United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) President Kenny Graner responded to today’s announcement by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that a case of atypical BSE was detected in Alabama:
“USCA appreciates the swift response and communication by the USDA to both industry and consumers on this issue. The safeguards in place by the U.S. worked successfully to detect this atypical case before any product entered the food supply. The U.S. has had four previous atypical cases reports, and in no way are these the same as the Classical BSE cases reported in the 1980s in the United Kingdom and which would affect public health. Experts have reported that atypical BSE cases do not represent a risk to public health, and given the differences between Classical and atypical cases, the two should be categorized separately.”
“It must be reiterated that atypical BSE, as determined by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), does not affect the United States’ current status as “negligible risk for BSE”. This categorization is a direct result of the fact that an atypical case occurs spontaneously in all cattle populations at a very low rate. Today’s case will not affect the U.S. trade status or relations, nor will it affect public health.”
“U.S. cattle producers pride themselves on producing the safest beef products possible, today’s announcement doesn’t change this. Safeguards are in place for this very reason and the industry will continue to work with our animal health experts and officials to detect and protect against such cases.