GAIN Report Number:
Report Highlights: BSE Case in United States Will Not Affect Trade, States Canadian Food Inspection Agency * Health Canada Moves to Close Fortified Snack and Beverage Loophole * Canadian Food Inspection Agency Publishes Notice of Intent with Respect to Importer Licensing Regime * Canadian Grain Sector Shakeup Expected with Potential Foreign Acquisition of Canadian Grain Company
Agriculture in the News
This Week in Canadian Agriculture - Issue 7
This Week in Canadian Agriculture is a review of Canadian agricultural industry developments of interest to the U.S. agricultural community. The issues summarized in this report cover a wide range of subject matter obtained from Canadian press reports, government press releases, and host country agricultural officials and representatives.
Disclaimer: Any press article summaries in this report are included to bring U.S. readership closer to the pulse of Canadian developments in agriculture. In no way do the views and opinions of these sources reflect USDA’s, the U.S. Embassy’s, or any other U.S. Government agency’s point of view or official policy.
BSE Case in United States Will Not Affect Trade, States Canadian Food Inspection Agency On April 25, 2012, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a press release stating that the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) finding in a U.S. dairy cow sent for rendering in California will not affect trade between the United States and Canada as both countries have implemented science-based measures to protect animal and human health. These science-based measures include prohibiting specified risk materials from entering the human food system and animal feed chains and testing cattle for BSE. U.S. officials, who made their announcement on April 24, 2012, have made clear that the BSE finding will not affect the country's "controlled risk" status for BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) at the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), nor is it expected to affect U.S. beef or dairy exports to any nations following OIE standards. USDA officials explained that the animal in question tested positive for atypical BSE, a form of the disease not generally associated with an animal consuming infected feed. U.S. officials have also confirmed that no part of the animal`s carcass entered the food system.
The statement from CFIA can be found at the following URL address: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/about-the-cfia/newsroom/news-releases/bse/eng/1335311345275/1335311647373
Some experiments have shown that this rare disease can jump from species to species, infecting lab mice and even non-human primates. The research also suggests that the infectious agent for the rare disease could be more virulent than BSE, more likely to appear in meat (classical BSE is mostly in brain and nervous tissue) and might be carried in milk. Many scientists are quick to point out that all this research consists of studies too small to be conclusive.
The U.S. government has confirmed the first case of mad cow disease in six years, but the government is stressing there is no threat to human health. NBC's Robert Bazell reports. However, there is an urgent need for further study, they say.
What irks many scientists is the USDA’s April 25 statement that the rare disease is “not generally associated with an animal consuming infected feed.”
The USDA’s conclusion is a “gross oversimplification,” said Dr. Paul Brown, one of the world’s experts on this type of disease who retired recently from the National Institutes of Health. "(The agency) has no foundation on which to base that statement.”
“We can’t say it’s not feed related,” agreed Dr. Linda Detwiler, an official with the USDA during the Clinton Administration now at Mississippi State.
In the May 1 email to me, USDA’s Cole backed off a bit. “No one knows the origins of atypical cases of BSE,” she said
The argument about feed is critical because if feed is the cause, not a spontaneous mutation, the California cow could be part of a larger outbreak.
SEE FULL TEXT AND MORE HERE ;
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Are USDA assurances on mad cow case 'gross oversimplification'?
Sunday, May 27, 2012
CANADA PLANS TO IMPRISON ANYONE SPEAKING ABOUT MAD COW or ANY OTHER DISEASE OUTBREAK
CENSORSHIP IS A TERRIBLE THING
Friday, May 25, 2012
R-CALF USDA’s New BSE Rule Eliminates Important Protections Needed to Prevent BSE Spread