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First native-born case of BSE in US reported

On June 24, 2005, Mike Johanns, US Secretary of Agriculture, announced the discovery of the first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease) in an animal born in the US. The animal was over 8 years of age and born before the 1997 ban on ruminant byproducts in feed for ruminants.

In addition to raising concerns about the safety of American's food supply, the case also brought to light issues about the USDA's protocol for detection, handling and testing of suspected BSE cases. Johanns disclosed that during the testing process on this animal, body parts from five animals were stored together, a departure from accepted protocols, and also conceded that the USDA's test procedures may be out of date.

To learn more about BSE, read Grass-fed products are clean and safe.


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