WASHINGTON, Dec. 24 (UPI) The Food and Drug Administration might have to recall units of pet food that contained material from the first documented case of mad cow in the United States, an agency official said Wednesday.

The USDA announced late Tuesday that a cow in Mabton, Wash., had tested positive for mad cow disease.
The FDA has "a couple of teams on the ground in Washington" attempting to trace where the material from the cow went, but so far it does not know if the tissue was processed into pet food, Dr. Lester Crawford, FDA's deputy commissioner, told United Press International.
"If we determine that some of it was headed for pet food, we would likely recall that," Crawford said. But he noted the agency would not take any action until it gets confirmation, which probably will occur on Monday.

The main threat among pets is cats because they "are susceptible to BSE," he said.
Crawford said there is no way of knowing how much pet food would have to be recalled. But he said the FDA does not consider the infectious agent, called a prion, can be diluted to safe levels, so even if a small batch of infected pet food was mixed with a ton of other food, "the ton would have to be destroyed."
The most infectious parts of the diseased cattle the brain and spinal cord most likely went to a rendering facility. Some rendering plants will process those components into pet and animal feed, but others can make a variety of things, including fertilizers and building materials, that would not pose a risk to pets.
FDA officials currently are trying to track down which rendering facility or facilities received the infected cow material. From there they should know whether it made it into pet and animal feed, Crawford said. The rendering plants are required to keep records on where the material went, he noted.

Because the animal was killed relatively recently, on Dec. 9, "it is likely that the material is still on hand and has not been put into commercial channels," Crawford said. "We hope that's the case."

Michael Hansen, of Consumers Union, the watchdog group in Yonkers, N.Y., said he thinks the FDA ultimately will wind up recalling units of contaminated pet and animal feed. He noted when a case of mad cow was detected in Canada last May, authorities there requested a voluntary recall of dog food they suspected contained infectious tissue from the cow.

"They will have to recall pet food and other feed products," Hansen said. In addition, "all those rendering plants (the infected cow material passed through) will be contaminated."
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Interesting. I didnt' know cats could get BSE. What's scarey is that some pet foods which just list "meat" by-products or "animal" fat, so the source is completely unknown.
But he said the FDA does not consider the infectious agent, called a prion, can be diluted to safe levels, ... other feed products," Hansen said. In addition, "all those rendering plants (the infected cow material passed through) will be contaminated."

Looks like bad news for the pet food industry. What a mess.

Lauren

See my cats: http://community.webshots.com/album/56955940rWhxAe Raw Diet Info: http://www.holisticat.com/drjletter.html http://www.geocities.com/rawfeeders/ForCatsOnly.html Declawing Info: http://www.wholecat.com/articles/claws.htm
Hi, Steve,
I read a daily newspaper and watch the news and haven't seen much there if anything about pet food. I hope you will continue to keep us up to date on this.

Barb
I can only please one person a day.
Today is not your day.
Tomorrow doesn't look good either.
No, what's scary is the way the news media is freaking everybody out. More people die from auto accidents than from BSE (same for pets) by far. Nobody is freaking out over driving their car.
Looks like bad news for the pet food industry. What a mess.

Lauren, why don't you wait to editorialize after you find out just how much "pet food" came from this one cow. I know you have an agenda, but geez! This isn't "bad news" for the pet food industry. I doubt there are any big companies that buy meat from that one little farm and couldn't have made much "pet food" from that one cow's brain and spinal cord.
More people do die in cat accidents, your right. But the US government is reacting the same way the British did, by saying there is no problem. After they did that for a few years and people started dying, eventually they had to kill every cow over there.
It takes YEARS for this disease to manifest itself. Who knows how many cows are infected. Probably a lot.
More people do die in cat accidents, your right. But the US government is reacting the same way the British ... there. It takes YEARS for this disease to manifest itself. Who knows how many cows are infected. Probably a lot.

The problem is that in most countries, all cows are tested. In the USA, they are not.
The problem is that in most countries, sick animals (downers) are not permitted into the food supply.
In the USA they are.
The problem is that in most countries, animal byproducts are not put into the food supply of herbivores.
In the USA, they are.
The problem is that most countries have decided that the Americans can regulate their beef industries any way they want, and those countries can do the same.
And those countries are regulating their beef industries by banning imports of US beef.
Which is precisely what the Americans did when some of those countries experienced BSE outbreaks.
Feel free to eat all the beef you want; nobody's telling you not to, your odds are pretty good.
But few people, especially foreigners, have any faith in the pronouncements of the current US government.
And the US beef industry is going to suffer.
I, too, worry about the safety of pet food.
It's nearly unregulated.
(snip)
I doubt there are any big companies that buy meat from that one little farm and couldn't have made much "pet food" from that one cow's brain and spinal cord.

You don't honestly think carcasses are rendered and processed one at a time, do you?
Regarding the media "freaking everybody out" it just coincidentally happened that a well known local politician here (on Long Island, NY,) was just recently diagnosed with CJD and it hit the newspapers a day or two before the mad cow disease news. They claim hers is not related to Mad Cow but the other kind is. Her prognosis is a terrible death within a year.

Barb
I can only please one person a day.
Today is not your day.
Tomorrow doesn't look good either.
More people do die in cat accidents, your right. But ... Who knows how many cows are infected. Probably a lot.

The problem is that in most countries, all cows are tested. In the USA, they are not. The problem is that in most countries, sick animals (downers) are not permitted into the food supply. In the USA they are.

Aren't the downer aka 4D meats just in pet foods, and not the human supply chain?

See my cats: http://community.webshots.com/album/56955940rWhxAe Raw Diet Info: http://www.holisticat.com/drjletter.html http://www.geocities.com/rawfeeders/ForCatsOnly.html Declawing Info: http://www.wholecat.com/articles/claws.htm
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