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US FDA mulls mad cow safeguards for feed

by 5m Editor
23 November 2004, at 12:00am

US - The Food and Drug Administration said last winter after the first U.S. confirmed case of mad cow disease that it planned to tighten various regulations to protect U.S. livestock feed from contamination.

In July, the FDA asked for input from the livestock industry, veterinarians, consumer groups and others, saying it might not finalize all livestock feed changes until 2006.

The FDA, which regulates livestock feed and drugs, said it was analyzing the following issues:

DOWNER CATTLE

  • Can specific risk materials (SRM), which consist of brains and spinal cords, be effectively removed from downer cattle so that the carcass can be used in animal feed?

  • What are the economic and environmental impacts of banning materials from downer cattle from animal feed?

CATTLE BLOOD/POULTRY

  • What scientific data supports banning all mammalian and poultry bone meal from ruminant feed?

  • Is there scientific evidence to show that the use of cattle blood as a protein supplement in animal feed poses a risk of mad cow disease in cattle and other ruminants?

  • If the FDA decided to ban SRM from all animal feed, would it still need to ban poultry litter from use in cattle feed?

  • What would be the economic and environmental impacts of banning cattle blood or poultry litter from ruminant feed?

SPECIFIED RISK MATERIALS (SRM)

  • Does the FDA have the legal authority to ban SRM and other cattle material in feed for pigs, poultry and horses?

  • What scientific data is available to determine if cattle SRM should be removed from all animal feed to reduce the risks of feeding errors on the farm?

  • If SRM are banned from all animal feed, should the list of materials be the same as for human food?

  • What method is available to verify that animal feed does not contain SRM?

  • What are the economic and environmental impacts of banning SRM from all animal feed?

  • What is the potential for human exposure or consumption of pet food and other animal feed? Is it relevant for banning SRM from all animal feed?

  • Are special equipment, storage and transportation needed to prevent contaminating animal feed with SRM when it is made and trucked to market?

  • Does tallow produced from rendering SRM and downer cattle pose a risk of mad cow transmission?

Source: Reuters - 23rd November 2004

5m Editor