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The original item was published from 4/26/2012 9:11:51 AM to 4/30/2012 12:05:00 AM.

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Agriculture News and Livestock Inspections

Posted on: April 26, 2012

[ARCHIVED] BSE aka Mad Cow update

If any changes occur I will send out further notices.

April 25, CNN – (National; International) S. Korea curbs U.S. beef sales after confirmation of mad cow disease. At least one major South Korean retailer suspended the sale of U.S. beef after authorities confirmed a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), sometimes called “mad cow disease,” in a dairy cow in central California, CNN reported April 25. Public health officials in the United States said the risk to the public was extremely low, and residents do not need to take any specific precautions. However, in South Korea, one of the largest importers of U.S. beef, the discovery was enough to prompt retailer LotteMart to remove American beef from store shelves. The South Korean government said it will step up checks on U.S. beef imports — but not halt them for now. In 2010, South Korea imported 125,000 tons of U.S. beef, a 97 percent increase from the year before, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. The carcass was at a Baker Commodities Inc. rendering facility in Hanford, California, said the company’s executive vice president. The company renders animal byproducts and had randomly selected the animal for testing April 18, he said. The sample was sent to the University of California, Davis for initial testing, which came back inconclusive. It was then sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s laboratory in Ames, Iowa, where it tested positive, the agency said. The carcass was in quarantine April 24. BSE is usually transmitted between cows through the practice of recycling bovine carcasses for meat and bone meal protein, which is fed to other cattle. In this case, the USDA reports it was a rare form of BSE not likely carried by contaminated feed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the odds of a person contracting mad cow disease, even after consuming contaminated products, are less than 1 in 10 billion.

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