News

    USDA Confirms Case of Mad Cow Disease in California

    Two South Korean retailers have discontinued selling U.S.-imported beef after a new case of mad cow disease was discovered in the United States.

    John Clifford, the chief veterinary officer for the U.S. Agriculture Department, announced the discovery Tuesday.


    "The animal was a dairy cow from the state of California," said Clifford.  "Our laboratory confirmed the findings and also indicated that it was an atypical form of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) which is a rare form of the disease. It is not likely to be attributable to infected feed, which is the method in which normally BSE would be spread from from cow to cow."

    South Korean agricultural officials say they will step up inspections of U.S. beef imports in light of Tuesday's announcement, but says it will not suspend customs clearance of U.S. beef, which would have effectively halted the imports.

    Seoul imposed an import ban on U.S. beef after the initial discovery of mad cow disease.  It ended the ban in 2008 after reaching an agreement with Washington, an agreement which sparked several weeks of mass street protests.   South Korea imported 107,000 tons of beef in 2011.

    The discovery could have an impact on current negotiations between the U.S. and Japan over a trans-Pacific trade deal.  Tokyo also banned U.S. beef imports in 2003, but agreed in 2005 to limit the imports to cattle 20 months old or younger.

    Mad Cow Disease and Variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease

    • Mad Cow Disease is scientifically known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE.
    • It is a fatal degenerative disease that affects the central nervous system of cattle.
    • Scientists believe it is spread by feeding animals BSE-contaminated meat and bone meal.
    • Humans do not get BSE.
    • Data links eating BSE-contaminated cattle products with variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease in humans.
    • Since variant CJD was first reported in 1996, 244 patients from 11 countries have been identified with the brain-degenerating disease.

    Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimara told reporters Wednesday the discovery will have no bearing on the trade talks.

    "Basing our information on the scientific facts, the matter in question is completely separate. The BSE (mad cow disease) situation, with regards to the discussion surrounding TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), has absolutely no relationship. Please clearly understand this point," said Fujimara.

    Fujimara also said the government will not change its inspection process, since the infected cow was older than 30 months.  

    Clifford said at no time was human health at risk.  He said the affected cow was never meant to be slaughtered for meat and that milk does not transmit the disease.

    Clifford said longstanding safeguards by the United States and other countries to protect humans from mad cow disease are working.  He noted there were just 29 cases of the disease worldwide in 2011, dramatically down from the peak of more than 37,000 cases in 1992.

    Mad cow disease attacks the brains of affected cattle.  It is always fatal.  Doctors believe people can come down with a human form of the disease by eating tainted meat.

    Clifford said agriculture officials are sharing the laboratory results with the World Organization for Animal Health.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: William
    April 25, 2012 12:04 PM
    Hey Clem! Yes Clevis? Instead of throwing away all these here cow parts lets grind them up and add it to the cow feed so as we can maximize our profits.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora