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Mad Cow Disease

Mad cow disease on the rise


Mad cow disease, more correctly known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), is a transmittable disease that affects the nervous systems of cows. The human version of this disease, known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), is thought to be contracted by consuming beef products that contain parts of an affected animal's nervous system, such as the spinal cord and brain. As cattle processors seek to maximize their profits, the possibility of seeing a rise in the incidences of mad cow disease increases greatly.

U.S. FDA to tighten mad-cow safeguard "feed" rule

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government will tighten its so-called feed rule -- a primary defense against mad cow disease -- by banning cattle brains and spinal cords in animal feed, but stop short of measures such as excluding restaurant scraps, industry sources said on Tuesday.

The Food and Drug Administration scheduled a news conference on Tuesday at 3 p.m. EDT (1900 GMT) to announce "proposed new safeguards" against mad cow but provided no details in advance.

EU confirms BSE has spread beyond cattle

BRUSSELS (AFP) - European scientists have confirmed the first case of "mad cow" disease in another species, officials said, while playing down the risk from a condition linked to a horrific brain disease in humans.

The European Union's executive arm and the French agriculture ministry said that a goat slaughtered in France in 2002 had tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), which previously only afflicted cows.

Second Possible UK Case of VCJD Transfer Via Blood

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain extended restrictions on blood donations on Thursday after a second person was suspected of being infected with the human form of mad cow disease through a blood transfusion.

The government announced what was thought to be the world's first case of transmission of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) via transfusion last December, after a patient died several years after receiving blood from a donor later found to have had the illness.

USDA to Spot-Check Its Mad Cow Testing Program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Agriculture Department will launch a nationwide review to make sure its stepped-up testing program for mad cow disease is being carried out properly, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said on Wednesday.

The nationwide evaluation would begin on Thursday at USDA headquarters, "proceeding to regional and state offices later this month," Veneman said in testimony prepared for Congress.

Up To 100 More Mad Cow Cases Expected

Jul 1, 2004
Author: Steve Mitchell
Source: United Press International

WASHINGTON, June 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Wednesday a cow that initially tested positive for mad cow disease has come back negative on follow-up testing, but a food industry consultant told United Press International he estimates there could be more than 100 cases of the deadly disorder in the country's herds.

Agriculture Dept promises to be open with mad cow test results

H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer

Thursday, July 1, 2004

WASHINGTON (AP) --

The Agriculture Department is defending its decision to release results of preliminary tests that raise concern about a possible mad cow disease infection when the initial findings may well be wrong.

Human Mad Cow Disease Could Be Wider-UK Scientists

Fri May 21, 2004

By Patricia Reaney

LONDON (Reuters) - Just as concerns were abating, research published on Friday suggests that the human form of mad cow disease in Britain could be more widespread than thought.

Scientists have estimated that 3,800 people in Britain could be unwittingly carrying the prion protein responsible for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), a fatal brain-wasting condition.

USDA Investigating Condemned Texas Cow

Fri Apr 30, 2004

By Bob Burgdorfer and Richard Cowan

CHICAGO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture did not test a head of cattle in Texas that displayed central nervous symptoms even though such symptoms could be associated with mad cow disease, USDA officials said on Friday.

The department is collecting information on the Texas animal, USDA spokeswoman Alisa Harrison said on Friday, emphasizing there is no evidence yet that the animal may have had mad cow disease.

Japan Says No End to U.S. Beef Ban --USDA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Japan cannot end its ban on imports of U.S beef before May unless the United States "implements the same measures as we do" to prevent mad cow disease, the Japanese agriculture minister said in a letter made public on Tuesday.

Agriculture Minister Yoshiyuki Kamei's letter said the two nations needed to reach a consensus on how to assure beef is safe from the brain-wasting disease, but it did not repeat Japan's previous demand that all U.S. beef it imports be tested.