Cattle Update:  Former U.S. Vet Alleges USDA BSE Cover-Up

 

  

(Note: The title would be far more effective if it said, accurately, Former USDA Inspector. Just describing Lester Friedlander as a vet diminishes his concerns. He spent ten years working for the USDA and knows, intimately, its 'skeletons in the closet'. Everything that's in bold red is done that way to show the Language Deception. Note that "regional trade" is bandied about boldly: this means trade without borders, which erases U.S. sovereignty. World Organization for Animal Health -- OIE -- guidelines do not meet the standards for which America has been famous. Keep in mind that many cases of bovine-to-human fatal illness have happened in the "European Union" as you read on and see it referenced. "...some products should not be traded from any region affected by BSE" -- which means that Canada, the U.S. and Mexico all suffer when one of them is found to have a problem. Do you want this to happen? "Determination of the BSE risk status of the bovine animal population of a country or a zone based on four parts: release assessment; exposure assessment; consequence assessment; and risk extermination." RISK EXTERMINATION should bring to mind the slaughter of millions of animals in Great Britain, whether any members of particular herds had TESTED positive or not. RISK EXTERMINATION is a HUGE, VERY DANGEROUS RED FLAG to watch. "Assessment" carries limited, if any, accountability, so if "assessments" are faulty, do these three individuals from three countries get to shrug their collective shoulders and say, "Oops"? Not only is "the region" dangerous for many reasons, but also the choice of "a country OR a zone" erases sovereignty as surely as it erases sovereign borders. Everything should not be on the block as a "trade" for "global" economic "interests.")
 

April 8, 2005

 

 

(no author provided at originating website)

 

Dow Jones

 

Dr. Lester Friedlander. Photo credit: Chris Schwarz, The Journal.

http://a123.g.akamai.net/f/123/12465/1d/media.canada.com/idl/edjn/20050407/114358-37262.jpg

 

 

Winnipeg, Ontario, Canada - A former American government packing plant veterinarian claims the United States government is hiding cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, according to a story that ran in the Thursday edition of the Edmonton Journal newspaper.<?xml:namespace prefix = o />

    

Dr. Lester Friedlander, in Edmonton, Alberta for a speaking engagement for a group called the Edmonton Friends of the North Environmental Society, said that colleagues with the United States Department of Agriculture have told him of cases that the USDA has chosen not to announce.

    

U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesman Ed Loyd rejected Friedlander's assertion that USDA was hiding cases of BSE.

   

"We have done everything to be completely transparent with our BSE surveillance program," Loyd said in a separate Dow Jones interview.

    

Friedlander, who has been invited to speak to Parliament's agriculture committee next week on proposed changes to Canadian inspection legislation, refused to give details, the Edmonton Journal story said, noting that the USDA employees were close to retirement and risk losing their pensions.

    

Friedlander in the story said it's not credible that the USDA has found just one BSE case and only in a cow that entered the United States from Alberta rather than being raised in the U.S.

    

"You've found four cases (including a cow from Alberta discovered in Washington state with the disease) out of 12 million cattle and the United States has found none out of 120 million," Friedlander said in the Edmonton Journal story.

    

Loyd and other USDA officials told Dow Jones Newswires separately they have said they expected to find additional cases of BSE during testing for the disease.

    

The first and only case of BSE reported by USDA was announced in December 2003, Loyd said.

   

The Edmonton Journal story noted that Friedlander was in charge of meat inspectors at the largest U.S. culled-cow packing plant, in Pennsylvania, until 1995. He lost his job for, in his words, "doing too good a job."

    

The USDA's record looks worse than the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's, but Canada needs a new "consumer" agency to oversee packing plant inspections, he said in the story.

    

Marc Richard, speaking from Ottawa for the CFIA, in the Edmonton Journal story said the agency enforces rules set by Parliament and does its job well. He said it reports to Agriculture Minister Andrew Mitchell and a replacement government agency would have to do the same.

 

 

Copyright 2005, CattleNetwork.com.

 

 

http://www.cattlenetwork.com/content.asp?contentid=4464

 

 

 

 

Related reading:

 

 

Former meat inspector campaigns against slaughterhouse practices

"I'm not here to scare you. I'm here to tell you the truth and it's up to you what you decide to do with that information." - Dr. Lester Friedlander. Excerpt from article: He worked for the agriculture department from 1985 to 1995, but was fired because he says he "was doing too good of a job" at protecting the consumer. Since then, he's been speaking across North America campaigning against the department's practices.

January 14, 2005

http://novanewsnet.ukings.ns.ca/nova_news_3588_3730.html

 

U.S. denies hiding BSE positives

http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/EdmontonSun/News/2005/04/08/987717-sun.html

 

U.S. mad cow coverup alleged

http://www.canada.com/edmonton/edmontonjournal/news/cityplus/story.html?id=ac6

26610-a801-4e81-9ba1-71bf85d17c26

 

USDA denies allegation it's hiding BSE cases

http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-national.cfm?Id=374&yr=2005

 

USMEF: Opening of Taiwan Market to U.S. Beef Encouraging

(Note: USMEF - The U.S. Meat Export Federation)

"USDA announced April 7 that Taiwan will open its border April 16 [2005] to U.S. boneless beef from animals under 30 months of age. The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) says the reopening ends a 15-month ban initiated in December 2003 when a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was discovered in a Canadian-born dairy cow in Washington State."

http://www.agweb.com/get_article.asp?pageid=116811

 

U.S., Canada, Mexico Set Common Strategy for Mad Cow Disease

 

 

 

April 9, 2005

 

(no author at originating website)

 

High Plains Journal

 

P.O. Box 760

 

Dodge City, KS 67801

 

800-452-7171

 

Fax: 620-227-7173

 

http://www.hpj.com

 

To submit a Letter to the Editor: hmartin@hpj.com

 

Omaha, Nebraska - The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that Canada, Mexico and the United States have established a harmonized approach to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) risk mitigation to more effectively address any BSE risk in North America.

This science-based framework of risk-management measures for BSE has been developed with the objective to help normalize trade in ruminants and ruminant products within North America and to promote an international BSE strategy consistent with World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines.

The strategy also represents the integrated North American approach that will be presented to the OIE as part of any further discussions to promote international harmonization of BSE risk-mitigation measures through the OIE.

The minimum standards defined in the report have not been codified throughout North America. Rather, they will be considered by the appropriate animal health and public health officials in each country through their respective regulatory processes. These recommendations do not change the requirements in place for products currently being traded.

http://www.hpj.com/dtnnewstable.cfm?type=story&sid=13963

 

 

Meat industry wants to kill country-of-origin label rule

http://www.hillnews.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/TheExecutive/040705.html

 

U.S., Canada, Mexico agree to harmonize BSE strategy

http://www.agriculture.com/ag/story.jhtml?storyid=/templatedata/ag/story/data/agNews_

050404crBSE.xml&catref=ag1001

 

Canada, Mexico And United States Release Harmonized North American BSE Strategy

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/issues/bse/bse.html

 

 

 

Report of the North American Chief Veterinary Officers (CVI) on Harmonization of a BSE Strategy

 

(4-page pdf, retyped here)

 

Summary

 

 

April 1, 2005

 

Source: Main APHIS/BSE website: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/issues/bse/bse.html

 

The Senior Animal Health Officials of Mexico, Canada and the United States met in Mexico City on March 17th 2005, to conclude discussions on the establishment of common minimum standards for measures to effectively manage the risk of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in North America. The conclusions reached built on previous meetings that included representatives of the appropriate public health agencies.

 

These meetings were held to allow the Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs) to develop a science based framework, with the goal of normalizing trade in ruminants and ruminant products within the region and to promote an international BSE strategy consistent with the OIE chapter on BSE.

 

It is the view of the CVOs that the establishment and implementation of equivalent BSE measures in each country will protect public and animal health and provide for the restoration of safe trade.

 

Minimum Standards

 

As a result of these meetings, the CVOs have developed a set of minimum standards for BSE measures in North America. These minimum standards will be presented to the appropriate animal health and public health officials in each country for consideration within the respective regulatory processes, and therefore should be considered pre-decisional. The document does not change requirements for products currently being traded.

 

Specified Risk Materials (SRMs): For export purposes of food for human consumption, the following tissues are considered SRMs, which are not allowed in food for human consumption: brain, skull, eyes, trigeminal ganglia, spinal cord, vertebral column, and dorsal root ganglia from cattle over 30 months of age; and tonsils and distal ileum from cattle of any age. SRM removal must be performed in a manner that minimizes the contamination of edible tissues.

 

Non-ambulatory Disabled Cattle: The slaughter for human consumption of non-ambulatory disabled cattle for export is prohibited.

 

Currently, both Mexico and Canada have implemented policies prohibiting the slaughter of non-ambulatory disabled cattle for plants exporting to the United States.

 

The United States [BSE] policy is to condemn all cattle that are non-ambulatory or disabled when presented for slaughter.

 

The CVOs noted that downers may be excluded from slaughter for reasons not related to BSE. For example, Canada is currently developing regulations that would prohibit the transport of disabled animals because of welfare concerns. Additionally, they recognized that alternative measures may provide equivalent protection against BSE. For example, a very young animal (e.g., a veal calf) that is disabled is not likely to be infected with the BSE agent. Likewise, a veterinarian could determine that an older animal has become disabled for an apparent reason, such as an injury during transport to slaughter, that is not consistent with BSE signs. Finally, non-ambulatory animals that are tested with negative result (sic) for BSE are not excluded from the food chain in the European Union or Japan.

 

Stunning: The use of pithing (laceration, after stunning, of central nervous tissue by means of an elongated rod-shaped instrument inserted into the cranial cavity) and air-injection stunning, are prohibited.

 

Mechanical Meat Separation Processes: Appropriate process controls are in place to ensure that products derived from mechanical meat harvesting processes are consistent with SRM exclusion requirements. For example, the mechanical harvesting of meat from the skull and vertebral column of cattle over 30 months of age is prohibited.

 

Import Controls: Import requirements must recognize that specified products, such as milk, semen, and embryos, can be safely trade (sic) regardless of the BSE risk status of the exporting region, while some products should not be traded from any region affected by BSE. For other products, import measures should be based on the relative risk of the exporting region and the relative risk of the product intended for import.

 

Surveillance: The CVOs reiterated that surveillance focused on the high-risk cattle population is the most effective way to detect BSE, if present. An active, targeted surveillance program is in place to detect BSE, focusing on the total adult cattle population of the region. The current surveillance programs will fully consider any adjustments adopted by the OIE in May of 2005, as well as results from current ongoing surveillance programs.

 

Ruminant Feed Restrictions: The achievement of effective feed restriction to preclude the amplification or dissemination of the BSE agent, which encompasses the exclusion of ruminant protein (excluding milk and milk products), avoidance of cross-contamination, and the conducting of verification activities.

 

Animal Identification System: Adequate animal identification is present to ensure the integrity of the surveillance sampling program and successful epidemiological traceback (particularly the ability to trace an animal back to its birth herd or to any subsequent point of exposure). The compatibility of identification systems within the region must be considered as the national systems are developed.

 

Risk Assessment: Determination of the BSE risk status of the bovine animal population of a country or a zone based on four parts: release assessment; exposure assessment; consequence assessment; and risk extermination.

 

 

Trade within North America

 

The CVOs also considered which products could safely be traded within the region with these minimum  standards in place. While the long-term goal is to bring trade conditions for ruminants and ruminant products into line with the provisions of the OIE Code, the CVOs recognized that conditions for regional trade should be established in the shorter term, while the minimum standards are being put in place.

 

Beef and Offal (includes edible and inedible offal):

 

Trade in beef (boneless and bone-in) and both edible and inedible offal (tissues excluding SRMs) from animals of any age could safely occur given the implementation of effective measures to safeguard public and animal health. The removal of SRMs is the appropriate measure to protect public health, and effective ruminant feed restrictions provide protection against exposure of (sic; should be "to") susceptible animals.

 

Live Cattle:

 

The implementation of the minimum standards within North America is also relevant to trade in live cattle within the region. The ability to trace and maintain the identity of animals as they move within the region is a key factor. The CVOs agreed that the minimum standards, especially SRM removal and feed restrictions, provided adequate protection to permit the trade of live cattle (both for immediate slaughter and for feeding). Trade in breeding cattle would be permitted for those animals born after the effective implementation of the feed ban and which can be traced for the herd of origin.

 

Other live ruminants and their meat and products:

 

Movement of other ruminants and their derived products (except meat and bone meal from such animals) would not be restricted on account of BSE. As applicable, requirements for live ruminants based on other TSE control programs will be applied.

 

Camelids and Cervids and their meat and products:

 

Movement of camelids and cervids and their products would not be restricted on account of BSE.

 

From cattle of any age, tonsil and distal ileum, and any commodity containing them, should not be traded for the preparation of food, feed, fertilizers, cosmetics, [or] pharmaceuticals, including biologicals or medical devises (sic). In addition, from cattle that were 30 months of age or older a (sic) the time of slaughter, brains, eyes, spinal cord, skull, vertebral column, and derived protein products should not be traded for the preparation of food, feed, fertilizers, cosmetics, [or] pharmaceuticals, including biologicals or medical devises (sic).

 

*Blood and blood products, from cattle which were not subjected to a stunning process, prior to slaughter, which a device injecting compresses air or gas into the cranial cavity, or to a pithing process.

 

*The eligibility for trade will be further considered by the animal health and public health authorities following the determination adopted by the OIE in May 2005.

 

Veterinary Biologics:

 

Biologicals produced for use in any species are not made from bovine SRMs, or have been subject to an individual risk assessment.

 

Pet Food:

 

In the absence of an OIE standard for pet food, bovine origin pet food may be traded based on a risk assessment conducted by the importing country. Pet food of non-bovine origin can be safely traded if verification assurances can be provided by the exporting country.

 

Protein-free tallow and derivatives made from this tallow:

 

Allow the unrestricted importation and/or transit of protein-free tallow and derivatives (maximum level of insoluble impurities of 0.15 percent in weight). Import and/or transit conditions may require documentation demonstrating that the tallow contains a maximum level of insoluble impurities of 0.15 percent.

 

Signatories:

 

Mexico [no signature]

MVZ Jose Angel del Valle Molina, Director General de Salud Animal

SAGARPA-SENASICA

 

[signature]

United States of America

W. Ron DeHaven, DVM

Administrator

USDA, APHIS

 

[signature]

Canada

Dr. Brian R. Evans

Chief Veterinary Officer of Canada, CFIA.

 

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/issues/bse/04-01-05na_bse_harmonization.pdf

 

SAGARPA (Mexican Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Food and Fisheries)

 

SENASICA (The National Heath, Safety and Food Quality Service of Mexico)

 

Ron DeHaven
Deputy Administrator
USDA-APHIS
4700 River Rd, Unit 84
Riverdale, MD 20737

301-734-4980
Fax: 301-734-4978
Ron.DeHaven@usda.gov

 

CFIA - Canadian Food Inspection Agency

 

Results of a www.Google search using the following search string:

1 - 10 of about 19 for "Ron DeHaven" "Zoellick" "region" zone.

 

"If it was up to me, I'd probably condemn all downers, because I wouldn't want to take the chance of my family eating it," Dr. Lester Friedlander, former USDA veterinarian. October 21, 2002. Source: http://www.seattleinsider.com/partners/kirotv/specialreports/downers.html

 

Dr. Lester Friedlander

P.O. Box 534

Wyalusing, Pennsylvania 18853

iamlfbadvm@aol.com

570-746-3072

Fax: 570-746-1386

 

http://www.aehf.com/articles/2003Symp.htm