Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Meat Country Of Origin Labels: Trade Groups Sue USDA

Meat Country Of Origin Labels: Trade Groups Sue USDA


By DAVID PITT 07/09/13 06:07 PM ET EDT AP








Country Of Origin, Country Of Origin Labels, Meat, Meat Country Of Origin, Meat Groups, Meat Labels, Meat Trade Groups, New Meat Labels, Green News .



DES MOINES, Iowa -- Requiring meat labels to have more details about a product's origins is too costly and serves no public health or safety benefit, industry groups said Tuesday in announcing a lawsuit against U.S. Department of Agriculture over new labeling rules.


The rules went into effect in May and require labels for steaks, ribs and other cuts of meat to detail where animals grown for meat were born, raised and slaughtered. Previously, labels only required that countries of origin to be noted, so a package might say, "Product of U.S. and Canada." Now, the labels must specify "Born in Canada, raised and slaughtered in the United States."


In addition, the USDA is prohibiting processors from mixing meat from animals born, raised, or slaughtered in Mexico, Canada, or other countries with meat from the U.S.


The American Meat Institute, a trade group for packers, processors, and suppliers and seven other groups said segregating the meat is not part of the law Congress passed and the USDA is overstepping its authority. They also claim the rule will be costly to implement and that it offers no food safety or public health benefit.


"Segregating and tracking animals according to the countries where production steps occurred and detailing that information on a label may be a bureaucrat's paperwork fantasy, but the labels that result will serve only to confuse consumers, raise the prices they pay, and put some producers and meat and poultry companies out of business in the process," Mark Dopp, an AMI executive, said in a statement.


The USDA says the country of original labeling, known as COOL, will help consumers make informed decisions about the food they buy.


"USDA remains confident that these changes will improve the overall operation of the program and also bring the mandatory COOL requirements into compliance with U.S. international trade obligations," it said.


Other advocates of the new rule say segregating meat will help if a food safety issue develops.


"We've found that there's strong consumer support for country-of-origin labels. When you buy meat to feed your family, you ought to be able to know where it comes from," said Ami Gadhia, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, a New York-based consumer advocacy group. "If there's a food safety problem with a certain product, the labels can help consumers avoid that product."




The rules also have had support from other farmers' organizations, along with environmental groups.


The meat industry groups that sued said in court documents that about 4 percent to 7 percent of beef and pork consumed in the U.S. comes from animals from other countries. In some parts of the U.S., including Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, as much as half of the livestock used for meat could be imported.


Once in the supply chain, the meat becomes interchangeable with meat from U.S. animals, the groups said.


"In short, beef is beef, whether the cattle were born in Montana, Manitoba, or Mazatlán," the lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., said. "The same goes for hogs, chickens, and other livestock."


Meat suppliers will be forced to segregate the animals along the entire supply chain "from the moment livestock are put in a pen on U.S. soil, throughout the production, storage, and distribution process, until the meat is placed on store shelves for sale."


The USDA estimates the labeling change will cost somewhere between $53.1 million and $192.1 million to put in place. The National Grocers Association said it expected it to cost at least $100 million as companies buy new signs, labels and labeling machines.


The lawsuit, filed by groups that include cattle and pork associations in the U.S. and Canada, claims the rule violates the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit also alleges the rule violates the 2008 farm bill because the requirement is much broader than the law intended.








>>>DES MOINES, Iowa -- Requiring meat labels to have more details about a product's origins is too costly and serves no public health or safety benefit, industry groups said Tuesday in announcing a lawsuit against U.S. Department of Agriculture over new labeling rules.<<<



bottom line, BIG AG does NOT want the consumer to be able to track what they consume from farm to fork. that’s the bottom line $$$



here is a fine example, just off the top of my head ;




California BSE mad cow beef in commerce recall, QFC, and CJD


 On January 6, 2004, over 2 weeks from recall initiation, USDA determined that the beef went to only six states—Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho, and Montana—and that no beef went to Alaska, Hawaii, or Guam. To reach that conclusion, USDA used the distribution lists, shipping records, and sales invoices that it received from companies to piece together exactly where the recalled beef may have been sent. The lists showed that 713 customers may have received the recalled beef; 6 of those may have received beef from more than one source. USDA determined that 176 customers on the lists did not actually receive recalled beef, including the customers in Guam and Hawaii. USDA’s review also indicated that recalled beef was probably not shipped to Alaska or Utah, and USDA checked 2 retailers in Alaska and 3 retailers in Utah to confirm that was the case. In total, USDA conducted verification checks on 537 of the 713 customers on the lists. USDA’s initial checks identified an additional 45 customers that may have received the recalled beef that were not included on the distribution lists, for a total of 582 verification checks. Figure 4 summarizes USDA’s verification efforts during the recall.




 USDA’s press release stated that the recall involved 10,410 pounds of beef products, and the USDA recall coordinator for this recall told us that downstream processors mixed the recalled beef with nonrecalled beef, for a total of more than 38,000 pounds of beef that was distributed at the secondary customer level. According to USDA officials involved with the recall, the precise amount of meat that was sold at the retail level is unknown because retailers at the tertiary level further mixed nonrecalled meat with potentially contaminated meat. USDA told us that more than 64,000 pounds of beef was ultimately returned or destroyed by customers, and that, because of the mixing, it was not able to determine how much of the original 10,410 pounds of recalled beef was contained in the 64,000 pounds that were recovered.


 Parts of the BSE-infected animal slaughtered on December 9, 2003, were not used for food, but they were sent to renderers to be separated into raw materials, such as proteins and blood. Rendered materials are used for many purposes, including cosmetics and vaccines. FDA has jurisdiction over renderers.







QFC sued over mad cow case


 Grocer negligently exposed them to beef, family claims


 Friday, March 5, 2004




 An Eastside family who says they ate beef linked to the nation's only known case of mad cow disease yesterday filed a class-action lawsuit against QFC, claiming the grocery store chain negligently exposed them and others to "highly hazardous" meat and did not properly notify them that they had bought it.


 Attorneys for Jill Crowson, a 52-year-old interior designer from Clyde Hill, filed the lawsuit in King County Superior Court on behalf of her family and possibly hundreds of other customers who unwittingly bought and consumed beef potentially exposed to mad cow disease.


 "I was pretty upset about it," Crowson said. "I've spent all of my kids' lives trying to be a responsible parent for them to keep them safe. I felt badly that the food I served could be harmful to their health."


 The lawsuit is believed to be the first stemming from this country's only confirmed case of mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, which was detected in a slaughtered Holstein from a Yakima Valley ranch on Dec. 23.


 Neither officials at Quality Food Centers' Bellevue headquarters, or Kroger -- the company's Ohio-based corporate parent -- could be reached for comment about the lawsuit yesterday.


 The suit contends the family bought and later ate ground beef from their local QFC that was part of a batch processed at Vern's Moses Lake Meats on Dec. 9 and included meat from the diseased Holstein.


 The beef was later shipped to wholesalers and retailers in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Montana and Nevada.


 On Dec. 23 -- after government scientists confirmed the Holstein was infected with BSE -- businesses began pulling potentially affected beef from store shelves under a voluntary recall.


 But the family's suit claims that, although QFC was aware of the recall on Dec. 23, the store did not begin pulling the recalled beef from about 40 of its stores that carried it until Dec. 24.


 The company also did not try to warn customers about the recalled beef until Dec. 27 -- and only then with small, inconspicuous signs inside the stores, the suit claims.


 Steve Berman, the family's attorney, said the company had "a duty to warn" consumers who bought the beef under terms of the Washington Product Liability Act.


 QFC could've easily notified customers by taking out TV, radio or newspaper ads, or by tracking and notifying those who bought the beef through customers' QFC Advantage Cards, Berman said.


 At Berman's downtown Seattle firm yesterday, Crowson described how on Dec. 22 and Dec. 23 -- the day of the recall -- she bought single packages of "9 percent leanest ground beef" from her local QFC store at Bellevue Village.


 Crowson took the beef home, cooked it and made tacos one night and spaghetti the next -- serving the dinners to herself; her daughter, Laura, 22; son, Nicholas, 19; and her niece, Claire De Winter, 23. Members of the family also ate leftovers from those meals for the next several days, Crowson said.


 "When the news about mad cow came out, I instantly became concerned," Crowson said. "But the initial stories didn't mention anything about QFC, so I thought we were OK."


 While shopping at the grocery store a few days later, Crowson said she asked a store butcher whether QFC stores had sold any of the recalled beef. The butcher assured her they had not, she said.


 The family only learned QFC had sold any of the beef in question after reading a news story Jan. 10 about a Mercer Island man who discovered his family had eaten affected beef that he bought at a local QFC store, Crowson said.


 Crowson later called QFC and faxed the company a signed letter asking that it track purchases made on her QFC Advantage Card -- a store discount card issued to customers. On Jan. 12, the company notified Crowson that the beef she bought and served to her family was, in fact, part of the recalled batch, she said.


 Scientists believe people who eat beef from infected cows can contract a fatal form of the disease.


 The family is "now burdened with the possibility that they presently carry (the disease) that may have an incubation period of up to 30 years," the lawsuit says.


 Lawyers for the family say they believe hundreds, if not thousands, of QFC customers, and those of other stores, likely ate beef from the recalled batch -- the reason why Berman filed their legal claim as a class-action lawsuit. A USDA official this week said that up to 17,000 pounds of meat affected by the recall likely was eaten or thrown out by customers.


 Berman added that an investigator from his firm learned that QFC buys beef for its "9 percent leanest ground beef" products in large tubs that can weigh several hundred pounds, and then regrinds and packages the meat for sale.


 Because QFC stores regrind the beef before selling it, Berman contends that makes the store a manufacturer responsible under the Washington Product Liability Act for not selling any unsafe product.


 Scientists believe people who eat beef from cows infected with BSE can contract variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob, a fatal brain-wasting disease that has been detected in about 150 people worldwide.


 However, officials with the U.S. Agriculture Department have repeatedly said the risk from eating muscle cuts from an infected cow -- the likely cut of meat processed and sold for hamburger in the recalled batch -- is extremely low.


 Although Crowson said she tries not to "obsess over it," she is fearful that her family could one day become sick.


 "It's pretty scary," she said.


 Because no medical test is available to determine whether a living person is infected with the disease, the couple's "stress and fear cannot be allayed," the lawsuit said.


 The family seeks unspecified damages for emotional distress and medical monitoring costs.


 Crowson said her reason for bringing the lawsuit isn't about money. "The more I've thought about this, the angrier I've gotten," she said.







QFC s Delayed Mad Cow Response Draws Lawsuit Family claims QFC should have used customer database to warn those at risk sooner


 March 05, 2004


 SEATTLE A Bellevue, Wash. family today filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against Quality Food Centers (QFC), a subsidiary of Kroger (NYSE: KR), claiming the grocery store chain should have used information gathered through its customer loyalty program to warn those who purchased beef potentially tainted with mad cow disease.


 The suit, filed in King County Superior Court, seeks to represent all Washington residents who purchased the potentially tainted meat, and asks the court to establish a medical monitoring fund.


 Jill Crowson purchased the potentially tainted beef from a Bellevue QFC on Dec. 22 and 23, and used her Advantage Card, QFC s customer loyalty program. She served the meat to her husband over Dec. 25 and 26, and later heard of the recall in the newspaper.


 Steve Berman, the attorney representing the Crowsons, asserts that since the company tracks purchases, it should have warned the Crowsons and many other customers who purchased the beef at approximately 40 stores across Washington.


 If you lose your keys with an Advantage Card attached, QFC will return them to you free of charge, said Berman. If they can contact you over a lost set of car keys, why couldn t they contact you and tell you that the beef you purchased could kill you?


 QFC is among the large number of grocers that track customer purchases through loyalty cards like the Advantage Card. Once a customer shares contact information including name, address and phone number they are given discounts on certain items.


 Regardless of any discounts offered, the loyalty card tracks customers every purchase and stores them in a central database, the complaint states.


 We contend that QFC knew which Advantage Card customers purchased the suspect meat, and could have easily called to warn them, said Berman. Instead, QFC used a series of spurious excuses to hide their failure to act.


 On Dec. 23, the U.S. Department of Agriculture ordered the recall of approximately 10,410 pounds of raw beef that may have been infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), which if consumed by humans can lead to the always-fatal Cruetzfeldt-Jakobs Disease (vCJD).


 According to the complaint, QFC at first mistakenly believed it did not have any of the affected beef and took no action to remove the product from its shelves. The store later removed the beef on Dec. 24, but then did little to warn those who earlier purchased the meat, the suit claims.


 It wasn t until Dec. 27 that the grocery chain posted small signs with information about the recall, the complaint alleges.


 The Crowsons contacted QFC when they suspected they had purchased the potentially tainted meat, but QFC would not confirm their suspicions for two more weeks, the suit states. According to Berman, the family had to file a written request before QFC would confirm their fears.


 According to health experts, Cruetzfeldt-Jakobs Disease can have an incubation period of as long as 30 years. There is no test to determine if infection took place after possible exposure, nor is there any treatment once one is infected. The condition is always fatal.


 If the court grants the suit class-action status, QFC would likely be compelled to turn over the names of those who purchased the potentially tainted beef.


 The proposed class-action claims QFC violated provisions of the Washington Product Liability Act by failing to give adequate warning to consumers about the potentially dangerous meat.


 The suit seeks unspecified damages for the plaintiffs, as well as the establishment of a medical monitoring fund.





QFC's Delayed Mad Cow Response Draws Lawsuit


 ... subsidiary of Kroger , claiming the grocery store chain should


 ... beef potentially tainted with "mad cow disease


 ... beef at approximately 40 stores across Washington.





040307 Woman Sues QFC Over Mad-Cow Recall ... Jakob disease, the human form of mad-cow, from eating ... QFC is subject to the Washington Product Liability ... been found in a slaughtered Yakima County dairy cow. ...







Date: October 1, 2004 at 2:22 pm PST










 The Suit


 What is the key issue in this suit?


 On December 23, 2003, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recalled more than 10,000 pounds of raw beef that could have been exposed to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Humans consuming BSE-tainted meat can contract Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), an always-fatal condition.


 QFC sold this meat throughout its stores in Washington. Even though QFC had the ability to quickly warn every customer who purchased the potentially deadly meat if they used the QFC advantage card at the time of purchase, the grocery store neglected to do so, the suit alleges.


 Who does the suit seek to represent?


 The suit seeks to represent all persons who purchased recalled meat from any QFC store in the state of Washington.


 Who are the defendants?


 Quality Food Centers, or QFC. Once a local, Northwest company, QFC is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the grocery chain giant, Kroger.


 What does the suit seek?


 The suit asks the court to order QFC to establish a medical monitoring fund which would allow those who purchased and consumed the meat to seek medical care, checking for, and if necessary, treating --- the infection of vCJD. The suit also seeks the creation of a medical notification system, allowing those who may have been exposed to the disease to receive periodic updates on research and treatment of vCJD. The suit also seeks unspecified damages for the plaintiffs.


 Does the suit claim QFC violated specific laws?


 Yes. The lawsuit claims QFC violated the Washington Product Liability Act. In addition, the suit claims QFC was negligent by not warning consumers of the dangers associated with the affected meat.


 Where was the lawsuit filed?


 The suit was filed in King County Superior Court on March 4, 2004.


 How do I determine if I qualify to join the lawsuit?


 If you have a QFC Advantage card and believe that you bought recalled meat from a QFC store, you may be eligible to join the lawsuit. Click here to fill out the sign-up request form, or you can contact Hagens Berman attorneys.




 What is the QFC Advantage Card?


 The Advantage Card is known in the grocery industry as a Customer Loyalty Card. Customers who sign up for QFC's Advantage Card receive special discounts on selected items, but gives the grocery store chain the ability to track consumers purchases in order to enhance their marketing efforts. In addition, grocery chains which offer affinity card programs often use the database and shopping pattern data to send users coupons and other marketing material. According to the complaint, QFC tracks every purchase made by consumers presenting the Advantage Card, including product description, date of purchase, store of purchase and the price, and saves that data with customer contact information.


 What was QFC's response to the meat recall?


 On Dec. 23, 2003, QFC received notice from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) of a recall of approximately 10,410 lbs. of raw meat that may have been contaminated with the infectious agent that causes mad cow disease. QFC did not act immediately on the recall notice but initially responded by denying that it had any of the tainted meat. On December 24 QFC pulled the meat from its shelves, but the company took no steps to directly warn consumers. It was not until Dec. 27 that QFC posted small signs in its stores recalling the tainted beef, according to the complaint. During that four day period when QFC was silent hundreds of consumers may have eaten the meat.


 Can QFC determine if an Advantage Card holder purchased the potentially dangerous meat?


 Yes. In fact, consumers can now contact QFC directly and the company will provide information about meat purchases ? but only if you ask. Hundreds of other consumers who purchased the meat and are unaware of the situation have not heard from QFC, the complaint states.


 Why was QFC sued even though they pulled the meat? Under Washington law since QFC ground the meat it is deemed a manufacturer and is strictly liable for any unsafe product. In addition QFC possessed specific and easily obtainable information on which customers purchased the recalled meat, but did not act to inform customers, the suit states. Considering the potential danger and risk of worry for consumers, and the ease of contacting consumers using database information, simply pulling the meat from the shelves and belatedly posting small signs was not an adequate response, according to the complaint.


 What information on customer purchases does QFC track with the Advantage Card? QFC tracks every purchase that a customer with an Advantage Card makes, regardless of whether discounts are offered or not, according to the complaint.


 Does the recently announced larger-than-expected recall of beef affect the lawsuit? No. Regardless of the size of the beef recall, attorneys believe the facts in the case remain the same.


 How can I find out if I bought recalled meat from QFC? If you believe that you may have purchased recalled meat from a QFC store, and you have an Advantage Card, you can contact QFC and ask if your record shows you purchased recalled beef. You can contact QFC at 866-221-4141.


 Isn't QFC prohibited by privacy laws from contacting consumers with warnings like this? No ? the suit notes that the company will return car keys returned to the store if the keys have an Advantage Card attached. According the complaint, If QFC can return car keys by mail, why can't they send a notice saying the meat a customer purchased in their store could cause an incurable, fatal disease? Further privacy laws would prevent QFC from disclosing information to third parties, disclosing the information to the customer whose card it is does not violate privacy laws. For example, if a trade group wanted to know the names of consumers who purchased a given drug sold at QFC, disclosure of that private information might be a privacy concern. However, disclosure to a consumer of his own records is not.


 Mad Cow Disease


 What is Mad Cow disease? In cows, mad cow disease is defined as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and is a progressive neurological disease. The human disease variant is know as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), which is a rare brain disorder that causes a rapid, progressive dementia and is always fatal, according to the complaint.


 Where can I get more information on Mad Cow disease? The USDA provides information on the disease at


 What should I do if I believe that I've eaten recalled meat? According to the complaint, no screening tests or treatments have been found for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Those who suspect they've eaten recalled meat should contact their physician for more information.





Do Stores That Offer Loyalty Cards Have a Duty to Notify Customers of Product Safety Recalls? A Recent Suit Raises This Novel Question By ANITA RAMASASTRY ----



Thursday, Aug. 05, 2004



An interesting new Washington state court suit raises an important question: If a retailer benefits from collecting personally identifiable information about its customers, does it have a corresponding duty to use such data to alert its customers that products they've bought have been recalled for health or safety reasons? And if so, could turning over private data to companies actually create benefits, as well as privacy risks, for the consumer?





snip...see full text ;




Sunday, November 13, 2011


California BSE mad cow beef recall, QFC, CJD, and dead stock downer livestock








IT is of my opinion, that the OIE and the USDA et al, are the soul reason, and responsible parties, for Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy TSE prion diseases, including typical and atypical BSE, typical and atypical Scrapie, and all strains of CWD, and human TSE there from, spreading around the globe.




I have lost all confidence of this organization as a regulatory authority on animal disease, and consider it nothing more than a National Trading Brokerage for all strains of animal TSE, just to satisfy there commodity. AS i said before, OIE should hang up there jock strap now, since it appears they will buckle every time a country makes some political hay about trade protocol, commodities and futures. IF they are not going to be science based, they should do everyone a favor and dissolve there organization.




JUST because of low documented human body count with nvCJD and the long incubation periods, the lack of sound science being replaced by political and corporate science in relations with the fact that science has now linked some sporadic CJD with atypical BSE and atypical scrapie, and the very real threat of CWD being zoonosis, I believed the O.I.E. has failed terribly and again, I call for this organization to be dissolved. ...







(Adopted by the International Committee of the OIE on 23 May 2006)


11. Information published by the OIE is derived from appropriate declarations made by the official Veterinary Services of Member Countries. The OIE is not responsible for inaccurate publication of country disease status based on inaccurate information or changes in epidemiological status or other significant events that were not promptly reported to the Central Bureau,







Thursday, May 30, 2013


World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has upgraded the United States' risk classification for mad cow disease to "negligible" from "controlled", and risk further exposing the globe to the TSE prion mad cow type disease


U.S. gets top mad-cow rating from international group and risk further exposing the globe to the TSE prion mad cow type disease







Sunday, June 23, 2013


National Animal Health Laboratory Network Reorganization Concept Paper (Document ID APHIS-2012-0105-0001)


Terry S. Singeltary Sr. submission






Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Emerging Infectious Diseases (-$2.425 million) This request includes funds to focus on necessary activities for prion disease









but no more foolish than this ;





Tuesday, July 2, 2013


APHIS USDA Administrator Message to Stakeholders: Agency Vision and Goals Eliminating ALL remaining BSE barriers to export market







Friday, December 14, 2012


DEFRA U.K. What is the risk of Chronic Wasting Disease CWD being introduced into Great Britain? A Qualitative Risk Assessment October 2012






Saturday, July 6, 2013


***Small Ruminant Nor98 Prions Share Biochemical Features with Human Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker Disease and Variably Protease-Sensitive Prionopathy


Research Article






Thursday, June 6, 2013







Tuesday, June 11, 2013


***Weld County Bi-Products dba Fort Morgan Pet Foods 6/1/12 significant deviations from requirements in FDA regulations that are intended to reduce the risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) within the United States






Tuesday, May 21, 2013


*** Canada, USA, Bad feed, mad cows: Why we know three BSE cases had a common origin and why the SSS policy is in full force $$$






CFIA, USDA, AND OIE SHOOT, SHOVEL, AND SHUT THE HELL UP SSS BSE TSE PRION MAD COW TYPE POLICY $$$, and the media is buying it hook, line, and sinker $$$


EDMONTON - Some of former Alberta premier Ralph Klein's most colourful quotes — and the reactions they elicited:






"This all came about through the discovery of a single, isolated case of mad cow disease in one Alberta cow on May 20th.



The farmer — I think he was a Louisiana fish farmer who knew nothing about cattle ranching.




*** I guess any self-respecting rancher would have shot, shovelled and shut up, but he didn't do that." — Klein recalls how the mad cow crisis started and rancher Marwyn Peaster's role.



The premier was speaking at the Western Governors Association meeting in Big Sky, Mont. September 2004.







Wednesday, December 22, 2010.


Manitoba veterinarian has been fined $10,000 for falsifying certification documents for U.S. bound cattle and what about mad cow disease?









Canada has had a COVER-UP policy of mad cow disease since about the 17th case OR 18th case of mad cow disease. AFTER THAT, all FOIA request were ignored $$$.




Thursday, February 10, 2011.


TRANSMISSIBLE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY REPORT UPDATE CANADA FEBRUARY 2011 and how to hide mad cow disease in Canada Current as of: 2011-01-31.







Thursday, January 17, 2013.


Canada, U.S. agree on animal-disease measures to protect trade, while reducing human and animal health protection.






Wednesday, August 11, 2010.








Thursday, August 19, 2010.









Friday, March 4, 2011.


Alberta dairy cow found with mad cow disease.






Increased Atypical Scrapie Detections.



Press reports indicate that increased surveillance is catching what otherwise would have been unreported findings of atypical scrapie in sheep. In 2009, five new cases have been reported in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. With the exception of Quebec, all cases have been diagnosed as being the atypical form found in older animals. Canada encourages producers to join its voluntary surveillance program in order to gain scrapie-free status. The World Animal Health will not classify Canada as scrapie-free until no new cases are reported for seven years. The Canadian Sheep Federation is calling on the government to fund a wider surveillance program in order to establish the level of prevalence prior to setting an eradication date. Besides long-term testing, industry is calling for a compensation program for farmers who report unusual deaths in their flocks.







Thursday, November 18, 2010


Increased susceptibility of human-PrP transgenic mice to bovine spongiform encephalopathy following passage in sheep







Monday, April 25, 2011


Experimental Oral Transmission of Atypical Scrapie to Sheep


Volume 17, Number 5-May 2011







Friday, February 11, 2011


Atypical/Nor98 Scrapie Infectivity in Sheep Peripheral Tissues









Summary Report BSE 2012


Executive Summary







Saturday, August 4, 2012


Final Feed Investigation Summary - California BSE Case - July 2012







Saturday, August 4, 2012


Update from APHIS Regarding Release of the Final Report on the BSE Epidemiological Investigation







Thursday, March 29, 2012


atypical Nor-98 Scrapie has spread from coast to coast in the USA 2012


NIAA Annual Conference April 11-14, 2011San Antonio, Texas






Wednesday, April 4, 2012


20120402 - Breach of quarantine/Violation de la mise en quarantaine of an ongoing Scrapie investigation






Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Feds want five-year paper trail for livestock NAIS COOL






Friday, December 21, 2012


USDA Issues Final Rule for Animal Disease Traceability





Thursday, September 6, 2012


R-CALF and others jointly filed a lawsuit against the World Trade Organization (WTO), Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk over COOL





Friday, July 6, 2012


cattle from Mexico enter USA illegally, indications they are being sold in Texas and New Mexico






Friday, November 18, 2011


country-of-origin labeling law (COOL) violates U.S. obligations under WTO rules WT/DS384/R WT/DS386/R






Thursday, July 28, 2011


An Update on the Animal Disease Traceability Framework July 27, 2011






Friday, August 20, 2010


USDA: Animal Disease Traceability August 2010





as a consumer, my opinion (if that matters), you need some sort of traceability for your livestock. I don't want to know anything about your family, your income, your kids, your sex life, nothing but to be able to trace that animal from farm to fork. I want to know whether or not if that animal has been fed animal protein, antibiotics, and if myself or my family do get sick, we should be able to trace that product. I don't see the problem. you can trace every part on your car, I can find out anything I want about you on the internet. why can't I do that with a cow?


let's review a few things about the NAIS, why we need it past and present. let's review first the few mad cows that were accidently found, birth cohorts, herd cohorts etc., and how efficient or NOT the traceability of those 4 animals were....oops, that's right, the first stumbling and staggering mad cow in Texas was sent straight to the render, did not pass GO(inspection), did not get $200.(prion rapid test), and of course, was never confirmed. THEN the second mad cow, the one that would never have been confirmed if not for an act of Congress and the Honorable Fong of the OIG, and scientist from the EU and the USA asking questions, meanwhile the BSE MRR was being finalized. Then after 7 months of sitting on the shelf, after a secret test had already turned up positive, but yet still 7 months no confirmation on a BSE positive test that by the BSE Red Books, it should have been a 48 hour turnaround on that test. Finally, the 2nd Texas mad cow was confirmed positive BSE. later termed atypical h-BSE. Then you had the Alabama mad cow, now termed g-h-BSEalabama, and then of course the mad cow old Luther capped in Washington state, the white one, that changed colors, and then was said to be a Canadian traitor c-BSE mad cow. IT's all Canada's fault ;-(NOT)


Be sure to see the latest data on the typical and atypical cases of BSE and Scrapie and any human CJD TSE there from. This is down toward the bottom of the posting.




Let's look at how the USDA et al trace BSE aka mad cow cases, birth, and index herd cattle in the past (or rather how they could not trace them).


TEXAS MAD COW (h-BSE), that was finally tested and documented 7+ months after an act of Congress, and Scientist from all over the Globe questioning the testing methods and negative findings of this Texas mad cow. ...







Birth Cohort The owner of Farm A kept very few herd records; this made finding documentation on this cow’s birth cohort difficult. The birth cohort, by definition, included all cattle born on the positive animal’s birth premises within 1 year, before or after, the positive animal’s date of birth. The index cow was approximately 12 years of age in November 2004, but there was no exact birth date in the herd records. A potential age range of 11 to 13 years was used to sufficiently cover the animal’s most likely age. Using this range, all cattle born on the index premises between 1990 and 1995 were considered part of the birth cohort. In lieu of the owner’s records, herd records from Veterinary Services’ Generic Database (GDB) were used to compile a list of brucellosis calfhood vaccination (CV) tag numbers from the index herd that corresponded to animals to be included in the birth cohort. There were 121 animals identified through GDB as having been calfhood vaccinated on the index farm between 1991 and 1994. The owner of Farm A did not calfhood vaccinate after 1994. Moreover, calfhood vaccinates include only heifers. Therefore, the list of 121 animals was not a complete list of all birth cohorts. However the tracing that response personnel conducted on other COI was designed to account for the remainder of the birth cohorts.


Feed Cohort ...




Tracing of Progeny


The 2003/2004 progeny of the index cow was known to have left the farm through a specific livestock market sometime between February and October 2004. The 2002/2003 progeny of the index cow left the farm through the same market sometime between January




and December 2003. Response personnel learned early in the investigation that animals from the index farm were sold not only under the index farm owner’s name and that of his wife, but also by other members of the owner’s immediate family. Additionally, there were no herd records to indicate the gender of the two at-risk progeny. Therefore, market records for February through October 2004 and January through December 2003 were obtained for all calves sold both by Farm A’s owner and by members of his immediate family; response personnel traced all such calves to determine their disposition. With the index herd being composed of mixed breed beef cattle, the calves that left the farm were genetically unsuitable for use as replacement animals or for sale as breeding stock, a fact that was confirmed by the trace work and the documentation of the final disposition of the calves of interest.


Response personnel ultimately identified 213 calves of interest to be traced. Of these, 208 were confirmed to have entered known rendering/slaughter channels, 4 were presumed to have entered rendering/slaughter channels, and 1 was purchased in cash through a livestock market with no buyer name or contact information (this animal was classified as untraceable. See Appendix 1). A calf was categorized as presumed to have entered rendering/slaughter channels if it passed through at least one livestock market subsequent to its original sale and could not be individually traced due to unknown resale date and new backtag, but all calves resold matching that description during an appropriate date range were purchased by known rendering/slaughter order buyers.


It was not possible to DNA test the calves that entered known rendering and slaughter channels – most were of an age in which they were likely to have been slaughtered prior to the time of the investigation. There were no calves traced to farms outside of rendering and slaughter channels.


Tracing of Birth Cohorts


Since there were essentially no records maintained on the index farm, it was necessary to compile the list of known birth cohorts using brucellosis CV tag numbers for this herd from the period 1991 to 1994. The calves vaccinated during that time period were part of the index cow’s birth cohort and tracing activities centered on finding those animals. There were 121 animals whose CV tag number and/or tattoo included them as part of the birth cohort. Of those 121 animals, 67 animals were definitively accounted for (42 were found in the index herd, removed, and tested BSE negative; 25 were identified as having left Farm A through the market system and were traced, 11 of those were reported slaughtered, 13 were classified as presumed dead, and 1 was found alive, euthanized, and tested BSE negative). Of the remaining 54 animals from the birth cohort, there may have been several that died within the index herd, but the majority likely left the herd without identification and would have been either re-tagged at the livestock market or consigned directly to slaughter without identification. To account for these remaining birth cohorts, all adult cattle that left the index farm since 1990 were traced as COI.




Tracing of Cattle of Interest


The investigation revealed that many animals left Farm A, arrived at markets without any identification tags, and were subsequently re-tagged at the market. Due to lack of farm records, it is unknown which of these re-tagged animals may have belonged to the birth cohort. As a result, all animals that may have left Farm A since 1990 were traced as COI. Additionally, animals from the index farm were sold not only under the index farm owner’s name and that of his wife, but also by other members of the owner’s immediate family; therefore, cattle sold from the index farm by all pertinent family members were traced. There were some older animals that left the index farm but were able to be excluded from further trace work because they were known not to have been part of the birth cohort or feed cohort of the index cow despite their being of the appropriate age. The index farm owner’s late father had maintained a herd of cattle separate from the index farm but which was added to the index farm in 1997. Complete herd test data and CV data from the GDB was obtained for the father’s herd and those animals were excluded from the tracing activities.


There were a total of 200 COI traced: 143 were reported to have been slaughtered (131 of those were confirmed as having been slaughtered), 1 is known to have died previously and was buried, 2 were found alive (1 was a known birth cohort that tested negative, 1 was determined not to be one of the cattle of interest due to her young age), 34 were classified as presumed dead, 20 were classified as untraceable. (See Appendix 1). Animals were confirmed at slaughter using GDB slaughter testing data or the hard copies of slaughter testing Form 4-54.


An animal was classified as presumed dead if records that could be used to advance the tracing of the animal were exhausted or did not exist, and the age of the animal at the time of the investigation was estimated to be at least 11 years old or older. Since the index herd was not a purebred or seedstock operation, and animals leaving the herd were unlikely to be purchased as replacement cattle, standard industry practices indicated that most adult animals that had left the herd would have been culled and slaughtered by the time they were in this age group. Additionally, this age cutoff was arrived at through review of market records and the specific years in which Farm A sold cattle through the market. An animal was classified as untraceable if all records to advance the tracing of the animal were exhausted or did not exist, and the age of the animal at the time of the investigation was estimated to be less than 11 years of age (the animal, therefore, could not be presumed dead).




Trace Herd 1


The owner of Trace Herd 1 was identified as having received one of the adult COI from the index herd. Trace Herd 1 contained 909 head of cattle in multiple pastures and was placed under hold order on 7/21/05. Upon completion of herd inventory, the animal of interest was not found within the herd. A GDB search of all recorded herd tests conducted on Trace Herd 1 and all market sales by the owner failed to locate the identification tag of the animal of interest and she was subsequently classified as untraceable. The hold order on Trace Herd 1 was released on 8/8/05.


Trace Herd 2


Trace Herd 2 was identified as having received one of the adult COI from the index herd. Trace Herd 2 contained 19 head of cattle on one pasture and was placed under hold order on 7/25/05. The owner of Trace Herd 2 identified the animal of interest by her eartag while he was feeding his cattle out of a bucket and individually penned her for inspection by field personnel. While the cow was identified as one of the animals that had left the index farm, her age by dentition was estimated to be only 5 years old, which was too young to have placed her as part of the birth or feed cohort of the index animal. She was classified as found alive but determined not to be one of the COI; the hold order on Trace Herd 2 was released on 7/26/05.




Trace Herd 3


The owner of Trace Herd 3 was identified as possibly having received an animal of interest. The herd was placed under hold order on 7/27/05. The herd inventory was conducted on 7/28/05. The animal of interest was not present within the herd, and the hold order was released on 7/28/05. The person who thought he sold the animal to the owner of Trace Herd 3 had no records and could not remember who else he might have sold the cow to. Additionally, a search of GDB for all cattle sold through the markets by that individual did not result in a match to the animal of interest. The animal of interest traced to this herd was classified as untraceable because all leads were exhausted.


Trace Herd 4


The owner of Trace Herd 4 was identified as having received one of the COI through an order buyer. Trace Herd 4 was placed under hold order on 7/29/05. A complete herd inventory was conducted on 8/22/05 and 8/23/05. There were 233 head of cattle that were examined individually by both State and Federal personnel for all man-made identification and brands. The animal of interest was not present within the herd. Several animals were reported to have died in the herd sometime after they arrived on the premises in April 2005. A final search of GDB records yielded no further results on the eartag of interest at either subsequent market sale or slaughter. With all leads having been exhausted, this animal of interest has been classified as untraceable. The hold order on Trace Herd 4 was released on 8/23/05.


Trace Herd 5


The owner of Trace Herd 5 was identified as having received two COI and was placed under hold order on 8/1/05. Trace Herd 5 is made up of 67 head of cattle in multiple pastures. During the course of the herd inventory, the owner located records that indicated that one of the COI, a known birth cohort, had been sold to Trace Herd 8 where she was subsequently found alive. Upon completion of the herd inventory, the other animal of interest was not found within the herd. A GDB search of all recorded herd tests conducted on Trace Herd 5 and all market sales by the owner failed to locate the identification tag of the animal of interest and she was subsequently classified as untraceable due to all leads having been exhausted. The hold order on Trace Herd 5 was released on 8/8/05.


Trace Herd 6


The owner of Trace Herd 6 was identified as possibly having received an animal of interest and was placed under hold order on 8/1/05. This herd is made up of 58 head of cattle on two pastures. A herd inventory was conducted and the animal of interest was not present within the herd. The owner of Trace Herd 6 had very limited records and was unable to provide further information on where the cow might have gone after he purchased her from the livestock market. A search of GDB for all cattle sold through the markets by that individual did not result in a match to the animal of interest. Additionally, many of the animals presented for sale by the owner of the herd had been re-tagged at the market effectually losing the traceability of the history of that animal prior to re-tagging. The animal of interest traced to this herd was classified as untraceable due to all leads having been exhausted. The hold order on Trace Herd 6 was released on 8/3/05.




Trace Herd 7


The owner of Trace Herd 7 was identified as having received an animal of interest and was placed under hold order on 8/1/05. Trace Herd 7 contains 487 head of cattle on multiple pastures in multiple parts of the State, including a unit kept on an island. The island location is a particularly rough place to keep cattle and the owner claimed to have lost 22 head on the island in 2004 due to liver flukes. Upon completion of the herd inventory, the animal of interest was not found present within Trace Herd 7. A GDB search of all recorded herd tests conducted on Trace Herd 7 and all market sales by the owner failed to locate the identification tag of the animal of interest. The cow was subsequently classified as untraceable. It is quite possible though that she may have died within the herd, especially if she belonged to the island unit. The hold order on Trace Herd 7 was released on 8/8/05.


Trace Herd 8


Trace Herd 8 received an animal of interest, which happened to be a known birth cohort of the index cow, from Trace Herd 5. Trace Herd 8 consists of 146 head of cattle that were placed under hold order on 8/4/05. A herd inventory was conducted, the birth cohort was found alive in the herd, and she was purchased and euthanized. The hold order on Trace Herd 8 was released on 8/4/05. The cow was sampled on 8/5/05 and BSE tested by ELISA at NVSL. Results were negative (as reported on 8/6/05); carcass disposal was completed by alkaline digestion.


Analysis of Data on Presumed Dead and Untraceable Animals


CEAH performed an analysis of the minimum estimated ages of those COI that were classified as either presumed dead or untraceable to determine the likely disposition of those animals based on their ages. Moreover, CEAH performed an analysis of the likely disposition of the one calf that was classified as untraceable during the investigation.










OF course, the birth and herd cohorts of this highly suspect, stumbling and staggering mad cow in Texas, will never be known ;





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Statement May 4, 2004 Media Inquiries: 301-827-6242 Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA


Statement on Texas Cow With Central Nervous System Symptoms


On Friday, April 30 th , the Food and Drug Administration learned that a cow with central nervous system symptoms had been killed and shipped to a processor for rendering into animal protein for use in animal feed.


FDA, which is responsible for the safety of animal feed, immediately began an investigation. On Friday and throughout the weekend, FDA investigators inspected the slaughterhouse, the rendering facility, the farm where the animal came from, and the processor that initially received the cow from the slaughterhouse.


FDA's investigation showed that the animal in question had already been rendered into "meat and bone meal" (a type of protein animal feed). Over the weekend FDA was able to track down all the implicated material. That material is being held by the firm, which is cooperating fully with FDA.


Cattle with central nervous system symptoms are of particular interest because cattle with bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE, also known as "mad cow disease," can exhibit such symptoms. In this case, there is no way now to test for BSE. But even if the cow had BSE, FDA's animal feed rule would prohibit the feeding of its rendered protein to other ruminant animals (e.g., cows, goats, sheep, bison).


FDA is sending a letter to the firm summarizing its findings and informing the firm that FDA will not object to use of this material in swine feed only. If it is not used in swine feed, this material will be destroyed. Pigs have been shown not to be susceptible to BSE. If the firm agrees to use the material for swine feed only, FDA will track the material all the way through the supply chain from the processor to the farm to ensure that the feed is properly monitored and used only as feed for pigs.


To protect the U.S. against BSE, FDA works to keep certain mammalian protein out of animal feed for cattle and other ruminant animals. FDA established its animal feed rule in 1997 after the BSE epidemic in the U.K. showed that the disease spreads by feeding infected ruminant protein to cattle.


Under the current regulation, the material from this Texas cow is not allowed in feed for cattle or other ruminant animals. FDA's action specifying that the material go only into swine feed means also that it will not be fed to poultry.


FDA is committed to protecting the U.S. from BSE and collaborates closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on all BSE issues. The animal feed rule provides crucial protection against the spread of BSE, but it is only one of several such firewalls. FDA will soon be improving the animal feed rule, to make this strong system even stronger.







snip...please see full text ;





Friday, August 20, 2010


USDA: Animal Disease Traceability August 2010






Wednesday, February 10, 2010








Tuesday, December 15, 2009








Monday, June 3, 2013


Unsuccessful oral transmission of scrapie from British sheep to cattle





Saturday, July 6, 2013

*** Small Ruminant Nor98 Prions Share Biochemical Features with Human Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker Disease and Variably Protease-Sensitive Prionopathy

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