New Restrictions on MBM in Livestock Feed : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

February 23, 2001 U.S. Feed Makers Pledge New Anti - Mad Cow Measures

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By REUTERS Filed at 4:46 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. feed makers on Friday announced new steps to tighten safeguards against mad cow disease; measures that come one month after a widely publicized mix-up with cattle feed in Texas.

The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), which represents more than 250 firms, said it was urging members to remove products containing cow or sheep byproducts from facilities that make feed for those animals.

The United States bans the feeding of ground-up cow and sheep remains to cows and sheep because experts believe infected parts can spread mad cow disease. A deadly human form can be passed to people who eat tainted beef, scientists say.

But AFIA's measures would go a step further by separating any prohibited material from places that make cow and sheep feed. The purpose is to eliminate chances of cross-contamination or mix-ups with different types of feed, a situation that led regulators to quarantine 1,222 Texas cattle in January.

The industry group also said third-party inspectors would certify feed-mixing facilities that followed its suggestion as well as other rules put in place to keep mad cow disease, if it appears in the United States, from spreading through the food supply. Firms could boast certification on their products, tags and invoices.

``The U.S. already has the safest food production system in the world. This will make it even safer,'' AFIA President David Bossman said in a statement.

Mad cow, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), moved through British herds in the 1980s and now is appearing in other European cattle. A human form, called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), has killed more than 90 people in Britain, France and Ireland.


While the United States has remained free from the disease, recent news showing lapses by feed makers have raised concerns.

In January, regulators determined that 1,222 Texas cattle ate a small amount of banned meat and bone meal after a mill accidentally shipped the wrong feed. The cattle were unlikely to be infected and were removed from the food supply, but the incident highlighted the possibility of mix-ups.

Until a U.S. ban in 1997, it was standard practice to recycle slaughterhouse leftovers such as cattle brains, spinal cords, spleens and protein-rich bits into feed for cattle. Today, pigs, fish and fowl still eat rendered animal protein.

Separately, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in January that inspections showed many feed mills were not fully complying with anti-mad cow rules. The agency promised to crack down, and industry groups quickly pledged to push for zero-tolerance of violations.

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association, which represents cattle farmers and ranchers, also welcomed the feed group's efforts.

``Anything we can do to get the message out to folks that 100 percent compliance is mandatory we think is a positive step,'' spokeswoman Alisa Harrison said.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, February 24, 2001


Its a little worriesome to me that recycled animal protein is in pig, chicken , and pet foods. Gee, we all have heard sad stories of the elderly poor or just plain poor people eating cat or dog food in cans out of desperation to ward off hunger.. Scary isn't it. Who knows down the road, that a new form of BSE
-- Kate henderson (, February 24, 2001.

Ooops, got my response cut short. To continue, Who knows down the road that a new form of BSE/TSE won't show up in pigs or chickens. There are reports of a variant of TSE in elk and deer out west. They don't eat processed grains. 20 years ago, no one heard of Aids except as some rare tropical disease in Africa. The world is getting smaller folks. Global travel is just hours now, not the days or weeks our ancesters needed just to cross the United States. Its becoming obvious to me that raising ones own food is the only alternative. Gee, us Countrysiders are visionaries.

-- Kate henderson (, February 24, 2001.

Until a U.S. ban in 1997, it was standard practice to recycle slaughterhouse leftovers such as cattle brains, spinal cords, spleens and protein-rich bits into feed for cattle. Today, pigs, fish and fowl still eat rendered animal protein. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

You just have to read this again! All single stomached animals which are not just pigs, fish and fowl, but are your cats, dogs, rabbits and horses, have this bone and blood meal, which come from the spinal cords of sheep and cattle, the exact place they test for mad cow disease and KNOW that it is harbored their!

Ruminents (4 stomached), Cattle, sheep and goats, do not have this mixed in their grains, but how many of you feed alfalfa pellets to your horses and goats? Horse feed to your goats? Rabbit pellets to your goats? How many of your goats eat your guardian dogs food given the chance, or how about the layer pellets!

Alfalfa pellets seem pretty benign don't they. Do you know that some alfalfa pellets are sprayed green with vegetable dyes? We simply do not know what is taking place at grain mills. The sooner they ban all feeding of rendered products, which include dead chickens ground up and fed as feather meal, and sheep offal (which is dead and diseased sheep) the safer the meat supply will be. This affects all of us who raise or purchase our meat! Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, February 24, 2001.

Kate not to be contentious but I have always taken the old people eating dog food as liberal propaganda.Next time you are at the super market check out the price of a can of Alpo,then check out the price of a can of corned beef,tuna,or chicken.You will see what I mean.Although I must admit that I did eat the dog's milkbones as a kid.Hope it made my breath fresh and my teeth strong and white.

-- greg (, February 25, 2001.

BSE (mad Cow) is to Cattle what Scrapie is to Sheep and goats!

The only thing I can say is read the labels! if you do not want to feed 'dried animal blood, animal fats, hydrolyzed poultry feathers, fish and bone meal' to name a few to your rumminents then refuse to purchase the feeds! point these indredients out to the feed store where you purchase these feeds and tell everyone you know about the aminal products in these feeds. Contact the manufactures of these feeds and complain!

Animals by-products are feed because they are cheap which gives a larger profit margin, not because they are what is best for our food supply! grrrrrr!

-- Ima Gardener (, February 25, 2001.

Greg, Cat food tuna is 4/$1.00. Says all tuna on the can. Same size can for people is $1.18 each in our local store. Had a friend who bought mixed grains for horses, and ground cornmeal at the local feed store and put it in home made bread .He was a little strange, but I'm sure not the first one to do this. Forget all the possible additives. A certain percentage of insect parts is allowed in animal food. Scary to me.

-- Kate henderson (, February 25, 2001.

The way I remember, cattle eat grains and grass. It is a shame that we give our animals products that they were never intended to eat. I for one feed my cattle grains I raize myself and hay from my own fields. They are the best looking cattle in this district. I realize that some of us must purchase, so research and buy your grains and mix yourself. Its a little more work but worth the effort. Oh yes, We do this for 50 head plus calves.

-- lexi Green (, February 25, 2001.

If you are at all concerned about the practice of feeding dead animals to animals, you should read the news articles in this weeks, especially the one by Dr. Day. It will make a vegitarian out of you fast. It also tells you what things beside food, as pills, lotions and creams have rendered ingredients.

-- Duffy (, February 26, 2001.

One's odds of getting CJD are about one million to one. Higher than state lotteries, but about the same as dying from a lightening strike. Your odds of getting vCJD cannot even be determine since there has not been a single documented case in the U.S. (outside a small area of KY where eating squirrel brains is a custom and that may or may not be vCJD). Considering Europe as a whole, the population is several times that of the U.S., yet less than 100 people have been confirmed to have vCJD. I don't eat much meat to begin with, but certainly don't see this as any reason to stop eating what I do. This may sound fatalistic, but given a choice between vCJD and Alheimers (sp?), I'd choose vCJD. It's over with fairly quickly.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, February 26, 2001.

Yes, mad cow may be rare but it is nonetheless alarming. It amazes and angers me that the world is not waking up to the dangers posed by defying the laws of nature. Although I try to grow as much as I can, with only 3 acres I am limited. It seems that my food bill goes up every month as I try to "put my money where my mouth is". I cannot in good conscience support the use of dangerous pesticides and GMO products with my dollars anymore. I am headed out to the barn right now to check the label on my chicken, goat, cat, and dog food. Should have known not to take that for granted.

-- Tiffani Cappello (, March 03, 2001.

Many people need to realize that under FDA regulations there is a certain permissible contaminate count. This may be bugs or just about any other thing that may slither or crawl into a bin while the food is waiting to be processed. Knowing how strict our government is on food regulations and such, these numbers are probably very conservative and probably have a great deal of research behind them. If the mad cow disease does spread to the US, I would not be too concerned about it. You would have a better chance of getting botulism from a can of fruit than vCJD. Given the population of Europe and the number of cases, you may expect to have about five lethal cases of vCJD in the US a year. Don't get me wrong, I would have a great deal of sympathy and probably donate to any charitable faction that deals with finding a cure, but let's be realistic. The AFIA has been very busy and has done its homework. They have looked at all the projections and have taken the appropriate actions. Reprocessed animal parts are very good sources of protein-- ask any nutritionist. Some people don't want any reprocessed animal parts in any feed or products. Well, what do you suppose that the mills do with all the leftovers? Biohazard disposal is very expensive and requires a bunch of certifications. I don't know about you, but I don't want to pay $10/lb for ground chuck to make my family hamburgers. I also don't want to become a vegetarian. Contrary to popular belief, vegetarians have to watch what they eat. They must maintain a certain amount of protein and fat in their diet. This is something that I have been exposed to since my brother has just recently decided to become a vegetarian. What does all this mean? Quite simply, the average American should not worry about becoming infected with vCJD. We are so much more likely to die from something else that vCJD is not a concern. The FDA and AFIA have this one covered.

-- Karl David Kerstetter (, April 24, 2001.

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