News & Perspective

Dec 30, 2003

Dec 30, 2003

USDA bans all downer cattle from food supply

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture is banning the use of "downer" cattle for human food and taking several other new steps to keep beef products contaminated with the agent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) out of the food supply, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman announced today.

Dec 29, 2003

Dec 29, 2003

Cow with BSE older than previously thought

(CIDRAP News) – The Washington state cow announced by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Dec 23 to be a "presumptive positive" bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) case, was born in April 1997, before the August 1997 Food and Drug Administration ban on feeding ruminant-derived meat and bone meal supplements to cattle went into effect.

Dec 24, 2003

Dec 24, 2003

USDA says first US BSE case poses little risk

(CIDRAP News) – Federal officials took pains to assure the public today that the risk of contamination in the US beef supply is very low following yesterday's announcement that the nation's first apparent case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, had turned up in Washington state.

Dec 19, 2003

Dec 19, 2003

Blood transmission of vCJD suspected in Britain

(CIDRAP News) – Britain's health secretary reported this week what could be the world's first case of a person contracting variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) from a blood transfusion.

John Reid told the House of Commons that a person who died recently of vCJD had received blood in 1996 from a donor who became ill with vCJD in 1999 and died soon afterward.

Nov 24, 2003

Nov 24, 2003

USDA announces food safety research agenda

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) last week announced a comprehensive research agenda for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of its food safety programs.

The "unified food safety research agenda" ranges from studying the virulence of major foodborne pathogens to developing effective food-safety training strategies, the department said.

Nov 10, 2003

Nov 10, 2003

Senate wants to keep downed cattle out of food supply

(CIDRAP News) – In an effort to ensure that sick cattle are kept out of the food supply, the Senate last week approved a measure to bar the Department of Agriculture (USDA) from approving the use of "downed" animals for human consumption.

Nov 03, 2003

Nov 03, 2003

USDA rates Canada BSE risk low, proposes to allow cattle imports

(CIDRAP News) – Saying the risk of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Canadian cattle is minimal, the US Department of Agriculture has proposed to reopen the US border to live Canadian cattle for the first time since BSE was discovered in one Alberta cow last May.

Oct 17, 2003

Oct 17, 2003

FDA reports progress on tests for food contamination

(CIDRAP News) – The Food and Drug Administration today announced the release of a report to Congress on its progress toward developing faster tests to detect food contamination.

Oct 16, 2003

Oct 16, 2003

BSE expert says Japanese case implies larger outbreak

(CIDRAP News) – The recent finding of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a 23-month-old bull in Japan suggests that Japan may have more cases of the disease than previously suspected, according to a University of Minnesota expert on the disease.

Aug 11, 2003

Aug 11, 2003

US, Mexico ease ban on Canadian beef

Editor's Note: This article, originally published Aug 11, was updated on Aug 12 to include new information from Mexico.

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