of Dr. Merle Pierson
Acting USDA Under Secretary For Food Safety
"The interim final rule on the control of Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) in
Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Meat and Poultry Products, like all USDA Food Safety &
Inspection Service (FSIS) regulations, is based on sound science and has as its
number one goal the protection of public health.
interim final rule, published in June, 2003, is far stronger and requires significantly
more from industry than the proposed rule published on Feb. 27, 2001. The requirements
of the interim final rule have spurred the industry to greatly increase testing
and incorporate new technologies to control or eliminate Lm.
results have been remarkable. The number of Lm recalls fell from 40 in 2002 to
14 in 2003 and there has not been a large Lm recall in more than two years. According
to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, no outbreaks of Lm related
to meat and poultry products were documented in 2003. The CDC data are consistent
with the results of FSIS regulatory testing for Lm, which showed a 25 percent
reduction in the percentage of positive samples collected in 2003 compared to
"The 2001 proposed
rule, which was based on the limited information available at the time, followed
the two largest recalls in FSIS history ? both for Lm ? 35 million pounds in 1998
and 33 million pounds in 1999. The proposed rule:
all plants that produced ready to eat products the same, despite the fact that
not all products carry the same level of risk;
Did not require that plants
treat Lm as a hazard likely to occur and address preventative measures in their
Contained minimum levels of food contact surface testing for
Listeria species; and
Did not specifically mandate that plants share their
testing data results with FSIS.
"In contrast, the interim final rule
was based on an extensive Lm risk assessment of RTE meat and poultry products
carried out by FSIS, as well as a risk ranking conducted by the FDA and FSIS.
The risk assessment found that the minimal food contact surface testing in the
proposed rule would not be as effective as a combination of interventions. This
finding guided the development and implementation of the interim final rule. The
results of the risk assessment were presented at a public meeting in early 2003
and were posted on the FSIS web site. The interim final rule is unique in that,
for the first time, the agency provided for an extended comment period set at
18 months so that the effectiveness of the regulations could be studied. The comment
period will continue until January 31, 2005.
interim final rule requires that establishments producing RTE products must consider
Lm a hazard likely to occur and address it through a written program such as their
HACCP plan. Establishments must verify the effectiveness of their action through
in-plant testing and must share their testing data with FSIS. The requirements
for testing by plants are determined by the relative risk of what is being produced
and the interventions in place to control or eliminate Lm. Those establishments
producing the highest risk products relying on sanitation alone to control Lm
receive the greatest level of scrutiny by FSIS.
has significantly enhanced its scrutiny of establishments producing RTE products
through the interim final rule, while providing incentives for industry to implement
new preventive measures. An internal assessment of the interim final rule, prepared
by a 28-member team and released December 1, 2004, found that plants have made
significant improvements to address Lm, such as adding antimicrobial ingredients
to their product formulations to inhibit Lm growth and installing a post-processing
treatment step to eliminate the pathogen. In addition, the report found that plants
have either initiated or greatly increased their testing for Listeria or Listeria-like
organisms on plant surfaces that come in contact with products after cooking.
These testing data are available to FSIS inspection personnel as a result of the
interim final rule and are used to determine the effectiveness of sanitation and
other control measures.
interim final rule has made RTE products safer and improved health protection
for American consumers. FSIS will continue to review public comments and the rule's
implementation to make it even stronger."
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy - "Mad Cow Disease" Q/A from FSIS UDA
Are BSE and "mad cow disease" the same thing?
Yes. BSE stands for
bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and it is widely referred to as "mad cow
disease." It is a chronic degenerative disease that affects the central nervous
system of cattle. BSE is named because of the spongy appearance of the brain tissue
of infected cattle examined under a microscope.
BSE related to any other diseases?
BSE belongs to a family of diseases known
as the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). TSE animal diseases found
in the United States include scrapie in sheep and goats, chronic wasting disease
in deer and elk, transmissible spongiform encephalopathy in mink, feline spongiform
encephalopathy in cats, and in humans: kuru, both classic and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob
disease, Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome, and fatal familial insomnia.
The one case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the United States is in a
young woman who likely contracted the disease while living in the United Kingdom.
Symptoms appeared after she moved to the United States. The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention has not found additional cases in the United States through
its surveillance program.)
causes BSEs and other TSEs?
The agent that is responsible for BSE and other
TSEs has not been fully characterized. Although other types of agents have been
implicated, the theory that is most accepted in the scientific community is that
the agent is a prion, which is an abnormal form of a normal protein known as a
cellular prion protein. The TSE agents are extremely resistant to heat, ultraviolet
light, ionizing radiation, normal sterilization processes, and common disinfectants
that normally inactivate viruses and bacteria.
about the possibility of BSE coming from other TSEs already in the United States,
such as deer and elk with chronic wasting disease, or other sources such as the
practice of feeding cattle parts to pigs?
mentioned before, there are several TSEs in the United States. However, there
is no evidence to date that BSE has emanated from TSEs in other animals.
feeding practices, it is known that cattle can become infected with BSE by eating
feed contaminated with the infectious BSE agent. This is why in 1997 the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibited the use of most mammalian protein
in the manufacture of animal feed intended for cattle and other ruminants. For
additional information on the feed ban, visit FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine
Web site .
is the BSE agent found in cattle?
Current scientific research confirms that
BSE infectivity occurs in the brain, trigeminal ganglia, tonsils, spinal cord,
dorsal root ganglion, and distal ileum of the small intestine of cattle experimentally
infected with the BSE agent. Research also confirms that BSE infectivity is in
the brain, spinal cord, and retina of the eyes of cattle infected with the agent
under field conditions. Although bone marrow has demonstrated infectivity in experimentally
infected cattle, these findings are not conclusive.
BSE be transmitted from one cow to another cow?
No. BSE is not a contagious
disease. There is no evidence that the disease is transmitted through direct contact
or animal-to-animal spread. The primary means by which animals become infected
is through consumption of feed contaminated with the infectious BSE agent.
is FSIS doing to protect the public from BSE?
While FSIS believes that the
food supply is safe, the Agency has taken a number of steps to ensure that the
public does not receive product that could have the BSE infectious agent - however
remote that risk is to begin with. On December 23, 2003, after the discovery of
a presumptive positive of BSE found in a Holstein dairy cow slaughtered at an
establishment in Moses Lake, Washington (see recall release FSIS-RC-067-2003)
, FSIS immediately issued a press release that announced the firm's voluntary
recall of 10,410 pounds of raw beef. This product might have been exposed to tissues
containing the infectious agent that causes BSE. The recall was made out of an
abundance of caution, since muscle meat does not contain the high risk neural
tissues such as brain and spinal cord, and is considered safe.
addition, on December 30, 2003, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman announced new
policies that would further strengthen an existing solid food safety system against
BSE. On that date, an immediate ban was enacted to prevent all non-ambulatory
disabled cattle from being used in the human food supply. This group contains
the highest risk population of cattle that could possibly have BSE. However, even
before this ban, FSIS inspectors at slaughterhouses were condemning all cattle
they suspected of showing central nervous system disorders.
four policies that Secretary Veneman announced on December 30, 2003 were made
effective by FSIS on January 12, 2004. These included:
Holding - FSIS inspectors no longer mark cattle tested for BSE as "inspected
and passed" until confirmation is received by FSIS and the plant that the
cattle have, in fact, tested negative for BSE.
Specified Risk Material - FSIS
declared that skull, brain, trigeminal ganglia, eyes, vertebral column, spinal
cord and dorsal root ganglia of cattle 30 months of age or older and the small
intestine of all cattle are specified risk materials that are prohibited in the
human food supply. Tonsils from all cattle are also not allowed in the human food
Advanced Meat Recovery - FSIS expanded a prior prohibition on spinal
cord from being allowed in product produced from a technology called advanced
meat recovery (AMR). This new regulation prohibits dorsal root ganglia, clusters
of nerve cells connected to the spinal cord along the vertebral column, in addition
to spinal cord tissue from being in AMR product.
Air-Injection Stunning -
FSIS banned the practice of air-injection stunning to ensure that portions of
the brain are not dislocated into the tissues of the carcass as a consequence
of humanely stunning cattle during the slaughter process.
has implemented these measures as further safeguards in an existing strong food
safety infrastructure to protect public health. For more information about these
regulations, visit FSIS' Web page at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/news/2004/bseregs.htm
there a BSE test for meat? No. The only USDA approved testing for the agent is
post-mortem analyses of brain tissue. This is a laboratory screening test for
does one test for BSE?
Currently, there is no test to detect the disease in
a live animal or in muscle meat. Veterinary pathologists confirm BSE by postmortem
microscopic examination of brain tissue using sophisticated laboratory techniques,
such as a histopathological examination to detect sponge-like changes in the brain
tissue and immunohistochemistry to examine the BSE fibrils. These are "gold-standard"
tests, and they take more than a week to run. More rapid tests that provide results
within 36 to 48 hours have been developed to detect the abnormal prion in brain
or spinal cord tissue of dead animals. Rapid tests can be used to determine if
BSE exists in a population and to obtain an indication of its prevalence or detect
animals with the disease which are not yet showing clinical signs.
are the clinical signs that cattle have BSE? Cattle affected by BSE experience
progressive degeneration of the nervous system. Affected animals might display
changes in temperament, such as nervousness or aggression, abnormal posture, incoordination
and difficulty in rising, decreased milk production, or loss of body weight despite
there any cure for BSE?
No. There is no treatment for BSE. The course of the
disease varies from two weeks to 14 months, usually resulting in death or humane
destruction within four months in countries where the disease is present.
long can BSE be in an animal before it shows signs of the disease? The incubation
period (the time from when an animal becomes infected until it first shows disease
signs) is from 30 months to eight years with only a few rare exceptions in younger
animals. Following the onset of clinical signs, the animal's condition deteriorates
rapidly. This process usually takes from two weeks to six months. Most cases in
Great Britain occurred in dairy cows between three and six years of age.
humans susceptible to BSE?
Although not scientifically proven, there is strong
epidemiologic and laboratory data linking a rare, degenerative, fatal brain disorder
in humans called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) to the consumption of
BSE-contaminated product. This type of disease begins primarily with psychiatric
symptoms and affects younger patients (median age, 28 years).
many cases of vCJD have there been and have there been any in the United States?
of December 1, 2003, a total of 153 cases of vCJD had been reported in the world:
143 from the United Kingdom, six from France, and one each from Canada, Ireland,
Italy, and the United States.
The one case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the United States is in a
young woman who likely contracted the disease while living in the United Kingdom.
Symptoms appeared after she moved to the United States. The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention has not found additional cases in the United States through
its surveillance program.)
is variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease different from classic Creutzfeldt-Jakob
The classic form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease is endemic throughout
the world, including the United States. The median age at death of patients with
classic CJD in the United States is 68 years, and very few cases occur in persons
under 30 years of age. In contrast, the median age at death of patients with vCJD
is 28 years.
vCJD can be confirmed only through examination of brain tissue obtained by biopsy
or at autopsy, but a "probable case" of vCJD can be diagnosed on the
basis of certain clinical criteria developed in the United Kingdom. The incubation
period for vCJD is unknown because it is a relatively new disease. However, it
is likely that ultimately this incubation period will be measured in terms of
many years or decades. In other words, if a person develops vCJD from consuming
a BSE-contaminated product (not yet scientifically proven), he or she likely would
have consumed that product a decade or more earlier.
contrast to classic CJD, vCJD predominantly affects younger people, has atypical
clinical features, with prominent psychiatric or sensory symptoms at the time
of clinical presentation. There are delayed onset of neurological abnormalities,
including ataxia within weeks or months, dementia and myoclonus late in the illness.
Typically, the duration of illness is at least six months.
BSE be transmitted to milk and other dairy products?
There is no scientific
evidence to suggest that milk and dairy products carry the agent that causes BSE.
I do if I ate recalled meat associated with BSE?
The recalled meat (class II
from December 23, 2003) is considered safe by USDA, as the tissues that would
carry the BSE agent were completely removed at slaughter and not used in meat
cuts or products that might have been consumed by humans. The recall from December
23, 2003 was made out of an abundance of caution. If you have concerns that you
might have contracted a foodborne illness, then you should contact your health
cooking (including microwave cooking) kill the BSE agent?
research indicates that cooking will not kill the BSE agent.
irradiation kill the BSE agent?
Current scientific research indicates that
irradiation will not kill the BSE agent.
baby foods safe?
Beef products processed by mechanical separation may not be
used in the formulation or production of baby, junior, or toddler foods.
meat recovery (AMR) products, which are processed by removing muscle tissue without
breaking bones and do not include spinal cord tissue, is allowable for these products
(However, there are further prohibitions of material allowed in AMR.
FSIS rule which became effective January 12, 2004).
meats used in the National School Lunch Program safe?
Yes. USDA's Agricultural
Marketing Service (AMS), by specification, does not allow beef that is mechanically
separated from bone with automatic deboning systems, advanced lean (meat) recovery
(AMR) systems, or powered knives for any commodity programs. USDA procurement
specifications for beef specifically prohibit the use of meat from downer animals
- animals too sick or injured to walk.
questions concerning animal feed for livestock or pets, contact the U.S. Health
and Human Service's Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Center for Veterinary
7519 Standish Place
Rockville Maryland 20855-0001
questions concerning animal health, surveillance, and BSE, contact the U.S. Department
of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
Riverdale, MD 20737
questions concerning vCJD or CJD, or any of the specific human diseases and technical
terms mentioned on this Web page, contact the U.S. Health and Human Service's
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Centers for Disease Control
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30333
Spongiform Encephalopathy; Minimal risk regions and importation of commodities;
Availability of an environmental assessment
Register (Volume 70, Number 2)]
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection
ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comments.
We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
has prepared an environmental assessment relative to a final rule published in
today's issue of the Federal Register to amend the regulations regarding the importation
of animals and animal products to recognize, and add Canada to, a category of
regions that present a minimal risk of introducing bovine spongiform encephalopathy
into the United States via live ruminants and ruminant products. The rule also
sets out conditions under which certain live ruminants and ruminant products and
byproducts may be imported from such regions. We are making the environmental
assessment available to the public for review and comment.
DATES: We will consider
all comments that we receive on or before February 3, 2005.
may submit comments by any of the following methods:
EDOCKET: Go to http://www.epa.gov/feddocket
to submit or view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of
the official public docket, and to access those documents in the public docket
that are available electronically. Once you have entered EDOCKET, click on the
``View Open APHIS Dockets'' link to locate this document.
Delivery: Please send four copies of your comment (an original and three copies)
to Docket No. 03-080-4, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station
3C71, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your
comment refers to Docket No. 03-080-4.
E-mail: Address your comment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your comment must be contained in the body of your message; do not send attached
files. Please include your name and address in your message and ``Docket No. 03-080-4''
on the subject line.
Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive
on the environmental assessment in our reading room. The reading room is located
in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue,
SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday
through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please
call (202) 690-2817 before coming. Other Information: You may view APHIS documents
published in the Federal Register and related information, including the names
of groups and individuals who have commented on APHIS dockets, on the Internet
at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppd/rad/webrepor.html. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Dr. Karen James-Preston, Director, Technical Trade Services, National Center for
Import and Export, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 38, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231;
as treatment for dioxin: flushing one feared chemical with another
American Council on Science and Health (ACSH)
may have some hope to offer newly elected Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko
in his efforts to combat his reported recent dioxin poisoning. It's not a freshly
discovered wonder drug. It's not an all-natural diet of organic fresh fruits and
vegetables. Indeed, Yushchenko's relief may come in the form of potato chips.
study published this month by researchers at the University of Cincinnati and
the University of Western Australia demonstrates the ability of olestra, the calorie-free
fat replacement used in such products as Fat-free Pringles, to speed the process
of eliminating dioxin and similar chemicals from animals' bodies.
us to wonder what will be the response of groups, such as the food police at the
Center for Science in the Public Interest, who have long vilified olestra for
its potential to cause gastrointestinal problems (a concern discredited by numerous
scientific organizations and the FDA) and vilified dioxin for its ability to cause
cancer in humans (an unsubstantiated concern, given that studies only show carcinogenicity
in rodents, and only at high doses of dioxin exposure). Doesn't acknowledging
the efficacy of using one "poison" to flush out another violate the
scaremonger code of ethics?
Yet the evidence supporting the use of olestra
for this purpose is compelling. Dioxin (like other similar contaminants) is so
lipophilic (attracted to fat) it will dissolve in fatty material in the gastrointestinal
tract. Since olestra is such a material, it will carry dioxin out of the body,
along with other fat-loving compounds. Thus, researchers have latched onto the
idea of replacing fat in the diet with olestra in order to remove dioxin from
the body faster. In 2001, the National Institutes of Environmental Health Science
announced that olestra was effective in treating two women who had extremely high
levels of dioxin exposure, and subsequent research has confirmed these results.
This month's Cincinnati/Australia study is only the latest in a list of research
projects touting this benefit of olestra consumption. (We don't suggest, though,
that everyone start loading up on olestra to counteract the effects of environmental
dioxin exposure -- the average person's exposure is low enough to warrant no action
Of course, we're still waiting for alarmist groups to admit that
the average person has no need to worry about either olestra or dioxin. In the
meantime, we'll settle for an acknowledgement that the best antidote to one of
their most hated chemicals might be the consumption of another.
is a research intern at the American Council on Science and Health.
colo(u)r of food fear
January 10, 2005
Council on Science and Health (ACSH)
an attempt to protect its citizens, the United Kingdom is reviewing proposals
to implement its own color-coded alert system evocative of the one in place in
the United States.
This may prompt cynicism in Americans who are skeptical
about the effectiveness of our own color-coded security alert system. They may,
however, be comforted by the knowledge that the UK's system would create warnings
that are targeted to much more specific areas than our system. You see, the UK's
proposed alert system has nothing to do with international terrorists. Rather
it will relate to food, providing a color-coded indicator specifically calculated
for each item in grocery stores. Additionally, it would differ in another fundamental
way -- by indicating the healthfulness of foods, as opposed to levels of security
The UK's Food Standards Agency is currently reviewing five food labeling
proposals with the goal of picking a system that will help people make better-informed
and healthier food choices. The two currently favored proposals are a "simple
traffic light" system (with red, amber, and green circles, which supposedly
respectively indicate: eat sparingly, eat in moderation, and eat plenty) and a
"multiple traffic light system" (indicating low, medium, or high for
levels of fat, salt, sugar, and saturates). Other proposals include an "extended
traffic light" system containing a range of five colors as opposed to three
(I am trying to imagine the confusion that would ensue if such a system replaced
all current traffic lights) and a logo to be placed on specific foods deemed to
The first currently favored proposal, the "simple
traffic light" system with one color indicator for each particular food,
will be too vague to help consumers make informed nutritional decisions and create
balanced diets. To the system's credit, it does account for a variety of nutritional
factors, including calories, saturated fat, sugar, sodium, calcium, iron, and
percent fruit and vegetable content. However, the system does not account for
the presence of other important nutrients in the diet (for example, both fruit
and diet soda would be labeled with the same green light "eat plenty"
indicator). The system provides only one indicator of a given food's status as
"healthful," thereby obscuring which factors account for the product's
positive or negative rating.
The other favored proposal, a "multiple
traffic light" system, indicates high (red), medium (amber), or low (green)
for levels of four food components: fat, salt, sugar, and saturates. This system
has a considerable advantage over the "simple traffic light" system
in that indicators are shown separately and are based directly on levels of a
substance as opposed to a complex formula assigning uniform values to the importance
of nutrients (resulting in a system in which some amount of a "positive,"
such as calcium, must be present in order to counteract a "negative,"
such as calorie density, in a calculation of healthfulness). However, while it
does attract attention to a wider range of nutritional aspects of food items,
again, it may lead to oversimplified food choices based on only four factors.
These four factors do not even include calories, the most important dietary factor
in weight control. Furthermore, the same information is already available on the
current, albeit slightly less visible, label on each product.
It may be risky
to squeeze complex information -- whether about nutrition or terrorism -- into
a system normally used to convey only go/caution/stop. If the UK does implement
a new food labeling system, it should be supplemented with education clearly indicating
the meaning of such labels and not simply reduce food's qualities to traffic light
colors. The Food Standards Agency is currently welcoming input on the labeling
Rivka Weiser is a research intern at the American Council on Science
FOOD SAFETY AUTHORITIES NETWORK LAUNCHED
of Article: Northwest Food Processors Association Food Safety News
rapid globalization of food production and trade has increased the potential likelihood
of international incidents involving contaminated food. Food safety authorities
all over the world have acknowledged that ensuring food safety must not only be
tackled at the national level but also through closer linkages among food safety
authorities at the international level. This is important for exchanging routine
information on food safety issues and to have rapid access to information in case
of food safety emergencies. Since 2000, the World Health Assembly has adopted
several resolutions on the subject of food safety. Member States have called for
WHO to be more proactive in communicating about food safety. WHO has also been
to provide tools and support to Member States to increase their capacity
to respond to health emergencies posed by natural, accidental and intentional
contamination of food. Furthermore, WHO¡¯s recent report on the terrorist threats
to food identifi ed a food safety emergency network as one of the basic preparedness
measures that needed to be taken. In view of the need for all countries to promote
the exchange of food safety information and to improve collaboration
food safety authorities at national and international level, WHO will shortly
launch a new International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN). A food safety
emergency network (INFOSAN EMERGENCY) will be an integral part of INFOSAN. The
food safety emergency network is intended to complement and support the existing
WHO Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) that includes a Chemical
Alert and Response.
Source: The Flash-WAFDO 12/04
in food survey
January 11, 2005
Food Standards Agency
part of an international research programme, the Agency has conducted a survey
looking at people¡¯s exposure to acrylamide ? a potentially harmful chemical found
in some foods.
The survey¡¯s findings are consistent with research in the UK
and elsewhere. The levels found would mean that the amount of acrylamide people
actually eat is at least 1000 times lower than the doses reported to cause cancer
in rats in laboratory tests.
Since the initial 2002 discovery of unexpectedly
large amounts of acrylamide in some foods, research has continued internationally
to improve understanding of the chemical and to look at ways of reducing acrylamide
More than 200 research projects have been initiated around the world
and this survey has been conducted as part of that international effort. The results
will be considered as part of the February 2005 Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee
on Food Additives safety evaluation of acrylamide in food.
Acrylamide is formed
naturally when starch-rich foods are fried, baked, grilled, toasted or microwaved
at high temperatures for example chips, roast potatoes, crisps and bread. It has
also been found in a variety of other foods. It has caused cancer in rats in laboratory
tests and its presence in some foods may harm people¡¯s health. It has not been
found in any raw or boiled foods.
The Agency¡¯s dietary advice remains the same.
It continues to recommend that people should eat a balanced healthy diet, including
plenty of fruit and vegetables, bread, other cereals and potatoes and should limit
the amount of sugary and fatty foods they eat, including fried food such as chips
Acrylamide: your questions answered at http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/webpage/acrylamide_study_faq/
of Total Diet Study samples for acrylamide
Read the Food Survey Information
Sheet at http://www.food.gov.uk/science/surveillance/fsisbranch2005/fsis7105
of Article: http://www.meatnews.com
U.S. beef industry comments on news about Canada¡¯s third case of BSE, which may
affect the final rule on live cattle imports.
Canada¡¯s Food Inspection Agency reported the country¡¯s third case of bovine spongiform
encephalopathy. The cow was a beef cow just less than seven years of age and was
obtained from a ranch in Alberta. All three BSE-infected cattle were traced to
Alberta ranches. The most recent BSE case ? prior to yesterday¡¯s announcement
? was confirmed on January 2.
U.S. beef industry has responded to the latest BSE discovery. "We remain
confident that the animal and public health measures that Canada has in place
to prevent BSE, combined with existing U.S. domestic safeguards, provide the utmost
protections to U.S. consumers and livestock,¡± USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service administrator Dr. Ron DeHaven stated in a prepared release. "However,
since this animal was born shortly after the implementation of Canada¡¯s feed ban
and to determine if there are any potential links among the positive animals,
we will expedite sending a technical team to Canada to evaluate the circumstances
surrounding these recent finds. We appreciate Canada¡¯s willingness to cooperate
and assist us in these efforts. We will continue our ongoing work with Canadian
officials in their epidemiological investigations to determine the facts of these
added: "As always, protection of public and animal health is our top priority.
The result of our investigation and analysis will be used to evaluate appropriate
next steps in regard to the minimal risk rule published last week."
Meat Institute Foundation president James Hodges said: "With the announcement
of the third case of BSE in Canada today, it is important that we try to fully
understand the significance of the announcement and demand that our public officials
make policy decisions based on sound scientific principles.¡±
added: The U.S. should move forward with its decision to import live Canadian
cattle and meat products because the firewalls to ensure BSE prevention and food
safety are intact. BSE infected cattle have been detected in Canada, and might
be detected in the U.S., because our BSE prevention programs work.¡±
pointed out: ¡°How we handle the Canadian announcement is being watched by our
trading partners on the global stage. Any decision by USDA regarding a change
in Canada's status as a minimal-risk country should be based on the sound scientific
Lyons, president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, commented: "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 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.
added: 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.
and Cattlemen¡¯s Legal Fund CEO Bill Bullard said: "During a news conference
today, Canadian officials said the feed ban put in place in 1997 was enough of
a safeguard to prevent the spread of BSE into the Canadian cattle herd, and into
the human food supply. However, during Europe's BSE crisis, Europe also implemented
a feed ban, yet, cases of BSE were discovered 12 years after the feed ban was
put into place.
Monday, R-CALF USA filed a lawsuit on in U.S. District Court asking the court
to overturn USDA¡¯s Final Rule in reopening the Canadian border to live animals
under 30 months of age and Canadian beef products from animals of all ages.
is only removing specified risk materials from animals older than 30 months of
age, but according to standards established by the World Animal Health Organization,
Canada should be removing SRMs from animals older than six months of age,¡± Bullard
said. ¡°The only responsible course of action for USDA, given this new finding,
is to immediately withdraw the Final Rule. Should USDA fail to withdraw the Final
Rule, R-CALF is asking Congress use its authority to reject the rule completely."
from the Canadian Cattlemen¡¯s Association
January 11, 2005
Cattlemen's Association News Release
The Canadian Cattlemen¡¯s Association (CCA)
says today¡¯s announcement of an additional diagnosis of BSE in an Alberta cow
falls within expected parameters and does not change Canada¡¯s status as a minimal
risk country. At current levels, surveillance being carried out is well above
the level recommended by the World Animal Health Organization (OIE) and the two
diagnoses within the past two weeks indicate that the surveillance program is
successfully finding any BSE cases that may exist. The level of BSE in the Canadian
herd is low and continues to decline as a result of the ruminant-to-ruminant feed
ban introduced in 1997.
It¡¯s important to note that while the feed ban began
in August, 1997, there was no recall issued at that time on feed ingredients already
in the system. The March, 1998 birth date of the BSE case announced today is likely
the result of exposure to pre-feed ban feed that was still residual in the system
and does not indicate a lack of feed ban compliance at this stage of the investigation.
We have confidence in our regulators to ensure the effectiveness of the ban. The
low incidence of BSE in Canada, as shown by the surveillance program, is evidence
that the ban is working. The CCA fully supports a review and validation of the
implementation of Canada¡¯s feed ban.
The rule to allow importation of feeder
and slaughter cattle under 30 months of age and an expanded list of beef products
into the U.S. was written by the United States Department of Agriculture to take
into account that a few additional cases of BSE would likely be found in Canada.
Today¡¯s announcement should not impact the re-opening of the border to those products
on March 7.
of Mad Cow Disease Generates Interest in Chembio Diagnostics' Rapid Test for BSE
of Article: http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/050112/125376_1.html
N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 12, 2005--Chembio Diagnostics, Inc. (OTCBB: CEMI -
News) announced today that the recent concerns surrounding Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
(BSE), also known as "mad cow disease", could generate significant interest
in the PrioSTRIP(TM) rapid test which provides a unique combination of high-speed
testing and reliability with simple handling, resulting in very low total operational
Recently, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said that the brain wasting
disease showed up in an Alberta cow under seven years old. While officials say
no part of the animal has entered the human or animal feed system, this is the
second case of BSE found in Canada this year. The PrioSTRIP(TM) provides the ability
to rapidly detect BSE in cattle. The Company intends to seek approval from the
United States Department of Agriculture to distribute the product prior to the
end of the year. Upon approval of the product in Europe, Chembio will be a supplier
of PrioSTRIP(TM) to Prionics and its distributors in Europe.
a report dated November 16, 2004, the EFSA Working Group on TSE Testing expressed
its favorable opinion on PrioSTRIP(TM) among several other new tests it evaluated
and is now recommending the PrioSTRIP(TM) test for approval by the European Commission.
Diagnostics, Inc. (Chembio) possesses expertise in the development and manufacturing
of rapid test products for various indications, including HIV, Tuberculosis and
BSE (a.k.a. Mad Cow Disease). Chembio Diagnostic Systems, Inc. is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Chembio Diagnostics, Inc. References to Chembio Diagnostics, Inc
may actually refer to Chembio Diagnostic Systems, Inc., the 100%-owned subsidiary
of Chembio Diagnostics, Inc. Chembio is located at 3661 Horseblock Road, Medford,
NY 11763. Chembio's telephone number is 631-924-1135. Email can be directed to
email@example.com. Additional information can be found at www.chembio.com.
contained herein that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements
within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Those statements
include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of the
Company and its management. Such statements reflect management's current views,
are based on certain assumptions and involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results,
events, or performance may differ materially from the above forward-looking statements
due to a number of important factors, and will be dependent upon a variety of
factors, including, but not limited to, the Company's ability to obtain additional
financing and the demand for the Company's products. The Company undertakes no
obligation to publicly update these forward-looking statements to reflect events
or circumstances that occur after the date hereof or to reflect any change in
the Company's expectations with regard to these forward-looking statements or
the occurrence of unanticipated events. Factors that may impact the Company's
success are more fully disclosed in the Company's most recent public filings with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"
CEOcast, Inc. for Chembio Diagnostics
Ed Lewis, 212-732-4300 x 225
New dairy quality instrument introduced
Institute of Food Technologists
Instruments, Inc. announced the introduction of the SomaScope(TM) Analyzer to
the North American dairy market. The instrument provides a way for dairy labs
to quantify somatic cells in unpasteurized milk and identify sub-clinical mastitis.
to the company, research has found that the quality of pasteurized milk and its
shelf life decreases when milk with high somatic cell counts is used. In addition,
higher cell counts reduce cheese yield, affect cheese curd firmness, increase
whey proteins and decrease casein, and compromise dairy product sensory quality.
milk buyers offer some form of bonus plan based on somatic cell count and other
quality factors,¡± said Peter Costas, Vice President, Sales and Marketing. "These
plans can have a significant financial impact on the value of a producer¡¯s milk.
The SomaScope analyzer is designed to meet the needs of dairy processors requiring
fast and accurate determination of somatic cell levels,¡± he said.
features fluorescence flow cytometry and high-throughput, dual photomultipliers
for outstanding accuracy. The unit¡¯s modular construction, including open access
to the sample preparation unit and other components, allows easy maintenance and
food safe synthetic lubricants and services benefit major Canadian food and beverage
From a press release
CALGARY - Since introducing Shell Cassida(R)
fluids and greases and a range of lubrication maintenance management services
for the food and beverage industry, Shell Canada has helped increase food safety
at Canadian food manufacturing plants.
Over the past year, Shell has been working
with Unilever Canada at its Baie d'Urfe and Rexdale plants to develop improved
lubrication management programs for equipment used in the manufacture of dozens
of brand name food products including Lipton, Ragu and Becel. Shell Cassida(R)
products and services have been implemented as part of Unilever's Total Productive
Maintenance (TPM) initiative, which aims for a zero defect, zero failure and zero
"When it comes to food and beverage manufacturing,
safety is top-of-mind," said Les Markiewicz, General Manager, Commercial
Sales and Marketing for Shell Canada. "A good lubrication program can increase
food safety and production efficiency. Shell has worked with Unilever plants around
the world providing Food & Beverage Solutions, which include Lubrication Contamination
Control Point (LCCP) surveys. For the food and beverage industry, a key benefit
of the LCCP survey is the identification of potential lubricant contamination
points in the food process. This additional knowledge can then be incorporated
into the Plant's food safety programs." Conventional industrial fluids and
greases traditionally have been used in manufacturing in Canada but the potential
for contact with consumable products makes these lubricants less than ideal for
applications in the food and beverage industry. Shell Cassida(R) synthetic fluids
and greases are H1 lubricants, which means they have been developed and approved
for use where there is a risk of incidental contact with food, meeting the food
and beverage industry's specific safety and performance requirements. "Since
implementing an oil analysis service offered by Shell Canada, we have been extremely
pleased with the collaborative effort and recommendations that have resulted,"
said Doug Dittburner, Chief Engineer, Unilever Canada. "The introduction
of Shell Cassida(R) synthetic lubricants has substantially reduced operating temperatures
and improved the efficiency of our compressors, effectively increasing the reliability
of our critical equipment used in the manufacture of our well-known consumer food
products." For more information about Shell Cassida(R) products and services,
detection of food pathogens, new technology
Source of Article:
- New techniques to minimise the risk of the harmful food pathogen E. coli in
the food chain sees the launch of rapid detection system that could speed up identification
and reduce costs for the meat industry.
techniques to minimise the risk of the harmful food pathogen E. coli in the food
chain sees the launch of rapid detection system that could speed up identification
and reduce costs for the meat industry.
The new biosensor technology can detect
E. coli O157:H7 in less than five minutes compared to current systems that can
take up to 48 hours, claims US firm Innovative Biosensors that has just rolled
the product out onto the market.
with Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7 (E. coli) was first described in 1982.
Subsequently, it has emerged rapidly as a major food pathogen and can result in
severe complications in humans ranging from haemorrhagic colitis to death.
of infection have been reported in Australia, Canada, Japan, United States, in
various European countries, and in southern Africa. In the past they have been
primarily associated with ground beef and raw milk, but a recent increase in cases
involving highly acidic foods such as fermented dry sausages, mayonnaise, and
apple cider have raised new concerns.
new system from Innovative Biosensors is based on Canary, a biosensor technology
developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and exclusively licensed
will revolutionise pathogen testing by allowing food producers to test the safety
of their products faster than ever without sacrificing sensitivity," said
Joe Hernandez, IBI's CEO.
food production, processing, distribution and preparation are creating an increased
demand for food safety research in order to minimise the risks and exposure to
food pathogens that grow in parallel to an ever-expanding food supply.
industrialised countries, the percentage of people suffering from foodborne diseases
each year has been reported to be up to 30 per cent and in the US, for example,
around 76 million cases of foodborne diseases, resulting in 325,000 hospitalisations
and 5,000 deaths, are estimated to occur each year.
1996, an outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Japan affected over 6,300 school
children and resulted in two deaths. WHO claims that this is the largest outbreak
ever recorded for this pathogen.
strains of E. coli, a common inhabitant of the gut of warm-blooded animals, are
harmless. However the strains such as E. coli O157:H7 can cause severe foodborne
disease and are referred to as enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC).
designation ¡®O157:H7¡¯ refers to specific molecules that are found on the cell
surface that distinguish it from other strains of E. coli.
to food makers constant demand for food safety tools, the food protection market
is currently enjoying decent growth with shelf life longevity and preservation
key concerns for food and beverage manufacturers operating into today¡¯s increasingly
¡®convenient¡¯ food culture.
analysts Global Information pitch the global food preservative market at $517.9
billion (¢æ422.7 billion) reaching $634.3 billion by 2008 thanks to a buoyant annual
growth rate of 4.1 per cent.