It’s been a week now since the discovery of the cow with BSE (Mad Cow). I went of to my farmers market last week prepared for questions and concerns. To my surprise, only two people spoke of it and they were from the Valley and asked if many had asked about the finding.
I look at this as food safety testing is working. I am comforted that they found it. I just want to reiterate a few points as I am still seeing some negative articles out there. I think most of those negatives are written by those with another agenda.
I consider us so very blessed to have safe, affordable food.
The cow was found in a rendering facility in central California. The cow tested positive at a transfer facility in Hanford, 15 miles west of Visalia in Kings County, operated by Baker Commodities.
National Milk Producers Federation offered the following points on the issue:
- Milk and dairy products do not contain or transmit BSE, and animals do not transmit the disease through cattle-to-human contact. The infectious prions that transmit BSE are found in neurological tissues, such as brains and spinal cords.
- The United States put regulations in place in 1997 to prohibit ruminant protein from being used in animal feed. This applies to all cattle, dairy and beef alike.
- Non-ambulatory animals ― those that cannot walk ― are not allowed to be processed at facilities where meat animals are handled. This regulation helps ensure that animals that are unwell are not entered into the food supply.
However, the current case in California may not fit the typical mold.
“Our laboratory confirmed the findings and also indicated it was an atypical form of BSE, which is a rare form of the disease,” said USDA chief veterinarian John Clifford on Tuesday. “It is not likely to be attributable to infected feed, which is the method in which normally BSE is spread from cow to cow,” he said.
“This particular animal did not enter the food supply at any time,” Clifford added.
For more background on BSE and the dairy sector, visit the NMPF website.
The USDA also has a frequently asked questions section on BSE. Click here.
Also Science News has a great article too