Japan Traces Mad Cow
Outbreak to Calf Feed

Web Note: US dairy calves are fed mother's milk substitute containing "raw
dried bovine blood plasma" as protein for young cattle. In other words,
calves are being weaned on cattle blood, even though in laboratory studies
blood can transmit mad cow-type diseases. Feeding cattle blood to calves is
perfectly legal under lax US feed regulations. American Protein Corporation
in Ames, Iowa, is a major manufacturer of the product, which poses a risk of
spreading US variants of mad cow disease to livestock and people. Organic
dairy farms, on the other hand, are prohibited from feeding dried blood to
calves, as well as any form of bone meal to cattle.

Japan Times
Five mad cows likely fed same milk substitute
YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) A Holstein raised in Kanagawa Prefecture was
confirmed Friday as the nation's fifth case of mad cow disease, and the
prefectural government said it was likely fed the same type of milk substitute
given to the other four infected animals.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry confirmed that the Holstein was
infected with the disease, formally known as bovine spongiform

The milk substitute is believed to have been manufactured at the same plant
in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, run by a subsidiary of the National
Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations (Zen-Noh), they said.

The officials issued these remarks after inspecting a dairy farm earlier in
the day in Isehara, where the fifth mad cow was born and raised.

The infected cow was born in December 1995, three to four months earlier
than the cows in the first four cases, and is the first to be found in
Kanagawa, raising concern that the extent of the infection may be larger
than previously thought.

None of the 47 other cows at the farm show any signs of infection, the
prefectural officials said Friday.

The farm's owner told officials he has never fed meat-and-bone meal to his
cows, they said. MBM has been widely reported as a source of mad cow
infection in Europe.

The farmer took the cow to a slaughterhouse in the prefecture Wednesday, the
day it was scheduled to be shipped as beef cattle, after noticing it could
not stand on its feet because its hip was dislocated and legs were inflamed.

Warehouse inspected
OSAKA -- The farm ministry on Friday inspected a warehouse in Osaka where
beef from Nippon Food Inc.'s Himeji sales office in Hyogo Prefecture is

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry also reinspected the Himeji
sales office, according to ministry officials.

Nippon Food is a subsidiary of Nippon Meat Packers Inc., better known as
Nippon Ham.

The Himeji office abused a government beef-buyback program that was
introduced after the discovery of mad cow disease in Japan last September.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that the Himeji office assembled 599 kg
of bad domestic beef stocks, including meat left unsold or returned, and
sold them to the government under a buyback program. designed to ensure the
safety of domestic beef that reaches the market.

On Aug. 8, the farm ministry searched the Himeji office after revelations
that it had passed off 520 kg of imported beef as domestic; the ministry
failed to uncover the wrongful sale of bad beef stocks at that time.

The farm ministry also searched Nippon Food's sales office in Kagawa
Prefecture on Friday.

On Wednesday, the farm ministry began an investigation of the headquarters
in Osaka and a Tokyo branch office of Nippon Meat Packers for the first time
since the beef-mislabeling scam came to light earlier this month.

The Japan Times: Aug. 24, 2002

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