Food Engineering

FDA reopens comment period for BSE regulations

Emerging scientific evidence suggests the potential for harm.

March 5, 2013

FDA reopened the comment period for an interim rule called “Use of Materials Derived From Cattle in Human Food and Cosmetics.” The rule is designed to protect against exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) by prohibiting the use of certain cattle parts in human food, dietary supplements and cosmetics. The interim rule, amended in 2005, allows the small intestine of cattle to be used in human food if a portion of the organ called the distal ileum has been properly removed. Studies have since shown trace levels of infectivity in other parts of the small intestine of BSE-positive animals, though FDA believes the levels are too low to present a risk to human health. The World Organization for Animal Health has not changed its definition of “specified risk material” to include any part of the small intestine other than the distal ileum. Read additional information and submit comments here.