Click on text below to see the vid

Test EVERY Cow in the Food Chain

Test EVERY Cow in the Food Chain
Like Other Countries Do

Sunday, March 14, 2010

More Mad Cow in Canada

Export: Canada confirms its 17th case of mad cow disease since 2003
Canada exports to 51 markets now, but before 2003, when the first case of BSE was discovered, producers sold to more than 100 markets.
The beef cow was born in 2004 in Alberta, and the fatal degenerative brain disease was confirmed on Feb. 25, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency reported on its website.

Ted Haney said the six-year-old animal was put down and tested on the farm and no part of its carcass entered the human food or animal feed chains.

No markets closed its doors due to this latest case - Japan suspended imports for less than a day - but it will delay Canada's move into a better status with the World Organization for Animal Health, Haney said.

Right now, Canada is categorized as being a controlled risk for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the scientific name of the disease, and Haney says that category is costly for producers.

To apply for negligible risk status for BSE, a country has to have no cases for 11 years after the birth year of the youngest animal diagnosed.

Because the cow in the latest case was born in 2004, it means Canada cannot apply for negligible risk status until 2015. The process takes about a year, Haney said.

Moving into negligible risk status means less surveillance, which costs both government and industry, reduces costs for producers and processors and opens up more markets, Haney said.

"This doesn't measure the safety of the products, beef is safe to eat as long as the appropriate measures are in place ... it's an economic issue, not a food safety issue," Haney said in a telephone interview Thursday night from Mexico.

Canada exports to 51 markets now, but before 2003, when the first case of BSE was discovered, producers sold to more than 100 markets, Haney said.

The United States, which is also considered a controlled risk for BSE, is applying for negligible risk status, Haney said. Its latest-born case was 1996.

"Should they get negligible risk status and Canada maintains controlled risk, we don't know that we will be disadvantaged but we are concerned that the United States may be able to negotiate preferential access to key markets as compared to Canada, which would position Canada negatively on a competitive basis," he said.

There was just one case of BSE diagnosed in 2009, and four in 2008, a sign that the disease is in decline, Haney said. Two were born in 2001, the others in 2002 and 2003.

That's evidence that a feed ban put in place in 1997, followed by an enhanced ban in 2007 that removed specified risk materials from pet food and fertilizer, are working, he added.

"Anything that extends our timeline to negligible risk status to eventual eradication of the disease is of concern," Haney said.

"That said, we are confident that our enhanced feed bans are working properly, our industry is very well aware of the disease, our vets across the country are and our regulator, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is also very excellent in conducting surveillance and in doing proper control work when the disease is found in an individual."

Click on title above for original article and to leave comment;

No comments: