Audit says USDA lost track of imported cattle Canada has reported 13 cases of mad cow
By Stephen J. Hedges Washington Bureau 2:07 AM CDT, July 23, 2008
WASHINGTON - Despite persistent fears of mad cow disease in Canadian beef, the Department of Agriculture has failed to properly track hundreds of Canadian cattle coming into the United States, the department's inspector general has concluded.
An audit, completed in March but only recently made public, said that some of the imported cattle did not have proper identification or health records despite federal regulations requiring them.
The audit did not say how many cattle were improperly brought into the U.S. and inspector general spokesman Paul Feeney said auditors are not sure of that number. The report said that a lack of records meant that "it cannot be determined" whether shipments other than those discovered "have bypassed inspection or whether this is a systemic problem."
About 1 million cattle were imported into the U.S. from Canada in the fiscal year ending in September 2006, the period covered by the audit.
The audit mainly faulted Agriculture's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service for failing to properly check records as the cattle crossed the Canadian border.
"APHIS does not adequately track live animal imports and, if problems are detected, does not collectively analyze import violations," the report said. "Additional controls are needed at northern ports-of-entry to obtain stronger assurance that all animal shipments are inspected."
Mad cow, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, is a disease that attacks a cow's nervous system. Medical researchers also believe that humans who eat meat infected with BSE can contract a variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which is fatal.
When mad cow was first discovered in Canada in 2003, the USDA cut off all Canadian cattle imports, as did many other countries.
But despite years of precautions, Canada continues to discover cases in which cows have BSE. In June, Canada discovered its 13th BSE case.
The U.S. also discovered a case of mad cow in late 2003. It was found in a Washington state dairy cow that had been imported from Canada. Two more U.S. cases of the disease have since been confirmed — one Texas-bred cow and one in Alabama whose origin is not known.
The American beef industry also suffered a financial setback after many countries banned U.S. beef.
The USDA began testing suspect cattle in 2004, and about 400,000 cattle a year were tested. But in 2006 top USDA officials argued that the risk of mad cow disease was minimal, and testing was scaled back to about 40,000 head a year. About 97 million head of cattle are in the U.S.
In 2005, the Agriculture Department began to allow imports of Canadian cattle, which are cheaper than U.S. cattle, in part because so many countries prohibited importing Canadian beef.
There were import restrictions, though. The USDA first allowed only Canadian cattle younger than 30 months old, since mad cow is believed to fully afflict only older cattle.
But in November the department also began to allow older cattle, arguing that no new mad cow cases have been discovered in the U.S. since 2006 and that safeguards were in place to minimize the risk.
Karen Eggert, an APHIS spokeswoman, said the audit covered a period in 2006, before older cattle were allowed into the U.S. She also said the agency has adhered strictly to a rule adopted in December 2004 that dictates strict conditions for the import of Canadian cattle.
Those conditions include health and identification procedures, sealed trucks, permanent markings on cattle and restrictions on their movement once in the U.S.
Eggert said that her agency disagrees with some of the audit's findings but that "other recommendations have provided us with sound ideas."
In one instance, the audit concluded, 211 cattle entered the U.S. without proper identification or health records.
In another, auditors found that 161 "animal shipments gained unauthorized entry into the United States during [fiscal years] 2005 and 2006." A typical cattle shipment contains about 60 animals.
The audit also found that 436 cattle and 9,000 hogs were sent to the U.S. for slaughter, but that their slaughter could not be verified.
Critics of the Agriculture Department's mad cow policies said the audit bolsters their call to ban imports. A cattle producers group, R-Calf USA, sued the agency over the rule that allows older cattle from Canada into the U.S. In a partial victory, a federal judge in South Dakota on July 3 ordered the agency to reconsider that rule.
R-Calf USA Chief Executive Bill Bullard said the audit is proof the USDA can't regulate the cross-border cattle trade.
"We know that Canada has an ongoing disease problem," Bullard said. "These rules that recently relaxed our import restrictions should be reversed until the agency can demonstrate that it has the capacity and the will to carry out its congressional mandate to protect consumers and the cattle producers against the introduction of disease."
Audit Report USDA’s Controls Over the Importation and Movement of Live Animals Report No. 50601-0012-Ch March 2008
USDA’s Controls Over the Importation and Movement of Live Animals
Results in Brief This report presents the results of our audit to evaluate the effectiveness of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) controls over the importation and movement of live animals. Under the authority of the Animal Health Protection Act, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) regulates the importation of live animals. During fiscal year (FY) 2006, over 20 million animals were brought into the United States.1 Over 99 percent of these animals were imported from Canada and Mexico. Shipments of live animals are met at the border by officials from the Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In accordance with a Memorandum of Agreement with APHIS, CBP refers live animal shipments to the APHIS port-of-entry veterinarian for inspection.2
APHIS port-of-entry veterinarians review import documentation3 and perform a visual inspection of the animals from outside the conveyance or by offloading the animals into pens and then inspecting them. If necessary,4 APHIS port-of-entry veterinarians secure the doors of the conveyance with official USDA seals.5 Different requirements exist for each species of imported animal, but most imported animals require a health certificate to enter the United States. A licensed veterinarian from the country of origin inspects the animals, then signs the health certificate certifying the health status of the animals and that U.S. import requirements are met. The certificate is then endorsed and sealed by a veterinary official from the country of origin. The most common certification is that the animal(s) to be imported were inspected and determined to be free of communicable disease.
APHIS works with the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) at designated slaughter establishments to ensure the proper handling of imported animals sent to slaughter. At each slaughter establishment, an FSIS veterinarian inspects the animals and verifies that the import documentation is complete and, if applicable, that the seals on the conveyance are present and unbroken. An FSIS official signs the import documents and returns a copy to
1 Source: APHIS’ Import Tracking System database.
2 Memorandum of Agreement signed by both Departments’ Secretaries on February 28, 2003.
3 Declaration for Importation; APHIS Form 17-29, Animals, Animal Semen, Animal Embryos, Birds, Poultry, or Hatching Eggs; and health certificates from the country of origin.
4 Veterinary Services Memorandum 591.15 Importation of Restricted Animals from Canada and Mexico for Immediate Slaughter, establishes procedures for the handling of untested (restricted) animals; 9 CFR Part 93, dated July 27, 2006, specifies import requirements by animal type, including pertinent testing requirements. For example, bovine entering the U.S. from Mexico do not require the use of seals when sent to a feedlot.
5 Certain shipments of live animals are required to have the conveyance doors secured with an official USDA seal to maintain the integrity over restricted movements; e.g., Canadian bovine or swine.
the APHIS port-of-entry, or area office, to confirm that the shipment was received.6 Our audit concluded that APHIS’ controls over live animal imports need to be strengthened to prevent, detect, and address the entry of live animals that do not meet import requirements. While APHIS relies on country of origin health certificates certifying the animal’s health condition, age, and/or other import requirements, it does not have adequate processes in place to follow up and determine whether individual problems detected represent a larger systemic noncompliance that needs to be addressed by agency inspection personnel or the country of origin. Import problems that are detected are generally handled locally and are not assessed from a program management perspective.
APHIS does not have effective systems or controls for approving and/or tracking live animals into the United States. We found animals entered the country without APHIS inspection. An internal APHIS review of ports-of-entry in September 2004, also disclosed that live animals bypassed inspection.7 APHIS relies on a manual process to account for and track the movement of animals from CBP to APHIS inspection at the border and to their final destination (e.g., feedlots, slaughter establishments). APHIS does not always reconcile or follow up on discrepancies in the number of animals arriving at their final destinations as compared to those approved for entry into the United States. Therefore, APHIS cannot always demonstrate that all restricted8 animals are slaughtered. Also, we found inadequate accountability over the inventory and issuance of official USDA seals used to secure the movement of restricted animals after inspection at the port-of-entry.
Homeland Security Presidential Directive 9 establishes a national policy to defend the agriculture and food system against terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies, which includes enhancing screening procedures for domestic and imported products. Because we believe these issues represent potential homeland security weaknesses, on May 1, 2007, we issued a Management Alert to both APHIS and FSIS during our fieldwork and made recommendations for immediate corrective action.
APHIS recognizes the need to develop automated controls over its live animal import process. It is developing the Veterinary Services Process Streamlining (VSPS) system, which is expected to replace existing manual, paper-oriented processes. VSPS is expected to provide a more comprehensive
6 Documents for animals imported for immediate slaughter are returned to the APHIS port-of-entry; documents for animal movements from approved feedlots to slaughter establishments are returned to the applicable APHIS area office.
7 APHIS conducted an internal Safeguarding Review of operations at 23 ports-of-entry in September 2004.
8 The term “restricted” refers to specific requirements imposed by APHIS to limit the movements of certain animals. For example, the movement of feeder bovine from Canada was restricted to one feedlot where the feeder bovine must remain until transported under seal to a slaughter establishment.
USDA/OIG-A/50601-0012-Ch Page iii
tool for animal tracking and disease analysis which, in turn, would allow APHIS to respond more quickly to any threats to animal health in the United States. However, the live animal import module of VSPS has already been delayed for more than 2 years due to other agency priorities, and it is not anticipated to be completed before September 2008. Until this system is fully implemented, interim actions need to be taken to strengthen controls and to track the movement of live animals into the United States.
In response to our Management Alert, APHIS officials stated that they are committed to ensuring all of APHIS’ regulatory controls are sufficient. They formed a working group of experts from APHIS and FSIS to examine import protocols, pre-import clearance requirements, procedures at ports-of-entry, and import controls at feedlots and slaughter facilities. On November 27, 2007, APHIS officials provided OIG with their report on the conclusions presented by the working group. Overall, the working group determined that most of the concerns OIG identified could be corrected
snip... see full text ;
don't these dummies know by now that the USA does not have any mad cow disease and or any human cjd ramifications from a mad cow, cause the USDA says so... NOT
there has been a decade old, systematic cover-up of corporate homicide just because of trade, futures and commodities. the elderly demented, your grandma and grandpa, mom and dad, sisters and brothers, are all expendable, due to the fact the American joe-cue-public is just to damn lazy to care. the elderly and demented are expendable. but mark my word here and now, it's here, and has been, call it what you like.....
10 people killed by new CJD-like disease
Public release date: 9-Jul-2008
Since Gambetti's team wrote a paper describing an initial 11 cases referred to his centre between 2002 and 2006 (Annals of Neurology, vol 63, p 697), another five have come to light. "So it is possible that it could be just the tip of the iceberg," Gambetti says.
sporadic CJD, the big lie
Thursday, July 10, 2008 A Novel Human Disease with Abnormal Prion Protein Sensitive to Protease update July 10, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008 A New Prionopathy update July 10, 2008
MAD COW DISEASE terminology UK c-BSE (typical), atypical BSE H or L, and or Italian L-BASE
Saturday, June 21, 2008 HUMAN and ANIMAL TSE Classifications i.e. mad cow disease and the UKBSEnvCJD only theory JUNE 2008
if you will notice on the forms page on the cjd foundation site, there is not cjd questionnaire ??? strange...
USA WRITTEN CJD QUESTIONNAIRE ???
why is a cjd questionnaire not listed on the cjd foundation 'forms' site with the rest of their forms ???
i thought they had one now going out to all families of victims of a human TSE???
this is very important that a _written_ cjd questionnaire, asking extensive questions pertaining to any potential route and source of the TSE agent be submitted to every family of a victim of a human TSE. this is key to finding cause. so why is this still so difficult? are the families of CJD victims getting these written cjd questionnaires??? i hope so....
2008 The statistical incidence of CJD cases in the United States has been revised to reflect that there is
_one case per 9000 in adults age 55 and older_.
Eighty-five percent of the cases are sporadic, meaning there is no known cause at present.
FDA FAILED US
Sunday, July 20, 2008 Red Cross told to fix blood collection or face charges 15 years after warnings issued, few changes made to ensure safety
we know how clusters are handled in NJ too. as long as the infamous UKBSEnvCJD only theory is in play, the CDC et al will play it out to the T. no other science will exist, and it does not matter that the last two mad cows in the USA were atypical BSE. as old stan said, nothing else matters, just the beef crossing the borders. just because science is now pointing to not only BSE to nvCJD, but atypical BSE looking like some sub types of sporadic CJD, atypical scrapie looking also like some sub types of sporadic CJD. CWD to humans as ? come on folks, how long can this same sad masquerade keep on playing out$$$
An Evaluation of a Suspected Cluster of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) in New Jersey May 2004 Division of Epidemiology, Environmental and Occupational Health
If consumption of BSE contaminated beef at the GSRT between 1988 and 1992 caused sporadic CJD, the data should show increases in the numbers of case-patients by now, assuming the same lag (incubation) period as vCJD.
The Case of the Cherry Hill Cluster By D.T. MAX
Published: March 28, 2004
-- the scientists who say it exists; the heartbroken family members who doubt it. Early, deep in his grief, he would sign his e-mail messages to scientists, ''I am the madson of a deadmom who died of madcow.'' Singeltary turned out to be helpful for Skarbek. He pointed her to a paper that was published in 2002 in the journal of the European Molecular Biology Organization by John Collinge, the premier prion researcher in England. Collinge argued that experiments conducted in mice suggest that infections with mad cow can sometimes look like sporadic C.J.D. Collinge accepted the implications: he recommended that ''serious consideration should be given'' to the idea that some of the more recent sporadic C.J.D. cases in Europe were in fact related to mad cow disease.
i hate to inform them, but sporadic CJD has increased. sporadic CJD in the USA went from 28 cases _documented_ in 1997, to 170 cases of sporadic CJD _documented_ in 2007. i'm not a math wiz, but looks like an increase to me. ...
6 Includes 55 cases with type determination pending in which the diagnosis of vCJD has been excluded.
hmmm, they can exclude vCJD, but yet include them as a prion disease, but yet not know what the hell it is, and at the same time, keep telling everyone i.e. media, that ;
>>>Further tests will be conducted to determine the cause of the Cape patient's illness, but state disease trackers said there is nothing to suggest that the patient's case is associated with mad cow disease. Instead, like virtually all cases in the United States, it is almost certainly not linked to any obvious external cause.<<<
stupid is, as stupid does, and joe-q-public continues to believe this garbage. ...TSS He added that because the CDC only provide information on diseases, they have no plans to make a separate press release on the issue including the result of the investigation. and that is the way they plan to keep it, all spontaneous, sporadic, no route, no source $$$
DEEP THROAT TO TSS 2000-2001 (take these old snips of emails with how ever many grains of salt you wish. ...tss)
The most frightening thing I have read all day is the report of Gambetti's finding of a new strain of sporadic cjd in young people...
Dear God, what in the name of all that is holy is that!!! If the US has different strains of scrapie.....why????than the UK...
then would the same mechanisms that make different strains of scrapie here make different strains of BSE...if the patterns are different in sheep and mice for scrapie.....could not the BSE be different in the cattle, in the mink, in the humans.......I really think the slides or tissues and everything from these young people with the new strain of sporadic cjd should be put up to be analyzed by many, many experts in cjd........bse.....scrapie Scrape the damn slide and put it into mice.....wait.....chop up the mouse brain and and spinal cord........put into some more mice.....dammit amplify the thing and start the damned research.....This is NOT rocket science...we need to use what we know and get off our butts and move....the whining about how long everything takes.....well it takes a whole lot longer if you whine for a year and then start the research!!!
Not sure where I read this but it was a recent press release or something like that: I thought I would fall out of my chair when I read about how there was no worry about infectivity from a histopath slide or tissues because they are preserved in formic acid, or formalin or formaldehyde.....for God's sake........ Ask any pathologist in the UK what the brain tissues in the formalin looks like after a year.......it is a big fat sponge...the agent continues to eat the brain ......you can't make slides anymore because the agent has never stopped........and the old slides that are stained with Hemolysin and Eosin......they get holier and holier and degenerate and continue...what you looked at 6 months ago is not there........Gambetti better be photographing every damned thing he is looking at.....
Okay, you need to know. You don't need to pass it on as nothing will come of it and there is not a damned thing anyone can do about it. Don't even hint at it as it will be denied and laughed at.......... USDA is gonna do as little as possible until there is actually a human case in the USA of the nvcjd........if you want to move this thing along and shake the earth....then we gotta get the victims families to make sure whoever is doing the autopsy is credible, trustworthy, and a saint with the courage of Joan of Arc........I am not kidding!!!! so, unless we get a human death from EXACTLY the same form with EXACTLY the same histopath lesions as seen in the UK nvcjd........forget any action........it is ALL gonna be sporadic!!!
And, if there is a case.......there is gonna be every effort to link it to international travel, international food, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. They will go so far as to find out if a sex partner had ever traveled to the UK/europe, etc. etc. .... It is gonna be a long, lonely, dangerous twisted journey to the truth. They have all the cards, all the money, and are willing to threaten and carry out those threats....and this may be their biggest downfall...
Thanks as always for your help. (Recently had a very startling revelation from a rather senior person in government here..........knocked me out of my chair........you must keep pushing. If I was a power person....I would be demanding that there be a least a million bovine tested as soon as possible and agressively seeking this disease. The big players are coming out of the woodwork as there is money to be made!!! In short: "FIRE AT WILL"!!! for the very dumb....who's "will"! "Will be the burden to bare if there is any coverup!"
again it was said years ago and it should be taken seriously....BSE will NEVER be found in the US! As for the BSE conference call...I think you did a great service to freedom of information and making some people feign integrity...I find it scary to see that most of the "experts" are employed by the federal government or are supported on the "teat" of federal funds. A scary picture! I hope there is a confidential panel organized by the new government to really investigate this thing.
You need to watch your back........but keep picking at them.......like a buzzard to the bone...you just may get to the truth!!! (You probably have more support than you know. Too many people are afraid to show you or let anyone else know. I have heard a few things myself... you ask the questions that everyone else is too afraid to ask.)
Monday, July 21, 2008 Massachusetts patient tested for mad cow disease Sunday, July 20, 2008 8:33 PM
Monday, July 21, 2008 Officials await tests on man for human Mad Cow Disease (Texas)
CJD TEXAS (cjd clusters)
BSE BASE MAD COW TESTING TEXAS, USA, AND CANADA
Terry S. Singeltary Sr. P.O. Box 42 Bacliff, Texas USA 77518