Updated Harvard BSE risk analysis released
July 26, 2006
Yesterday, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) held a briefing about the updated BSE risk assessment (http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Science/Risk_Assessments/index.asp) it commissioned from the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis. A Reuters article about the news leads with the report finding that “The U.S. government virtually eliminated the threat of mad cow disease to consumers by requiring the removal of brains, spinal cords and other high risk items from older cattle” (http://asia.news.yahoo.com/060725/3/2nm0y.html). Representatives from the Consumer advocacy groups Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and Consumers Union (CU) were quoted in the Reuters story. Caroline Smith DeWaal from CSPI said the government hasn’t been as proactive as it could be while CU’s Michael Hansen claimed the report was designed to find what the government wanted it to.
Harvard conducted its initial BSE Risk Assessment in 2001 and then updated it in 2003. This time, FSIS asked the Harvard risk modeling experts to gauge the effectiveness of new safeguards implemented since December 2003 and determine the need for further controls. Even assuming a much greater rate of BSE incidence than the authors say is likely and imperfect feed ban compliance, the report finds the food safety measures enacted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture all reduce potential human exposure to BSE infectivity.
Although the Authors detail the risk reduction achieved by individual safeguard measures – removing downer cattle from the human food supply and removing specified risk materials (SRMs) – they also remind that these are reductions relative to what already is a small risk. Harvard also looked at the additional feed ban controls proposed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the International Review Team recommendations. The authors say banning ruminant blood in ruminant feed and dedicated production lines would have little effect on disease spread. Instead, the report finds that removing SRMs from dead stock prior to rendering and banning all animal-derived protein from cattle feed would be most effective in reducing the already low risk of BSE spreading in the U.S. cattle herd.
Harvard has always attributed its findings to the strong safeguard measures the United States started implementing early on. The United States was the first country in the world to institute a feed ban before any BSE cases were found. In addition, the U.S. started its active BSE surveillance program in 1990. Since then, the United States has tested nearly 1 million cattle, particularly older cattle that are at greater risk for the disease, and found only two cases. As a result of industry and government actions beginning in 1989 and, now quantified in the Harvard report, BSE risk in the United States is very low resulting in the full protection of public and animal health.
CRIMSON CLASSIC SALE AVERAGES $4,015
The Crimson Classic Santa Gertrudis Sale was held April 30, 2016 in Cullman, Ala.
FOUNDATION WILL FUND ABBA YOUTH IN 2016
At the December 17, 2015 meeting the Brahman Foundation Board agreed to distribute funds to expand opportunities for Brahman youth. In an effort to support youth programs and developing leaders in agriculture, the group allocated $30,000 for use in scholarships, educational opportunities, showmanship and more for the year 2016.
E6 & REGISTERED BEEFMASTER REPLACEMENT FEMALE SALE HELD
The E6 and Registered Beefmaster Replacement Female Sale was held April 24, 2016 in Columbus, Texas.
HUNTIN' DAYLIGHT -- ADDING CALF VALUE
In times of declining cow-calf margins, it is important for producers to evaluate opportunities to enhance calf value while simultaneously managing cost of production, says Derrell Peel, Extension livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University, in his early-June market comments. Peel uses a variety of surveys and studies to underscore his point.
IT'S THE PITTS -- MY LAST MEAL
Have you ever thought about what you'd like to eat for your last meal?
BRAHMAN "ALL AMERICAN" TO BE HELD IN LOUISIANA
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TOOLS ARE AVAILABLE TO IMPROVE FORAGE DIGESTION
At the cow/calf and stocker cattle level, production systems are generally built on forage production, pastures, hay, etc. For these operations forages provide the bulk of the nutrients needed for the animals. In many cases because of inadequate management or simply uncooperative weather patterns, forage quality is not suitable for the pasture and hays to maintain the type of digestibility needed for the animal to extract the needed nutrients.
OCHSNER TO JOIN RED ANGUS TEAM
Red Angus Association of America CEO Tom Brink announced that Katie Ochsner, a native of Torrington, Wyoming, has been hired as a commercial marketing specialist.
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SPRING WEATHER CONDITIONS CREATE A CHALLENGE FOR FORAGES
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Besides being a great-granddaughter of the former President, Laura Eisenhower is a professional clairvoyant and spiritual healer who reads Tarot cards and gives astrology readings for a living. In an interview with Fox News Laura said that vegetarians are more apt to see UFO's than meat-eaters because, "we are multidimensional beings and based on our frequency, perceptions and our vibratory levels that we are functioning from, we are going to see things differently."
PRODUCERS SHOULD EVALUATE VALUE OF CREEP FEEDING
n the last issue we started a discussion concerning creep feeding and an ongoing evaluation of the value of this practice in cow-calf production. The main question the producer has to ask is if I decide to creep feed my calves will this result in higher weaning weights and will it be profitable?
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO HOOTER MCCORMICK -- WINDSHIELD ECONOMICS
Hooter was riding shotgun with Peetie Womack on the way back home from a feedlot where Peetie was checking on some of his cattle.
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BLACK INK -- BEYOND THE BURNING HAIR
Our electric branding iron hangs high on a barn wall, bought on impulse 35 years ago but not used in 30. We freeze brand our replacement heifers though.
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