FACT Applauds the FDA on its New Steps to Control Mad Cow Disease in Animal Feed and Calls for Full FDA Enforcement

Jan 26, 2004, 00:00 ET from Food Animal Concerns Trust

    CHICAGO, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- FACT applauds the FDA for steps announced
 today to control the spread of Mad Cow in animal feed, including its decision
 to ban cow blood, poultry litter and plate waste from cattle feed, and to
 require feed mills and rendering plants to have dedicated facilities for
 processing feed containing cattle protein.  FACT also supports the FDA
 decision to step up its inspections of feed mills and rendering plants, but
 questions the agency's performance regarding enforcement of the current feed
 ban, where violators often receive only warning letters.  "The proposed steps
 to further protect human and animal health are important, but increased
 inspections mean little if full enforcement with stringent penalties do not
 follow," stated Richard Wood, FACT's Executive Director.
     Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) is the Chicago based consumer group that
 has consistently called for reforms in the FDA ruminant feed ban, and that
 helped develop federal responses to Mad Cow when the disease was determined to
 be a threat to human health in the mid-1990's.
     The new steps proposed by FDA address a loophole in the current rule that
 may allow ruminant protein to be fed back to cattle, although indirectly.
 Ruminant protein is allowed to be used in poultry and pig feed, as they are
 not believed to be susceptible to Mad Cow.  And yet, chicken manure is fed to
 cattle in some regions where both the poultry and cattle industries are
 strong.  In the state of California alone, up to 80,000 tons of poultry manure
 is fed to cattle each year.  Cattle could be infected by poultry manure either
 through feed that is spilled into the litter or through infected proteins that
 pass through the chicken's digestive tract.  In addition, the FDA has allowed
 feeding cattle blood to other cattle as a protein source.  Blood has been
 shown experimentally to carry and to cause Mad Cow infection.  The new FDA
 rule would eliminate chicken manure, cattle blood and plate waste from cattle
     The new FDA rule will also require separate facilities for processing feed
 for non-ruminant animals if the feed contains ruminant protein.  FACT has long
 advocated for dedicated facilities for preparing feed.  Without this
 requirement, plants could prepare feed for cattle, pigs and chickens in the
 same bin.  If there is some corner cutting on clean-out, cattle could end up
 being infected.  FACT supports this new requirement.
     FACT is a not-for-profit that advocates for farming practices that improve
 the safety of meat, milk and eggs.

SOURCE Food Animal Concerns Trust