FDA Issues Regulation to Prevent BSE

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a final regulation barring certain cattle materials from all animal feed, including pet food. The final rule is intended to further protect animals and consumers against bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as mad cow disease. Similar to an earlier ban enacted for cattle feed by the U.S. Department

FDA ISSUES REGULATION TO PREVENT BSE

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a final regulation barring certain cattle materials from all animal feed, including pet food. The final rule is intended to further protect animals and consumers against bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as mad cow disease. Similar to an earlier ban enacted for cattle feed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the FDA's ban focuses on tissues that have the highest risk for carrying the agent thought to cause BSE, which are the brains and spinal cords from cattle 30 months of age and older. The entire carcass of cattle must be inspected and passed for human consumption, unless the cattle are less than 30 months old, or the brains and spinal cords have been removed. The regulation, which will go into effect on April 2009, finalizes a proposed rule that the FDA first issued for public comment in October 2005. In related news, the American Meat Institute, the National Meat Association and the National Milk Producers Federation recently filed a Citizen Petition with the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, asking the agency to amend a loophole in its current rules so that non-ambulatory, disabled cattle are not permitted into the meat supply under any circumstances. “It makes good sense that the provision that allows non-ambulatory cattle to be reinspected for slaughter be rescinded,” said AMI President and Chief Executive Officer J. Patrick Boyle. “Allowing the current rule to remain in force could ultimately undermine the confidence of U.S. consumers and foreign customers, in markets that are proving difficult to reopen in the first place.”