Thursday, October 06, 2005

The only thing baffling is that the ban wasn't already in place

The FDA wants to ban cow brains and spinal cords from feed for all animals, including chickens, pigs and pets, reducing the risk of infection by 90%. Libby Quaid of the AP wrote about the proposal on Oct. 4 There are many critics though that say the ban doesn't go far enough. 19 months ago the FDA had promised that it would also ban three other items to the list of materials banned from cattle feed: blood, restaurant plate waste and poultry litter. With the new proposal, supposedly there would not be a need to ban chicken litter from cattle feed because chickens would not be eating the most dangeous cattle parts. But the proposal does not include other "specified risk materials," such as eyes or part of the small intestine. Also, the new plan does not ban cattle blood, often fed to calves as a milk replacer. [In your next life, pray you don't come back as a cow. Not yet, not now.] From the article:
Linda Detwiler, a former Agriculture Department veterinarian who led the department's work on mad cow disease for several years, said removing 90 percent of the risk isn't good enough. "I'm disappointed that our government wouldn't want to remove 100 percent, given that there's emerging research that there may be more tissues that have infectivity," she said. Detwiler said the plan would still allow chicken, pig and pet feed to contain potentially infectious tissues from the highest-risk cattle, "downers" that can't walk and dead cows. "There is no question that we should not be feeding the remains of any mammals to food animals, and by not closing this dangerous loophole, we are exposing the American public to unnecessary risk," said Michael Hansen, a biologist for Consumers Union.

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