HOW can they find anymore mad cows when the june 2004 enhanced bse cover-up was just that, the testing and protocol for testing was totally flawed, and proven to be so. they floundered every step of the way. and then when the atypicals started showing up, they just shut the testing down. the two suspect cows that samples sat on the shelf for 7+ months that was later confirmed, and the other suspect that sat on the shelf for 4 months, but later thought to be negative UNDER VERY QUESTIONABLE CONDITIONS, but could not have all the proper testing done on it, due to the sample being set in paraffin, which is a no no. they knew that, and that was the end around johanns and dehaven did after fong did the same to them on the 7 month delayed sample. all this done, while GW et al at the USDA were shoving down everyone throats the BSE MRR policy, the legal trading of all strains of TSE globally. ...tss
Subject: USDA BSE inconclusive MRR policyDate: August 25, 2006 at 3:52 pm PST
USDA BSE inconclusive MRR policy
BESIDES THE TEXAS MAD COW THAT WAS RENDERED AND NEVER TESTED;
On Friday, April 30 th , the Food and Drug Administration learned that a cow with central nervous system symptoms had been killed and shipped to a processor for rendering into animal protein for use in animal feed.
FDA, which is responsible for the safety of animal feed, immediately began an investigation. On Friday and throughout the weekend, FDA investigators inspected the slaughterhouse, the rendering facility, the farm where the animal came from, and the processor that initially received the cow from the slaughterhouse.
FDA's investigation showed that the animal in question had already been rendered into "meat and bone meal" (a type of protein animal feed). Over the weekend FDA was able to track down all the implicated material. That material is being held by the firm, which is cooperating fully with FDA. ...
USDA orders silence on mad cow in Texas
By Steve Mitchell United Press International Published 5/11/2004 10:16 PM
WASHINGTON, May 11 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued an order instructing its inspectors in Texas, where federal madcow disease testing policies recently were violated, not to talk about the cattle disorder with outside parties, United Press International has learned.
The order, sent May 6 by e-mail from the USDA's Dallas district office,was issued in the wake of the April 27 case at Lone Star Beef in San Angelo, in which a cow displaying signs of a brain disorder was not tested for mad cow disease despite a federal policy to screen all such animals.
The deadly illness also is known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
Both the USDA and its Inspector General -- amid allegations that an offsite supervisor overruled the opinion of the inspectors on site and made the final decision not to test the animal -- have opened up investigations to determine why agency policy was violated.
The order, which was obtained by UPI, was issued by Ijaz Qazi, circuit supervisor for the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service's Dallas district, which covers the entire state. It reads: "All BSE inquiries MUST be directed to Congressional Public Affairs Phone 202-720-9113 attention Rob Larew OR Steve Khon. This is an urgent message. Any question contact me. Ijaz Qazi."
Although the language might sound innocuous, experienced inspectors familiar with USDA parlance have taken to referring to the notice as a "gag order."
The National Joint Council of Food Inspection Locals -- the national inspectors union -- considers the order a violation of inspectors' freespeech rights and is considering legal action against the USDA for breaching the labor agreement they have with the agency.
Inspectors alleged the order also suggests the agency is concerned about its personnel leaking damaging information about either the Texas case or the USDA's overall mad cow disease surveillance program, which has come under fire since the discovery of an infected cow in Washington state last December.
"Anytime the government suppresses an individual's freedom of speech,that's unconstitutional," Gary Dahl, president of Local 925, the Colorado inspectors union, told UPI.
Stanley Painter, chairman of the National Joint Council, said the USDA has sent out notices in the past stating inspectors cannot talk to reporters.
"It's an intimidation thing," Painter told UPI. Inspectors have the right to talk to anybody about any subject, as long as they clarify they are not speaking on behalf of the USDA and they are not doing it on government time, he said.
USDA spokesman Steven Cohen said he was not familiar with the notice from the Dallas office. He said he would look into it, but did not respond by UPI's publication time. In general, Cohen said, "There's an expectation any statement on behalf of the agency would come from the office of communications (in Washington.)"
Asked if employees could speak freely as long as they clarified that their views did not reflect those of the agency, Cohen said, "We'd rather that agency policy be communicated by those in a position to speak for the agency."
Qazi told UPI the notice was not issued in conjunction with the Texas case and it was routine agency practice that outside inquiries be referred to the Washington office. He said inspectors are free to talk to outside parties, including reporters, and he did not consider the e-mail a violation of the labor agreement with the inspectors.
Painter said the USDA's efforts to keep its employees from talking about mad cow would be better spent "with issues like protecting the consuming public instead of trying to hide things." He added he would "just about bet his last nickel" agency management was attempting to suppress information about the Texas case.
"To keep federal employees from reporting government waste, misuse ofappropriations -- those types of things -- that's not a good thing either," Dahl said. "If there is something wrong, let's get it out in the open -- let's get it fixed. We're working for the public, the American consumers. I think they have the right to know this," he said.
"And believe me there's so many indicators saying that the USDA's madcow testing program is broken," Dahl added.
At least one member of Congress, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, agrees.
Harkin, a long-time critic of the USDA, sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman on Monday, saying the Texas incident "calls into question the effectiveness and reliability of USDA's current and proposed surveillance system."
The USDA has proposed testing more than 200,000 cows -- or 10 times its current rate -- in an expanded program scheduled to begin June 1. Harkin wrote in the five-page letter, however, that given the realities of the cattle industry, it is "quite doubtful" the USDA will be able to test that many cows, particularly because it had difficulty finding 20,000 last year.
"We simply cannot tolerate a BSE testing system that fails to give valid answers to critical questions for U.S. consumers and foreign customers,"Harkin said in the letter, which sharply criticizes the agency's failure to address explicitly how its new surveillance program will be implemented.
"We look forward to receiving (Harkin's) letter and having the opportunity to review it and respond to him," USDA spokesman Ed Loyd told UPI. "USDA has acknowledged there was a failure in not testing that cow in Texas for BSE, so we are all working to ensure that does not occur again."
Jim Rogers, a spokesman for USDA's Animal and Plant Health InspectionService, which oversees the agency's mad cow surveillance program, told UPI the agency has tested about 15,500 animals since fiscal year 2004 began, on Oct. 1, 2003. However, the agency has refused to identify the states and facilities from which the cows originated. Rogers said UPI would have to seek that information through the Freedom of Information Act.
The question is central to the USDA's implementation of its expanded surveillance program. Downer cows -- those unable to stand or walk --made up the bulk of the animals the agency tested for mad cow inprevious years, but these were banned from being slaughtered for human consumption in December. This means the agency inspectors no longer can obtain brain samples from these cows at slaughterhouses as they could in the past.
Furthermore, the USDA has not provided any evidence it has worked out agreements with rendering facilities or ranchers, where downers and dead cows are now most likely to be found, to obtain the extra animals for testing.
Loyd said the agency is "working very hard to get animals on the farm that would never show up in a processing facility," and he was "not aware of any issues" that would delay the launch of the new program.
However, he was unable to provide the names or locations of the rendering facilities where the agency will be obtaining cow brains for BSE testing. He said he would look into it but did not return two follow-up phone calls from UPI before publication.
Steve Mitchell is UPI's Medical Correspondent. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2001-2004 United Press International
Subject: The IHC Test Variables (USA BSE SURVEILLANCE)
Date: June 24, 2005 at 7:59 pm PST
The IHC Test Variables:
• IHC has been the primary confirmatory test for
USDA’s BSE surveillance program and is recognized
by the World Organization for Animal Health, or OIE.
• IHC allows scientists to determine if a sample is
positive for BSE in two distinct ways:
1.) A staining technique (presence of abnormal
prion protein) that uses antibodies to detect
abnormal prion protein in the brain.
2.) A visual examination to determine whether there
are lesions (holes or "spongy" appearances)
present in the brain.
• Several variables could yield conflicting results:
o IHC is not a standardized, commercially
available test. It involves variables, including
several options in types of antibodies and other
reactive agents. The sensitivity of any given test
is influenced by those variables.
o If the level of infectivity in the animal is extremely
low, the abnormal prion in the brain will be
minimal and therefore more difficult to detect.
o Variations in the conditions under which the
staining process is performed, such as
chemicals and reactive agents used,
temperature and length of antibody exposure,
can also cause the test to yield different results.
Testing History on This Animal:
• In November 2004, a sample from this animal
returned inconclusive for BSE on a Biorad screening
• The sample was subjected to an IHC confirmatory
test, which returned negative.
• USDA scientists also ran an additional, experimental
IHC "rapid" tissue fixation test for academic purposes,
which can be conducted more quickly than the IHC
confirmatory test and is therefore of interest to the
scientific community, but it has not been approved
• While some abnormalities were noted in the
experimental IHC test results, because the test was
not a validated procedure, and because the two
approved IHC tests came back negative, the results
were not considered to be of regulatory significance
and therefore were not reported beyond the
• A Western blot test conducted the week of
June 5, 2005, returned positive for BSE.
• An additional IHC confirmatory test conducted the
week of June 13, 2005, by USDA scientists utilizing
different antibodies from the November 2004 test,
confirmed this case as weakly positive for BSE.
• The Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Weybridge,
England, conducted a series of diagnostic tests
including an IHC, using different antibodies from
those used by USDA in November 2004, which
returned positive results for BSE.
• Experts from the Weybridge lab confirmed the
accuracy of the results of USDA’s November
confirmatory IHC test, concurring that the case could
not have been confirmed on the basis of this sample.
• Weybridge experts also examined the November
experimental IHC test and interpreted the results to
Potential Causes of Conflicting Results:
• USDA scientists are consulting with Weybridge
scientists to determine the cause of the conflicting
IHC test results.
• Several factors could cause or contribute to the
discrepancy as follows:
o This animal had a very low level of infectivity and
therefore the sensitivity of USDA’s routine IHC
test might not have been sufficient to detect the
o Weybridge experts indicate that deposits of
abnormal prion in the brain tissue were not
uniformly distributed and were present at low
concentration, which means that even adjacent
samples of brain tissue might not give identical
Veterinary Services June 2005
USDA Protocol Review:
• USDA will develop a protocol to conduct dual
confirmatory tests, the IHC and the Western blot,
when the screening test, the Biorad, returns an
• USDA and Weybridge scientists are in agreement
that the Biorad test is a very effective and appropriate
• USDA scientists will consult with Weybridge scientists
to assess the array of antibodies available for use in
IHC confirmatory tests to determine the most
appropriate for use in United States confirmatory
tests. Those consultations will be repeated periodically.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination
in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color,
national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual
orientation, or marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases
apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative
means for communication of program information (Braille,
large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET
Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice and TDD).
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office
of Civil Rights, Room 326–W, Whitten Building, 1400
Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250–9410 or call
(202) 720–5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity
provider and employer.
Safeguarding American Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service • United States Department of Agriculture •
THIS confirms that the June 2004 Enhanced BSE cover-up, was just that. Like i said before, due to this terribly flawed system, those 388,000 testing to date for BSE in the USA were meaningless and should be retested. ...
Subject: USDA JOHANN'S MAD ABOUT FONG, PLANS HIS OWN LAB AND HIS OWN MAD COW ANTIBODIES ;-)
Date: July 29, 2005 at 2:35 pm PST
Friday, July 29, 2005
Ames lab to take over testing for mad cow diseasePublished: 07/29/2005 3:52 PM
By: Associated Press - Associated Press
AMES, IA - Scientists at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories here soon will begin conducting their own Western blot tests, eliminating the need to travel to Weybridge, England, when initial rapid testing detects mad cow disease.
"I think the change is good because we're more likely to know exactly what we're dealing with on each case," said Dr. Randall Levings, director of the labs.
The change is a response to an order from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns.
"We took those as our marching orders," Levings said.
Mad cow disease, formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, attacks a cow's nervous system. It is characterized by spongelike holes in the brain, the result of misshapen proteins called prions that kill brain cells.
The only way it is known to spread is by cattle eating infected brain and nerve tissue from other cows. That's why the government in 1997 banned the use of cattle feed that contains remnants of other cows. Of the three cases of mad cow confirmed in the United States, all three cows were born before the feed ban, Levings said.
Since January 2004, the government has tested more than 400,000 cows for the disease, using a rapid screening test and a test known immunohistochemistry, or IHC.
Rapid testing of a sample involves removing normal proteins and adding chemicals that bind to the abnormal proteins, making them visible. The IHC test involves staining paper-thin brain tissue samples to highlight the abnormal protein.
The Western blot test, conducted at Weybridge destroys normal proteins in the brain, leaving only the abnormal prions.
In June, the nation's Office of Inspector General ordered a review of the Ames lab's testing procedures after a sample last fall tested positive in England, but negative in Ames.
A rapid test on the sample in Ames detected the presence of BSE, but the following IHC test was negative. Ames workers also relayed the results of the test, but did not complete formal paperwork.
A version of mad cow disease, known as variant Creutzfeld-Jakob, has killed about 150 people worldwide, most of them in Britain, where there was an outbreak in the 1990s.
"We're taking all of the right steps," Levings said. "It would not be a risk to human or animal health in this country. It's not high. It's very, very low."
SO, Johann's/GW et al have perfected the BSE/TSE testing protocols and they don't need anyone else to tell them what to do. this was proven with the TEXAS mad cow cases alone,
r i g h t...... $$$
IF this is the case, why is Weybridge having to confirm our inconclusives ??? this is frightening.
IF not for the Honorable Phyllis Fong, that cow would have never been proven postive, well, documented anyway, it was proven postive time and time again...
The Fong Syndrome strikes again.
GW's BSE/TSE MRR policy a recipe for disaster.
USA in dire straights.
God help us... TSS
>>>Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs suggested federal regulators wait until animals are confirmed positive or negative before disclosing results to the public.<<< >>>"While markets may bounce back, enormous amounts of money can be lost in the interim," Combs wrote. "In fact, during the last inconclusive announcement, it is estimated that the market dropped $25 per head on cattle, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses to our cattle industry."<<<
IN TEXAS, we feed our cattle ruminant protein, and lots of it. but remember (the fda cannot seem to get this right)
.1 gram is lethal;
THE TEXAS GONZALES/PURINA INCIDENT SHOWED THAT 5.5 GRAMS OFRUMINANT PROTEIN WAS FED TO CATTLE ;
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2001Print Media:301-827-6242Broadcast Media:301-827-3434
FDA ANNOUNCES TEST RESULTS FROM TEXAS FEED LOT
Today the Food and Drug Administration announced the results of tests taken on feed used at a Texas feedlot that was suspected of containing meat and bone meal from other domestic cattle -- a violation of FDA's 1997 prohibition on using ruminant material in feed for other ruminants. Results indicate that a very low level of prohibited material was found in the feed fed to cattle.
FDA has determined that each animal could have consumed, at most and in total, five-and-one-half grams -approximately a quarter ounce -- of prohibited material. These animals weigh approximately 600 pounds.
It is important to note that the prohibited material was domestic in origin (therefore not likely to contain infected material because there is no evidence of BSE in U.S. cattle), fed at a very low level, and fed only once. The potential risk of BSE to such cattle is therefore exceedingly low, even if the feed were contaminated.
According to Dr. Bernard Schwetz, FDA's Acting Principal DeputyCommissioner, "The challenge to regulators and industry is to keep this disease out of the United States. One important defense is to prohibit the use of any ruminant animal materials in feed for other ruminant animals. Combined with other steps, like U.S. Departmentof Agriculture's (USDA) ban on the importation of live ruminant animals from affected countries, these steps represent a series of protections, to keep American cattle free of BSE."
Despite this negligible risk, Purina Mills, Inc., is nonetheless announcing that it is voluntarily purchasing all 1,222 of the animals held in Texas and mistakenly fed the animal feed containing the prohibited material. Therefore, meat from those animals will not enter the human food supply. FDA believes any cattle that did not consume feed containing the prohibited material are unaffected by this incident, and should be handled in the beef supply clearance process as usual.
FDA believes that Purina Mills has behaved responsibly by first reporting the human error that resulted in the misformulation of the animal feed supplement and then by working closely with State and Federal authorities.
This episode indicates that the multi-layered safeguard system put into place is essential for protecting the food supply and that continued vigilance needs to be taken, by all concerned, to ensure these rules are followed routinely.
FDA will continue working with USDA as well as State and local officials to ensure that companies and individuals comply with all laws and regulations designed to protect theU.S. food supply.
From: TSS (216-119-144-34.ipset24.wt.net)
Subject: 1 in 2 CHANCE OF GETTING BSE AKA MAD COW BY THE ORAL ROUTE (PRIMATE STUDY)Date: January 27, 2005 at 7:03 am PST
Risk of oral infection with bovine spongiform encephalopathy agent in primates
Corinne Ida Lasmézas, Emmanuel Comoy, Stephen Hawkins, Christian Herzog, Franck Mouthon, Timm Konold, Frédéric Auvré, Evelyne Correia, Nathalie Lescoutra-Etchegaray, Nicole Salès, Gerald Wells, Paul Brown, Jean-Philippe Deslys
The uncertain extent of human exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)--which can lead to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD)--is compounded by incomplete knowledge about the efficiency of oral infection and the magnitude of any bovine-to-human biological barrier to transmission. We therefore investigated oral transmission of BSE to non-human primates. We gave two macaques a 5 g oral dose of brain homogenate from a BSE-infected cow. One macaque developed vCJD-like neurological disease 60 months after exposure, whereas the other remained free of disease at 76 months. On the basis of these findings and data from other studies, we made a preliminary estimate of the food exposure risk for man, which provides additional assurance that existing public health measures can prevent transmission of BSE to man.
Published online January 27, 2005
USDA did not test possible mad cows
By Steve Mitchell
United Press International
Published 6/8/2004 9:30 PM
WASHINGTON, June 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture claims ittested 500 cows with signs of a brain disorder for mad cow disease last year, but agency documents obtained by United Press International show the agency tested only half that number.
USDA officials said the difference is made up in animals tested at state veterinary diagnostic laboratories, but these animals were not tested using the "gold standard" test employed by the agency for confirming acase of the deadly disease. Instead, the state labs used a less sensitive test that experts say could miss mad cow cases.
In addition, the state lab figures were not included in a March 2004 USDA document estimating the number of animals most likely to be infected among U.S. herds, and apparently were not given to a congressional committee that had requested agency data on the number of cows with brain disorder signs that had been tested for the disease.
"This is just adding to the demise of USDA's credibility," said Felicia Nestor, senior policy adviser to the Government Accountability Project, a group in Washington, D.C., that works with federal whistleblowers.
"If the USDA is going to exclude from testing the animals most likely to have the disease, that would seem to have a very negative impact on there liability of their conclusion," Nestor told UPI.
Nestor, who has monitored the USDA's mad cow surveillance program closely for several years, asked, "Are they deliberately avoiding testing animals that look like they have the disease?"
Concerns about the number of cows in U.S. herds with brain disorder symptoms have been heightened due to the recent case in Texas, in which USDA officials failed to test an animal with such symptoms, also known as central nervous system or CNS signs. This was a violation of USDA policy, which stipulates all CNS cows should be tested because they are considered the most likely to be mad cow infected. To date, the Washington cow that tested positive last December is the only confirmed case of mad cow disease -- also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy -- among U.S. herds.
The Texas incident has alarmed the public and members of Congress because humans can contract a fatal brain disorder called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease from consuming meat infected with the mad cow pathogen. If the USDA's surveillance program is allowing the riskiest cows to go untested, it raises concerns about the ability of the monitoring system to detect the disease reliably in U.S. herds, Rep.Henry Waxman, D-Calif., charged in a May 13 letter to Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman.
Dr. Peter Lurie, of the consumer group Public Citizen, said CNS cows should be the one category that absolutely has to be tested to have a sound surveillance system.
"CNS animals are far and away the most important animals to test," said Lurie, who has done several analyses of the USDA's mad cow surveillance program.
"If there's any category that needs 100 percent testing, that's it, because they would be the most likely place to find mad cow in America," he told UPI. "Any CNS cow that slips into the food supply represents a major case of malpractice by USDA, and similarly, the failure to test the brain of that animal to see if it was indeed infected is really a failure to protect the public."
USDA officials said the agency has no estimate on how many CNS cows occur in U.S. herds. But spokesman Ed Loyd has told UPI, and at least one other media outlet, that 500 CNS cows were tested in fiscal year 2003. Yet agency testing records for the first 10 months of FY 2003, obtained by UPI under the Freedom of Information Act, show only 254 animals that fall under the CNS category -- or about half the number Loyd cited.
After failing to respond to repeated requests from UPI for clarification of the apparent discrepancy, Loyd finally offered the explanation that an additional 45 CNS cows were tested by the USDA during the final two months of FY 2003. The remainder, he said, was made up by CNS cases tested at various state veterinary diagnostic laboratories.
"We also include data reported to us from state veterinary diagnostic laboratories, and all of these are CNS cases that have been tested for BSE using a histological examination," Loyd said.
"We were not using any other labs during this period, other than (the USDA lab), to run the IHC tests for BSE, which is the gold standard," he said. "This (state laboratory) information contributes important data to our surveillance effort."
However, the state labs did not use the immunohistochemistry test, which the USDA has called the "gold standard" for diagnosing mad cow disease. Instead, the labs used a different test called histopathology, which theUSDA itself does not use to confirm a case, opting instead for the more sensitive IHC test.
The histopathology test, unlike the IHC test, does not detect prions --misfolded proteins that serve as a marker for infection and can be spotted early on in the course of the illness. Rather, it screens forthe microscopic holes in the brain that are characteristic of advanced mad cow disease.
According to the USDA's Web site, histopathology proves reliable only if the brain sample is removed soon after the death of the animal. If there is too much of a delay, the Web site states, it can be "very difficult to confirm a diagnosis by histopathology" because the brain structures may have begun to disintegrate.
That is one reason the agency began using the IHC test -- it can confirm a diagnosis if the brain has begun disintegrating or been frozen for shipping.
The state labs used histopathology to screen 266 CNS cases in FY 2003, as well as 257 cases in FY 2002, according to Loyd. He did not explain why this information was not included in the testing records the agency provided to UPI and has not responded to requests for the identity of the state labs.
Linda Detwiler, a former USDA veterinarian who oversaw the agency's madcow testing program, told UPI the histopathology test probably is adequate for screening CNS cows. If they have mad cow disease, she said, it would likely be an advanced stage that should be obvious.
Other mad cow disease experts, however, said having a back-up test suchas IHC would be advisable, because histopathology tests sometimes can miss evidence of infection.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations offers similar recommendations in its protocol for conducing a histopathology test. The protocol states that even if histopathology is negative,"further sampling should be undertaken" in cases "where clinical signs have strongly suggested BSE" -- a criteria that includes all of the cows tested at the state labs.
The USDA seems to agree on the need for a back-up test. Its expanded surveillance program, which began June 1, calls for using IHC -- or another test called Western blot -- to confirm any positives found on rapid tests. The March 15 document that describes the new program does not mention using histopathology to confirm cases of mad cow disease.
"Subtle changes can be missed on histopathology that would probably not be as easy to miss using IHC," said Elizabeth Mumford, a veterinarian and BSE expert at Safe Food Solutions in Bern, Switzerland, a company that provides advice on reducing mad cow risk to industry and governments.
"Therefore I believe it is valuable to run (histopathology)," Mumford told UPI.
She noted that in Europe, two tests -- neither one the histopathology test -- are used to ensure no cases are missed. A rapid test is used initially for screening, followed by IHC as a confirmatory test.
Markus Moser, a molecular biologist and chief executive officer of the Swiss firm Prionics, which manufactures tests for detecting mad cow disease, agrees about the possibility of a case being missed by histopathology.
"There were cases which were (histopathology) negative but still clearly positive with the other (testing) methods," Moser said. "BSE testing based on histology on sub-optimal tissue was probably one of the reasons why Germany was allegedly BSE-free until our test discovered that they were not" in 2000, Moser told UPI.
He agreed with Detwiler that histopathology should be suitable for most cases of CNS cows, but added it still can fail to detect the disease in some CNS cases -- particularly if the sample is not optimum.
"It is difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish the subtle changes in a diseased brain from artifacts like ruptures in the tissue due to tissue damage during the sampling, transport or preparation," he said.
Loyd asserted the additional CNS cases from the state labs actually yielded a total of 565 such cows the USDA had tested -- 65 more than his original figure of 500. Whether the USDA considers its total to be 500 or 565, however, either figure would exceed the agency's own estimates for the total number of such cows that it identifies annually.
According to data the USDA provided to the House Committee on Government Reform, and numbers the agency included in the March document about its expanded surveillance plan, only 201 to 249 CNS cows are identified at slaughterhouses. Approximately 129 additional cases occur on farms annually. At most, that yields a combined total of 378 CNS cows, or nearly 200 less than the 565 Loyd claims the agency tested.
The USDA surveillance plan document makes no mention of the number of CNS animals tested at state veterinary diagnostic labs. The figure also does not appear to be included in the agency's estimates of the number of high-risk animals that occur in the United States each year. The latter number was used to help the USDA calculate the number of animals it will screen for mad cow disease in its expanded surveillance plan.
USDA officials also did not include the state lab figures in response to a question from the House Committee on Government Reform, a source close to the issue told UPI. The committee, on which Waxman is the ranking Democrat, had requested in a March 8 letter to Veneman that she provide "the number of BSE tests that were conducted on cattle exhibiting central nervous system symptoms" for each of the last five years.
Loyd did not respond to a request from UPI asking why agency officials did not provide that information to the committee or include it in USDA's explanation of its expanded surveillance plan.
The committee has taken note of the CNS issue and plans to delve into it further in a hearing slated for sometime in the next few months.
"The committee will explore this and other issues surrounding USDA and BSE testing at a hearing later this summer," Drew Crockett, spokesman for the committee, told UPI.
Steve Mitchell is UPI's Medical Correspondent. E-mail email@example.com
Copyright © 2001-2004 United Press International
''USDA gets a D or D minus," said Caroline Smith Dewaal of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group based in Washington. ''The best thing that came out of this is the work of the inspector general."
It was the department's in-house watchdog, Inspector General Phyllis Fong, who skirted the USDA hierarchy by ordering retesting with a different method more than six months after a routine second-round test, known as the immunohistochemistry, or IHC, test proved negative for the disease.
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, who assumed office in January, has said he neither knew about nor authorized the retesting by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.
BESIDES the Texas mad cow that sat on the shelf for 7+ months before the Honorable Phyllis Fong of the OIG finally did the end around Johanns et al and finally had Weybridge bring that negative cow back from the dead to finally being a confirmed mad cow (hint, hint, getting MRR implemented first), was this simply another bumbling of BSE protocol, or just same old same old;
Jim Rogers (202) 690-4755
USDA Press Office (202) 720-4623
Statement by Chief Veterinary Medical Officer John Clifford Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Regarding Non-Definitive BSE Test ResultsJuly 27, 2005
Our laboratory ran the IHC test on the sample and received non-definitive results that suggest the need for further testing. As we have previously experienced, it is possible for an IHC test to yield differing results depending on the “slice” of tissue that is tested. Therefore, scientists at our laboratory and at Weybridge will run the IHC test on additional “slices” of tissue from this animal to determine whether or not it was infected with BSE. We will announce results as soon as they are compiled, which we expect to occur by next week.
I would note that the sample was taken in April, at which time the protocols allowed for a preservative to be used (protocols changed in June 2005). The sample was not submitted to us until last week, because the veterinarian set aside the sample after preserving it and simply forgot to send it in. On that point, I would like to emphasize that while that time lag is not optimal, it has no implications in terms of the risk to human health. The carcass of this animal was destroyed, therefore there is absolutely no risk to human or animal health from this animal.
Subject: Statement by Dr. John Clifford Regarding Non-Definitive BSE Test Results
Date: July 27, 2005 at 12:37 pm PST
Jim Rogers (202) 690-4755Jerry Redding (202) 720-6959
Statement by Dr. John Clifford Regarding Non-Definitive BSE Test Results
Late yesterday, we received non-definitive test results on an animal sampled as part of a voluntary extension of our enhanced BSE surveillance program. USDA is conducting further testing at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, in consultation with experts from the international reference laboratory in Weybridge, England. We are also sending samples from this animal to the Weybridge laboratory for further testing. It is important to note that this animal poses no threat to our food supply because it did not enter the human food or animal feed chains.
The sample was submitted to us by a private veterinarian. As an extension of our enhanced surveillance program, accredited private veterinarians, who often visit farms in remote areas, collect samples when warranted. The sample in question today was taken from a cow that was at least 12 years of age and experienced complications during calving. The veterinarian treated the sample with a preservative, which readies it for testing using the immunohistochemistry (IHC) test - an internationally recognized confirmatory test for BSE. Neither the rapid screening test nor the Western blot confirmatory test can be conducted on a sample that has been preserved.
Our laboratory ran the IHC test on the sample and received non-definitive results that suggest the need for further testing. As we have previously experienced, it is possible for an IHC test to yield differing results depending on the â?osliceâ? of tissue that is tested. Therefore, scientists at our laboratory and at Weybridge will run the IHC test on additional â?oslicesâ? of tissue from this animal to determine whether or not it was infected with BSE. We will announce results as soon as they are compiled, which we expect to occur by next week.I would note that the sample was taken in April, at which time the protocols allowed for a preservative to be used (protocols changed in June 2005).
The sample was not submitted to us until last week, because the veterinarian set aside the sample after preserving it and simply forgot to send it in. On that point, I would like to emphasize that while that time lag is not optimal, it has no implications in terms of the risk to human health. The carcass of this animal was destroyed, therefore there is absolutely no risk to human or animal health from this animal.
Regardless of the outcome of the further testing, I want to emphasize that human and animal health in the United States are protected by a system of interlocking safeguards. The most important of these is the ban on specified risk materials from the food supply and the Food and Drug Administrations feed ban. And by any measure, the incidence of BSE in this country is extremely low. Our enhanced surveillance program is designed to provide information about the level of prevalence of BSE in the United States. We are extremely gratified that to date, all sectors of the cattle industry have cooperated in this program by submitting samples from more than 419,000 animals from the highest risk populations. To date, only one animal has tested positive for the disease as part of the surveillance program. These interlocking safeguards continue to protect our food supply.
Note to Reporters: USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet. Go to the APHIS home page at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ and click on the â?oNewsâ? button. Also, anyone with an e-mail address can sign up to receive APHIS press releases automatically. Send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org leave the subject blank. In the message, typesubscribe press_releases.USDA Newsoc.email@example.com 720-4623----------------------------------------------------
"The sample was submitted to us by a private veterinarian. As an extension of our enhanced surveillance program, accredited private veterinarians who often visit farms in remote areas collect samples when warranted. The sample in question today was taken from a cow that was at least 12 years of age and experienced complications during calving.
"The veterinarian treated the sample with a preservative which readies it for testing using the immunohistochemistry test, an internationally recognized confirmatory test for BSE.
"Neither the rapid screening test nor the Western blot confirmatory test can be conducted on a sample that has been preserved. Our laboratory ran the IHC test on the sample and received non-definitive results that suggest the need for further testing.
"As we have previously experienced, it is possible for an IHC test to yield differing results, depending on the slice of tissue that is tested. Therefore scientists at our laboratory and at Weybridge will run the IHC test on additional slices of tissue from this animal to determine whether or not it was infected with BSE.
"We will announce results as soon as they are compiled, which we expect to occur by next week.
In Reply to: Re: Statement by Dr. John Clifford Regarding Non-Definitive BSE Test Results posted by TSS on July 27, 2005 at 12:53 pm:
o.k., let me get this right. i am pondering here;-)
all the time this TEXAS positive, positive, (secret) positive, inconclusive, negative, then Weybridge confirmed 2nd BSE documented case (thanks to the Honorable Phyllis Fong),all this time this BSe going on in TEXAS, was plastered all over the news, this guy forgot about that sample, and it just sat up on some shelf wasting away for months, as to be in such bad shape, they now cannot even test it properly. r i g h t ... like ooops, sorry. ...end
The animal died in April, but the veterinarian forgot to send the sample to USDA until this month, Mr. Clifford said. "While that time lag is not optimal, it has no implications in terms of the risk to human health," he said.
IHC tests returned conflicting results on the Texas cow. Use of the preservative means that the other tests commonly done when mad cow is suspected, initial rapid screening and Western blot, can't be performed on this sample, the official said. Mr. Clifford said it's possible to get different results, "depending on the slice of tissue that is tested."
The fatal brain-wasting disease is known medically as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE. In people, eating tainted meat products has been linked to about 150 deaths from a fatal disorder called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Most of the deaths were in the United Kingdom, where there was an outbreak in the 1980s and 1990s.
The U.S. banned Canadian cattle in May 2003 following Canada's first case of mad-cow disease. The U.S. was about to lift the ban in March when U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull in Billings, Mont., granted an injunction to a ranchers' group called R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America. The ranchers had sued to keep the border closed to Canadian cattle, saying the disease presented a risk to the U.S. beef industry as well as to American consumers.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the injunction earlier this month, allowing cattle shipments from Canada to resume. The lifting of the ban reopens the U.S. to cattle younger than 30 months and expands the list of beef products Canada is allowed to ship to the U.S. Older animals are still banned, because infection levels are believed to increase with age.
Copyright © 2005 Associated Press
this is what you call the 'FONG' syndrome. make sure she can't make them do a WB on this sample.
I BEG THE OIG and the Honorable Phyllis Fong to investigate this blunder too. there is no way that sample sat on a shelf while the world waited on that Texas mad cow blunder dust to settle, and someone just forgets about it. i just don't believe this either...
From: TSS ()Subject: Re: Statement by Dr. John Clifford Regarding Non-Definitive BSE Test Results
Date: July 27, 2005 at 12:53 pm PST
In Reply to: Statement by Dr. John Clifford Regarding Non-Definitive BSE Test Results posted by TSS on July 27, 2005 at 12:37 pm:
----- Original Message -----
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."To:
Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2005 2:57 PM
Subject: Re: Statement by Dr. John Clifford Regarding Non-Definitive BSE Test Results
> ##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################
>> with great disgust i must comment on this BSE/USDA/APHIS blunder as well. i
> swear, larry curly and mo could do a better job at this than is being done
> right now. for this reason alone the USA BSE GBR risk assessment should be> raised immediately to BSE GBR IV;
>> >>> I would note that the sample was taken in April, at which time the
> protocols allowed for a preservative to be used (protocols changed in June
> 2005). The sample was not submitted to us until last week, because the
> veterinarian set aside the sample after preserving it and simply forgot to
> send it in. On that point, I would like to emphasize that while that time
> lag is not optimal, it has no implications in terms of the risk to human
> health. The carcass of this animal was destroyed, therefore there is> absolutely no risk to human or animal health from this animal.
<<<>> for Heavens sake, this is July 27, 2005 and we are just now getting this
> sample to Weybridge. this reeks !
>> THEN, to think of GWs BSE MRR policy of trading TSEs of all strains
> globally. again, USA and North America's BSE GBR should be raised to BSE GBR
> IV immediately.
>> still very disgusted in bacliff, texas...TSS
Faults in USDA testing cited
Mad cow case in Texas showed glaring missteps
By Barry Shlachter, Knight Ridder August 7, 2005
What Fong and the public were unaware of was that Ames researchers had also used an experimental rapid version of the IHC test on brain tissue from the Texas cow. That proved positive for the disease, but staff members thought the result was technically flawed. The USDA did not disclose until just recently that the Ames lab had conducted the experimental test.
Months later, Fong stepped in and ordered more tests. A ''Western blot" test proved positive, as did later tests at a lab in Weybridge, England.
Finally in June, two days after the Weybridge lab confirmed the mad cow case, a chastened USDA announced that in addition to the routine IHC test, it was adopting the Western blot procedure whenever an initial ''BioRad" screening test indicates mad cow disease is possible. In addition, backup tests will now be conducted at Britain's national veterinary laboratory in Weybridge when earlier test results conflict or are inconclusive.
NOW, all the above announced July 27, 2005. SO, the other 'inconclusive' sample has been sitting on the shelf since April, some 4 months earlier, give or take a few days. NOW, what has been going on while this other inconclusive BSE/BASE mad cow sits on the shelf. Lets look at that BSE MRR COMMODITY time frame ;-)
7/20/05 USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services, National Center for Import and Export: Protocol for The Importation of Farm Raised Cervids from Canada PDF USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services, National Center for Import and Export: Protocol for The Importation of Camelids from Canada PDF
7/15/05 Importation of Bovines (Cattle or Bison) from Canada for Feeding PDF BSE Minimal-Risk Regions and the Importation of Live Animals Importers, Brokers, and Other Interested Parties PDF BSE Minimal-Risk Regions and the Importation of Live Animals Accredited Veterinarians or Other Interested Parties PDF USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services, National Center for Import and Export: Protocol for The Importation of Cattle or Bison for Feeding from Canada PDF USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services, National Center for Import and Export: Protocol for the Importation of Cattle, Bison, Sheep and Goats for Immediate Slaughter from Canada PDF USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services, National Center for Import and Export: Protocol for the Importation of Sheep and Goats for Feeding from Canada PDF Animal Products Implementation: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Minimal-Risk Regions and Importation of Commodities from Canada PDF Johanns Announces Next Steps for Importing Canadian Cattle Transcript of Tele-News Conference with Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Minimal-Risk Regions and Importation of Commodities— FINAL RULE— 9 CFR Parts 93, 94, 95, and 96 [Docket No. 03-080-3] Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Minimal-Risk Regions and Importation of Commodities; Partial Delay of Applicability [Docket No. 03-080-6] — Final rule; partial delay of applicability — 9 CFR Parts 94 and 95Published March 11, 2005 — 70 FR 12112-12113 Text PDF • Risk Document PDF • Economic Analysis PDF • Appendices to economic analysis PDF • Final environmental assessment PDF • Final Rule on BSE and Minimal-Risk Regions (Factsheet) • Questions and Answers for Minimal Risk/Canada Rule • Port of Entry for Eligible Ruminants 7/14/05 Secretary Johanns Statement on Ninth Circuit Court Ruling
04/01/05 Canada, Mexico And United States Release Harmonized North American BSE Strategy Harmonization of a BSE Strategy (PDF)
03/17/05 U.S. Government Requests Appeal In Minimal-Risk Rule Case
03/04/05 BSE Minimal-Risk Regions and Importation of Live Animals and Commodities From Canada Delay of Effective Date (Memo)
03/03/05 Statement By Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns Regarding The Temporary Injunction Issued By The U.S. District Court For The District Of Montana Regarding USDA's Minimal-Risk Rule
NOT to forget ;
It should be noted that since the enhanced surveillance program began, USDA has also conducted approximately 9,200 routine IHC tests on samples that did not first undergo rapid testing. This was done to ensure that samples inappropriate for the rapid screen test were still tested, and also to monitor and improve upon IHC testing protocols. Of those 9,200 routine tests, one test returned a non-definitive result on July 27, 2005. That sample underwent additional testing at NVSL, as well as at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Weybridge, England, and results were negative. ......
r i g h t ............
By Steve Mitchell
United Press International
Published 2/9/2004 7:06 PM
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- The federal laboratory in Ames, Iowa, that conducts all of the nation's tests for mad cow disease has a history of producing ambiguous and conflicting results -- to the point where many federal meat inspectors have lost confidence in it, Department of Agriculture veterinarians and a deer rancher told United Press International.
The veterinarians also claim the facility -- part of the USDA and known as the National Veterinary Services Laboratories -- has refused to release testing results to them and has been so secretive some suspect it is covering up additional mad cow cases. ...
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: re-USDA's surveillance plan for BSE aka mad cow disease
Date: Mon, 02 May 2005 16:59:07 -0500
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."To: firstname.lastname@example.org, HHSTips@oig.hhs.gov, contactOIG@hhsc.state.tx.us
Greetings Honorable Paul Feeney, Keith Arnold, and William Busbyet al at OIG, ...............
There will be several more emails of my research to follow.
I respectfully request a full inquiry into the cover-up of TSEs in the United States of America over the past 30 years. Iwould be happy to testify...
Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
P.O. Box 42
Bacliff, Texas USA 77518
xxx xxx xxxx
Date: June 14, 2005 at 1:46 pm PST
In Reply to: Re: Transcript Ag. Secretary Mike Johanns and Dr. John Clifford, Regarding further analysis of BSE Inconclusive Test Results posted by TSS on June 13, 2005 at 7:33 pm:
Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman resigns Nov 15 2004, three days later inclusive Mad Cow is announced. June 7th 2005 Bill Hawks UnderSecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs resigns. Three days later same mad cow found in November turns out to be positive. Both resignations are unexpected. just pondering...TSS
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: BSE 'INCONCLUSIVE' COW from TEXAS ???
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2004 17:12:15 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
To: Carla EverettReferences: <[log in to unmask]><[log in to unmask] us>
still hear a rumor;
Texas single beef cow not born in Canada no beef entered the food chain?
and i see the TEXAS department of animal health is ramping up for something, but they forgot a url for update?
I HAVE NO ACTUAL CONFIRMATION YET...
can you confirm???
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: BSE 'INCONCLUSIVE' COW from TEXAS ???
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 11:38:21 -0600
From: Carla Everett
To: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."References: <[log in to unmask]>
The USDA has made a statement, and we are referring all callers to the USDA web site. We have no information about the animal being in Texas.
At 09:44 AM 11/19/2004, you wrote:
>>i am getting unsubstantiated claims of this BSE 'inconclusive' cow is from
>TEXAS. can you comment on this either way please?
>Terry S. Singeltary Sr.>>
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: BSE 'INCONCLUSIVE' COW from TEXAS ???
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2004 18:33:20 -0600
From: Carla Everett
To: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."References: <[log in to unmask]><[log in to unmask] us><[log in to unmask]> <[log in to unmask]us> <[log in to unmask]>
our computer department was working on a place holder we could post USDA's announcement of any results. There are no results to be announced tonight byNVSL, so we are back in a waiting mode and will post the USDA announcement when we hear something.
At 06:05 PM 11/22/2004,
>why was the announcement on your TAHC site removed?
>>Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy:
>November 22: Press Release title here
>>star image More BSE information
>>Carla Everett wrote:
>>>no confirmation on the U.S.'inconclusive test...
>>no confirmation on location of animal.>>>>>>
UPI Exclusive: No mad cow tests in Wash.
By Steve Mitchell
United Press International
Published 1/15/2004 2:46 PM
WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Federal agriculture officials did not test any commercial cattle for mad cow disease through the first seven months of 2003 in Washington state -- where the first U.S. case of the disease was detected last month -- according to records obtained by United Press International.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's records of mad cow screenings, conducted on 35,000 animals between 2001 to 2003, also reveal no animals were tested for the past two years at Vern's Moses Lake Meats, the Washington slaughterhouse where the mad cow case was first detected.
In addition, no mad cow tests were conducted during the two-year period at any of the six federally registered slaughterhouses in Washington state. This includes Washington's biggest slaughterhouse, Washington Beef in Toppeni$h -- the 17th largest in the country, which slaughters 290,000 head per year -- and two facilities in Pasco that belong to Tyson, the largest beef slaughtering company in the United States.
In 2002, nearly every test conducted in Washington was on animals from Midway Meats in Centralia, the packing plant where Vern's Moses sent the infected cow carcass. The meat was distributed to several states where some people apparently consumed it, raising concerns about the possibility of contracting the human equivalent of mad cow, an always fatal, brain-wasting condition known as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. ...
We have to be careful that we don't get so set in the way we do things that we forget to look for different emerging variations of disease. We've gotten away from collecting the whole brain in our systems. We're using the brainstem and we're looking in only one area. In Norway, they were doing a project and looking at cases of Scrapie, and they found this where they did not find lesions or PRP in the area of the obex. They found it in the cerebellum and the cerebrum. It's a good lesson for us. Ames had to go back and change the procedure for looking at Scrapie samples. In the USDA, we had routinely looked at all the sections of the brain, and then we got away from it. They've recently gone back.
Dr. Keller: Tissues are routinely tested, based on which tissue provides an 'official' test result as recognized by APHIS.
Dr. Detwiler: That's on the slaughter. But on the clinical cases, aren't they still asking for the brain? But even on the slaughter, they're looking only at the brainstem. We may be missing certain things if we confine ourselves to one area.
Dr. Detwiler: It seems a good idea, but I'm not aware of it. Another important thing to get across to the public is that the negatives do not guarantee absence of infectivity. The animal could be early in the disease and the incubation period. Even sample collection is so important. If you're not collecting the right area of the brain in sheep, or if collecting lymphoreticular tissue, and you don't get a good biopsy, you could miss the area with the PRP in it and come up with a negative test. There's a new, unusual form of Scrapie that's been detected in Norway. We have to be careful that we don't get so set in the way we do things that we forget to look for different emerging variations of disease. We've gotten away from collecting the whole brain in our systems. We're using the brainstem and we're looking in only one area. In Norway, they were doing a project and looking at cases of Scrapie, and they found this where they did not find lesions or PRP in the area of the obex. They found it in the cerebellum and the cerebrum. It's a good lesson for us. Ames had to go back and change the procedure for looking at Scrapie samples. In the USDA,we had routinely looked at all the sections of the brain, and then we got away from it. They've recently gone back.
Dr. Keller: Tissues are routinely tested, based on which tissue provides an'official' test result as recognized by APHIS.
Dr. Detwiler: That's on the slaughter. But on the clinical cases, aren't they still asking for the brain? But even on the slaughter, they're looking only at the brainstem. We may be missing certain things if we confine ourselves to one area.
Completely Edited VersionPRION ROUNDTABLE
Accomplished this day, Wednesday, December 11, 2003, Denver, Colorado
Subject: Canada’s Protocols for BSE Surveillance DOES NOT MANDATE WB CONFIRMATION
Date: August 4, 2005 at 1:16 pm PST
Canadian Food Inspection AgencyFactsheet
Canada’s Protocols for BSE SurveillancePrinter-Friendly PDF version
BSE testing in Canada is in full accordance with the guidelines recommended by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
The samples collected target the highest risk cattle. This includes animals over 30 months of age that are dead, down, dying or diseased. In addition, any cattle that are exhibiting symptoms consistent with BSE must be reported to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. This targeted surveillance program is crucial to defining the level of BSE in Canada and to confirming the effectiveness of the measures in place to protect human and animal health from the disease. A robust surveillance program, with strong producer participation, gives domestic and international consumers confidence that Canada is taking responsible actions to monitor the health of the national herd.
In June 2005, Canada exceeded its minimum testing target of 30,000 animals for the year and, as of August 1, more than 36,000 cattle had been tested. The Government of Canada continues to work with provincial governments to support and encourage the participation of Canadian cattle producers in the surveillance program.
Preliminary Testing ProceduresIn Canada, two rapid BSE screening tests are used for routine surveillance - the Prionics®- Check Western and the Bio-Rad TeSeE®.
Evaluations conducted by the CFIA and agencies in other governments have found the tests to be 100% accurate for detecting BSE in cattle in later stages of the incubation period. Due to the high sensitivity of the tests, there are rare instances in which samples not infected with BSE may produce an initial reaction, thus necessitating re-testing.
Second Round of TestingInitially reactive samples are referred to as “non-negatives”and require that the same test be repeated in duplicate by the screening laboratory.
If the repeat tests are reactive, the sample is considered “inconclusive” for BSE, and the tissue from the animal is forwarded to the National BSE Reference Laboratory, National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease (NCFAD) in Winnipeg for confirmatory testing.
The rapid test on an inconclusive sample is repeated at the National BSE Reference Laboratory and if the test is again reactive, the sample is considered to be a BSE “suspect” and is subject to confirmatory testing. Even if this third rapid test is negative, a confirmatory test (immunohistochemistry or OIE Western Blot) is run for quality assurance purposes.
Confirmatory TestingThe immunohistochemistry (IHC) and the OIE Western Blot, also called the SAF Immunoblot, are internationally recognized confirmatory tests for BSE. The IHC is the principle confirmatory test used at NCFAD.
The OIE Western Blot test may be performed on the sample in addition to, or as an alternative to, the IHC test. It is always used on poor quality tissue samples when it may not be possible to conduct the IHC test, or on suspect samples where the IHC is negative.
THIS protocol has a flaw, the word ''or'' should be changed to ''and'';
(immunohistochemistry or OIE Western Blot)
should read ;
(immunohistochemistry AND OIE Western Blot)
WHY ASK for the blunders and the risks by not using WB, as been documented by the USDA et al in the USA???
WHY even go there???
IF the WB picks up detection where the IHC does not, then why are we even discussing this, IF they were truly trying to find and eradicate BSE/TSE$$$
IHC AND WB should be used for confirmation of any inconclusive.
anything less is not a confirmation, it's a guess.
still disgusted in Sunny Bacliff, Texas USA...TSS
Subject: Re: Canada’s Protocols for BSE Surveillance DOES NOT MANDATE WB CONFIRMATIONDate: August 6, 2005 at 10:05 am PST
In Reply to: Canada’s Protocols for BSE Surveillance DOES NOT MANDATE WB CONFIRMATION posted by TSS on August 4, 2005 at 1:16 pm:
##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################
indeed i did read the last line, i just think any confusion should be eliminated. i think with the word 'or' is just asking for trouble. one persons opinion on a 'poor quality' tissue sample, may not be the same as the next persons opinion. so why even have the potential for confusion there? i am sure you are aware of this, but maybe some other newer members on the list have not read this study;
Effect of Tissue Deterioration on Postmortem BSE Diagnosis byImmunobiochemical Detection of an Abnormal Isoform of Prion Protein
Hiroko HAYASHI1), Masuhiro TAKATA1), Yoshifumi IWAMARU1), Yuko USHIKI1)2),Kumiko M. KIMURA1), Yuichi TAGAWA1), Morikazu SHINAGAWA1) and TakashiYOKOYAMA1)
1) Prion Disease Research Center, National Institute of Animal Health2) Nippi Research Institute of Biomatrix(Received 25-Aug-2003)(Accepted 14-Jan-2004)
Surveillance for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in fallenstock in Japan is conducted with a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbentassay (ELISA) for mass screening, with Western blotting (WB) andimmunohistochemistry performed for confirmation of the ELISA. All tests arebased on immunological detection of an abnormal isoform of the prion protein(PrPSc) in brain tissues, which have sometimes deteriorated by the timesamples from fallen stock reach a diagnostic laboratory. To evaluate BSEsurveillance procedures for fallen stock, we examined PrPSc detection fromartificially deteriorated BSE-affected bovine brain tissues with acommercial ELISA kit and compared the results with those of WB. The opticaldensity (OD) values of the ELISA decreased with advancing deterioration ofthe tissues, whereas no reduction in the signal for PrPSc was observed inWB, even when performed after 4 days of incubation at 37°C. The progressivedecrease in the OD values in the ELISA appear to be caused by a partial lossof the N-terminal moiety of PrPSc due to digestion by endogeneous and/orcontaminated microbial enzymes, and by the presence of ELISA inhibitors thatare generated in deteriorated tissues. These results suggest that WB is themost reliable test for fallen stock, especially for cattle brains withindecaying carcasses.KEY WORDS: BSE, ELISA, PrPSc, Western blot
[PDF (96K)] [References]
To cite this article:Hiroko HAYASHI, Masuhiro TAKATA, Yoshifumi IWAMARU, Yuko USHIKI, Kumiko M.KIMURA, Yuichi TAGAWA, Morikazu SHINAGAWA and Takashi YOKOYAMA “Effect ofTissue Deterioration on Postmortem BSE Diagnosis by ImmunobiochemicalDetection of an Abnormal Isoform of Prion Protein”. J. Vet. Med. Sci.. Vol.66: 515-520. (2004) .
FULL TEXT PDF;
Another problem in testing fallen stock for BSE may arise from unequal distribution of PrPSc in BSE-affected brains. Spongiform changes and accumulation of PrPSc are most frequently observed in the obex region [15,18], but, it could be quite difficult to collect the obex region precisely from extensively deteriorated and liquefied brain tissue. Furthermore, in such cases it would be difficult to perform IHC as a confirmation test.
It has been shown that sample autolysis does not affect detection of PrPScby means of WB [3, 5, 13]. Our WB results also demonstrated no reduction inthe PrPSc signal as a result of deterioration at 30*C or 37*C for up to 4days, as so far examined (Figs. 2A and 3A). In this study, we showed that several problems undermine the utility of the ELISA with deteriorated samples, whereas WB remains very dependable. Therefore, WB might be the only reliable procedure to detect PrPSc in severely damaged samples from fallen stock...
FULL TEXT 6 PAGES;
> I would be more worried about the latest USA suspect where no WB can be done, due to formalin fixation of the sample. I don’t know if the“reference” laboratory in Weybridge has ever missed any BSE-positive cattle (or atypical bovine TSEs), but they have certainly failed to confirm several cases of atypical scrapie, because they insisted on using the so-called validated methods recommended by the OIE before 2003. I hope they now have solved this problem.>
i agree with this. in fact, the OIE since adhering to GWs BSE MRR policy(minimal risk region), and doing away with the USA, Canada, and Mexico BSE GBR Risk assessments, was anything but 'sound science'. by the OIE adhering to this 'junk science' of this administrations corporate scientists, the OIE has done nothing more than become a commodity brokerage for the legal trading of all phenotypes of TSEs Globally. THEY have in essence done away with 30 years of trying to eradicate TSEs globally. MILLIONS and millions of dollars down the drain, with MILLIONS and millions of humans and animals now becoming exposed even more than before, due to nothing more than greed and the almighty buck. as GW says, ''bring em on''. he will get exactly what he asks for again in the years and decades to come. but, as my birthday card today states;
This birthday you have something to be thankful for (with a picture of GW on the front),
I CAN'T RUN AGAIN....................amen!
SO why should he care, he will not be in office, but the markets will be o.k. for now, borders open, and the list of demented and dead will continue to slowly grow even more, with more strains of TSE mutating and being exported throughout the globe... gee thanks GW/OIE!
5.1.3. National TSE Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Network
The CFIA created a National TSE Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Network in 2001 to ensure consistency of diagnostic testing nationally. The network includes CFIA TSE reference laboratories, CFIA and provincial network laboratories. Standard operating procedures (Appendix 4), control material and panels are provided by the federal laboratories as part of a Quality Assurance Program. Training and research are also provided. Quality assurance and biosafety guidelines were distributed early in 2002.
5.2. Diagnostic Tests
All samples are tested by histopathology (H&E) and some are tested by IHC (see Appendix 4 for test standard operating procedures). According to the OIE Manual of Standards (OIE, 2000), surveillance for BSE requires laboratory examination of brain from clinically suspect animals by histopathology and, if necessary, other methods described in the manual (i.e. western blot, scrapie-associated-fibril examination and detection of abnormal PrP by immunohistochemistry).
Prior to the opening of the NCFAD laboratory (1997), testing for BSE was performed at the ADRI, Ottawa. At this laboratory, the validation of IHC using a polyclonal antibody on central nervous tissue began in 1994 and was completed in 1995. Validation of the IHC test for BSE using a monoclonal antibody was carried out at the National BSE Reference Laboratory at NCFAD/CFIA in Winnipeg in 2001 (Czub 2002).
As of January 2002, the provinces of Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan have introduced IHC testing in their laboratories. The province of Manitoba has the option to send samples to Saskatchewan for IHC, and the province of Quebec is currently acquiring laboratory capability for IHC testing (Greenwood 2002). To ensure consistency of diagnostic testing across all laboratories, the CFIA initiated a National TSE Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Network in 2001 (see Section 5.1.3 for details).
While less than half of Canada’s BSE surveillance samples have historically been tested by IHC (see Table 2), by the end of 2002 more than 90% of all BSE samples will be tested by this method.
Confirmatory testing of a BSE suspect sample is carried out at the National BSE Reference Laboratory at NCFAD/CFIA in Winnipeg.
Rapid tests for BSE diagnosis are not currently used in Canada; however, the CFIA is evaluating certain rapid tests used in Europe. Once the technology has been obtained and standardized in the National BSE Reference Laboratory in Winnipeg, the CFIA will consider application of these tests in the Canadian BSE Surveillance Program.
2In some countries, the terminology “fallen stock” is used for animals described herein as “non-ambulatory” or “animals found dead.”
3Total Cow Population 5,574,000 (dairy cows 1,122,400, beef cows 4,451,600) Source: 1996 Agricultural Census.
Date: February 28, 2007 at 7:57 am PST
O.I.E. SELLS THERE SOUL TO THE DEVIL AND WILL REPEAT WHAT THE U.K. DID,POISON THE WORLD LEGALLY WITH MAD COW DISEASEs
IN A NUT SHELL ;
(Adopted by the International Committee of the OIE on 23 May 2006)
11. Information published by the OIE is derived from appropriate declarations made by the official Veterinary Services of Member Countries.The OIE is not responsible for inaccurate publication of country disease status based on inaccurate information or changes in epidemiological status or other significant events that were not promptly reported to then Central Bureau............
SO, the OIE BSE MRR status, is based on whatever information and data the given BSE countries give them to go by.
LIKE i have stated time and time again, OIE BSE MRR policy is bought and paid for by your local cattle dealer.
THE BSE MRR policy is nothing more than a legal tool to trade TSE globally.
I urge that the BSE MRR policy be repealed, and the BSE GBR risk assessments be upgraded to include all strains of TSE, including the USA H-BASE, but to even go further, and include all TSE in ALL species. ...TSS