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USDA and HHS Strengthen BSE Safeguards

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Ann Veneman announced on July 9, 2004, three actions being taken to further strengthen existing safeguards that protect consumers against the agent that causes bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, also known as “mad cow disease”).

The actions include:
• A joint USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notice asking for public comment on additional preventive actions that are being considered concerning BSE.
• An interim final FDA rule that prohibits the use of certain cattle-derived materials in human food (including dietary supplements) and cosmetics. These high-risk cattle-derived materials include specified risk materials that are known to harbor concentrations of the infectious agent for BSE, such as the brain, skull, eyes and spinal cord of cattle 30 months of age or older, and a portion of the small intestine and tonsils from all cattle, regardless of their age. Prohibited high-risk bovine materials also include material from non-ambulatory, disabled cattle, the small intestine of all cattle, material from cattle not inspected and passed for human consumption and mechanically separated beef.
• A proposed FDA rule on recordkeeping requirements for the interim final rule relating to this ban.

FDA has reached a preliminary conclusion that it should propose to remove specified risk materials from all animal feed and is currently working on a proposal to accomplish this goal. Comments on these issues raised in the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking are due to FDA next month.

FDA News Release is Available at:

FDA Interim Final Rule:

FDA Proposed Rule:

FDA/USDA Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:


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