DEAD STOCK DOWNER COW BAN i.e. non-ambulatory policy still not changed by USDA
most high risk cattle for BSE Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy
USDA isn't on board with beef industry's downer cow ban
10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, April 29, 2008
By BEN GOAD
Special Section: Chino Beef Recall
WASHINGTON - A week after the meat industry called for a ban on downer cows in the nation's food supply, the U.S. Agriculture Department has not agreed to change a policy that allows some sick or injured cows to end up on dinner tables.
Downers -- animals too sick or hurt to stand for slaughter -- are generally prohibited from the food supply, but current rules allow for exceptions. Meat producers fought to preserve those exceptions until last week, when a coalition of major industry groups reversed their position and joined animal advocates and several lawmakers in calling for an absolute ban.
But Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer, who defended the current policy during congressional hearings into the Chino meat recall, has remained silent.
"He's serious about addressing the issue," Agriculture Department spokesman Chris Connelly said Monday. "There's no position being taken right now."
Schafer is mulling a ban as he awaits the results of a federal investigation and audit now being conducted by the Agriculture Department's Office of Inspector General, Connelly said.
Connelly said Schafer is not privy to ongoing developments in the two probes, which are expected to last for months more.
He said a decision on moving forward with a ban could come before they conclude, though he could provide no timeline.
Industry officials said delays are to be expected with any federal rule change and said they've called upon the nation's meat plants to implement a voluntary moratorium on slaughtering downers until a new policy can be enacted.
Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, called the moratorium insufficient and said there is no guarantee that the department will act at all, even with broad support for a halt to the practice. Pacelle said the Agriculture Department should implement an emergency rule to impose a ban at once.
"The USDA should take immediate action to adopt it," Pacelle said. "Downer cows are now regularly getting into the food supply."
Downers are considered more likely to have mad cow disease and other illnesses, and therefore pose a greater threat to people who eat them. The Agriculture Department first began outlawing downer cows from food destined for human consumption in 2004, after a cow in Washington State tested positive for mad cow disease.
But cows that pass an initial inspection before they go down may still be killed and sold for food if they are approved for slaughter by a veterinary inspector.
The Humane Society and other groups described the exception as a loophole that meat producers can exploit to boost their profit, though it is unclear how many downers are slaughtered each year.
In February, the Humane Society released video footage captured by an undercover investigator at Chino's Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. showing workers beating, dragging and otherwise mistreating downer cows at the plant. Federal officials also determined that the video contained evidence that downers were being slaughtered for food without the required approval from a veterinary inspector.
That violation sparked the recall of 143 million pounds of beef from the plant -- the largest recall of its kind in U.S. history.
Bills In Congress
Federal meat inspection practices have since come under fire, particularly in Washington where lawmakers have held a dozen congressional hearings, often focusing on the allowance of downers in the food supply.
Beyond the investigation of what happened at Westland/Hallmark -- which could have criminal repercussions -- the Office of Inspector General is conducting a separate audit of meat plants to determine whether the Chino case was isolated or part of larger national problem.
Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Ca., and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., have introduced bills, in the Senate and House respectively, that would create a strict downer ban.
But Schafer and industry officials resisted, testifying that the rules in place, if followed, are sufficient to protect public health.
Then last week the industry agreed to a downer ban, pointing to concerns over consumer confidence and strained international trade relations.
The American Meat Institute, The National Meat Association and The National Milk Producers Federation, which together represent most of the nation's meat producers, filed a petition seeking an absolute ban prohibiting any downers from entering the food supply.
Animal-rights groups, lawmakers and California meat producers all hailed the move.
But the Agriculture Department has not responded to the petition, American Meat Institute general counsel Mark Dopp said Tuesday. He described the proposed ban as a straightforward rule change and said he hopes the department would act soon, but cautioned that the formal process can be time consuming.
"The fact that everybody agrees it ought to be done doesn't mean they gave the authority to skip a few steps in the process," Dopp said.
Meat industry officials discussed the ban with individual meat plant owners before changing their position and found that most plants had already stopped slaughtering downers, Dopp said.
Institute spokeswoman Janet Riley said information about the petition and proposed moratorium was sent to roughly 5,000 members and industry officials. News of the proposal was also carried by industry trade publications, she said.
Riley and Dopp could provide no evidence that the moratorium is being observed, though they said they believe it is.
Pacelle said he is less confident, emphasizing that only a concrete regulation would ensure that downer cows would be kept out of the food supply.
Representatives from Feinstein's and DeLauro's Washington offices said they will continue to push their legislation to force a ban if the Agriculture Department fails to act.
Reach Ben Goad at 202-661-8422 or bgoad@PE.com
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (Variant) and Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (Prion Diseases) Description Since 1996, strong evidence has accumulated for a causal relationship between ongoing outbreaks, primarily in Europe, of a disease in cattle called bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or “mad cow disease”) and a disease in humans called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). Both disorders, which are caused by an unconventional transmissible agent, are invariably fatal brain diseases with incubation periods typically measured in years (1). Transmission of the BSE agent to humans, leading to vCJD, is believed to occur via ingestion of cattle products contaminated with the BSE agent; the specific foods associated with this transmission are unknown. However, a recently published case-control study involving 132 vCJD cases in the United Kingdom (UK) showed evidence of an increased risk for vCJD associated with the frequency of consuming beef products likely to contain mechanically recovered meat and head meat (such as burgers, meat pies, and sausages) (2). Bioassays and molecular tests have enabled identification of what World Health Organization consultants have classified as “high-infectivity” and “lower infectivity” tissues of cattle with BSE (3). The high-infectivity tissues include the brain, spinal cord, retina, optic nerve, and dorsal root and trigeminal ganglia, suggesting that these tissues can pose a relatively high risk of transmission. The lower infectivity tissues include peripheral nerves (e.g., sciatic and facial nerves), tonsils, nictitating membrane (third eye lid), distal ileum, bone marrow, and possibly thigh muscle. The latter tissue from one cow with BSE transmitted disease to highly BSE-sensitive transgenic mice at a rate indicative of trace levels of infectivity.
who’s gonna be following these children over the next decade or so to see if they contract CJD ? the USDA? FSIS? FDA? CDC? NIH? we must not forget, these innocent children were exposed to the most high risk ‘banned’ animals for BSE/TSE mad cow disease. the other firewall they were speaking of protecting these children would have been the feed ban, which we now know was nothing more than ink on paper. 3 suspect CJD cases as we speak in females under 30 in the USA, other young victims in the USA with CJD. who’s going to follow the children from this nationwide long term case study of children to the TSE agent via the most high risk animals i.e. dead stock downer cattle i.e.. non-ambulatory ???
To be published in the Proceedings of the Fourth International Scientific Congress in Fur Animal Production. Toronto, Canada, August 21-28, 1988
Evidence That Transmissible Mink Encephalopathy Results from Feeding Infected Cattle
R.F. Marsh* and G.R. Hartsough
•Department of Veterinary Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706; and ^Emba/Creat Lakes Ranch Service, Thiensville, Wisconsin 53092
Epidemiologic investigation of a new incidence of transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) in Stetsonville, Wisconsin suggests that the disease may have resulted from feeding infected cattle to mink. This observation is supported by the transmission of a TME-like disease to experimentally inoculated cattle, and by the recent report of a new bovine spongiform encephalopathy in England.
OBSERVATIONS AND RESULTS
A New Incidence of TME. In April of 1985, a mink rancher in Stetsonville, Wisconsin reported that many of his mink were “acting funny”, and some had died. At this time, we visited the farm and found that approximately 10% of all adult mink were showing typical signs of TME: insidious onset characterized by subtle behavioral changes, loss of normal habits of cleanliness, deposition of droppings throughout the pen rather than in a single area, hyperexcitability, difficulty in chewing and swallowing, and tails arched over their _backs like squirrels. These signs were followed by progressive deterioration of neurologic function beginning with locomoior incoordination, long periods of somnolence in which the affected mink would stand motionless with its head in the corner of the cage, complete debilitation, and death.
Over the next 8-10 weeks, approximately 40% of all the adult mink on the farm died from TME. Since previous incidences of TME were associated with common or shared feeding practices, we obtained a careful history of feed ingredients used over the past 12-18 months. ***The rancher was a “dead stock” feeder using mostly (>95%) downer or dead dairy cattle and a few horses. Sheep had never been fed.***
UK today ;
My son died of CJD – now I want answers
A mother has told how her son was left unable to feed himself or even speak by the rare variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Andy Black died five months after being diagnosed with the killer brain bug – the human strain of mad cow disease.
During that time his mum Christine Lord was forced to watch helplessly as the 24-year-old’s condition deteriorated.
She kept a vigil at her son’s bedside as she was forced to watch him die, holding him for four days after his brain died before he finally passed away at the family’s Southsea home on December 16.
Now Christine, who is a journalist, has vowed to get justice for Andy and more than 200 people who have died from the disease in the UK.
She said: ‘The memories of my son, the way he died and the fact it was avoidable will stay with me for the rest of my life.
‘I was by Andy’s side through all of this. For every procedure he went through I was holding his hand.
‘People need to know there are people who are still in charge of this country who have allowed lives to be destroyed by CJD.’
It is believed Andy contracted CJD before 1994, but it can take years to develop. His symptoms started to show at the end of 2006 when he became tired and withdrawn.
However he was not diagnosed with the disease until July last year. Christine never told Andy he had the disease. From then, his condition deteriorated rapidly.
She said: ‘They told me in a little room and then I had to go back in and say everything was all right.
‘How can you tell at 24-year-old man he’s dying from CJD?
‘I had to cope with it. I’m his mum. I had to give Andy hope, even if it was just for a day.’
Christine Lord’s quest for justice will be aired on BBC1’s Inside Out programme at 7.30pm tomorrow.
USA RECENTLY ;
THESE cases that have come about recently in the very young are most disturbing.
a 22 year old last week died, she is suspect nvCJD. never left US. PORTSMOUTH, Va. — A 22-year-old Portsmouth woman is close to dying, and family says doctors believe the human equivalent of Mad Cow Disease could be the reason.
another young female suspect nvCJD that is 26 years old in Alabama, She is in the final stages of CJD. She is at home in a hospital bed…very skinny…and at times in the past month has had some eating and swallowing issues. Sometimes she rallies and starts eating again. She stopped walking at Christmas. they do not expect her to live much longer than May, since that would be 14 months since her first major symptom of CJD (personal communication).
AND now, a 3rd young female, 23 years old. hmmm, i am pondering about just how long all those downers were in the school lunch program, and IS the incubation period catching up now ??? is this the first of many more to come ???
Family fighting for answers about daughter’s disease
Reported by: Kristen Cosby Email: email@example.com Last Update: 4/18 9:57 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A family is fighting for answers about their dying daughter.
Her family says doctors tell them 23 year old Rachel Woodard has a rare brain disease that could be the human form of mad cow. She’s been hospitalized for five months after she started having severe seizures.
“I’m scared to death I’m going to lose my daughter,” said her dad Norman Woodard.
Rachel’s family says doctors have told them she has Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease… or CJD.
“He said he was 99 percent positive that’s what it is,” said Rachel’s Aunt Loretta Mallard.
CJD can come from eating an animal diseased with mad cow. It can also hit people completely by random.
“There is no treatment for cjd. its by definition a universally fatal disease,” said epidemiologist Roger Sanderson.
CBS47 can’t confirm in Rachel has CJD. Privacy laws prevent her doctors from talking about her health, but CJD can only truly be confirmed by a brain autopsy.
The family says doctors are doubting their original diagnosis. Rachel’s dad wants a second opinion, but he doesn’t have the power of surrogacy. Rachel gave that to her boyfriend.
“I’m more scared of the hospitals misdiagnoses more than anything else. i’m scared she’s going to die of a misdiagnoses,” said Woodard.
Rachel’s boyfriend, who has power attorney, wants to protect what is left of Rachel’s privacy. He says after numerous attempts by medical experts, Rachel ’s family has failed to accept or understand the true diagnosis. In response to her family’s request of a second opinion, he says Shands was her second opinion because she was previously admitted back in December.
please see full text ;
Thursday, May 1, 2008
Cargill, National Beef Packing Engaged in Inhumane Practices
There is a growing number of human CJD cases, and they were presented last
week in San Francisco by Luigi Gambatti(?) from his CJD surveillance
He estimates that it may be up to 14 or 15 persons which display selectively
SPRPSC and practically no detected RPRPSC proteins.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Progress Report from the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center April 3, 2008
Atypical forms of BSE have emerged which, although rare, appear to be more
virulent than the classical BSE that causes vCJD.
see full text ;
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Progress Report from the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center April 3, 2008
MAD COW DISEASE terminology UK c-BSE (typical), atypical BSE H or L, and or Italian L-BASE
CJD TEXAS (cjd clusters)
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Interference at the EPA - Science and Politics at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
please see full text ;
DOWNER COW SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM
[Docket No. 03-025IFA] FSIS Prohibition of the Use of Specified Risk Materials for Human Food and Requirement for the Disposition of Non-Ambulatory Disabled Cattle
Terry S. Singeltary
[Docket No. FSIS-2006-0011] FSIS Harvard Risk Assessment of Bovine
Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
second line of lies... i mean defense i.e. fda mad cow feed ban ;
Friday, April 25, 2008
Substances Prohibited From Use in Animal Food or Feed [Docket No.
2002N-0273] (Formerly Docket No. 02N-0273) RIN 0910-AF46
Thursday, May 1, 2008
DEAD STOCK DOWNER COW BAN i.e. non-ambulatory policy still not changed by USDA May 1, 2008
Sunday, May 17, 2009
WHO WILL WATCH THE CHILDREN ? SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM FROM DOWNER CATTLE UPDATE
Sunday, September 6, 2009
MAD COW USA 1997 SECRET VIDEO
U.S.A. HIDING MAD COW DISEASE VICTIMS AS SPORADIC CJD ? see video at bottom
DAMNING TESTIMONY FROM STANLEY PRUSINER THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNER ON PRIONS SPEAKING ABOUT ANN VENEMAN see video
2009 UPDATE ON ALABAMA AND TEXAS MAD COWS 2005 and 2006