The Scientific Commission for the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) recommended the US’ risk classification for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) be upgraded to negligible risk. The recommendation follows a thorough review of US risk management policies including a strong ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban, strict control of animal imports from countries at risk for the disease and conducting appropriate surveillance. Negligible risk is the lowest level under OIE code.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack praised the announcement, saying, “US beef and beef products are of the highest quality, wholesome and produced to the highest safety standards in the world. The United States continues to press for normalization of beef trade with several nations in a manner that is based on science and consistent with international standards.”