How to find out the latest information on
BSE (Mad Cow Disease)

     The U.S. beef industry continues to work with government and regulatory agencies to keep America's cattle supply BSE free.  And it has developed an updated resource, BSE Info, to provide the latest information.

     In the U.S., extensive BSE media coverage began when Purina Mills, Inc. announced one of its Texas feed mills inadvertently mixed in meat and bone meal derived from U.S. cattle with a feed supplement that was later fed to cattle.  The practice of feeding meat and bone meal to cattle has been banned by the FDA since 1997.  Even though the meat and bone in question originated in the U.S. (and is therefore not at risk of containing the BSE infectious agent), Purina has since voluntarily purchased al 1,222 animals.

The key facts for consumers are these:

  • There has never been a case of BSE found in the U.S.
  • Preventing BSE introduction into the U.S. is a top priority for the government and the beef industry.
  • The U.S. began taking aggressive steps to prevent BSE in the mid-1980's, and it continues to work with scientists to better understand risk areas and take appropriate measure.
  • The U.S. has not imported beef products from the U.K. since 1985.
  • Full compliance with preventative regulations is top industry and government priority.

     NCBA has taken proactive media relations efforts to reinforce the strength of this nation's BSE prevention methods, communicate new initiatives to beef industry business partners and help maintain long-term consumer confidence in the safety of America's cattle and beef supply.

     This spring, a Harvard report analyzing the risk of BSE in this country will be released.  Preliminary results indicate an extremely low risk for an outbreak of this disease in the U.S., thanks to precautionary measure taken by the government and meat industries.  In addition, even if BSE were to enter the U.S., Harvard predicts it would be an isolated case and would not be an epidemic, as seen in Europe.

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Last Updated:  Friday, October 09, 2009 03:30 PM