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In remarks to a food policy conference, Crawford said regulations would be changed soon, but he did not say when.

Canada has proposed regulations banning at-risk tissues — brains, spinal cords and other parts that can carry mad cow disease

from feed for all animals, including chickens, pigs and pets. The new rules have not yet taken effect; Canada’s current rules are similar to U.S. rules.

Ground-up cattle remains — leftovers from slaughtering operations — were used as protein in cattle feed until 1997, when a mad cow outbreak in Britain prompted the United States to ban the feed industry from using cattle remains in cattle feed.

The U.S. ban does not apply to feed for other animals, however, which creates a potential pathway for the mad cow protein to be fed back to cattle.

For example, it is legal to add cattle protein to chicken feed. Feed that spills from cages mixes with chicken waste on the ground, then is swept up for use in cattle feed. Besides the risk of transmission from uneaten feed, scientists believe chicken waste presents a risk because the BSE protein will survive the trip through a chicken’s gut.

The FDA promised to tighten the rules after confirmation of the nation’s first case of mad cow disease in December 2003. FDA said it would ban blood, poultry litter and 온라인카지노 restaurant plate waste — all potential pathways for the mad cow protein to be fed back to cattle.

FDA scrapped those restrictions last July. At the time, Crawford said an international team of experts assembled by the Agriculture Department was recommending stronger rules, and the FDA would produce new restrictions in line with those recommendations.

The first U.S. case of mad cow disease, confirmed in December 2003, was in a Canadian-born cow in Washington state. The second case, a Texas-born cow, tested positive in June.

Canada currently prohibits feeding of chicken litter and restaurant plate waste back to cattle. The restrictions it has proposed would ban at-risk tissues from all animal feed.

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