misfolded form, abnormal PrP (PrPSc), plays a key role in TSE transmission
and pathogenesis. The intensified surveillance of scrapie in the European
Union, together with the improvement of PrPSc detection techniques, has led
to the discovery of a growing number of so-called atypical scrapie cases.
These include clinical Nor98 cases first identified in Norwegian sheep on
the basis of unusual pathological and PrPSc molecular features and "cases"
that produced discordant responses in the rapid tests currently applied to
the large-scale random screening of slaughtered or fallen animals.
Worryingly, a substantial proportion of such cases involved sheep with PrP
genotypes known until now to confer natural resistance to conventional
scrapie. Here we report that both Nor98 and discordant cases, including
three sheep homozygous for the resistant PrPARR allele (A136R154R171),
efficiently transmitted the disease to transgenic mice expressing ovine PrP,
and that they shared unique biological and biochemical features upon
propagation in mice. These observations support the view that a truly
infectious TSE agent, unrecognized until recently, infects sheep and goat
flocks and may have important implications in terms of scrapie control and
public health.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------


Author contributions: H.L. designed research; A.L.D., V.B., O.A., F.R.,
T.L.L., J.-L.V., and H.L. performed research; T.B., B.B., P.S., and S.L.B.
contributed new reagents/analytic tools; V.B., O.A., and H.L. analyzed data;
and H.L. wrote the paper.

A.L.D. and V.B. contributed equally to this work.

To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Hubert Laude, E-mail: laude@jouy.inra.fr

www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0502296102


http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/0502296102v1


Dormont*, and Jean-Philippe Deslys* et al, that The agent responsible
for French iatrogenic growth hormone-linked CJD taken as a control is
very different from vCJD but is similar to that found in one case of
sporadic CJD and one sheep scrapie isolate;

http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/041490898v1


SCRAPIE UPDATE USA AS OF MARCH 2007 NOR98 INCLUDED

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_diseases/scrapie/downloads/monthly_scrapie_rpt.pps


DECLARATION OF EXTRAORDINARY EMERGENCY BECAUSE OF AN ATYPICAL T.S.E.
> > (PRION DISEASE) OF FOREIGN ORIGIN IN THE UNITED STATES
> >
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2000_register&docid=fr20jy00-31

> > DECLARATION OF EXTRAORDINARY EMERGENCY BECAUSE OF AN ATYPICAL T.S.E
> > (PRION DISEASE) OF FOREIGN ORIGIN IN THE UNITED STATES [2]
> >
>
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2000_register&docid=fr20jy00-32
>
> > or if those old urls dont work, go here;
> >
> > DECLARATION OF EXTRAORDINARY EMERGENCY BECAUSE OF AN ATYPICAL T.S.E
> > (PRION DISEASE) OF FOREIGN ORIGIN IN THE UNITED STATES
> > - Terry S.
> > Singeltary Sr. 7/20/00 (0)
> >
>
> > [Federal Register: July 20, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 140)] [Notices]
> > [Page 45018] >From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access
> > [wais.access.gpo.gov] [DOCID:fr20jy00-32]
> >
> > -----------------------------------------------------------------------

> >
> > DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
> >
> > Office of the Secretary
> >
> > [Docket No. 00-072-1]
> >
> > Declaration of Extraordinary Emergency Because of an Atypical
> > Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (Prion Disease) of Foreign
Origin
> >
> > A transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) (prion disease) of
> > foreign origin has been detected in the United States. It is different
> > from TSE's previously diagnosed in the United States. The TSE was
> > detected in the progeny of imported sheep. The imported sheep and
> > their progeny are under quarantine in Vermont. Transmissible
> > spongiform encephalopathies are degenerative fatal diseases that can
> > affect livestock. TSE's are caused by similar, as yet uncharacterized,
> > agents that usually produce spongiform changes in the brain.
> > Post-mortem analysis has indicated positive results for an atypical
> > TSE of foreign origin in four sheep in Vermont. Because of the
> > potentially serious consequences of allowing the disease to spread to
> > other livestock in the United States, it is necessary to seize and
> > dispose of those flocks of sheep in Vermont that are affected with or
> > exposed to the disease, and their germ plasm. The existence of the
> > atypical TSE of foreign origin represents a threat to U.S. livestock.
> > It constitutes a real danger to the national economy and a potential
> > serious burden on interstate and foreign commerce. The Department has
> > reviewed the measures being taken by Vermont to quarantine and
> > regulate the flocks in question and has consulted with appropriate
> > officials in the State of Vermont. Based on such review and
> > consultation, the Department has determined that Vermont does not have
> > the funds to compensate flock owners for the seizure and disposal of
> > flocks affected with or exposed to the disease, and their germ plasm.
> > Without such funds, it will be unlikely to achieve expeditious
> > disposal of the flocks and germ plasm. Therefore, the Department has
> > determined that an extraordinary emergency exists because of the
> > existence of the atypical TSE in Vermont. This declaration of
> > extraordinary emergency authorizes the Secretary to seize, quarantine,
> > and dispose of, in such manner as he deems necessary, any animals that
> > he finds are affected with or exposed to the disease in question, and
> > their germ plasm, and otherwise to carry out the provisions and
> > purposes of the Act of July 2, 1962 (21 U.S.C. 134-134h). The State of
> > Vermont has been informed of these facts.
> >
> > Dated: This declaration of extraordinary emergency shall become
> > effective July 14, 2000. Dan Glickman, Secretary of Agriculture. [FR
> > Doc. 00-18367 Filed 7-19-00; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-34-P

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=2000_register&docid=fr20jy00-32


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



snip...end...tss
 

*****************************************************





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