October 28, 2016

FDA Announces Final Rule on Mad Cow Disease in Food

The FDA has finalized a rule designed to reduce the risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), sometimes called "mad cow disease" in human food. This rule covers definitions for prohibited cattle materials in food, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. The materials include specified risk materials (SRMs) of brain, skull, eyes, trigeminal ganglia, spinal corn, vertebral column, and dorsal root ganglia of cattle 30 months of age and older, and the tonsils and distal ileum of the small instating of all cattle. Also prohibited are the small intestine from all cattle unless the distal ileum has been properly removed, material from non ambulatory cattle, and material from cattle not inspected and passed, or mechanically separated beef. The rule confirms that milk and milk products, … [Read more...]

Mad Cow Emerges in Germany

At least one case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), otherwise known as Mad Cow Disease, has been confirmed in Germany. That country has claimed for years that its country was free of BSE, but they were wrong. Public health officials claim that the cow was killed and none of it entered the food chain. Germany instituted "high standards" for animal feed, but traces of meat and bone meal were found in cattle feed recently. A 1994 European Union ban on feeding ruminants meat by-products was supposed to eliminate those ingredients. The cow was 10 years old, and tested positive for atypical BSE, which develops spontaneously in older cows. It had seven offspring. Five have already been slaughtered, and two others were on the same farm. They have been tested and killed. The herd is … [Read more...]

US Gets Nod For Mad Cow Risk Upgrade

The U.S. is set for a mad cow disease risk upgrade from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The organization’s scientific commission notified the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) this week that the United States' risk classification for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also called Mad Cow Disease be upgraded one risk level, from “controlled” to “negligible.” The OIE determines BSE risk status based on the actions a country has taken to manage the risk of the disease. “These actions include instituting a strong ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban, strictly controlling imports of animals and animal products from countries at risk for the disease, and conducting appropriate surveillance,” according to the USDA. The U.S. submitted an application for upgrade to the OIE’s … [Read more...]

Japan Eases Cattle Restrictions on U.S. Imports

The Japanese government decided yesterday to ease restrictions it has placed on U.S. beef imports. Restrictions put in place in 2006 that partially opened the markets did not allow the import of beef from cattle older than 20 months; the industry standard is 30 months. The agreement, dated January 25, 2013, requires that the U.S. must "meet or exceed" World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines to be considered controlled risk for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). In addition, U.S. meat establishments should be certified as eligible to export meat to Japan, and the Japanese government may conduct on-site audits of the U.S. inspection system. In 2003, Japan banned U.S. beef completely after a case of mad cow disease was discovered in Washington state in 2003. Secretary … [Read more...]

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