January 27, 2004 Washington, D. C. – In its first act to change American laws since bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or “mad cow” disease, was found on December 23, 2003, in a Washington state Holstein cow, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that no more mammalian blood, blood products or chicken waste can be added to livestock feed. Further, no meat scraps from large restaurants can be recycled into cattle feed. Factories that make food for livestock and food for other animals that use cow ingredients will have to have separate production lines to guard against accidental contamination from the deadly prion proteins.
The diseased Washington cow was tracked through its ear tag ID to being imported into the United States from Canada in August 2001. The FDA officially said, “This one case of BSE does not mean that the U.S. food supply is any less safe today than it was yesterday. Concerning the safety of milk, the scientific data indicate that milk from BSE cows does not transmit BSE. National and international public health organizations have consistently stated that milk and milk products are safe regardless of whether the country producing them has had cases of BSE.”
At the same time, the United States Department of Agriculture says it has no plans to test all slaughtered cattle for mad cow disease, saying it is neither necessary nor justified. Japan – the number one importer of American beef – wants all beef tested for prion disease which has caused a rift between the two countries.
The USDA also says its probe of the one U.S. case of mad cow disease will soon be complete, as it has lifted a quarantine on five herds of cows linked to the Holstein with confirmed “mad cow” disease.
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