Manufacturing News

United States & Europe deal with Mad Cow disease



Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), better known as Mad Cow disease, has gripped the world with fear as the U.S. and Europe work to solve this puzzling epidemic. More than 178,000 cows associated with the disease have been reported worldwide since it was first diagnosed in 1986 in Great Britain, according to the USDA's Animal and Plant Inspection Service. The disease has also been confirmed in native-born cattle in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. However, to date, more than 95 percent of all BSE cases have occurred in the United Kingdom.

The protein prion is believed to be the cause of the disease, but its cure remains a mystery. In a story reported in The Wall Street Journal, David Taylor, a retired researcher at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, indicated that he believes the methods commonly used to destroy other infectious agents can make prions even stronger. Taylor conducted a series of tests at the university using steam, dry heat, and chemicals, but none proved to be completely effective.

Recently, testing hit the fields when the FDA performed a series of evaluations on a Texas feedlot that was suspected of containing meat and bone meal from other domestic cattle, which is a violation of FDA's 1997 prohibition on using ruminant material in feed for other ruminants. Results indicate that a very low level of prohibited material was found in the feed cattle.

FDA has determined that each animal could have consumed up to five-and-one-half grams, or approximately a quarter ounce of prohibited material. The material was domestic in origin, and therefore not believed to contain infected material, since there is no evidence of BSE in U.S. cattle.

"The challenge to regulators and industry is to keep this disease out of the U.S.," said Dr. Bernard Schwetz, FDA's Acting Principal Deputy Commissioner. "One important defense is to prohibit the use of any ruminant animal materials in feed for other ruminant animals."

The European Union (EU) Council of Agriculture Ministers met to discuss disposing of 500,000 metric tons of beef, as well as stocks of stored beef that are expected to grow from 10,000 metric tons to 750,000 metric tons this year alone. By the end of 2003, EU storage stocks of beef could grow to 1.2 million metric tons, possibly exceeding storage capacity.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2015

Mars Chocolate was chosen as Food Engineering’s 2015 Plant of the Year. The first new Mars candy plant in North America in 35 years is not only LEED Gold certified, it’s highly automated as well.

Podcasts

Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering April 2015 Cover

2015 April

The April 2014 issue of Food Engineering features the Plant of the Year: Mars Chocolate. The first new Mars chocolate candy plant in North America in 35 years is not only LEED Gold certified, it’s highly automated as well.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.