Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Neither Human Health nor Food Safety Were Ever At Risk in 4th Mad Cow

An April-to-August investigation has closed the book on the fourth case of Mad Cow Disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), in the United States.

The California Holstein discovered last April was an isolated incident, poising no threat what-so-ever to the U.S. cattle herd or food safety.  The three month investigation ended in the same place it began, with USDA’s Chief  Veterinary Officer, Dr. John Clifford,  giving the all clear signal.

“The results of this thorough investigation confirmed that at no time was the U.S. food supply  or human health at risk, and that the United States longstanding system of interlocking safeguards against BSE continues to be effective,” said Clifford.

The ten-year old dairy cow was only the fourth ever discovered in the U.S. with the prion disease known as BSE.

The diseased cow was found through brain tissue sampling last April 24 at a Baker Commodities rendering transfer station in Hanford, CA as part of USDA testing.

The dairy cow was unable to stand and was put down on April 18 before the rendering company picked up the carcass.

BSE cannot be transmitted by milk. USDA tracked the Holstein to the ranch where she was born, raised and bred to activate her mammary glands and to the Tulare County, CA dairy where to spent her life.

They identified 282 “cohorts” where the Holstein was born and traced 210 that might have made it into the food system. One of its offspring was slaughtered, but was not infected.   There is no live-animal test for BSE.

Unlike the first Mad Cow found in the U.S., near Mabton, WA on Dec. 23, 2003, subsequent discoveries in Texas in 2005, Alabama in 2006, and now California in 2012, have not had as much impact on U.S. beef export.

The fourth Mad Cow has caused some hiccups in Taiwan’s purchases of U.S. beef, but others have not been that much effected. The first Mad Cow discovering cost U.S. beef billions in a major disruption of its exports that took years to recover.

This time, the cow involved was never going to be slaughtered for sale for human consumption, and it may have been the subject of “atypical” BSE that just happens occasionally without requiring the animal to eat rendered protein supplements derived from slaughtered cattle.

British beef experienced a major outbreak in the 1990s when cattle were fed brain and spinal cord materials containing the prion disease. Rendered cattle are no longer feed to cattle, but there is concern about such use in chicken feed and it  could get back to cattle.

The Holstein was one 71 cattle collected by the rendering company in that collection. All the carcasses were quarantined before seated in plastic vaults and disposed in a landfall.

Worldwide, there were 29 cases of BSE discovered in 2011 — a 99 percent reduction since 1992 when there were 37,311 cases.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated dozens of feeds since the April discovery without finding any not in compliance with current regulations.

© Food Safety News
  • “an isolated incident”
    LOL
    the reason for another so called isolated case, is the ineptness of USDA APHIS FSIS INC. $$$
    BSE in USA
    Tags: TSE, USA
    Source: FDA
    A final investigation summary into the Californian case of BSE in April this year has been published by FDA.
    The report concludes that “compliance with BSE feed regulations was excellent” and that “none of the facilities had used prohibited material in their feed manufacturing during the entire period of interest”. The cow, obviously, was not infected through feed, but developed the disease from a ‘spontaneous mutation’.
    As this is certainly good news regarding the effectiveness of the feed ban system in the US, the fact that this cow had atypical BSE makes it more likely, not less, that there are more cases like this one in the US dairy herd. If a spontaneous mutation can develop once, it can develop several times. The relevance of atypical BSE for public health is unclear at this time, but there are indications that L-type atypical BSE, as diagnosed in the Californian cow, is transmissible to primates. The question then is how reliably such cases can be detected by the US surveillance system. The April case was detected in the course of “random testing”.
    http://www.tafsforum.org/news/bse-in-califormia-in-april-was-isolated-but-likely-not-unique.html
    Saturday, May 26, 2012
    Are USDA assurances on mad cow case ‘gross oversimplification’?
    SNIP…
    What irks many scientists is the USDA’s April 25 statement that the rare disease is “not generally associated with an animal consuming infected feed.”
    The USDA’s conclusion is a “gross oversimplification,” said Dr. Paul Brown, one of the world’s experts on this type of disease who retired recently from the National Institutes of Health.
    “(The agency) has no foundation on which to base that statement.”
    “We can’t say it’s not feed related,” agreed Dr. Linda Detwiler, an official with the USDA during the Clinton Administration now at Mississippi State.
    In the May 1 email to me, USDA’s Cole backed off a bit. “No one knows the origins of atypical cases of BSE,” she said
    The argument about feed is critical because if feed is the cause, not a spontaneous mutation, the California cow could be part of a larger outbreak.
    SNIP…
    http://bseusa.blogspot.com/2012/05/are-usda-assurances-on-mad-cow-case.html
    ==============================================
    Saturday, August 4, 2012
    Final Feed Investigation Summary – California BSE Case – July 2012
    http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2012/08/final-feed-investigation-summary.html
    =============================================
    SUMMARY REPORT CALIFORNIA BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY CASE INVESTIGATION JULY 2012
    Summary Report BSE 2012
    Executive Summary
    http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2012/08/summary-report-california-bovine.html
    Saturday, August 4, 2012
    Update from APHIS Regarding Release of the Final Report on the BSE Epidemiological Investigation
    http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2012/08/update-from-aphis-regarding-release-of.html
    in the url that follows, I have posted
    SRM breaches first, as late as 2011.
    then
    MAD COW FEED BAN BREACHES AND TONNAGES OF MAD COW FEED IN COMMERCE up until 2007, when they ceased posting them.
    then,
    MAD COW SURVEILLANCE BREACHES.
    Friday, May 18, 2012
    Update from APHIS Regarding a Detection of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in the United States Friday May 18, 2012
    http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2012/05/update-from-aphis-regarding-detection.html
    Thursday, June 21, 2012
    MEATINGPLACE.COM WAVES MAGIC WAND AND EXPECTS THE USDA MAD COW FOLLIES BSE TO BE GONE
    http://bse-atypical.blogspot.com/2012/06/meatingplacecom-waves-magic-wand-and.html
    Thursday, June 14, 2012
    R-CALF USA Calls USDA Dishonest and Corrupt; Submits Fourth Request for Extension
    R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America
    http://madcowusda.blogspot.com/2012/06/r-calf-usa-calls-usda-dishonest-and.html
    Friday, May 25, 2012
    R-CALF USDA’s New BSE Rule Eliminates Important Protections Needed to Prevent BSE Spread
    http://bseusa.blogspot.com/2012/05/r-calf-usdas-new-bse-rule-eliminates.html
    Monday, June 18, 2012
    R-CALF Submits Incomplete Comments Under Protest in Bizarre Rulemaking “Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Importation of Bovines and Bovine Products”
    http://madcowusda.blogspot.com/2012/06/r-calf-submits-incomplete-comments.html
    Monday, August 06, 2012
    Atypical neuropathological sCJD-MM phenotype with abundant white matter Kuru-type plaques sparing the cerebellar cortex
    http://creutzfeldt-jakob-disease.blogspot.com/2012/08/atypical-neuropathological-scjd-mm.html
    Monday, July 23, 2012
    The National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center July 2012
    http://prionunitusaupdate2008.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-national-prion-disease-pathology.html
    Monday, August 6, 2012
    TAFS BSE in USA August 6, 2012
    BSE in USA
    http://bseusa.blogspot.com/2012/08/tafs-bse-in-usa-august-6-2012.html

  • Helane Shields

    Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and sporadic Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (sCJD)
    are sister prion diseases (like mad cow), transmissible by aerosols, tainted meat, infectious by medical (scopes, etc.) dental and eye equipment, blood, urine, feces,
    saliva, mucous. AD epidemic = 6 million US victims, new case every 69 seconds.
    Recently, scientists including Nobel Laureate Stanley Prusiner (for his prion research) identified other diseases including Parkinson’s (3 million US victims), Huntington’s and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis as being caused by misfolding infectious prions/proteins
    http://www.alzheimers-prions.com/pdf/JUNE2012PRUSINER-ETAL-
    ALZHEIMERSISAPRIONDISEASE.pdf
    “The prion-like behavior implicated in Alzheimer’s disease also suggests that it may be transmissible like mad cow disease.”
    “”Our findings open the possibility that some of the sporadic Alzheimer’s cases may arise from an infectious process,” senior author Claudio Soto said in a statement in October. ”
    http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/336322/20120502/alzheimer-s-trigger-cause-mad-cow-prion.htm?utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Alzheimers+Twitter+News&utm_source=twitterfeed
    The pathway of human risk for being infected with a prion disease is ingesting prion infected food/meat.
    In 1985, Dr,. Richard Marsh proved that feeding downer cattle to farmed mink in Wisconsin caused TME = Transmissible Mink Encephalopathy. Mad cow disease has been circulating and amplifying in the US herd since then. After the third US mad cow was found in 2006, the USDA cut testing from 300,000 animals to only 40,000 a year. (out of 37 million slaughtered) And only 5000 downer cows are tested out of the 1 million downer cows rendered into animal feed each year. Rendered animal feed is most likely to be the source of mad cow in the US herd – 1 million downer cows – the ones most likely to be infected with mad cow disease (from total of 2 million downers) are rendered into potentially prion infected feeds which are fed to chickens, sheep, pigs, fish, family pets, etc. Then the cows are fed chicken litter containing the feces and potentially prion infected chicken feed from the rendering plant.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-greger-md/mad-cow-disease-california_b_1450994.html
    The human pathway of risk is hamburger made from aging asymptomatic dairy cows infected with Bovine Amyloidoic Spongiform Encephalopathy (BASE) mad cow [Three out of four US mad cows were infected with the “atypical” BASE strain of mad cow.] Old dairy cows are ending up UNTESTED in huge industrial mixing vats of hamburger, each containing meat from 50 to 100 animals from multiple states and two to four countries. http://www.organicconsumers.org/madcow/burger21904.cfm
    Two researchers were prescient in the mid 2000s, when they predicted the mad cow/Alzheimer epidemic:
    http://www.healthydepartment.com/alzheimers-disease/interview-mad-cow-and-misdiagnosed-alzheimers-disease-4541.html
    VIDEO Interview – Mad Cow and Misdiagnosed Alzheimer’s Disease
    Interview with Colm Kelleher author of “Brain Trust: “The Hidden Connection Between Mad Cow and Misdiagnosed Alzheimer’s Disease” recorded November 16, 2004.
    Dr. Murray Waldman, a coroner of the City of Toronto and co-author with Marjorie Lamb of the McClelland and Stewart book, “Dying for a Hamburger: modern meat processing and the epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease”, charges hamburger is the main source of prions, which trigger Alzheimer’s.
    Helane Shields, Alton, NH hshields@tds.net (www.alzheimers-prions.com/)