AGRICULTURE SECRETARY ED SCHAFER ANNOUNCES PLAN TO END EXCEPTIONS TO ANIMAL HANDLING RULE
WASHINGTON, May 20, 2008- One day after I was sworn in as Secretary of Agriculture, I learned of the illegal acts of inhumane handling that took place at the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company in Chino, California. I immediately called upon the Office of the Inspector General and the Food Safety and Inspection Service to determine how this happened and what could be done in the future to ensure that animals are treated humanely.
I told the American people and the United States Congress that I was going to treat this issue with the utmost urgency, and do everything in my power to appropriately address this problem and work to strengthen consumer confidence in our food supply. We found clear evidence that rules weren't being followed which resulted in USDA calling for the largest beef recall in American history – a clear sign that we took these inhumane violations seriously. Rules have purpose, and when you violate them, there are consequences.
I felt it was important to take proactive steps to assess the state of humane handling activities in cattle slaughter establishments while the OIG and FSIS investigations are ongoing, and on February 28, I instructed FSIS to initiate a number of interim action items related to inhumane handling.
The 60-day enhanced surveillance period concluded on May 6 and while we are still analyzing those results, today I am announcing that USDA will begin working on a proposed rule to prohibit the slaughter of all disabled non-ambulatory cattle, also know as "downer cattle." In other words, I am calling for the end of the exceptions in the so called "downer rule."
Last year, of the nearly 34 million cattle that were slaughtered, under 1,000 cattle that were re-inspected were actually approved by the veterinarian for slaughter. This represents less than 0.003 percent of cattle slaughtered annually. As you can see, this number is minimal.
The current rule, which focuses on cattle that went down after they have already passed pre-slaughter inspection, has been challenging to communicate and has, at times, been confusing to consumers.
To maintain consumer confidence in the food supply, eliminate further misunderstanding of the rule and, ultimately, to make a positive impact on the humane handling of cattle, I believe it is sound policy to simplify this matter by initiating a complete ban on the slaughter of downer cattle that go down after initial inspection.
FSIS will draft a proposed rule to remove the exception that allows certain injured cattle to proceed to slaughter. This action is expected to provide additional efficiencies to food safety inspection by removing the step that requires inspection workforce to determine when non-ambulatory cattle are safe to slaughter.
The decision to ban all non-ambulatory cattle from slaughter will positively impact the humane handling of cattle by reducing the incentive to send marginally weakened cattle to market.
Cattle producers, transporters and slaughter establishments alike will be encouraged to enhance humane handling practices, as there will no longer be any market for cattle that are too weak to rise or walk on their own.
In February, I said that we would look into every option, and more importantly, we would listen and base our decisions on sound policy. I believe this announcement today strikes the right balance, and will benefit our efforts to not only improve consumer confidence, but improve the humane handling of animals.
IN their desire to continue to keep the mad cow issues under raps, the government continues to address this issue as a 'inhumane handling' issue, when you and I both know this issue was about 'public health' i.e. DOWNERS ARE THE MOST LIKELY TO HAVE MAD COW DISEASE, THEY ARE THE MOST HIGH RISK ANIMALS, and these were the ones that were going into the school lunch program for our children, all across the nation. nothing more than a long term case study for CJD. however, it seems the government has chosen not to follow these children that were exposed to the most high risk animals for BSE. Thousands and Thousands of children all across the USA needlessly exposed to a disease that once clinical, is 100% fatal. THE UK children that were exposed to BSE, to date, under 200 deaths, this from typical BSE. WHAT about the USA and atypical BSE? WE now know that atypical BSE is MORE virulent to humans, than the typical UK BSE strain, and we know that the last two mad cows in the USA were atypical BSE. So how will this play out in the potential death sentences handed down by our federal government and their industry cohorts, to our children over the next decade or two? IF anyone that reads this thinks for one minute that AGRICULTURE SECRETARY ED SCHAFER is going to ban all downers, just because of 'inhumane handling', well, you are only kidding yourself. This IS a human health issue, from a disease that is 100% fatal once clinical, that your children were needlessly exposed to all for one reason, and one reason only, GREED$ Instead of disposing of these animals as they were suppose to, they were secretly, silently, and illegally, feeding your children dead stock downer cows, i.e. the most highly likely animals to have the BSE agent. All this just to save a buck, and to get the very last penny they could, and cash it all in on the very lives of all these children that were needlessly exposed. I hope,.............. NO, I pray that one day, we will see all of those that are responsible for this, behind bars.
I find it disgusting that in America, when some big government official or a big wheel corporate official gets caught, they get well compensated with millions and millions of dollars in retirement, stock options, and corporate gimmies, and go gingerly on their merry way into civil society, in some cases, only to go to another corporate position, into another corporation. When what some honorable people do in Korea and other Asian countries, after such corruption and or disgrace to their country and people, they honorably commit suicide. Not in good old America though. Here, you get well compensated for the harm and corruption that you do, some times to a tune of 10s or 100s of millions of dollars. America and the Government that runs it is broke. you may not like to hear that, I don't like to say it, but it's the truth.
REGARDLESS, this is good that we now at least have this on paper i.e. a complete downer cow ban. however, we have seen many regulations on paper before for mad cow disease that never were enforced. The big issue here is, WILL THIS 'DOWNER BAN' BE ENFORCED, or just more ink on paper, and WHEN will it finally go into effect? I also would like to say that even though I am definitely not a 'BIG BROTHER' fan, but if at every intersection, every freeway, and or corner on the street, if I am going to be video tapped, and or recorded, I think that every slaughterhouse killing floor should have to be monitored and taped, along with every feed lot. I mean why not, this is about 'agro terrorism', except we are the terrorist, and have been for years. The very rules and regulations we are trying to mandate, to protect against terrorism, we are not abiding by, and haven't been. ...
Please remember, the last two mad cows documented in the USA i.e. Alabama and Texas, both were of the 'atypical' BSE strain, and immediately after that, the USDA shut down the testing from 470,000 to 40,000 in the U.S. in 2007 out of about 35 million cattle slaughtered. also, science is showing that some of these atypical cases are more virulent to humans than the typical UK BSE strain ;
***Atypical forms of BSE have emerged which, although rare, appear to be more virulent than the classical BSE that causes vCJD.***
Progress Report from the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center
An Update from Stephen M. Sergay, MB, BCh & Pierluigi Gambetti, MD
April 3, 2008
IF BSE is not in the USA (just not documented for many different reasons), and only atypical BSE is in the USA (plus CWD, plus, many strains of Scrapie, and Now the Nor-98 documented in 5 different states, plus TME, then why would human mad cow in the USA look like the UK nvCJD from UK BSE cows ? it was shown long ago in studies at Mission Texas that experimental transmission of USA Scrapie to USA Bovine, DID NOT LOOK LIKE UK BSE. so again, in short, why would human mad cow in the USA look like human mad cow in the UK i.e. the (nvCJD). however, I believe that BSE has been in the USA untested and undocumented for years. why on earth then does the USDA refuse to allow creekstone or anyone else test their product? simple, if you don't look/test, you don't find.
ONE only has to read how the USDA et al have legally blocked, blundered, botched, mismanaged, bungled, floundered, and flat out manipulated, the testing in the infamous June 2004 enhanced cover-up program for mad cow surveillance and testing. I mean, I am not really to hip on THE INDUSTRY, testing for mad cow disease, and what that program might consist of, but anything is better than nothing at all. ...
BSE BASE MAD COW TESTING TEXAS, USA, AND CANADA
MAD COW DISEASE terminology UK c-BSE (typical), atypical BSE H or L, and or Italian L-BASE
In 2007, in one weekly enforcement report, the fda recalled 10,000,000+ pounds of BANNED MAD COW FEED, 'in commerce', and i can tell you that most of it was fed out ;
10,000,000+ LBS. of PROHIBITED BANNED MAD COW FEED I.E. MBM IN COMMERCE USA 2007
Date: March 21, 2007 at 2:27 pm PST REASON Blood meal used to make cattle feed was recalled because it was cross-contaminated with prohibited bovine meat and bone meal that had been manufactured on common equipment and labeling did not bear cautionary BSE statement. VOLUME OF PRODUCT IN COMMERCE 42,090 lbs. DISTRIBUTION WI
REASON Products manufactured from bulk feed containing blood meal that was cross contaminated with prohibited meat and bone meal and the labeling did not bear cautionary BSE statement. VOLUME OF PRODUCT IN COMMERCE 9,997,976 lbs. DISTRIBUTION ID and NV
END OF ENFORCEMENT REPORT FOR MARCH 21, 2007
Subject: MAD COW FEED RECALL USA SEPT 6, 2006 1961.72 TONS IN COMMERCE AL, TN, AND WV Date: September 6, 2006 at 7:58 am PST
snip... see listings and references of enormous amounts of banned mad cow protein 'in commerce' in 2006 and 2005 ;
see full text ;
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
SPECIFIED RISK MATERIALS
SRM MAD COW RECALL 406 THOUSAND POUNDS CATTLE HEADS WITH TONSILS KANSAS
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 ;
CJD TEXAS (cjd clusters)
CJD USA RISING
The statistical incidence of CJD cases in the United States has been ***revised to reflect that there is one case per 9000 in adults age 55 and older. Eighty-five percent of the cases are sporadic, meaning there is no known cause at present.
Communicated by: Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
[In submitting these data, Terry S. Singeltary Sr. draws attention to the steady increase in the "type unknown" category, which, according to their definition, comprises cases in which vCJD could be excluded. The total of 26 cases for the current year (2007) is disturbing, possibly symptomatic of the circulation of novel agents. Characterization of these agents should be given a high priority. - Mod.CP]
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 collection.
He estimates that it may be up to 14 or 15 persons which display selectively SPRPSC and practically no detected RPRPSC proteins.
JOURNAL OF NEUROLOGY
MARCH 26, 2003
RE-Monitoring the occurrence of emerging forms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob
disease in the United States
Email Terry S. Singeltary:
I lost my mother to hvCJD (Heidenhain Variant CJD). I would like to comment on the CDC's attempts to monitor the occurrence of emerging forms of CJD. Asante, Collinge et al  have reported that BSE transmission to the 129-methionine genotype can lead to an alternate phenotype that is indistinguishable from type 2 PrPSc, the commonest sporadic CJD. However, CJD and all human TSEs are not reportable nationally. CJD and all human TSEs must be made reportable in every state and internationally. I hope that the CDC does not continue to expect us to still believe that the 85%+ of all CJD cases which are sporadic are all spontaneous, without route/source. We have many TSEs in the USA in both animal and man. CWD in deer/elk is spreading rapidly and CWD does transmit to mink, ferret, cattle, and squirrel monkey b y intracerebral inoculation. With the known incubation periods in other TSEs, oral transmission studies of CWD may take much longer. Every victim/family of CJD/TSEs should be asked about route and source of this agent. To prolong this will only spread the agent and needlessly expose others. In light of the findings of Asante and Collinge et al, there should be drastic measures to safeguard the medical and surgical arena from sporadic CJDs and all human TSEs. I only ponder how many sporadic CJDs in the USA are type 2 PrPSc?
THE PATHOLOGICAL PROTEIN
Hardcover, 304 pages plus photos and illustrations. ISBN 0-387-95508-9
BY Philip Yam
CHAPTER 14 LAYING ODDS
Answering critics like Terry Singeltary, who feels that the U.S. under- counts CJD, Schonberger conceded that the current surveillance system has errors but stated that most of the errors will be confined to the older population.
Diagnosis and Reporting of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Singeltary, Sr et al. JAMA.2001; 285: 733-734. Vol. 285 No. 6, February 14, 2001 JAMA
Diagnosis and Reporting of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
To the Editor: In their Research Letter, Dr Gibbons and colleagues1 reported that the annual US death rate due to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) has been stable since 1985. These estimates, however, are based only on reported cases, and do not include misdiagnosed or preclinical cases. It seems to me that misdiagnosis alone would drastically change these figures. An unknown number of persons with a diagnosis of Alzheimer disease in fact may have CJD, although only a small number of these patients receive the postmortem examination necessary to make this diagnosis. Furthermore, only a few states have made CJD reportable. Human and animal transmissible spongiform encephalopathies should be reportable nationwide and internationally.
Terry S. Singeltary, Sr Bacliff, Tex
1. Gibbons RV, Holman RC, Belay ED, Schonberger LB. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the United States: 1979-1998. JAMA. 2000;284:2322-2323. FREE FULL TEXT
2 January 2000
British Medical Journal U.S. Scientist should be concerned with a CJD epidemic in the U.S., as well
15 November 1999
British Medical Journal vCJD in the USA * BSE in U.S.
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.
USDA CERTIFIED DEAD STOCK DOWNER COW SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM for children
please note, dead stock downer cattle i.e. non-ambulatory, are the most likely to have mad cow disease.
GAO REPORT ON HUMANE METHODS OF HANDLING AND SLAUGHTER I.E. DOWNER COW SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM
What GAO Found
April 17, 2008
HUMANE METHODS OF HANDLING AND SLAUGHTER
see full text 18 pages ;
Thu Dec 6, 2007 11:38
FDA IN CRISIS MODE, AMERICAN LIVES AT RISK
FDA SCIENCE AND MISSION AT RISK
[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 9/13/2005
3. Prof. A. Robertson gave a brief account of BSE. The US approach was to accord it a _very low profile indeed_. Dr. A Thiermann showed the picture in the ''Independent'' with cattle being incinerated and thought this was a fanatical incident to be _avoided_ in the US _at all costs_ $
Attachment to Singeltary comment
January 28, 2007
I would kindly like to submit the following to ;
BSE; MRR; IMPORTATION OF LIVE BOVINES AND PRODUCTS DERIVED FROM BOVINES [Docket No. APHIS-2006-0041] RIN 0579-AC01
[Federal Register: January 9, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 5)] [Proposed Rules] [Page 1101-1129] From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov] [DOCID:fr09ja07-21]
BSE; MRR; IMPORTATION OF LIVE BOVINES AND PRODUCTS DERIVED FROM BOVINES [Docket No. APHIS-2006-0041] RIN 0579-AC01 Date: January 9, 2007 at 9:08 am PST
[Docket No. FSIS-2006-0011] FSIS Harvard Risk Assessment of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
APHIS-2006-0041-0006 TSE advisory committee for the meeting December 15, 2006
NOR-98 ATYPICAL SCRAPIE 5 cases documented in USA in 5 different states USA 007
CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE
Thursday, April 03, 2008
A prion disease of cervids: Chronic wasting disease 2008
Transmissible Mink Encephalopathy TME
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Interference at the EPA - Science and Politics at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
please see full text ;
still disgusted in Bacliff, Texas USA
Terry S. Singeltary Sr. P.O. Box 42 Bacliff, Texas USA 77518