US feed ban politically motivated

April 29, 2008

The FDA on Friday published a final rule in the Federal Register that expands the ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban. The major U.S. safeguards against mad cow disease are the feed ban, a prohibition against slaughtering most “downer” cattle — animals too sick to walk on their own — for human food, and a requirement for meatpackers to remove from carcasses the brains, spinal cords and other parts most likely to contain the malformed proteins blamed for the disease.

The changes to the feed ban were originally proposed in 2005. What ultimately spurred adoption of this final rule, however, is that South Korean officials insisted on it before agreeing last week to re-open their market to virtually all U.S. beef of any age.

Some cattle groups have blasted the new rule claiming the tightened feed ban implemented by Canada last year is more stringent than the newly strengthened U.S. feed ban and called the new rule “politically motivated.”

The new rule takes effect in April, 2009.

To read the complete FDA final rule go to : http://www.fda.gov/OHRMS/DOCKETS/98fr/08-1180.htm

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