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Livestock Industry Opposed to Stricter Laws on Mad Cow Prevention

Billions of pounds of rendered slaughterhouse byproduct are still fed each
year to livestock in the US, including weaning calves on cattle blood and
feeding deer that might have CWD to pigs, pets and poultry, and then feed
those to cattle.

But, rather than learn from the mad cow outbreak in Britain and Europe, the
powerful US livestock industry continues to opposed even the most minimal
tightening of the US feed regulations.

This is from <www.meatingplace.com>, a meat industry website.

John Stauber, Executive Director
Center for Media & Democracy
520 University Avenue #310, Madison, WI 53703
Phone(608)260-9713 Fax260-9714 www.prwatch.org

FDA changes in feed restriction won't reduce BSE risk, industry groups say

by Dan Murphy on 1/15/03 for www.meatingplace.com

Changes to current animal feed restrictions proposed by the Food and Drug
Administration will not reduce the already low risk of bovine spongiform
encephalopathy in U.S. cattle any further, the American Meat Institute and
14 other agriculture groups stated in a news release.
FDA resources could be better spent bringing the current high compliance
rate among feed manufacturers closer to 100 percent, the groups said in
response to an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published by FDA Nov.
6, 2002.
"Neither the current science nor the excellent compliance rate supports an
expansion of the rule at this time," the letter said. "Not only would the
proposed changes have no appreciable effect on the risk of BSE occurring or
proliferating in the U.S., the proposed changes would likely take away
valuable resources that are needed to ensure full compliance with the
current rules in place."
In its ANPR, FDA asked for comments on the following five aspects of the
feed regulation:

* Excluding brain and spinal cord from rendered animal products
* Using poultry litter in cattle feed
* Using pet food in ruminant feed
* Preventing cross-contamination at feed mills
* Eliminating the so-called "plate waste" exemption for foodservice meat
scraps sent to rendering
Coalition members said they were unaware of any other FDA rule or program
even approaching a 100 percent compliance rate and noted that currently,
less than one percent of all facilities handling materials prohibited in
ruminant feed have had violations significant enough to warrant FDA
enforcement actions. That is according to data presented by Dr. Steve
Sundlof, director of FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine, at a BSE
Roundtable hosted by AMI in December.
AMI and other groups stressed in their comments that the existing FDA animal
feed regulations are appropriate given the low level of risk that BSE would
occur in the U.S. In fact, as the Harvard BSE Risk Assessment indicated, if
BSE were to occur in the United States, the disease would not be able to
sustain itself because of the current measures in place. The current
compliance rate, when evaluated by the BSE Risk Assessment Model developed
by Harvard University, predicted the disease would die out rapidly if it
were to occur in the United States.
The coalition trade groups in include: American Farm Bureau Federation,
American Feed Industry Association, American Sheep Industry Association,
Fats and Proteins Research Foundation, National Cattlemen's Beef
Association, National Chicken Council, National Grain and Feed Association,
National Institute for Animal Agriculture, National Milk Producers
Federation, National Meat Association, National Pork Producers Council,
National Renderers Association, National Turkey Federation and Pet Food
Institute.

 

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