The Agriculture Department says a new case of mad cow disease has surfaced in a dairy cow in California, but the animal was not bound for the nation's food supply and posed no danger.
An official says the cow from central California did not enter the human food chain and that U.S. meat and dairy supplies are safe. It's the fourth such cow discovered in the United States since the government began inspecting for the disease to keep the food supply safe.
There was no immediate word when the disease was discovered or exactly where the cow was raised. He said the cow was at a rendering plant in Central California when the case was discovered through regular USDA sample testing.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says the system for detecting unhealthy animals before they enter the food supply worked.
"First of all, this is only the fourth case reported worldwide and we've seen a substantial reduction in the number of cases and we've taken steps to notify our Canadian and Mexican partners in North America and we've also taken a look at a top 20 trading partners reassuring them that this is the way the system is supposed to work. We're supposed to identify these circumstances and make sure that they don't get into the food supply," said Vilsack.
Mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), can be fatal to humans who eat tainted beef. The World Health Organization has said that tests show that humans cannot be infected by drinking milk from BSE-infected animals.
The official says the California cow is unusual in that it didn't get the disease from eating infected cattle feed.
Cindy Berner-Schlichte is spearheading an effort to collect goods to bring to those in need, people who lost everything in the path of destruction. She's filling horse trailers with diapers, water,More >>
Cindy Berner-Schlichte is spearheading an effort to collect goods to bring to those in need, people who lost everything in the path of destruction. She's filling horse trailers with diapers, water, snacks, and tools that can be used to cleanup debris.More >>
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Kathy Clayton at (712) 239-4100 x209. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.