Today’s Announcement of BSE in an Alberta Cow
Jan Lyons, Kansas Cattle Producer, and President, National Cattlemen's Beef Association
January 11, 2005
"The Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced today that a cow from Alberta has tested positive for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). First and foremost, consumers should be assured that the U.S. food supply remains safe from BSE. No part of this animal entered the human food or animal feed systems.
"Birth records indicate that this animal was born in March 1998, after Canada’s ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban went into effect. America’s cattlemen insist that the feed ban be strictly enforced, and we must be assured Canada is in full compliance.
"In light of the recent findings of BSE in Canadian cattle, and the fact that this last animal was born after Canada’s feed ban, we demand that USDA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigate Canada’s feed ban compliance. Based on this information, USDA and the FDA should determine how to proceed with regard to implementation of the Canadian rule.
"Members of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association are committed to normalizing global trade based on science that protects the health of our industry. Science shows the feed ban breaks the cycle of this disease, and U.S. cattlemen must be confident of Canada’s full compliance with its feed ban. Once the questions concerning Canada’s compliance with its BSE firewalls have been adequately answered, NCBA members will consider their position on the Canadian rule and efforts to reopen the border.
"Consumers should remember BSE infectivity is not found in beef such as steaks roasts and ground beef. It exists in nervous system tissues such as the spinal cord and brain of older animals with this rare disease, and USDA now mandates that these materials are removed prior to processing.
"For U.S. cattle producers, providing the safest beef in the world has always been our number one priority. We’re committed to protecting the health of the consumers who purchase our product, protecting the health of our cattle herd, and ensuring sustainability for U.S. cattlemen."