- The Washington Times - Monday, September 19, 2005


The United States will close a gap in its defense against mad cow disease by changing feed regulations to mirror those in Canada, FDA Commissioner Lester M. Crawford said yesterday.

In remarks to a food-policy conference hosted by the Consumer Federation of America, Mr. Crawford said the new regulations would be coming soon. But he did not say when.

Canada has proposed regulations banning at-risk tissues — brains, spinal cords and other parts that can carry mad cow disease — from feed for all animals, including chickens, pigs and pets. The new rules have not taken effect. Canada’s current rules are similar to U.S. rules.

Ground-up cattle remains — leftovers from slaughtering operations — were used as protein in cattle feed until 1997, when a mad cow outbreak in Britain prompted the U.S. to ban the feed industry from using such remains in cattle feed.

However, the U.S. ban doesn’t apply to feed for other animals, creating a potential pathway for the mad cow protein to be fed back to cattle.

The Food and Drug Administration promised to tighten the rules after the nation’s first case of mad cow disease was confirmed in December 2003. The FDA said it would ban from cattle feed blood, poultry litter and restaurant-plate waste — all potential pathways for the mad cow protein to be fed back to cattle.

FDA scrapped those restrictions in July.

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