9/08
2004

ISSUE:
132

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Bioinformatics center to become weapon against deadly diseases
September 3, 2004
University of Chicago
A computer database designed to help biomedical scientists identify and exploit the weak spots in scores of deadly microorganisms will be established with an $18 million contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health.
Overseeing the effort will be the Computation Institute, a joint effort between the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory, and the Fellowship for Interpretation of Genomes, a non-profit organization specializing in bioinformatics tool development and comparative genomics research.
They will use the funds to set up a National Microbial Pathogen Data Resource Center to help scientists to accelerate their research into the biology and evolution of deadly microorganisms and develop methods for their control.
The new center will provide infectious disease researchers a single Web-based entry point to all relevant organism-related data necessary for their advanced research. The genomes (genetic maps) of hundreds and eventually thousands of microorganisms will be available for integrated analysis.
"The center will directly support the national effort to develop new vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases," said Computation Institute Director Rick Stevens, who will co- direct the center.
"A central goal of the center will be to gather all existing data on these organisms and embed this data within a framework that will support researchers in their efforts to understand them," said center Co-Director Ross Overbeek.
Working together at the center will be a team of experts in biology, biophysics, microbiology, computer science and bioinformatics (the application of mathematics and computer science to biological problems).
Stevens, a Professor in Computer Science at the University of Chicago and Director of the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne, specializes in high-performance computing, collaborative and visualization technologies and computational science, including computational biology.
Overbeek, a pioneer in the development of comparative genomic databases (PUMA, WIT, ERGO and the SEED), is interested in extracting deeper understanding from analysis of the growing body of genomic data. In
2003 he co-founded the Fellowship for Interpretation of Genomes.
Among the scientists who will directly benefit from the data center will be the eight new Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases that were funded last September by the NIAID of the National Institutes of Health. One such center will be operated at Argonne National Laboratory by the University of Chicago. The data center will assist researchers through the application of mathematics and computer science to biological problems.
" Bioinformatics and comparative analysis will drive the rapid advances needed to address the growing body of threats associated with pathogenic microorganisms," Stevens said. "These advances will occur, however, only in the presence of effective cooperation between experimental research and the bioinformatics efforts."
To ensure such cooperation, the center's outreach and training for experimental researchers will be led by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "This group has had extensive experience in outreach to researchers in the biological sciences," Stevens said. Jonathan Silverstein, M.D., Director of the Center for Clinical Information at the University of Chicago, will work with NCSA to develop outreach for clinical practitioners.
Although the NMPDR will contain numerous genomes, it will focus its work on eight pathogens:
Staphylococcus aureus, which causes a variety of illnesses, including pneumonia and meningitis;
Streptococcus pyogenes, which causes illnesses such as scarlet fever, toxic shock syndrome and necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease);
Streptococcus pneumonia, which causes pneumonia, meningitis and osteomyelitis, among other maladies;
Vibrio cholerae, the bacterium that causes cholera;
Vibrio parahemolyticus, a bacterium associated with oysters and seafood that causes gastrointestinal illness in humans;
Vibrio vulnificus, another bacterium associated with shellfish and seafood that causes a diarrheal infection;
Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium that causes listeriasis, an infection that occurs mainly in newborn infants, the elderly and patients with a weakened immune system;
Campylobacter jejuni, a bacterium that commonly causes diarrhea.

When food turns fatal

BY HOWARD COHEN
Miami Herald
Source of Article: http://www.twincities.com/
A 19-year-old in Manchester, England, takes his girlfriend out for a curry dinner at an Indian restaurant to celebrate the anniversary of their first date.
He's dead within two days. Peanuts.
Three students, one in middle school, two in high school, died in Massachusetts -- one after eating candy that contained cream, the other two munching on nuts.
Grace Fleitas of Hialeah noticed that her baby Amanda was more cranky than usual and had blood and mucous in her bowel movements. Milk protein allergy, the doctor said.
Food allergies. Nearly 11 million Americans suffer from them, up from about seven million a decade ago. The most common are allergies to milk and eggs, especially among children. Peanuts, tree nuts (i.e. almonds, pecans, walnuts), fish, wheat, soybeans and shellfish round out the top eight.
Symptoms often include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, skin rashes -- on the face and neck of children, on the inner elbows and behind the knees of adults -- and respiratory problems. In severe cases, anaphylaxis -- the swelling of the tongue and closing of the throat -- can occur and is life-threatening.
Among children, whose immune systems are not as mature, the rates are higher.
Peanut allergies, in particular, have been troublesome for children. ''There is a significant doubling or tripling in true allergies to peanuts in children in the past 10 to 15 years,'' said Nova Southeastern University professor Dr. Dana Wallace, citing the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Peanut allergies are among the most dangerous, often resulting in death. (Each year, about 150 people die from a food allergy and another 30,000 require emergency room treatment.)
There is no cure for food allergies and experts can only theorize on what's causing the increase.
Some suggest there's a lack of clarity in food labeling.
'At present, food allergic consumers are having a difficult time determining what is safe. Many terms are written in scientific languages . . . or the very ambiguous term `natural flavors,' '' said Amie Rappoport, administrative director of the nonprofit Food Allergy Initiative.
In August, Congress passed the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2003, mandating that all food ingredients be labeled explicitly by January 2006.
Others suggest our ultra-clean lifestyles have contributed to the rise.
''Our immune system is designed to attack things,'' said Dr. Scott Sicherer, associate professor of pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. ''We lead clean lives and the immune system isn't having to fight bacteria.'' Quite simply, ''the immune system could be looking for something to do'' so it reacts to the food.
Infants are also born with immature stomachs, which allow food allergens to pass without protection. Wallace advises that parents refrain from introducing solid foods to babies until they are at least four months old or ''preferably one year'' when their stomachs mature. ''Three hundred years ago we were only breast feeding, we weren't preparing infant food,'' she said.
There is no evidence that food additives play a part. With peanuts, however, preparation could have an impact. Roasting could make peanuts more allergenic, Sicherer said. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reported that per capita consumption of peanuts in China and the United States is the same, but there is little peanut allergy in China. The Chinese opt for boiled or fried peanuts while Americans favor dry-roasted. The higher heat of dry roasting and the maturation and curing processes have been shown to increase the allergenicity of peanut proteins, the study found.

Most people are allergic only to a few foods, although they may complain of problems with any number of items. For reasons unknown to doctors, food allergies are more common in male children and female adults. Things even out around age 26 when the female adult starts to pull ahead. ''We don't know why,'' Wallace said.

Studies fluctuate because not every adverse reaction to food proves to be a true allergy and many studies are conducted by telephone rather than in clinics.

''When you go and put your food in a capsule and give [patients] a double-blind test the percentage of people who are truly allergic plunges dramatically,'' said Dr. Jos?Moreno, an allergist and immunologist with the University of Miami.

''People will come in and say they are allergic to 25 foods. Most people are allergic to three foods or less,'' Wallace says. ``It's rare to be allergic to a lot of different foods.''

Next on tap: convincing schools to allow students with severe food allergies to carry EpiPen epinephrine auto-injectors on them. It's not allowed now. ''It's an important issue. Not even all emergency response vehicles have it on their cart,'' Wallace says.

''Every child with a severe food allergy should have a pre-loaded adrenaline [shot] available with them at all times,'' Wallace urges.

And someone who knows how to use it.
Bacteria and Foodborne Diseases: Safety Can Be Influenced at Home and in Foodservice
Source of Article: http://news.yahoo.com/
Yahoo! News Wednesday, September 01, 2004
CHICAGO, Sept. 1 /U.S. Newswire/ -- While outbreaks associated with commercially processed food receive widespread public attention, a greater number of unreported individual cases of foodborne illness occur in restaurants and in the home. Data assembled by the not-for-profit scientific society Institute of Food Technologists from U.S. public health agencies reveal that inadequate home food storage and handling practices are major contributors to foodborne illness, and proper handling, cooking, and storage practices in foodservice operations and at home can prevent the majority of foodborne illnesses, as noted in IFT's newly published Scientific Status Summary, Bacteria Associated with Foodborne Diseases.It is impossible to create a risk-free food supply. But the summary lists principal control measures for preventing foodborne disease. They are: Adequate cooking and cooling; avoidance of cross-contamination of cooked or ready-to-eat foods by improperly cleaned utensils and cutting surfaces after contacting undercooked or raw foods; avoidance of undercooked or contaminated raw foods, and avoidance of contamination of foods during handling by infected food handlers.The summary maintains that food preparers have the responsibility upon purchase of the food to maintain control measures, ensuring safety.Evaluations of the foodservice sector and noted within the summary reveal that education of the preparer and server with an emphasis on hygiene is the best preventive measure. The summary notes that with the majority of foodservice workers under 30 years old, inexperienced, and on the job less than a year, finding and educating them while they are actively working is difficult. Consumer education and increased regulatory control of foodservice establishments through inspection and strict enforcement of proper food handling practices probably have the greatest chances for success in controlling foodborne illness, according to the data. The need for continual education of consumers and all food preparers concerning the significant hazards associated with pathogens and proper control measures is evident.Of the estimated 76 million cases of foodborne illness in the United States annually, less than 14 million stem from known origins. In 30 percent of those identified outbreaks bacteria contamination is the culprit. Bacteria most often responsible for the greatest amount of illness outbreaks are addressed in the summary.This Scientific Status Summary follows IFT's 2002 release of Parasites and the Food Supply. These and other IFT scientific documents are accessible at htto://www.ift.org.Founded in 1939, and with world headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, USA, the Institute of Food Technologists is a not-for- profit international scientific society with 26,000 members working in food science, technology and related professions in industry, academia and government. As the society for food science and technology, IFT brings sound science to the public discussion of food issues. For more on IFT, see http://www.ift.org. http://www.usnewswire.com/

Food labels confusing to allergy sufferers
By Karen Roebuck
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, September 5, 2004

Source of Article: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/health/s_248101.html
Phaedra Ruffalo felt faint, weak and a little sweaty when her date kissed her good night.
"He thought I was falling for him. I had to tell him it was the saliva and not him," she said laughing.
He had eaten a Caesar's salad with anchovies at dinner, and Ruffalo, 34, who is allergic to fish, was in the early throes of anaphylactic shock. Ruffalo of Shadyside, a product manager for a food company, escaped a trip to the emergency room that time, but found herself there twice in July after a Downtown restaurant used fish sauce as an unexpected ingredient in its lime cilantro salad dressing.Food labels sometimes offer no real clue as to what the products contain, sometimes describing a familiar ingredient such as milk with a dozen unfamiliar names. So Ruffalo and others hail a new federal law which, beginning in January 2006, will require food manufacturers to clearly list ingredients on labels.

"We need to see this as a good first step, but there's more work to be done to protect those with food allergies," said Anne Munoz-Furlong, founder and chief executive of the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, a Fairfax, Va.-based nonprofit that pushed for the new labeling. About 11 million Americans have food allergies, which cause 30,000 trips to the emergency room and nearly 200 deaths each year, Munoz-Furlong said. The number suffering from food allergies is growing, but the reason is unknown, she said. People with food allergies can be sickened by secondary contact with an allergen, such as when cooking utensils are used for more than one dish. Some of the 6.5 million Americans allergic to fish or shellfish can have allergic reactions even to cooking odors, according to the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network.

Eight foods account for 90 percent of food allergies: milk, soy, wheat, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts and eggs. But a variety of words are used on food labels to designate them. The new law requires that those eight be listed on ingredient labels by those names. Among the names used now to list milk are artificial butter flavor, casein, caesinates, ghee, lactalbumin, lactoferrin, nougat and whey. "A 7-year-old who's just learned how to read ... won't understand casein. The idea was to make the labels more child friendly," said Ken Falci, director of scientific analysis and support in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

The FDA has urged companies in the past few years to make voluntary changes, and some have done so, Falci said. Ingredient labels also simply list "flavorings," "coloring," "spice" or "additives," all red flags to people with food allergies, because they can include almost anything, including the top eight food allergens. Under the new law, the major food allergens must be specifically listed. They cannot be hidden under the heading of a flavoring, coloring, spice or additive. Companies still can use the phrase "may contain" on food ingredient labels.

Munoz-Furlong said she had to memorize all the synonyms for milk and eggs because her daughter, now 20, is allergic. "We learned by trial and error at her expense. That's where the passion for creating (the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network) came from," she said. As a child, her daughter sometimes would vomit, break out in hives or have trouble breathing shortly after eating, Munoz-Furlong said.

"I knew immediately I had made a mistake, and there's a tremendous amount of guilt that goes along with hurting your child," she said. Five-year-old Joshua Magyar, of North Huntingdon, has suffered reactions to the major eight allergens -- as well as many other foods, dusts, molds and other irritants -- although not all at the same time, said his mother, Marsha Magyar. "There's 10 different words for egg, and there's 15 different words for milk. So you have to learn what all these secret words are to figure out if he can eat it," she said. "It's a lot of work." She packs his food and utensils when the family goes out to eat and bakes him an allergen-free birthday cake to take when he goes to other children's parties.

Her diligence has spared Joshua, who also has asthma, life-threatening reactions."Even if I bought the same fruit roll-ups for him for a year, I read the ingredients every time. The manufacturer could change the ingredients at any time," she said.

Children can outgrow allergies, so allergists often recommend parents challenge their children by giving them one of the problem foods, said Dr. Andrew MacGinnitie, an allergist and immunologist at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. This will determine whether the child is still allergic. Challenges are the "gold standard" of testing, he said.

But that now appears to be more risky than allergists previously believed, he said. A study in July's issue of the "Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology" found that at least 30 percent of children who tested negative on skin or blood tests for a food that once produced a positive reaction still got sick when fed the food, he said. "That would suggest we be more cautious," MacGinnitie said. "...I feel more kids need to be challenged under physician supervision."

The allergies can trigger anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal reaction that can strike the respiratory, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems and skin. It can hit within minutes or as much as four hours after contact with an allergen.Ruffalo, the food company product manager, has gone into anaphylactic shock five times; the most recent was the most severe.

She knew with her first bite of her lunch salad in July that fish sauce was in the dressing.Ruffalo became so sick despite receiving medication and steroids from her doctor that paramedics took her to the hospital. In the ambulance, her throat closed, cutting off her airway, and she went into convulsions, she said. She was treated with high doses of epinephrine at the hospital. Large amounts still lingering in her body caused paramedics to suspect a heart attack when she developed nausea, sweats, chest pains and feeling of faintness while at the airport four days later.

She was hospitalized overnight. Tests showed her heart had not been damaged, Ruffalo said. She felt sick for more than two more weeks, she said. Ruffalo wants restaurants to do more to protect customers with food allergies. Wait staffs should be trained about the importance of telling diners about the proper ingredients. Menus should state which foods contain fish sauce, nuts, peanut oil or other ingredients that provoke common allergies. "My biggest gripe is that restaurants are so clueless," Ruffalo said. "They look at you like a deer in headlights when you ask about it."

For the past five years, the National Restaurant Association, a Washington D.C.-based trade organization, has included food allergies as part of its food manager certification and training, said Steven Grover, association vice president and co-chair of the Food Allergen Committee of the National Conference for Food Protection, which advises the FDA and other regulatory agencies.

This year, the restaurant association will train and certify about 315,000 food managers, he said.

Even so, he said, "It's the person with the food allergy that has to be the expert." Those with allergies always should make restaurant managers -- not just the wait staff -- aware of the problem and get assurances that the food does not contain an offending ingredient and will not be cross-contaminated during preparation, he said.

"If the person in charge is not answering that question, it's time to get up and leave," Grover said. "The hospitality industry is all about meeting customers' needs, whatever they are."

Most managers don't mind being questioned, but they sometimes offer assurances when they should not, he said. For example, some kitchens are equipped with only one fryer, and it might not be possible to prevent cross-contamination completely, he said.

"What we tell restaurateurs is: 'If you develop this clientele, this will be a very, very loyal clientele. But the fact is, it takes a little more time and you have to get it right, and if you can't get it right, you have to tell them.' "

[KS, USA] Salmonella Scare
Sahar El-Hodiri

Source of Article: http://www.kake.com/news/headlines/987856.html
September 1 - More than a dozen people in Sedgwick County are sick, with a strain of Salmonella never before seen in Kansas, possibly the entire country.The Sedgwick County Health Department says there's no common link in the Salmonella scare, and there may be more cases.The new strain is called Salmonella Group B. The Centers for Disease Control is investigating whether this strain has been seen anywhere else in the country. Sedgwick County Health Department Dr. Cindy Burbach says, "We don't think or know that it's been seen anywhere because there are strains of all kinds of bacteria or even viruses that become a little different."The differences are so minor, you can only see them under a microscope. It's common for germs to change like this and Dr. Burbach says Group B Salmonella doesn't appear to be a major threat. In this outbreak, there have been 13 cases since late June with no common link. Three people were hospitalized from one to three days. They range in age between one and 57 but most are children. You can get the Salmonella bacteria from contaminated foods usually raw or undercooked beef, poultry, eggs or unpasturized dairy products. It's also in the feces of some pets, especially reptiles.

Salmonella symptoms include diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps that develop 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Most people recover from Salmonella infection without treatment, but it can be deadly in some cases. If you have any symptoms, call your doctor. To prevent Salmonella infection, just use common sense. When you're cooking meat make sure it's cooked thoroughly, and wash your hands.

Spring House Creamery Recalls Creamline Goat and Creamline Cow Milk
Contact:
William ¡°Bill¡± Marshall
810 679-4910

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Croswell, MI -- September 2, 2004 -- Spring House Creamery announced today that their customers should return any Spring House Creamery Creamline Goat Milk carrying ¡°sell-by¡± dates of 9/13, 9/15 and 9/17, and Creamline Cow Milk carrying a ¡°sell-by¡± date of 9/6. Please return recalled products to the store of purchase for a full refund. Recalled products should not be consumed. The recalled milk was distributed to parts of the Bay/Thumb and mid Michigan areas as well as throughout Southeast Michigan. Spring House Creamery apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause, and assures their customers that this is a voluntary recall and no illnesses have been reported.These particularly dated products were not adequately processed to ensure pasteurization and may present a health risk. These products do not meet the highest safety standards set and consistently honored by the Croswell-based dairy processor. For more information contact William ¡°Bill¡± Marshall, Spring House Creamery at 810-679-4910.

PURE Bioscience's Silver Dihydrogen Citrate Disinfectant Quickly Eliminates Salmonella
9/7/04

Source of Article: http://www.stockhouse.com

SAN DIEGO, Sep 7, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
Axen30(R) Kills Widespread Food Borne Bacteria in 30 Seconds

PURE Bioscience's (OTCBB:PURE), new Axen30(R) disinfectant kills the widespread and dangerous Salmonella bacterium in 30 seconds. Based upon PURE's patented new molecule, silver dihydrogen citrate, A
xen30 is distinguished from many leading commercial and consumer products because of its superior efficacy and lower toxicity.

The Salmonella germ is actually a group of bacteria that can cause intestinal illness in humans. Contaminated foods of animal origin are often the culprit, including beef, poultry, milk and eggs, but all foods, including vegetables, may become contaminated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that because of the danger and prevalence of Salmonella, people should take care to prevent cross-contamination of foods. The CDC further recommends thorough cleaning of hands, cutting boards, counters, knives and other utensils after contact with uncooked foods.

According to the CDC, approximately 40,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported annually in the United States. Because many milder cases are not diagnosed or reported, the CDC believes the actual number of infections may be thirty or more times greater. Children are most likely to get salmonellosis, and severe infections are most likely in young children, the elderly and the immunocompromised. Approximately 600 persons die each year with acute salmonellosis.

Usually, people get salmonellosis by eating contaminated food, such as chicken or eggs; however, animals can carry Salmonella and pass it to people. Reptiles, such as lizards, snakes, and turtles, as well as baby chicks and ducklings are especially likely to pass salmonellosis to people through fecal contamination. Dogs, cats, pet birds, horses and farm animals can also pass Salmonella.

"Salmonella poses a problem not only for food handlers and consumers in homes and restaurants but also for animal care and sale businesses including pet stores, veterinary clinics as well as breeding, boarding facilities," commented Michael L. Krall, president and CEO of PURE Bioscience. "Our Axen30 disinfectant kills Salmonella in only 30 seconds, yet poses virtually no risk of toxicity to humans and animals. Simply put, Axen30 trumps the typical commercial and consumer disinfectants with higher efficacy and lower toxicity."

Krall continued, "We are seeing growing market acknowledgement of our Axen30 hard surface disinfectant as a superior method of preventing food borne infections. We look forward to the nationwide launch of Axen30 through The Home Depot Supply as well as through additional commercial and retail outlets in the coming months." In August, PURE announced that its Axen30(R) hard surface disinfectant will be packaged by Clean Control Corp. and distributed under a private label to The Home Depot Supply, a division of The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD).

Faster and Safer Protection

PURE's silver dihydrogen citrate-based Axen30 hard surface disinfectant's broad-spectrum efficacy effectively prevents bacterial contamination and cross contamination in homes, restaurants, institutions and food processing facilities. In addition to the remarkable 30 second kill time against Salmonella, this powerful U.S. EPA-approved disinfectant kills Listeria in 30 seconds and E. coli in 2 minutes -- substantially faster than the industry standard 10 minute kill claims for traditional poisonous chemicals used on these organisms. Axen30 is more effective yet less toxic than traditional chemicals used to control harmful kitchen germs. Based on the EPA toxicity categorization of antimicrobial products ranging from Category I (high toxicity) down to Category IV, Axen30 is a Category IV antimicrobial for which precautionary labeling statements are normally not required. This compares with Category I and II warning statements for most disinfectants.

Exceptional Technology Raises the Bar

PURE Bioscience's innovative new molecule, silver dihydrogen citrate (SDC), is an electrolytically generated source of stabilized ionic silver that can serve as the basis for a broad range of products in diverse markets. SDC liquid is colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-caustic and formulates well with other compounds. SDC-based antimicrobial technology is distinguished from competitors in the marketplace because of its superior efficacy combined with reduced toxicity. Silver dihydrogen citrate was invented by Andrew B. Arata, Director of Research and Development for PURE's Bioscience Division.

PURE currently has Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registration for its 2400-parts per million (ppm) technical grade SDC concentrate (trade name Axenohl(R)) as well as for its Axen(R) and Axen(R)30 hard surface disinfectant products for commercial, industrial and consumer applications including restaurants, homes and medical facilities. In addition to EPA approved uses of SDC technology, PURE, in conjunction with Therapeutics, Incorporated, is pursuing the development and commercialization of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulated SDC-based healthcare products.

About PURE Bioscience

PURE Bioscience (PURE) develops and markets technology-based products in the bioscience and water treatment sectors to provide non-toxic solutions to global health silver dihydrogen citrate antimicrobials and Triglycylboride(TM) pesticides, represent innovative advances in diverse markets. PURE is currently America's leader in pharmaceutical water purification with its Fillmaster(R) equipment, and the Company has expanded into residential water treatment with its Nutripure(R) water filtration systems. PURE Bioscience is headquartered in El Cajon, Calif. (San Diego metropolitan area) and its common stock trades on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol "PURE." Incorporated in 1992, PURE Bioscience was formerly named Innovative Medical Services.

This press release includes statements that may constitute "forward-looking" statements, usually containing the words "believe," "estimate," "project," "expect," or similar expressions. These statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements inherently involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Factors that would cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, acceptance of the Company's current and future products and services in the marketplace, the ability of the Company to develop effective new products and receive regulatory approvals of such products, competitive factors, dependence upon third-party vendors, and other risks detailed in the Company's periodic report filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. By making these forward-looking statements, the Company undertakes no obligation to update these statements for revisions or changes after the date of this release.

SOURCE: PURE Bioscience

PURE Bioscience Donna Singer, Executive Vice President 619-596-8600 dsinger@imspure.com www.pure-bioscience.com


 

SurfaceGlove Now A New HACCP Safety Utensil
Source of Article: http://www.catering-uk.co.uk
Tuesday, September 07
Bacteria is on the attack in restaurants and food service operations across the country. MicrobeGuard Corporation has a new HACCP safety utensil that helps prevent cross-contamination on food pans, counters and storage surfaces. MicrobeGuard's SurfaceGloveTM FoodlinerTM and FoodprepTM antimicrobial papers create a safe, sanitary barrier anytime or anywhere food needs to be prepared or stored. SurfaceGloveTM Now A New HACCP Safety Utensil.
Controlling surface contamination is a constant concern for the food industry. It is widely recognized that commonly used sanitizers and cleaners are not always effective in managing bacterial growth. MicrobeGuard Corporation has a new HACCP safety utensil that helps prevent cross-contamination on food pans, counters and storage surfaces. MicrobeGuard's SurfaceGloveTM FoodlinerTM and FoodprepTM antimicrobial papers create a safe, sanitary barrier anytime or anywhere food needs to be prepared or stored.

"Risk is everywhere," says Mark D. Thomas, FSCI, FMP, Research Chef at the University of Georgia Food PIC and President of M.D.T, LTD. He continues, "Prep, storage, transportation and service environments all provide their own unique challenges. SurfaceGlove can be used to increase the level of safety in each step of the food production process."

SurfaceGlove is engineered with Indenta, a patented, deep textured surface design, consisting of paper and poly layers with antimicrobial properties, which are FDA acceptable for direct food contact. In addition, SurfaceGlove was tested by the NSF Toxicology Group, LLC, whose results showed that a minimum of 4.8 log reduction was recognized with all challenged organisms. The active ingredient of the antimicrobial agent in SurfaceGlove is silver zeolite. The zeolite disrupts RNA replication, which inhibits the reproduction of organisms. The silver zeolite component of SurfaceGlove is certified by NSF International and is approved by the FDA and USDA for use in food processing applications. In addition, SurfaceGlove is approved by the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service, for use in federally inspected meat and poultry establishments. "When this product was the design phase, even we didn't realize its potential", acknowledges Tony Salemi, MicrobeGuard Partner. "There are so many industry applications where food safety barriers are critical, and where the wrong materials are being used. SurfaceGlove offers a new front-line practice in the battle against bacteria. It's a continuous, replaceable sanitary surface that can be used anytime, anywhere."

MicrobeGuard Corporation is the originator and manufacturer of the patented SurfaceGlove products. Headquartered in DesPlaines IL, MicrobeGuard provides innovative safety solutions for the food and hospitality industries. To obtain more information on the NSF Toxicology Group report or for additional information on SurfaceGlove or the MicrobeGuard Corporation, visit our website at http://www.microbeguard.com or contact Tony Salemi at 888-635-8363 or at sales@microbeguard.com.

Updated dust extraction facilities for food processing plant

September 1, 2004
Engineering UK
Dust Extraction (International) Limited has recently completed a dust extraction installation for a West Yorkshire based food production company. The project was to replace a number of competitor's old units with new and more efficient models, which met current LEV, COSHH and Health & Safety standards and the ATEX Directive.
As the client's production processes were so diverse, six separate dust extraction systems were supplied and installed. The systems employed flexible arms that can be moved in and out of position as required to provide localised dust extraction as well as specifically designed hoods that fitted around dust emission points on the client's processes.
Due to each system requiring a different extraction air volume, Dust Extraction (International) Limited have supplied a number of units from their Dust X range of mechanically shaken dust collector units, from a single bodied 25M/5.5 kW through to a triple bodied 120M/18.5 kW. Each is provided with explosion relief panels that are vented safely to atmosphere. The extracted dust is collected within plastic bags that line each of the bins beneath the filter unit hoppers. The plastic bags are easily lifted out and can be safely disposed without further dust generation providing an easy and cost effective method of product disposal.
As the client's facility is located within a residential area, noise levels were an important consideration and had to be kept to an absolute minimum. This was achieved by fitting acoustic chambers around the top mounted fan sets with further high performance in line discharge air silencers being fitted to the outlets of each of the acoustic chambers.
Dust Extraction (International) Limited installed the units and modified or replaced the existing ductwork systems within the production areas during the client's scheduled shut down period to ensure that there was no loss of production.

GPI launches new aseptic packaging system

Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/

01/09/2004 - Gold Peg International (GPI) has launched an aseptic packaging system that it claims eliminates the need for expensive refrigeration of end food products.

The company believes that its new RotaTherm (RT) aseptic system gives manufacturers an edge over traditional aseptic systems such as retort and SSHE because there is no product burn-on, and because the system has the ability to handle highly viscous products and aseptically process particulates up to 25mm.
The company also claims that the process delivers improved taste and nutritional value due to the systems HTST (High Temperature, Short time) cooker heating profile, long run non-stop production and more compact footprint.

The process will therefore allow food companies to manufacture food at prime freshness and peak supply, then store or ship the product at ambient temperature for future use. The development of the system comes in response to current trends in food manufacturing, where consumable products being locally manufactured and globally consumed.

As GPI points out, this means that manufacturers are increasingly facing the problem of product spoilage, limited short shelf life, seasonal based supply and lack of refrigeration at destinations both locally and globally. The GPI aseptic RT is a totally enclosed sterile system. The process commences with steam sterilisation of the entire Aseptic RotaTherm system. The system can run straight to product (not water), so minimising start up waste. Throughout the process steam barriers ensure there is no ingress of unsterilised air. The GPI system also uses proprietary steam injectors to prevent product suck back. The aseptically processed product is supplied to aseptic packaging in a sealed sterile chamber.

In addition, the aseptic RotaTherm system has diverse application flexibility to produce safe ambient consumable product for manufacturers in various key markets including consumer products, industrial food usage and seasonal food processors such as fruit purees and tomato pastes.Aseptic processing through heat sterilisation destroys all micro-organisms and spores, giving food products a longer ambient shelf life. According to the Aseptic Packaging Council (APC), the aseptic process combines the best attributes of paper, plastic, and aluminium. The multi-layer, high-performance aseptic package is designed to lock out light and air, seal in nutrients and flavour and allows its contents to remain un-refrigerated for months.The APC says that the aseptic process, which goes hand-in-hand with the packaging, is a major advance over traditional canning techniques; so much so that it has been hailed as "the most significant food science innovation of the last 50 years" by the Institute of Food Technologists. It is also environmentally friendly: it requires less material and uses far less energy to manufacture, fill, ship, and store than virtually any other comparable package on the market.

Product of the week: Industrial Controls Foamatic hand-dryer is an effective tool for maximizing sanitation in meat processing plants
August 24, 2004
MeatNews.com
http://www.meatnews.com/
Industrial Controls Foamatic forced-air hand dryer enables plant employees to quickly dry their hands and return to work without the risk of contaminating products or equipment. The Foamatic dryer completely dries hands within 15 seconds. This is two to three times faster than conventional hand dryers, the company notes.
The dryer motor generates an air velocity of 16,000 linear feet per minute at the outlet and 14,000 linear feet per minute at the hands. The heating element is made of Nichrome wire and mounted in the blower housing, making it tamper-proof. Despite the ability to quickly dry hands, the dryer uses 80 percent less electricity than conventional hand dryers.

NEW RAPID PATHOGEN DETECTION

Source of Article: NFWPA Food Safety News
August 27, 2004

Warnex Inc., a small biotech company in Laval, Que., has come up with a DNA-based test that will allow
processors to rapidly and accurately detect harmful foodborne bugs, offering a better chance at preventing costly recalls and food poisonings. Warnexs Genevision technology uses DNA markers, or sequences, to detect pathogens and can produce results within 24 to 48 hours, which means theres less possibility of a contaminated product leaving a plant. The technology also includes specialized software that analyzes the results and allows
for immediate reporting of a contamination throughout an organization.
Warnex president and CEO Mark Busgang says a big issue for food processors
that must test for pathogens is getting results as quickly as possible in the production cycle. With traditional methods, it can take up to a week to grow bacteria from a sample in a Petri dish to determine if a product has been contaminated. But many
perishables, including fresh meats, are often shipped out before the test results are back. Of course, should the results indicate contamination, a recall could be issued. But by then theres a strong likelihood much of the tainted food would already have made its way to stores and consumers tables. Further, Busgang said that Genevision
tests are more sensitive, detecting lower levels of contamination than the traditional
method of trying to grow pathogens from a food sample in a Petri dish.
Source: Canadian Business 8/16/04

Current USDA/FDA NEWS
Sheila Dearybury Walcoff Appointed Associate FDA Commissioner for External Relations
Progress Report on Salmonella Testing of Raw Meat & Poultry Products, 1998-2003
USDA CONSUMER ALERT: Keeping Food Safe During An Emergency
AVISO de ALERTA del USDA: Como Mantener los Alimentos Sanos Durante una Emergencia
VMAC FALL 2004 MEETING SCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER 13TH
Food Advisory Committee; Tentative Schedule of Meetings for 2004; Amendment of Notice

FGIS Issuance Change: revised pages to the FGIS Aflatoxin Handbook
Raw Ground Beef - E. coli Testing Results
Statement by APHIS & FSIS: OIG Report Regarding Enhanced BSE Surveillance Program
Leslye M. Fraser, S.M., J.D., Named Director of FDA¡¯s Office of Regulations and Policy, CFSAN
Note to Firms that Produce Seed for Sprouting and to Firms that Produce or distribute Fresh Sprouts
Raw Ground Beef- E. coli Testing Results
Microbiological Results of Raw Ground Beef Products Analyzed for Escherichia coli O157:H7
Ready to Eat Meat & Poultry Results
Baseline Data
Frequency of Foreign Inspection System Supervisory Visits to Certified Foreign Establishments

Current Outbreaks

09/07. Reports of South Bass Island illness stabilize
09/03. Tainted private water wells hint at source of Ohio island's
09/03. Cholera Epidemic Associated with Raw Vegetables, Zambia, 200
09/02. [KS, USA] Salmonella Scare
09/02. Slovak winger Richard Zednik misses game with food poisoning
09/01. Eating raw deer meat tied to Hepatitis E infection
09/01. Cases of gastrointestinal sickness reported statewide
08/31. The number of people sick after visiting a popular Lake Erie
08/30. Gastroenteritis, multiple causes - USA (Ohio)

Current New Methods
09/07. END OF THE LINO FOR SUPERBUG
09/06. PURE Bioscience's Silver Dihydrogen Citrate Disinfectant Qui
09/05. eMerge Interactive Announces Shipment of Third Verifeye Carc
09/04. SurfaceGlove Now A New HACCP Safety Utensil
09/01. Updated dust extraction facilities for food processing plant
09/01. Product of the week: Electric Aquagenics Unlimited Inc. desi
09/01. GPI launches new aseptic packaging system
08/30. Product of the week: Industrial Controls¡¯ Foamatic hand-drye
08/30. NEW RAPID PATHOGEN DETECTION

Current Food Safety Informaiton
09/07. Behind the organic label; As the industry grows, skeptics ar
09/07. Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) week 36
09/07. Bioinformatics center to become weapon against deadly diseas
09/07. Beef bacteria could hold key to reducing spoilage, food-born
09/07. Japan Panel Recommends Dropping Cow Tests
09/07. Alberta group says slow mad cow testing could delay border o
09/07. Japan to use DNA to confirm domestic beef labels
09/07. Beef baccalaureate a big success; Texas tech faculty host ou
09/07. Flame retardants found in U.S. food supply
09/07. AAMP to offer plant security assistance to small establishme
09/07. Acrylamide angle in gingerbread

09/06. Got allergies? Read those labels
09/06. Toddlers often overcome allergy to milk
09/06. Food labels confusing to allergy sufferers
09/06. Nut and Peanut Allergy
09/06. When food turns fatal

09/05. Alta premier says US protectionists could prolong ban on Can
09/05. Review of blanket testing for BSE timely
09/05. Japan to Review Mad-Cow Policy, Easier Stance Seen
09/05. Come in, the water's fine ?or is it?
09/05. 150th Anniversary of John Snow and the Pump Handle
09/05. U. of Chicago site to study deadly infections
09/05. [Boston, MA, US] City inspectors fry grubby Hub eateries
09/05. Japanese Food Safety Commission May Recommend Japan Stop Tes
09/05. eMerge Interactive Largely Unaffected by Hurricane Frances

09/04. [Ireland] Five Enforcement Orders Served In August
09/04. [Bangladesh] Law coming to ensure food quality
09/04. Japan's Government to Discuss BSE Cattle Tests Monday
09/04. Food Safety Guidelines Help Prevent Bacteria
09/04. Food Safe International Completes Agency Agreement with Apol
09/04. Salsa fights food poisoning
09/04. Food and water safety

09/03. Russia-EU relations: Trade in animal products will continue
09/03. Hidden cost to treated water?
09/03. Churches not targets of food inspectors; but health rules mu
09/03. Three charged in tainted-meat probe
09/03. Canada denies co-op chance to privately test for BSE
09/03. EU and Russia end meat import stand-off
09/03. Desperately seeking gluten-free beer
09/03. Japan may remove cows aged 20 months or younger from BSE tes
09/03. Greene commissioners address fund-raising concerns
09/03. Pet Reptiles Pose Salmonella Risk
09/03. Korean Food Safety Regulators Seize Steamed Rice From China
09/03. [Scotland] Takeaway closed down
09/03. [Norway] Authorities crack down on McDonald's

09/02. Scientists To Study Dairy Going Organic
09/02. The Legacy Of 9/11
09/02. [FSAI] Cook-chill systems in the food service sector
09/02. ROAR II
09/02. Recommendations provided to Codex Committee to increase meat
09/02. BREAKING THE IMPASSE
09/02. Some schools, day-care centers to serve irradiated beef
09/02. FSA issues erucic acid warning
09/02. 'No proof' of potential citrus aurantium dangers
09/02. Debate over GMO crops spreads to Asia
09/02. [UK] Consumers shun GMO foodstuffs
09/02. Broker doubts USDA's mad cow efforts
09/02. DPJ raps U.S. anti-BSE measures as inadequate to ensure safe
09/02. Faucet, filter or bottle:Tap into safe water
09/02. [WA, USA] High lead levels found in water at two schools
09/02. Health officials close part of lower James to shellfish harv
09/02. [TX, USA] Cholera-like germ is in Ascarate Lake water
09/02. Returning travellers could highlight emerging infections wor
09/02. Funding won to help treat 'Delhi Belly'
09/02. Safety Can be Influenced at Home and in Foodservice
09/02. Simple steps you can take to protect your family from lead h
09/02. Ontario reserves to demand inquiry into mercury dumping

09/01. 20% testing requirement for imports of poultry meat from Bra
09/01. Data gaps for selected microbial risk assessments
09/01. NEHA Research: ethnic/non-traditional or culture-focused foods
09/01. Today's tip
09/01. FAO - Food Safety and Quality Update - No. 20
09/01. Choose Your Fish Carefully
09/01. INSPECTION HARMONIZATION
09/01. Recommendations Provided to Codex Committee to Increase Meat
09/01. US - Japan beef export wrangle continues
09/01. Tributes for inspirational doctor
09/01. Test Program Protects Troops' Food, Water Supplies
09/01. Scientists lay bare secrets of bacterial attachment proteins
09/01. Bacteria and Foodborne Diseases: Safety Can Be Influenced at
09/01. Toxins in food supply signal need for change
09/01. Flood food-safety tips
09/01. New EU food chain advisory group created -
09/01. Foodtech 2004: Serious About Food Safety And Production
09/01. Do Food Makers Want to Kill You?
09/01. Health Tip: Prevent Food Poisoning
09/01. [Malta] Concerned with Chickenpox, Measles or Food Poisoning

Current Recall Information

VMAC FALL 2004 MEETING SCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER 13TH

FDA's Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee (VMAC) will meet on October 13, 2004 , from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. , at the DoubleTree Hotel, Plaza Room III, 1750 Rockville Pike, Rockville , MD. At the October 13, 2004 meeting, VMAC will discuss the microbial food safety of an antimicrobial drug application currently under review for use in food producing animals in accordance with FDA/Center for Veterinary Medicine's Guidance for Industry #152. Microbial food safety is that part of the human food safety evaluation that looks at the impact of the use an antimicrobial drug on the development of resistance among pathogenic, zoonotic bacteria of human health concern ( Salmonella , E . coli , Campylobacter , etc.).

Interested persons may present data, information, or views, orally or in writing, on the issues pending before the committee. Written submissions may be sent to Aleta Sindelar, Center for Veterinary Medicine (HFV-3), Food and Drug Administration, 7519 Standish Place , Rockville , MD 20855 . Written comments must submitted by October 1, 2004 . Oral presentations from the public will be scheduled between approximately 10:45 and 11:45 a.m. The time allotted for each presentation may be limited. Individuals wishing to make oral presentations should notify Aleta Sindelar (telephone number 301-827-4515, e-mail asindela@cvm.fda.gov , or address above) before October 1, 2004 . They should submit a brief statement of the general nature of the evidence or arguments they wish to present, the names and addresses of proposed participants, and an indication of the approximate time requested to make their presentation. They will be notified of their allotted time prior to the meeting.

FDA welcomes public attendance at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Ms. Sindelar at least seven days in adva nc e of the meeting.

Information concerning the issues of microbial food safety will be made available to the VMAC members and the public in advance of the meeting and posted on the Center for Veterinary Medicine's Home Page. A limited number of paper copies of the background information will be available at the registration table the day of the meeting.

Additional information about the VMAC meeting also will be posted on the FDA/Center for Veterinary Medicine Home Page. Up-to-date information on the VMAC meeting is also available on the FDA Advisory Committee Information Line, 1-800-741-8138 (301-443-0572 in the Washington , DC area), code 301-451-2548.

END OF THE LINO FOR SUPERBUG Sep 7 2004 Exclusive Bosses: Flooring is life-saver
By Judith Duffy
Source of Article: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/name_page.html
THE deadly MRSA superbug could soon be wiped out in hospitals by a new weapon - linoleum.

Research has found that the flooring, invented more than 100 years ago, has natural bacteria-killing properties.It means bugs such as MRSA and salmonella cannot live or breed on the surface.The effect is thought to be due to the anti-bacterial properties in the linseed oil used to make the lino.

And Kirkcaldy company Forbo-Nairn - the only UK firm to still make linoleum - say it could help prevent the spread of superbugs in hospitals.Yesterday, company spokeswoman Therese Magill said: 'You do get other flooring products which say they are MRSA-resistant.

'But some of these products will have a chemical additive or surface treatment to give it its MRSA resistance.The thing about linoleum is that it is an inherent quality of the product. It doesn't wear off over time and it doesn't get washed out.'According to Forbo-Nairn, the lino - brand name Marmoleum - is already in use in some hospitals in Scotland.

These include the new Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, the Sick Kids' in Edinburgh, Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline, and Victoria Hospital,in Kirkcaldy.Therese added: 'We would never claim that flooring alone will suddenly combat MRSA.'But as part of a package of measures, such as hand-washing, then certainly Marmoleum will help to fight MRSA.'The research was carried out by the TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute in Holland.

They investigated the ability of the linoleum to destroy or inhibit the growth of two strains of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus areus - known as MRSA.The report concluded: 'Linoleum-type Marmoleum exhibited a significant anti-staphylococcus effect for both the MRSA strains.'

Beef bacteria could hold key to reducing spoilage, food-borne pathogens
September 8, 2004
Alberta Beef Producers
Calgary, Alberta: Researchers have isolated a strain of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) with the potential to not only reduce meat spoilage, but also to reduce contamination by food-borne pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes.
"Meat processors tell us that one of their biggest concerns is LAB," says Dr. Frances Nattress, an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researcher based in Lacombe, who led the research. "Processors say that LAB are a frequent reason for product return, because some strains contribute to the spoilage of vacuum-packed meat, which is a $200 million per year problem for the Canadian beef industry."
Nattress and colleague Dr. Christopher Yost used molecular genetics to successfully identify the specific LAB populations that grow on vacuum-packed meat and then conducted further research to determine if specific strains have any benefits. The research was funded in part by the Canada Alberta Beef Industry Development Fund (CABIDF).
Currently about 80 percent of Canadian beef for domestic and international markets is vacuum-packed. Vacuum packing allows for a longer shelf life - vacuum-packaged beef stored at 0 C can have a storage life of 10 to 12 weeks.
For beef packaged in 100 percent CO2 stored at 2 C, the storage life can be as
long as eight weeks. However, these vacuum-packaged environments often allow
LAB to flourish.
"LAB are a very hardy and versatile group of organisms," says Nattress. "Their growth is difficult to control and they are resistant to environmental conditions, such as low pH, refrigeration and packaging in the absence of oxygen, that would inhibit the growth of most other bacteria."
However, Nattress's research leads scientists to believe that one particular LAB strain could be beneficial in vacuum-packaged meat.
"We've identified one LAB strain that prevents the propagation of other spoilage-causing strains and has the ability to reduce numbers of food-borne pathogens, such as E. coli O157:H7," she says.
In week zero of the research, Nattress found a mixed LAB community on the beef, consisting of Lactobacillus curvatus, Lactobacillus sakei and Leuconostoc spp. However, by week six, a single Leuconostoc strain dominated, which demonstrated an antagonism towards the growth of all other LAB isolated during the study. Furthermore, it appeared to inhibit the growth of pathogens E. coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes, both of which are significant food safety concerns.
Further DNA sequencing suggested that the isolate was a L. gelidum strain. Using molecular typing methods, researchers will be able to further probe the benefits of this L. gelidum on vacuum-packaged meat. "Now we have to gain a better understanding of exactly how this and the other strains of LAB interact, so that we can make the best use of the positive strain, while reducing negative strains," says Nattress.
"This research has opened the door to other projects aimed at inhibiting the growth of spoilage organisms on beef, which could lead to significant savings for Canada's beef industry," she adds. "Heading into the fall, we'll be doing more trials with contaminated meat, to gain an even greater understanding of how this particular strain works to reduce spoilage and food-borne pathogens. Eventually we may be able to introduce it to the beef industry as an 'ingredient' that could improve their product."
CABIDF is a joint $16.4 million fund of Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural
Development and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The Fund is administered by
Alberta Beef Producers and has supported more than 50 projects in six major categories identified to benefit the Alberta beef industry.

Japan Panel Recommends Dropping Cow Tests
(THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Japan could stop testing newborn and younger cows for mad cow disease without posing a risk to public health, a special panel decided Monday, in a ruling that could influence talks to lift Tokyo's ban on American beef imports.

Japan shut its doors to U.S. beef last December after the discovery of the United States' first case of mad cow disease, and has urged Washington to impose blanket testing of every cow as is required in Japan.

The panel to the Cabinet's Food Safety Commission concluded, however, that measures already in place to remove parts of the cows most at risk for infection meant that excluding young or newborn cattle from testing would not threaten consumers, said Hiroshi Aoki, a commission official.

Eating beef from a diseased cow is considered to cause the fatal human variant of the disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Aoki said, however, the 12-member panel in Monday's report did not set the upper limit of age of young cows subject to the testing exclusion. Japanese media said cows younger than 20 months would be excluded from the tests.

Japan's small beef industry adopted a policy of testing every cow slaughtered after an
Top Of Document¡©
outbreak of mad cow disease in 2001. Japan, which had been the most lucrative overseas
market for U.S. beef, has been urging the United States to impose a similar system.

To date, Japanese officials say they have confirmed a total of 11 cases of cows infected with the fatal brain-wasting illness in Japan, including a 21-month-old cow and a 23-month-old cow.

American officials, however, have questioned the validity of test results for younger cows.

The United States had wanted Japan to remove beef cattle aged up to 30 months from the test, but recently said beef cattle younger than 24 months should be excluded, Kyodo News quoted unidentified negotiation sources as saying.

After months of wrangling, Japanese and U.S. scientists agreed in July to recommend an end to tests for made cow disease in young and newborn cattle -- a compromise that could reopen the lucrative beef trade between the two countries.

The scientists' recommendation, in a report to Tokyo and Washington, came at the end of two-day talks aimed at settling a dispute over safeguards for the fatal brain-wasting illness.

Washington tests only a sample of its herd.

About 80 percent of U.S. beef cattle are slaughtered before they reach 20 months of age, Kyodo reported. Therefore, most U.S. beef would thus become exportable to Japan if cows younger than 20 months are excluded from the test. 9-7-04