PROPOSED DECISION TO STOP BSE TESTING OF HEALTHY CATTLE SLAUGHTERED FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION
Food Standards Agency FSA 12/12/04 Open Board – 11 December 2012
1 SUMMARY 1.1
The current system for monitoring Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle includes BSE testing of all healthy cattle aged over 72 months slaughtered for human consumption. The European Commission is proposing to allow qualifying Member States (MS), including the UK, to decide to stop testing these cattle. 1.2 The Board is recommended to agree to advise Ministers that it would be acceptable on grounds of negligible risk to consumers and proportionality to stop BSE testing of all healthy cattle aged over 72 months slaughtered for human consumption in the UK.
Food Standards Agency FSA 12/12/04 Open Board – 11 December 2012 16
Ability of BSE test to detect different forms of BSE
1. Testing is carried out using approved commercial diagnostic tests for the disease-specific, abnormal form of the prion protein (PrP). A sample of the brainstem of the animal at the level of the obex is required to be used for the test. Studies have established that in Classical BSE abnormal PrP deposition in the brainstem first occurs at the obex level, where a substantial amount of this protein accumulates during the late incubation phase. Consequently, as described in the EFSA Report, targeting the obex for testing is considered to be the most sensitive approach for detecting cases of Classical BSE.
*** 2. In relation to the two forms of atypical BSE (H and L types) that have been reported, the EFSA Report points out that, while these conditions are detectable by the current approved tests, a full evaluation of their performance in detecting atypical BSE cases has not been carried out and the suitability of the obex as the target tissue for early and sensitive detection of these conditions remains largely unknown.
*** 3. The impact of stopping testing of healthy slaughtered cattle on the ability of the monitoring system to detect the emergence of a hypothetical new type of TSE disease in cattle is unknown, since the characteristics of any such new TSE disease and whether the current testing system would detect it are necessarily unknown. By definition, novel TSEs with forms of PrP substantially different from the currently-recognised forms may evade the existing tests.
RCVS Response Consultation on BSE Testing
12 May 2011
Joint consultation by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Welsh Assembly Government and Food Standards Agency on proposals for changes to BSE testing of cattle slaughtered for human consumption 1. The following response is made on behalf of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). The RCVS is the regulatory body for veterinary surgeons in the UK. The role of the RCVS is to safeguard the health and welfare of animals committed to veterinary care through the regulation of the education, and ethical and clinical standards, of veterinary surgeons and nurses, thereby protecting the interests of those dependent on animals, and assuring public health. It also acts as an impartial source of informed opinion on relevant veterinary matters.
2. The RCVS considers that in relation to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), monitoring and controlling the epidemic and protecting the public and animals from exposure to the agents that cause BSE are of paramount importance. Nevertheless, it is important that controls and testing regimes are appropriate and proportionate to the current risks of the disease.
3. The RCVS commends the launch of this non-formal consultation before adopting the proposed changes to BSE testing made possible by the amendment to Commission Directive 719/2009/EC and the decision of Ministers to seek the opinion of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and independent expert advice of the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC) on any potential risks before adopting changes.
4. SEAC comprises experts at the forefront of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE) research and has provided independent expert scientific advice to the Government in a transparent fashion for 20 years. The RCVS therefore supports the recommendations and observations of SEAC in relation to the proposed changes to the BSE testing of healthy cattle and strongly urges the Government to take account of its views.
5. SEAC advises that in the short-term the additional risk to human health of raising the age for the slaughter of healthy cattle to 72 months is insignificant and notes that the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) modelling concurs with the conclusion. In presenting their advice, however, SEAC sounds an important note of caution: that such conclusions are only valid if the prevalence of BSE in UK cattle continues to fall or remains the same and that the validity of the analysis depends upon the quality of surveillance and its ability to detect any re-emergence of the disease.
6. The RCVS therefore considers it imperative that the testing and surveillance programme is kept under review and that measures are implemented to ensure that the programme is capable of identifying any changes in BSE prevalence. To this end, the RCVS considers that provision should be made for the random testing of apparently healthy animals being slaughtered between the ages of 48 months and 72 months to verify the science behind the new testing regime and to ensure that health of the public is safeguarded appropriately. In this regard, the RCVS also supports the proposal of SEAC that the VLA model should be used ‘to examine a range of hypothetical rates of increase of BSE infection and the ability of current surveillance measures to detect the change’.
7. As SEAC notes, changes in the prevalence of BSE are most likely to be detected in fallen stock and casualty animals. The RCVS therefore considers that assessments should be made to ensure the adequacy and sensitivity of such testing for identifying any emerging trends in BSE.
8. The RCVS regards the removal of Specified Risk Material (SRM) as the primary means via which the public are protected from agents that cause BSE. Whilst there are no proposals to change SRM measures, the RCVS wishes to express its strong belief that current SRM measures should not be relaxed.
9. Given recent evidence of fraud relating to cattle that are found to be TB test-positive and the Government’s moves to tackle this by requiring that DNA tags are applied immediately to cattle that test positive for TB, the RCVS considers that provisions need to be made to ensure that any fraud in relation to BSE testing is tackled and that cattle over the age of 72 months are not passed off as being younger at the time of slaughter. Such fraud could be addressed by linking the passport and ear tag to some form of biological indicator of age such as the ossification of the vertebrae or appropriate dental changes.
10. If you require any clarification on the above comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. Alternatively, representatives from the RCVS would be happy to meet with you to discuss and expand upon our position
RCVS Policy and Public Affairs Officer
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
BSE - ATYPICAL LESION DISTRIBUTION (RBSE 92-21367) statutory (obex only) diagnostic criteria CVL 1992
Beckett admits BSE test blunder
Margaret Beckett last night admitted she blundered over how the Government announced the news that scientists seeking evidence of BSE in sheep had actually used cows' brains. The original statement about the bungled research failed to explain one of the gravest errors ever made by Government scientists researching the disease, and did not even mention the word 'cow'. As opposition MPs demanded an explanation of how £217,000 had been wasted, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Minister conceded that the way she had announced the mix-up was ' perhaps in error'. Mrs Beckett said: 'I gave instructions, perhaps in error, that the statement drafted to explain what we knew - and that was a limited amount - should be put into the public domain as soon as possible.' Shadow Minister Peter Ainsworth said the handling of the publication of the error had been 'despicable' and called on whoever made the decision to be sacked. Fingers had pointed to Lucian Hudson, the Government's new Director of Communications, who oversaw the release. But last night it emerged that Mrs Beckett had overruled advisers and drafted a statement herself, and insisted it be released late on Wednesday. A Whitehall insider said: 'She should have waited until the morning and held a full specialist briefing. But she was nervous that the news would leak and the department would look as if it had tried to cover something up. News releases are never done by one person and scientists were consulted on this one. But the wording was Mrs Beckett's own.' Mrs Beckett yesterday wrote to Mr Ainsworth to 'set the record straight'. If she had not made the news immediate, she said, his party would have 'accused me of trying to conceal the information for as long as possible'. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) was first alerted to the error on Wednesday morning. A Government laboratory had been sent a sample of the brains by the Institute of Animal Health, which was carrying out the research, to ensure there was no crosscontamination. There was horror when it appeared the scientists had been studying cows' brains rather than sheep. There followed an afternoon briefing with officials to inform them of the blunder, before Ministers were told in the early evening. Mrs Beckett said: 'We immediately put in hand a scientific audit, which people are carrying out this weekend, to try to find out what happened, what went wrong and whether there's still anything to learn from the experiment.' Government scientists have called for immediate new research into the risks of eating British lamb, although the Food Standards Agency has not changed its advice, which is that the risk of BSE in sheep 'remains theoretical'. Last night Liberal Democrat agriculture spokesman Colin Breed said: 'Mrs Beckett must now outline what she intends to do to allay fears about potential BSE in sheep. She has some awkward questions to answer over Defra's scientific policy.'
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Potential mad cows that entered food supply without being tested for BSE 2011: UK END OF YEAR REVIEW
Thursday, September 6, 2012
UK Breaches of BSE controls in consignments of beef 2011 communications missing four reports
ATYPICAL BSE AND SPORADIC CJD NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2012
Transmission of New Bovine Prion to Mice
Thierry G.M. Baron* , Anne-Gaëlle Biacabe*, Anna Bencsik*, and Jan P.M. Langeveld† Author affiliations: *Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments, Lyon, France; †Central Institute for Animal Disease Control, Lelystad, the Netherlands
We previously reported that cattle were affected by a prion disorder that differed from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) by showing distinct molecular features of disease-associated protease-resistant prion protein (PrPres). We show that intracerebral injection of such isolates into C57BL/6 mice produces a disease with preservation of PrPres molecular features distinct from BSE.
Conclusions Our data show that the recently identified bovine H-type isolates involve an infectious agent that can induce development of a disease across a species barrier, while maintaining the specific associated PrPres molecular signature. This evidence in favor of a new bovine prion strain in cattle suggests that BSE is not the only transmissible prion disease in cattle. The origin of such cases has not been determined (7). These cases suggest either the existence of alternative origins of such diseases in cattle or phenotypic changes of PrPres after infection with the BSE agent. However, based on analysis of molecular features of prion diseases in cattle, this situation is similar to that in humans (5), in which different subtypes of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease agents are found.
Dr Baron is head of the Unité Agents Transmissibles Non Conventionnels, Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments, in Lyon. His research focuses on diagnosis of prion diseases of ruminants and characterization of the disease-
associated prion protein and infectious agents, with particular emphasis on atypical forms of these diseases.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Transmission of New Bovine Prion to Mice, Atypical Scrapie, BSE, and Sporadic CJD, November-December 2012 update
SPORADIC CJD RISING IN MANY COUNTRIES, INCLUDING THE U.K. ??? ZOONOSIS ???
SEE STEADY RISE OF SPORADIC CJD IN THE U.K. WHERE IN 1990, IT WENT FROM 28 SPORADIC CJD CASES, TO 2011, WITH A RECORD HIGH OF 90 CASES OF SPORADIC CJD, THE MOST EVER DOCUMENTED IN ONE YEAR IN THE U.K. ...TSS
SEE STEADY RISE OF SPORADIC CJD IN THE U.S.A. WHERE IN 1996 AND BEFORE, THERE WERE 28 CASES OF SPORADIC CJD, TO 2010, WITH A RECORD HIGH OF 216 CASES OF SPORADIC CJD, THE MOST EVER DOCUMENTED IN ONE YEAR IN THE U.S.A., WITH 2011, COMING IN A CLOSE SECOND, AT 214 CASES OF SPORADIC CJD, AND STILL COUNTING. ALSO, MOST DISTURBING, IS THE TYPE DETERMINATION PENDING CLASSIFICATION OF CJD, WHICH I CALL cpsCJD, ON THE RISE AS WELL, AND OF COURSE, THE INFAMOUS VPSPr SPORADIC CJD, IS ALSO RISING, PLEASE SEE MORE BELOW ;
SEE ALSO CANADA WITH THE SAME SPORADIC TYPE CJD PROBLEMS, AND RISE THERE FROM ;
3. Final classification of 48 cases from 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 is pending.
Friday, November 23, 2012
sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease update As at 5th November 2012 UK, USA, AND CANADA
Alternatively, other yet unknown routes of transmission or genetic determinants must be considered. This said, H-type BSE might persist after eradication of C-type BSE. What are the implications of this scenario? Studies in mice provided experimental evidence that H-type BSE may shift its disease phenotype to that of C-type BSE (3) upon transmission. It has therefore been hypothesized that the C-type BSE epidemic originated from spontaneously occurring H-type BSE cases. If this was the case there would be a constant risk that C-type BSE re-emerges in the cattle population once the feed-ban is discontinued. Consequently, some measures of disease control would need to be maintained indefinitely. Since the standards for the determination of a countries’ BSE risk status currently do not differentiate between BSE subtypes (28), BSE risk assessments will certainly need to take such considerations into account. This highlights the need for continuing research into the relationship between classical and atypical BSE variants to provide the scientific basis for future disease surveillance and control policies.
Saturday, October 6, 2012
TRANSMISSION, DIFFERENTIATION, AND PATHOBIOLOGY OF TRANSMISSIBLE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHIES 2011 Annual Report
Subject: Atypical BSE (BASE) Transmitted from Asymptomatic Aging Cattle to a Primate
Atypical BSE (BASE) Transmitted from Asymptomatic Aging Cattle to a Primate
Emmanuel E. Comoy1*, Cristina Casalone2, Nathalie Lescoutra-Etchegaray1, Gianluigi Zanusso3, Sophie Freire1, Dominique Marcé1, Frédéric Auvré1, Marie-Magdeleine Ruchoux1, Sergio Ferrari3, Salvatore Monaco3, Nicole Salès4, Maria Caramelli2, Philippe Leboulch1,5, Paul Brown1, Corinne I. Lasmézas4, Jean-Philippe Deslys1
1 Institute of Emerging Diseases and Innovative Therapies, CEA, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France, 2 Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale del Piemonte, Turin, Italy, 3 Policlinico G.B. Rossi, Verona, Italy, 4 Scripps Florida, Jupiter, Florida, United States of America, 5 Genetics Division, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America
Human variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) results from foodborne transmission of prions from slaughtered cattle with classical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (cBSE). Atypical forms of BSE, which remain mostly asymptomatic in aging cattle, were recently identified at slaughterhouses throughout Europe and North America, raising a question about human susceptibility to these new prion strains.
Brain homogenates from cattle with classical BSE and atypical (BASE) infections were inoculated intracerebrally into cynomolgus monkeys (Macacca fascicularis), a non-human primate model previously demonstrated to be susceptible to the original strain of cBSE. The resulting diseases were compared in terms of clinical signs, histology and biochemistry of the abnormal prion protein (PrPres). The single monkey infected with BASE had a shorter survival, and a different clinical evolution, histopathology, and prion protein (PrPres) pattern than was observed for either classical BSE or vCJD-inoculated animals. Also, the biochemical signature of PrPres in the BASE-inoculated animal was found to have a higher proteinase K sensitivity of the octa-repeat region. We found the same biochemical signature in three of four human patients with sporadic CJD and an MM type 2 PrP genotype who lived in the same country as the infected bovine.
Our results point to a possibly higher degree of pathogenicity of BASE than classical BSE in primates and also raise a question about a possible link to one uncommon subset of cases of apparently sporadic CJD. Thus, despite the waning epidemic of classical BSE, *** the occurrence of atypical strains should temper the urge to relax measures currently in place to protect public health from accidental contamination by BSE-contaminated products.
Citation: Comoy EE, Casalone C, Lescoutra-Etchegaray N, Zanusso G, Freire S, et al. (2008) Atypical BSE (BASE) Transmitted from Asymptomatic Aging Cattle to a Primate. PLoS ONE 3(8): e3017. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003017
Editor: Neil Mabbott, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Received: April 24, 2008; Accepted: August 1, 2008; Published: August 20, 2008
Copyright: © 2008 Comoy et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Funding: This work has been supported by the Network of Excellence NeuroPrion.
Competing interests: CEA owns a patent covering the BSE diagnostic tests commercialized by the company Bio-Rad.
* E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
In summary, we have transmitted one atypical form of BSE (BASE) to a cynomolgus macaque monkey that had a shorter incubation period than monkeys infected with classical BSE, with distinctive clinical, neuropathological, and biochemical features; and have shown that the molecular biological signature resembled that seen in a comparatively uncommon subtype of sporadic CJD. We cannot yet say whether BASE is more pathogenic for primates (including humans) than cBSE, nor can we predict whether its molecular biological features represent a clue to one cause of apparently sporadic human CJD. However, the evidence presented here and by others justifies concern about a potential human health hazard from undetected atypical forms of BSE, and despite the waning epizoonosis of classical BSE, it would be premature to abandon the precautionary measures that have been so successful in reversing the impact of cBSE. We would instead urge a gradual, staged reduction that takes into account the evolving knowledge about atypical ruminant diseases, and both a permanent ban on the use of bovine central nervous system tissue for either animal or human use, and its destruction so as to eliminate any risk of environmental contamination.
Monday, July 9, 2012
Spread of Classic BSE Prions from the Gut via the Peripheral Nervous System to the Brain
Study Finds "Mad Cow Disease" in Cattle Can Spread Widely in Autonomic Nervous System before Detectable in the Central Nervous System
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Seven main threats for the future linked to prions
The TSE road map defining the evolution of European policy for protection against prion diseases is based on a certain numbers of hypotheses some of which may turn out to be erroneous. In particular, a form of BSE (called atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy), recently identified by systematic testing in aged cattle without clinical signs, may be the origin of classical BSE and thus potentially constitute a reservoir, which may be impossible to eradicate if a sporadic origin is confirmed. ***Also, a link is suspected between atypical BSE and some apparently sporadic cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. These atypical BSE cases constitute an unforeseen first threat that could sharply modify the European approach to prion diseases.
EFSA Journal 2011 The European Response to BSE: A Success Story
This is an interesting editorial about the Mad Cow Disease debacle, and it's ramifications that will continue to play out for decades to come ;
Monday, October 10, 2011
EFSA Journal 2011 The European Response to BSE: A Success Story
EFSA and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) recently delivered a scientific opinion on any possible epidemiological or molecular association between TSEs in animals and humans (EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) and ECDC, 2011). This opinion confirmed Classical BSE prions as the only TSE agents demonstrated to be zoonotic so far but the possibility that a small proportion of human cases so far classified as "sporadic" CJD are of zoonotic origin could not be excluded. Moreover, transmission experiments to non-human primates suggest that some TSE agents in addition to Classical BSE prions in cattle (namely L-type Atypical BSE, Classical BSE in sheep, transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) and chronic wasting disease (CWD) agents) might have zoonotic potential.
see follow-up here about North America BSE Mad Cow TSE prion risk factors, and the ever emerging strains of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy in many species here in the USA, including humans ;
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Are USDA assurances on mad cow case 'gross oversimplification'?
What irks many scientists is the USDA’s April 25 statement that the rare disease is “not generally associated with an animal consuming infected feed.”
The USDA’s conclusion is a “gross oversimplification,” said Dr. Paul Brown, one of the world’s experts on this type of disease who retired recently from the National Institutes of Health. "(The agency) has no foundation on which to base that statement.”
“We can’t say it’s not feed related,” agreed Dr. Linda Detwiler, an official with the USDA during the Clinton Administration now at Mississippi State.
In the May 1 email to me, USDA’s Cole backed off a bit. “No one knows the origins of atypical cases of BSE,” she said
The argument about feed is critical because if feed is the cause, not a spontaneous mutation, the California cow could be part of a larger outbreak.
Monday, August 6, 2012
TAFS BSE in USA August 6, 2012
BSE in USA
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Mad Cow Disease, BSE May 2, 2012 IOWA State University OIE
2009 UPDATE ON ALABAMA AND TEXAS MAD COWS 2005 and 2006
Comments on technical aspects of the risk assessment were then submitted to FSIS.
Comments were received from Food and Water Watch, Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT), Farm Sanctuary, R-CALF USA, Linda A Detwiler, and Terry S. Singeltary.
This document provides itemized replies to the public comments received on the 2005 updated Harvard BSE risk assessment. Please bear the following points in mind:
From: Terry S. Singeltary Sr. [email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, July 24, 2006 1:09 PM
To: FSIS RegulationsComments
Subject: [Docket No. FSIS-2006-0011] FSIS Harvard Risk Assessment of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
Page 1 of 98
FSIS, USDA, REPLY TO SINGELTARY
U.S.A. 50 STATE BSE MAD COW CONFERENCE CALL Jan. 9, 2001
2012 atypical L-type BSE BASE California reports
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Final Feed Investigation Summary - California BSE Case - July 2012
SUMMARY REPORT CALIFORNIA BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY CASE INVESTIGATION JULY 2012
Summary Report BSE 2012
Saturday, August 4, 2012
Update from APHIS Regarding Release of the Final Report on the BSE Epidemiological Investigation
CENSORSHIP IS A TERRIBLE THING $$$
Canada has had a COVER-UP policy of mad cow disease since about the 17th case OR 18th case of mad cow disease. AFTER THAT, all FOIA request were ignored $$$
THIS proves there is indeed an epidemic of mad cow disease in North America, and it has been covered up for years and years, if not for decades, and it’s getting worse $$$
Thursday, February 10, 2011
TRANSMISSIBLE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY REPORT UPDATE CANADA FEBRUARY 2011 and how to hide mad cow disease in Canada Current as of: 2011-01-31
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
REPORT ON THE INVESTIGATION OF THE SIXTEENTH CASE OF BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY (BSE) IN CANADA
Thursday, August 19, 2010
REPORT ON THE INVESTIGATION OF THE SEVENTEENTH CASE OF BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY (BSE) IN CANADA
Friday, March 4, 2011
Alberta dairy cow found with mad cow disease
Reasons for the New Regulation Order No. 23 (as well as amending Order No. 149) of the State Committee for Veterinary Medicine name BSE as the reason for new import requirement. The legal title for Order No. 23 is "On Urgent Measures Aimed at Prevention and Elimination of BSE and Other Prion Infections in Cattle”. Neither Order explains how the threat of introduction of BSE can be addressed through the inspection of producers of all products of animal origin including fish, dairy products, poultry and pork. It is not clear what other concerns are addressed through the proposed inspections. Formal Notification of Trading Partners On August 3rd, Ukraine's Notification and Enquiry Point issued a legal Notification G/SPS/N/UKR/3/Rev.1 found on the Official WTO Website (Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures)
Thursday, March 29, 2012
atypical Nor-98 Scrapie has spread from coast to coast in the USA 2012
NIAA Annual Conference April 11-14, 2011San Antonio, Texas
Monday, November 30, 2009
USDA AND OIE COLLABORATE TO EXCLUDE ATYPICAL SCRAPIE NOR-98 ANIMAL HEALTH CODE
ANY RELAXING OF ANY BSE TESTING RULES WOULD NOT BE BASED ON SOUND SCIENCE, BUT BASED ON INDUSTRY LED SCIENCE AND MONEY $$$
we now know that indeed atypical BSE is transmissible to cattle and other species, and atypical BSE have been documented in older cattle to date. so relaxing any BSE testing on older cattle would be a huge step backwards, and could risk everything that has been done over the past 27 years to try and eradicate BSE. ...