this is a C&P of a news letter i recieve by email of which i am a member of...
R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America
For Immediate Release Contact: Shae Dodson, Communications Coordinator
January 7, 2005 Phone: 406-672-8969; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Canadian Feed Ban Insufficient to Protect U.S. Consumers, U.S. Cattle Herd Against BSE
(Billings, Mont.) – R-CALF USA continues to insist that Canada’s meat-and-bone meal (MBM) feed ban has not adequately been enforced, and as a result, R-CALF USA continues to urge the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to withdraw its Final Rule on reopening the Canadian border to live cattle and additional beef products, scheduled to take effect March 7th.
A recent series of articles in The Vancouver Sun revealed that in early 2004, the Canadian Food Inspection Service (CFIA) conducted secret tests on cattle feed that was supposed to contain only vegetarian materials. More than half of the feed tested contained animal parts not listed on the ingredients, according to internal CFIA documents. According to those documents – obtained by The Sun through Canada’s Access to Information Act – 70 feed samples labeled as vegetable-only were tested, and 41 of the samples – or 59 percent – were found to contain "undeclared animal materials." An internal memo sent to CFIA’s president in April 2004 described the test results as “worrisome.”
The article stated: “The test results raise troubling questions about whether rules banning the feeding of cattle remains to other cattle – the primary way in which mad cow disease is spread – are being routinely violated . . . Controlled experiments have shown an animal needs to consume as little as one milligram of infected material – about the size of a grain of sand – from an animal with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) to develop the brain-wasting disease.”
According to The Sun, the Canadian government chose not to conduct DNA tests on the contaminated feed to determine whether the animal parts in question were from Specified Risk Materials (SRMs) or from nonhazardous materials, leaving unanswered the question as to whether this feed was tainted with the BSE infective agent.
“USDA is trying to cause the public to believe Canada meets scientific standards that would allow it to be designated as a BSE ‘minimal-risk’ country, when the facts show that Canada can only meet the definition of a ‘moderate-risk’ country,” said Bill Bullard, R-CALF USA CEO. “One of our concerns is that Canada’s meat-and-bone meal feed ban, which took effect in 1997, has not been enforced for the required minimum of eight years.
“Another important concern that USDA fails to plainly acknowledge to consumers is the fact that Canada did not completely destroy the BSE-infected cow from May 2003, as required by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE),” Bullard continued. “Instead, Canada rendered the BSE-infected cow and processed it into animal feeds, and according to USDA, those feeds were distributed to as many as 1,800 sites where some of it possibly was consumed by Canadian cattle. But according to documents from the Canadian government, over 1,800 head of Canadian cattle from 10 sites were exposed to the BSE-contaminated feed.
“Under USDA’s Final Rule, meat from Canadian cattle of all ages will be allowed into the U.S., and those products will not be labeled so consumers will know the difference,” Bullard said. “And the only Canadian cattle currently being tested for BSE are from high-risk populations or those that exhibit symptoms of BSE – not cattle that may have consumed tainted feed from either the BSE cow rendered in 2003, or the contaminated feed CFIA discovered in 2004.”
Similarly inaccurate is USDA’s assumption that Canada’s MBM feed ban protects against BSE entering the U.S. via Canadian cattle.
“Because there’s a gap in Canada’s MBM feed ban that’s caused by feeding ruminant protein to poultry and then feeding that poultry litter to cattle, bringing Canadian cattle into the U.S. for slaughter increases the potential for the spread of BSE to the U.S. herd through that route,” Bullard explained. “Additionally, SRMs removed from Canadian cattle in U.S. slaughterhouses can be used in the manufacture of poultry feed and numerous studies have confirmed that BSE prions are highly persistent, so there’s reason to believe that prions from a BSE-infected cow could enter poultry feed, then be reintroduced into U.S. cattle three ways: through poultry litter; through inadvertent exposure to poultry feed; or through cross contamination occurring within feed processing facilities.
“So long as the MBM feed ban allows ruminant protein to be used in poultry food, and plate waste to be used as ruminant food, introducing Canadian cattle into U.S. slaughtering facilities increases the risk of BSE in the U.S. herd through that route,” Bullard continued.
“It’s important for consumers to know that USDA’s own International Review Team assigned to research BSE after the BSE cow was found in Washington state reported back to the Agriculture Secretary that ‘ . . . the partial ruminant to ruminant feed ban that is currently in place is insufficient to prevent exposure of cattle to the BSE agent,” Bullard emphasized.
“USDA has acknowledged this fact and still hasn’t done anything to correct the situation, and yet, the agency chooses to look the other way with its Final Rule, in effect, forcing an unsafe situation upon unsuspecting consumers,” he concluded.
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R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on domestic and international trade and marketing issues. R-CALF USA, a national, non-profit organization, is dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. R-CALF USA’s membership consists primarily of cow-calf operators, cattle backgrounders, and feedlot owners. Its members – over 11,000 strong – are located in 46 states, and the organization has over 60 local and state association affiliates, from both cattle and farm organizations. Various main street businesses are associate members of R-CALF USA. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com
or, call 406-252-2516.
below is links to find out how to contact your reps they need to called about this issue as it seems to be not makeing news so a lot of folks dont know whats going on......just today i heard that one of our senators wrote a letter to the Bush Admin in reguards to this issue and was told by the admin that it was none of his concern...that peod me off when i heard that being how my senator is a rep of a state that is 100% agriculture and being told that it is none of his concern....there are a lot of thing going on that a lot of people dont know about!!!