Prion Disease: 48 cases a year of nvCJD
Mad Cow Home ... Best Links

Rapidly rising death toll from human BSE
BSE Inquiry report criticises ex-Tory ministers
BSE offals used in cosmetics, toiletry industry
40,000 human heart valves a year from BSE herds
Canada bars blood from visitors to France
BusinessWeek blames imports for bio-invasions
USDA weakens rules for salmonella in school lunch beef
US: feces, vomit on raw meat a growing risk
Vermont: Senator Leahy claims Belgium covering up sheep
France: three new cases of mad cow disease discovered

Rapidly rising death toll from human BSE

The Guardian James Meikle Tuesday September 5, 2000
Special report: what's wrong with our food?
Opinion (webmaster): The best way to follow nvCJD statistics is to compare successive monthly data releases [see below or conveniently at UK DoH ], which in effect gives new onsets. One sees that 12 new cases have appeared in the last 3 months, that is 4 in June, 5 in July, and 3 in August.

This annualizes to 48 nvCJD case onsets per year, a veritable explosion in the case rate considering the caseload was running 14 a year. Indeed, 36 new cases have been reported in the last 12 months.

The press does not report this, even though it is readily available official government data. Rather, an increase from 14 deaths a year to 48 is called a 25% increase, not 343%. The former is a cause for concern, the latter for alarm.

Nothing will be done. The cashiered head of MAFF (Richard Packer, 55) was just given a 400,000 pound retirement package. MAFF just spent 7 million pounds of public money on lawyers to keep the Inquiry from posting documents in part reproduced below, far more than spent on total TSE research. Ministers are to be scolded by the Inquiry for not being sufficiently adamant.

Let's face it, the numbers are still too low compared to the Concorde, the submarine, or Firestone tires to need more than a public relations exercise. The USDA has 600 deaths and 1,400,000 illnesses a year from beef salmonella and they are too cheap to even clean up the school lunch program.

"Nineteen people have died from the human form of BSE in Britain this year, already making it the worst year since the outbreak started in May 1995.

Four victims died last month, and another eight are suspected of having the incurable disease, formally known as vCJD. The death toll now stands at 74. [or 82 counting 8 confirmed cases still alive or 85 counting confirmed cases in France and Ireland -- webmaster]

The increase apparently confirms a rapid acceleration in the disease which experts believe has been growing at 20-30% each year, although its spread has been disguised by the time from victims first showing symptoms to their deaths varying from seven months to more than three years.

It is not known how long the victims were incubating the disease before symptoms were noted, although most were presumed to have been infected by cheap cuts from cattle before parts of the animals thought most risky to human health were banned from food in late 1989.

However, the BSE inquiry due to report next month is expected to criticise both government officials and ministers for not taking the threat seriously enough and ensuring that measures were not flouted in the years before the probable link between early deaths and cheap meat was established in March 1996.

Scientific advisers will this month consider whether extra controls to protect food and prevent accidental transmission of the condition through surgical operations are needed. Research published last month indicated that both BSE and nvCJD may be highly infectious even when unknowing carriers of the disease display no outward signs. Three people died from vCJD in 1995, 10 in both 1996 and 1997, 18 in 1998 and 14 in 1999."

Monthly Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease Statistics

Department Of Heatlh   2000/0494 
Tuesday 5th September 2000 
The Department of Health is today issuing the latest information about the numbers of known cases of Creutzfeldt Jakob disease. The position on variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (vCJD) - the form of the disease thought to be linked to BSE - is as follows:

Table columns: year, # referrals, sporadic CJD, iatrogenic CJD, familial CJD, GSS, nvCJD still alive, nvCJD deaths, total nvCJD deaths, total prion disease deaths. See earlier article for graph of onsets and earlier DoH releases.

 1985        26     1       1       0     -      -      -       28   
 1986        26     0       0       0     -      -      -       26   
 1987        23     0       0       1     -      -      -       24   
 1988        22     1       1       0     -      -      -       24   
 1989        28     2       2       0     -      -      -       32   
 1990 53     28     5       0       0     -      -      -       33   
 1991 75     32     1       3       0     -      -      -       36   
 1992 96     43     2       5       1     -      -      -       51   
 1993 78     38     4       2       2     -      -      -       46   
 1994 116    51     1       4       3     -      -      -       59   
 1995 87     35     4       2       3     -      -      3       47   
 1996 134    40     4       2       4     -      -      10      60   
 1997 161    59     6       4       1     -      -      10      80   
 1998 154    63     3       3       1     -      -      18      88   
 1999 169    61     6       2       0     -      -      14      83   
 2000 128    25     0       0       0     8      5      14      52   

 To 4 September 2000. Total number of definite and probable cases of nvCJD = 82.

 * including 6 probable deaths from vCJD where neuropathological 
 confirmation will never be possible.

 The next table will be published on Monday 2 October 2000.
2000 128    25     0       0       0     8      5      14      52   
To 4 September 2000. Total number of definite and probable cases of nvCJD = 82.

Referals Sporadic Iatrogenic Familial  GSS  nvCJDprob  nvCJDpm confirm Total
113         15        0         0       0     9        4       11      39
To 4 August 2000. Total number of definite and probable cases of nvCJD = 79. 
101         12        0          0      0     7     3        9      31  
To 30 June 2000. Total number of definite and probable cases of nvCJD = 74. 

* To 2 June 2000. [May statistics]
 Total number of definite and probable cases of nvCJD = 70.

* To 28 April 2000. Total number of definite and probable cases of vCJD = 68. 
  including 3 historic probable deaths from vCJD where neuropathological confirmation will never be possible.

* To 30 March 2000. Total number of definite and probable cases of vCJD = 67. 
  including 2 historic probable deaths from vCJD without neuropathological confirmation. 

* To 31 January 2000. Total number of definite and probable cases of vCJD = 52. 
[This month and earlier ones did not report confirmed cases still alive. -- webmaster]

* To 31 December 1999. Total number of definite and probable cases of vCJD = 52 (which includes one case who died
 January 2000). 

* To 30 November 1999. Total number of definite and probable cases of vCJD = 49 

* To 31 October 1999. Total number of definite and probable cases of vCJD = 48 

* To 30 September 1999. Total number of definite and probable cases of vCJD = 47 

* To 31 August 1999. Total number of definite and probable cases of vCJD = 46 (includes case died after August). 

* To 31 July 1999. Total number of definite and probable cases of vCJD = 43 (includes case died in July 1999). 

* To 30 June 1999. Total number of definite and probable cases of vCJD = 43 (includes case died in July 1999). 

* To 31 May 1999. Total number of definite and probable cases of nvCJD = 42.

* To 30 April 1999. Total number of definite and probable cases of nvCJD = 40.

BSE Inquiry report criticises ex-Tory ministers

Sat, Sep 2, 2000 PA News
Conservative former ministers and Whitehall officials face strong criticism in the official report into the BSE crisis, it was reported tonight. The inquiry chairman Lord Phillips is believed to have notified several former health and agriculture ministers that they are facing criticism in the 13-volume report he is to publish in a few weeks.

Reports in several Sunday newspapers suggested the former ministers would be taken to task for being "too adamant" in their assurances that British beef was safe, and for failing to react swiftly enough to scientists' findings that the disease could spread to humans. Scientists first suspected that there was a risk to humans eating BSE-infected offal in the mid-80s, but it was not until March 1996 that Tory ministers admitted that there was a danger to the public.

But the ex-ministers could come off lightly compared with senior civil servants who ran the two departments as the decade-long saga unfolded.

Lord Phillips' two-year inquiry is said to have concluded that too much importance was attached to the interests of the livestock industry, and not enough to those of consumers. The BSE affair led to a worldwide ban on British beef exports which is estimated to have cost the taxpayer 4.6 billion.

Comment (webmaster): It is unclear why the judge released the findings prior to publication. What purpose is served anyway with polite criticism (1, 2) of long-departed political figures and retired civil servants? Keith Meldrin, who masterminded the coverup within MAFF for 10 years, also receives a wrist-slap for a leading role in 82 human deaths. His successor at MAFF who continued these abominable policies was forced into retirement this year but given a handsome 400,000 pound retirement package. MAFF itself has spent 7 million pounds of public money on lawyers even and successfully fought the Inquiry practise of publishing fulltext of government memos on the Internet.

However, these documents can still be obtained in print form. Terry S. Singeltary Sr. of Bacliff, Texas, has obtained many of the documents alluded to in the Inquiry but never released. These have been optically character read into electronic form and distributed to the German BSE listserve archive as well as to this web site:

BSE offals used in cosmetics, toiletry and perfume industry

Sun, 3 Sep 2000.  Unpublished Inquiry documents obtained by CJD activist Terry S. Singeltary Sr. of Bacliff, Texas
Miss Marion Kelly
Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association
35 Dover Street London W1X3RA

Department of Trade and Industry
10-18 Victoria Street
London SW1H ONN
Enquiries 01-215 5000 Telex 8811074 DTHQ G  01 215 3324 1 February 1990
Dear Marion

As you know there is no record of bovine spongiform encepalopathy crossing to humans, but we need to take precautions to avoid any risk.

There a number of cosmetric products on sale in the United Kingdom such as anti-ageing creams that contain extracts of bovine offal, primarily from spleen and thymus. [Two of the highest risk tissues. Note the epidemic has been raging for 4 years by the time of the non-binding voluntary suggestions here. -- webmaster]

The purpose of this letter is to ask you to ask your members to eliminate any risk by reformulating such products to eliminate these extracts, or alternatively to use material derived from cattle reared outside the UK, Eire or the Channel Islands. [Eire, Channel Islands, and many other countries were thoroughly infected by then -- webmaster]

Please let me know if you have any trouble persuading your members to do so.

Yours sincerely



BSE110/1 0080


1 February 1990

Mr R Roscoe
Consumer Affairs
Department of Trade and Industry
10-18 Victoria Street
London SW1

Dear Richard

I am replying to your request for advice on the safety of the use of extracts of bovine offal in certain cosmetics, such as skin products claimed to have 'anti-ageing' properties with respect to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). As you are aware there are a number of cosmetic products on sale in the UK that contain small amounts of such extracts, primarily from spleen and thymus.

We accept that the risk of transmission is likely to be remote, but believe that it would be prudent to eliminate any risk by reformulating such products. Alternatively if the incorporation of bovine extracts is retained, material derived from cattle reared outside the UK, Eire or the Channel Islands should be used.

We would be grateful if you would transmit these recommendations to industry via the Trade Association CTPA.

I attach background briefing prepared by medical colleagues from those sections most involved with consideration of BSE in DH, together with a copy of the Southwood report.

Please let me know if you need any further information.

Yours sincerely

BSE110/1 0081


Presence of Bovine Offals in Cosmetics and Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
(1) Extracts of bovine spleen and thymus are present at between ca 0.1 and 5% in certain cosmetic preparations, for example certain products claimed to delay the signs of ageing of skin. The concern about the increasing incidence of BSE in cattle in the UK has made it necessary to reconsider the safety of such products.

BSE is a progressive neurological disorder in cattle, which results from infection with an "unconventional viral' agent. The first case was described in cows in 1986. By 19 January 1990 there had been 9436 confirmed cases in the UK on 5474 farms. There are no confirmed cases outside the British Isles, apart from a case in a cow recently exported from England. BSE is one of a family of spongiform encephalopathies which also include scrapie in sheep and kuru and Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (CJD) in man. The infection which leads to BBE appears to have been introduced into cattle from the contaminated feeding stuff, meat and bone meal, made partly from sheep offal: scrapie is endemic in sheep in the UK.

The causative agents of these diseases are thought to be unconventional transmissible agents (referred to variously as prions, virinos, filamentous viruses or slow viruses). They are extremely resistant to most denaturing processes eg heat, UV, high salt concentration, formalin and alkylating agents. The current DH guideline for treating items used on CJD patients is a temperature of 134-138 C (at 2 atmospheres) held for 18 minutes. They are also not removed by normal microbiological filters. It is thus unlikely that the mild processing techniques used to obtain the extracts used in cosmetics would remove the causative agents.

(2) Government action to date includes:

a. An expert working party was set up under Sir Richard Southwood and reported in February 1989. All their recommendations have been acted upon.

b. The disease has been made notifiable in cattle.

c. All suspect animals are slaughtered and carcases destroyed (50% compensation policy but 100% if diagnosis not confirmed); milk from such animals is also destroyed.

d. Sale or supply of animal protein from ruminants for feeding to ruminants prohibited - hopefully to prevent any new infections in cattle. This has had a major effect on the rendering industry.

e. Another committee was set up under Dr David Tyrrell to report on research needs. An interim report was published in January 1990 together with an announcement about additional funding. Much research work into the disease is currently in progress and additional studies are being planned.

Regulations in November 1989 introduced a ban on various bovine offal for human consumption, going wider than the Southwood recommendations which were for such a ban to affect baby food only.

The Medicines Control Agency have gathered information from pharmaceutical companies about use of bovine ingredients in parenteral pharmaceuticals and issued interim guidelines. Many biological products and vaccines use such ingredients. The MCA are considering whether action on specific products is appropriate.

h. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is reviewing its guidance to those who come into direct contact with bovine 'risk' tissues. A press release for those who handle BSE carcases has been issued and one for abattoir workers is in preparation. The HSE ara also discussing risks from BSE exposure with the veterinary profession.

i. All UK cases of CJD will be monitored in a study to be conducted by Dr R G Will in Edinburgh, funded by the Department of Health: this should allow detection of any spread of infection to hummans, although this possibility is considered remote.

(3) Current live issues

Research: Dr Tyrell's interim report identified a large research programme classed as high priority. Almost all of this research falls to MAFF {Central Veterinary Labs} or the AFRC, although the MRC also has an interest. Substantial money has been made available for this work but research will be laborious and results will come slowly.

Food: There has been constant pressure on MAFF about the supposed risk to humans from eating beef and beef products. Infected animals who are incubating the disease but do not show any abnormalities cannot be detected at present and will be entering the human food chain. The offal ban removes the highest 'risk' tissues. Some critics may not be satisfied by this. However, others may argue the action to date is over the top, not demanded by the experts, and illogical since scrapie-infected sheep can still be eaten and doing so for the last 200 years has not caused harm to humans. We expect BSE agent to be resistant to irradiation as applied to food, as well as relatively resistant to cooking.

Other animals: There is no evidence that animals other than cattle (and domesticated, deer) have been or could be affected by BSE, other than experimentally, but there are pressures to extend the ruminant protein ban: at present pigs and poultry receive this sort of feed. Such action, as well as being hard to justify scientifically, would increase costs for the industry and cause perhaps insurmountable problems for abattoirs, who would find renderers no longer willing to accept offal. Many 1000's of tons of offal need to be disposed of daily.

Compensation: This has been set at 50% for BSE, although for some other diseases it is higher. Some critics believe this encourages evasion, with cows affected minimally being sent for human consumption. Even the current level of compensation is proving expensive for MAFF.

Exports: Some foreign countries have banned British exports of seman, embryos and livestock. The EC now no longer accepts live cattle over 6 months of age. The Germans are creating difficulties over beef exports too. The EC are also considering making BSE notifiable and banning ruminant protein feeding to rminants, as we have done here. At present, British meat and bone meat can still be exported and might spread infection overseas (MAFF claim importers have been warned that it is not regarded suitable for feeding to ruminants).

Human transmission: There are some in the media and even the medical profession who are trying to make connections between BSE and the human disorder CJD. There is _no_ evidence of any association nor would we expect any cases by now even were BSE to be transmissible to humans. Dr Wills' study (see 2i above) will monitor the situation for the next decade or two.

I have been asked to provide a draft reply to the attached letter from Sir Richard Southwood to the Minister. The Minister has indicated that we must meet Sir Richard's points (a} on the need for him to be fully briefed as to developments and (b) on the urgency of making progress with the transmission study.

On (a), I would suggest that the draft reply should indicate that you will be in touch with Sir Richard regularly to keep him in the picture. On (b), I hope we can now tell Sir Richard that the arrangements for the purchase and relocation of the animals are under way.

A R Cruickshank
20 June 1989
Mr A J Lawrence
cc	Mr K C Meldrum
	Dr W A Watson
	Mr R C Lowson

Canada bars blood from visitors to France

01 Sep 2000 By DENNIS BUECKERT  Canada Press
People who have spent a total of six months or more in France between 1980 and 1996 will be excluded from donating blood in Canada under a new federal Health Department directive. The move, announced Thursday, is intended to cut the theoretical risk that new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease could be spread through blood. There is no known case of the disease being spread through the transfusion of blood or blood products, but animals studied suggest it could happen.

The directive basically duplicates last year's ban on donors who have spent a cumulative six months or more in the United Kingdom during the same period. The latest move comes after the identification of three cases of nvCJD in France. It is assumed the cases in France were caused by consumption of beef imported from Britain. {The US still allows blood donation from people resident in France. -- webmaster]

"It has become apparent that a real risk for acquiring nvCJD existed in France between 1980 and 1996," Robert Peterson of the Health Department told a news conference Thursday.

The directive is expected to affect 2-3% of blood donors in Quebec and 0.5 to 0.6 % of donors in the rest of Canada. The loss of blood donors due to last year's restrictions was offset by aggressive advertising for new donors. It's expected the new restrictions can be offset in the same way.

CJD was first described in the 1920s but nvCJD was identified only about five years ago. nvCJD causes dementia, loss of muscle control and coma. It can have a latency period of up to 20 years but usually kills within a year to a year-and-a-half once symptoms begin. It is caused by the same agent that causes BSE, also known as mad cow disease.

Britons were exposed to this agent in the mid-to-late 1980s when it was common practice for cattle to be to fed sheep offal, including brains and spinal cords. The United Kingdom has reported 79 cases of nvCJD.

Canada, fearing Mad Cow, bars more blood donors

Thu, Aug 31, 2000 Reuters North America
Canadians who have spent six months or more in France between 1980 to 1996 will not be allowed to donate blood because of fears they might bring "mad cow" disease to Canada, health officials said Thursday. The disease, which slowly destroys the brains of its victims, has caused dozens of deaths in the United Kingdom, been identified in France and has raised fears about food safety throughout Europe.

Health Canada said Thursday that the measure was being taken to reduce the risk of transmitting the human equivalent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease. Last year, Health Canada issued a similar ban on blood donors who had spent six months or more in Britain during the same period. There has never been a confirmed case of the disease in Canada.

Mad Cow disease, identified about five years ago, causes dementia, loss of muscle control and coma. It can lie unnoticed for up to 20 years but usually kills within 12 to 18 months once symptoms begin.

The department said the European cases had been linked to the consumption of beef from cattle suffering from the disease. But there has never been a reported case of transmission of the disease through blood transfusions or the use of plasma derivatives.

But Health Canada said its directive was based on the best international scientific evidence available and was in keeping with its policy of taking precautionary measures.

"This measured action is being taken to ensure the best balance between the theoretical risk of transmission of VCJD (mad cow disease) through blood and plasma and the real risk of creating a shortage in Canada's blood supply," the department said in a statement.

The department added that regional blood authorities have three months to implement the measure.

Australia urges at-risk donors to keep giving

Australian Health Ministers Meeting  and Red Cross Thursday 27 July, 2000 
Decision Regarding Donor Deferral - New variant Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (nvCJD):
At a meeting of the Australian Health Ministers held on Thursday 27 July, 2000, the issues of deferral of blood donors who have resided in UK between 1980 and 1996 and the theoretical risk of transmission via blood and blood products of nvCJD were discussed.

The outcome of the discussion regarding these issues was that the Health Ministers have decided to seek more information regarding the possible link between nvCJD and blood. Their decision took into account the theoretical risk of the transmission of nvCJD via blood and the very real risk of not having enough supplies as a result of donor deferral.

Donors who have lived in the UK between 1980 and 1996 are urged to continue giving blood on a regular basis to ensure that supplies are available for those in neeed. In the event of any changes being made to our donor selection criteria in the future, we will advise donors immediately. .. Further information about vCJD is available the Commonwealth Health Dept web site.

Opinion (webmaster): At a time when other countries are excluding blood donors at risk from nvCJD from France and the UK, Australia's new policy is "donors who have lived in the UK between 1980 and 1996 are urged to continue giving blood." Australians travel a great deal and many would be disqualified under the 6 month rule.

Will the people urging at-risk donors to continue stand up to take responsibility if this goes wrong, or will it go the way of their horrific hormone injection program?

Synthetic may ease demand for blood donations

September 5, 2000 By MARY POWERS, Commercial Appeal of Memphis, Tenn. 
It looks more like soy milk than blood, but an experimental drug being studied at several medical centers is the latest effort to develop a substitute for at least one of blood's life-sustaining elements.

Dubbed Oxygent, it is being examined as a means to carry oxygen to tissues, a function normally done by the hemoglobin in red blood cells.

While donated red cells must be refrigerated and used within about 40 days, Oxygent can be stored for up to two years, without refrigeration. Also, donor cells must come from someone with a compatible blood type; the experimental drug could be given to anyone regardless of blood type.

In earlier studies involving more than 1,100 patients in the United States and Europe, no significant safety problems surfaced, and there was evidence the drug worked. It delivered oxygen to tissues and reduced the need for blood transfusions. The current study calls for enrolling about 600 patients. Half will receive the drug.

Success would be good news for a tight national blood supply that relies increasingly on urgent appeals for donors. At least one national panel in 1999 warned that this year, for the first time, the country's demand for blood might exceed the supply.

"Blood centers would welcome such products," said Edward Scott, president and chief executive officer of Lifeblood, Mid-South Regional Blood Center. "We see it as a tremendous opportunity, particularly in trauma situations. .. . Patients may still need red cells, but they wouldn't need as much."

Ed Garrett Jr., a Memphis cardiovascular surgeon and director of the study, said even if the product's early promise is realized, it will probably be several years before it wins federal approval.

Oxygent is being developed primarily for use in patients undergoing elective heart bypass, joint replacement and other general surgery. Garrett said more than half of bypass patients need one or two units of donor red cells during surgery. "I think it (the drug) has a good chance of preventing blood transfusions in this group, which is a lot of people," he said. An estimated 607,000 heart bypass surgeries are performed annually in the United States.

Oxygent is being developed by Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp. of San Diego, in partnership with Baxter Healthcare Corp.

BusinessWeek blames imports for bio-invasions

11  September 2000 issue
A 20-30% spike in foreign trade and travel over the past decade has increased the probability of a serious animal disease epidemic in the U.S. BusinessWeek magazine reports in its upcoming September 11th issue. And because most diseases are zoonotic, meaning they affect people as well as animals, the threat extends to public health as well.

The West Nile virus outbreak in the New York area may only be a harbinger of things to come. While most people are aware of invasive species such as the Asian long-horned beetles and zebra mussels, the biggest danger may come in the smallest packages: foreign viruses and bacteria.

Writer Janet Ginsburg warns "People, animals, and goods can now travel faster than ever, so we can introduce pathogens and parasites faster than it takes a disease to incubate. Yet we have not built up our defenses to fight potential outbreaks at the same accelerated pace. It leaves us extremely vulnerable. Veterinarians, livestock producers and security analysts are very worried."

Global trade policies, designed to open markets, may have aggravated the problem by putting strict limits on countries' abilities to ban animal trade. Meanwhile, in the U. S., years of flat budgets for border inspectors and disease researchers have left populations of animals--and humans--doubly exposed.

There are only 126 USDA inspectors handling the import of 16.7 million animals-mostly livestock and poultry--annually; and only 91 U.S. Fish & Wildlife inspectors for some 21 million wild animals--200 million including fish. Also, USDA animal lab facilities are in dire need of repair. According to a recent report, virtually every critical system, including bio-containment, is antiquated.

Could disaster strike here? Experts say it's a matter of when, not if, pointing to several recent catastrophes around the world:

-- An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 1997 knocked out Taiwan's pork industry and over the long haul could cost as much $15 billion.

-- Mad cow disease has cost Britain $6 billion to date. Beef exports are down 99% and a human form of the disease is responsible for dozens of deaths.

-- 13.6 million chickens had to be slaughtered this past spring in Mexico to contain an outbreak of Exotic Newcastle Disease.

-- The newly identified Nipah virus has killed 105 people and thousands of pigs in Malaysia since 1999. A million pigs were slaughtered to contain the outbreak.

Security experts have voiced concern about U.S. vulnerability to agroterrorism, since most animal diseases do not require "weaponization" as human pathogens do. They are low-tech, low-cost, high-impact and very difficult to trace.

USDA weakens rules for salmonella in school lunch beef

  MARIAN BURROS NY Times 27 August 00
Agriculture Department officials say they are discussing the possibility of loosening their new standards for preventing salmonella contamination in ground beef used for the nation's school lunch program. The reconsideration, which was provoked by criticism from the food industry, angered consumer advocates.

Since June, the department, which provides 70 percent of the ground beef used in schools, has required that every batch it buys be free of salmonella. Before that there were no standards for any pathogens, including salmonella, bacteria responsible for about 600 deaths and 1.4 million illnesses last year [in the US alone -- webmaster]

Meat processors complained that the standards were unnecessary, because proper cooking kills the bacteria, and were too difficult to meet. [So why were there 600 deaths and 1.4 million illnesses last year? --webmaster]

At first many declined to even bid on government contracts for the school lunch program. But the industry ended up with a glut of beef and over the last few weeks more companies have offered their meat for sale. Still, the department has been able to buy only half the ground beef it needs for the schools, and at about 55 cents a pound more.

School officials in Wisconsin and Illinois said they would buy ground beef on the open market to ensure a steady supply, and New York City officials said they would do the same but reduce the amount they used.

Faced with the industry criticism, department officials began to reconsider the salmonella rules.

When asked this week whether the department was scaling back the standards, Kathleen Merrigan, administrator of the department's Agricultural Marketing Service, said, "I would prefer to say we are fine-tuning them." Neither Ms. Merrigan nor anyone else at the department would say what the new standards might be.

Consumer groups accused the department of caving in to industry.

Carol Tucker Foreman, a former Agriculture Department official and now director of the Food Policy Institute of the Consumer Federation of America, said the department was falling back on its more traditional role of promoting the interests of the food industry and neglecting its duty to protect consumers. That duty is one that Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman has accepted with greater vigor than most of his predecessors.

"What we are saying is they should change their priorities," Ms. Foreman said. "They are saying to buy meat with no salmonella costs us more money and it's not worth it. Its first obligation is to assure safe food for children who eat school lunches," Ms. Foreman said of the department.

Officials of the American School Food Service Association said its members, who are in charge of school feeding programs, are caught in the middle. "We are fully committed to all steps appropriate to ensuring safety of food for kids," Barry Sackin, the association's director of government affairs, said of the salmonella rules. "Our only concern is the precipitous way it has been implemented."

The department adopted the new specifications after a federal judge rebuffed its efforts to implement random tests for salmonella at a Texas meat-processing plant.

The department wanted to close the plant, which had supplied as much as 45 percent of the ground beef used in the school lunch program, after it failed tests for salmonella three times. But the judge said the department did not have the authority to use such tests, which the department has implemented nationwide, and ordered that the plant remain open.

Mr. Glickman canceled the department's contract with the company, Supreme Beef, and adopted the new standards for its ground beef purchases.

Since the regulations went into effect, salmonella contamination has dropped by as much as 50 percent, studies show.

Vermont: Senator Leahy claims Belgium covering up sheep

Mon, 31 Sep 2000 Vermont Public Radio transcripts of Switchboard program
Swichboard Moderator Bob Kinsell: BK
Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy: SL
Caller (John): John
Caller (Linda Faillace): LF
BK: Our phone number here at Switchboard is 1-800-639-2211. Our guest is Senator Patrick Leahy. Let's go to our call. We start off with John who is calling from Warren. Hi John, welcome to Switchboard

John: Thank you. Good evening Senator.

SL: Good evening.

John: Yeah, I fully support you that our death row inmates should have the right to DNA testing. But, I heard on an NPR [National Public Radio] show the other day that prosecutors were arguing that it would undermine confidence in our judicial system, and it struck me that this is the same logic--the undermining of public confidence--used by Agriculture Secretary Glickman in refusing to return the Belgian sheep to Belgium. This is even though Belgium wants them back, and we want to get rid of them, and it would provide a quick resolution.

It seems that in both cases we are more interested in killing something or someone and making a big show than in establishing the truth. And this kind of reasoning alone undermines my confidence in the judicial and animal health systems. And I can only think that Secretary Glickman wants to kill these sheep to destroy the evidence so the USDA's shoddy, unvalidated testing procedures, just as prosecutors around the country are now destroying evidence to avoid bringing up all these old trials and having to retry them. When goverment officials argue that the truth will undermine public confidence in the government, I feel like there is something really wrong with the government.. There can be no justice without the truth and there is no room in a democracy for this kind of totalitarian, bureaucratic thinking.

I was hoping that you could bring your influence to bear on your friends and connections with USDA to change this decision on the sheep.

SL: Well, for one thing, their concern I think, Secretary Glickman on his behalf, I would say this: he is concerned that the Belgians have not provided all the documentation regarding the origin of these sheep. That they have held back documentation on the potential exposure to contaminated feed of the original imports from Belgium. And, that his concern is that the Belgians want the sheep back so they can cover up things that they've held back in the first place. I have no idea whether they did or not.

What I have suggested is that whatever is done in the further testing of these animals, that if the Belgians are concerned, that they be given full access to all the testing. That they have their experts come over, and follow that. And that we make public, the US makes public, each step and all the documentation--each step as they go along.

There is this feeling of many, as I said, that the Belgians have held back information to begin with and had that information been there, some feel that the sheep never would have been brought into the United States. I know that it was never shown to me, and I was the one that wanted and hoped these sheep could come to the United States. I thought that it might be good to start a new type of agriculture, a diversity of agriculture, here in Vermont. But I am concerned when I find out that the Belgians held material back.

I have gotten a huge number of calls and letters from people in the agriculture community who are concerened that their own work will be tainted by what's going on here. But I have a great deal of trust in Judge Murtha who has this before his court. I think people on both sides agree that he is a man of not only great legal ability, but total integrity. And I trust what he would do. I am not going to try to get into influencing either his final decisions or the appellate decisions, which, of course, I could not influence.

Let's talk to Linda who is calling from Montpelier. Hi Linda, Welcome to Switchboard.

LF: Thank you. Good evening Senator Leahy. This is Linda Faillace and I am actually up in Montpelier at my son's soccer game and I was listening to the show on the radio and I was very dismayed when I heard your comments about these documents from Belgium not being produced. Because

I believe that you would remember on March 25, 1999, my husband and I brought over three European experts from Belgium and the Netherlands to meet, not only with Michele Barrett who is an aide of yours, but also with USDA, in USDA's office in Washington. And the Europeans produced all the documentation and offered all of it to USDA. And at that point USDA said "there's absolutely nothing wrong with your sheep and no, we do not need the documents."

Later, in October of 1999, Linda Detwiler claimed, in front of Jan Carney [Vermont Commissioner of Health], that these documents had not been offered and so they requested the documents from Belgium. On November 19, 1999, all those documents were given, hand delivered to the American Embassy, and then received on Linda Detwiler's desk in November of 1999. And I have copies of all those documents and I would be more than happy to share them with you.

SL: Well, I'll raise that point with the Department of Agriculture. As you know, I have met with him several times on this. You also know from the time when we met and the times when I met with the Freemans, I have tried ... I was one of the ones who supported bringing these sheep over. These documents, if they are available, should be in the court. I would hope that they would go there. But if there are documents that they have not received, I think your attorney should make sure the court is aware of that. Should make sure that Secretary Glickman, should be aware of that. Where I have said continuously is that whatever testing is done and all should be as transparent as possible, open and available not only to you, but to the American public, and to the Belgians.

BK: Linda, thanks for your phone call.

France: three new cases of mad cow disease discovered

Mon, Sep 4, 2000  AP WorldStream
Three new cases of mad cow disease have been discovered in Brittany, the Aube region north of Burgundy and in the Aveyron region in southwestern France, the Health Ministry announced Monday. The discoveries bring to 36 the number of cases of mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, to be diagnosed in France this year.

Eight cases of the brain-wasting diseased have been detected since June 8 when France began systematically screening its herds [using random testing for preclinical cows with the Prionics test, which countries such as the UK fear to utilize -- webmaster]. There are about 21 million cows in France.

In keeping with French law, the herds containing the contaminated cows have been destroyed. About 56 cows in the Ille-et-Villaine region, 130 cows in the Aube and 57 cows were destroyed in the Aveyron, the ministry said in a statement. The diseased cattle were born in 1994 and 1995 respectively.

Dominique Dormont, president of the Interministerial Committee on Mad Cow Disease, said the cows were most likely contaminated by accidentally eating food which was not destined for them. New cases of the ailment are expected to appear in France until 2002, five years after authorities took rigorous measures to prevent more outbreaks.

40,000 human heart valves a year from BSE herds

Sun, 3 Sep 2000.  Unpublished Inquiry documents obtained by CJD activist Terry S. Singeltary Sr. of Bacliff, Texas
Opinion (webmaster): Below are some shocking documents. Here is a British company preparing 40,000 heart valves a year from bovine pericardium, primarily for export, and they are not required to source this material from BSE-free herds even in peak epidemic years. It is amazing to watch health "authorities" grovelling on their bellies to wring petty concessions from middle management at obscure little companies. The main worry is not the practise of using 800 potentially infected cows a week for human heart transplant material but that the press or recipients will get wind of it, hurting business.

BSE wasn't the problem, it was awkward queries from importing countries like the US. The cows are stunned using brain penetration -- can't do anything about the chunks of bovine brain blasted into the circulatory system, it's the norm. Can't use younger lower-risk animals either, patch would not be big enough. It is fascinating to see the British government worrying about, but doing nothing, with pigs with BSE 10 years ago.

While scrapie was long used as an excuse for continuing with human use of BSE-tainted material, little sheep material was used medically. Bovine transplants, vaccines, insulin doeses, etc. are far more dangerous than dietary material as injections, and are done on a very wide scale. So scrapie was never a valid analogy to BSE, as MAFF knew full well.

The British government deferred to the manufacturer's rep for an opinion on how contaminated pericardium might be, just as this appeared showing that this tissue is extremely dangerous:

CJD in a patient who received homograft [was it really?] tissue for tympanic membrane closure.

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 1990;247(4):199-201
Tange RA, Troost D, Limburg M
We report the case history of a 54-year-old man who developed a fatal neurological disorder 4 years after a successful tympanoplasty with homograft pericardium...

Miss M Duncan                     From: Dr E Hoxey
                                  Date: 29 January 1990
                                  cc: Mr R Burton
                                      Dr N Richardson
                                      Ms K Turner
                                      Ms J Dhell
                                      Mr N Weatherhead


1. In your absence on sick leave, I chaired the STD BSE group meeting
on 26th January 1990.

2. The minutes of the meeting will be circulated shortly but I was asked
to bring to your attention the concerns of the group regarding the BMS
heart valve.

3. This concern arose from a number of points on the agenda:-

i) the______________decision to source all raw material for sutures
from Australasia from January 1990.

ii) the major cleandown and decontamination proposed for the
factory and the possibility of press interest that this may generate.

iii) the indication in the Tyrell Report on Research that the
infective agent may be induced to cross the species barrier by
intracerebral, intraperitoneal or intravenous injection.

4. As you are aware, the____________situation has been a model which we
have observed closely.

5. Reviewing the BMS situatien, we considered the incidence of BSE in
the herds used for materials, the processing received by the material
and the age of the cattle used. Given the number of uncertainties and
lack of definitive information on BSE, the_______________model was
still considered as a good one. The group were uncomfortable with the
position of BMS as the only company using UK sourced material.

6. The group considered that it may be worthwhile arranging a further
meeting with___________to confidentially make them aware that they
would now be the only company using UK sourced bovine material for
products of this type.

7. Clearly, __________and__________ are now in an exposed position in
this area and all the implications need te be considered. Could we have
your news on this proposal please?

Dr E V Hoxey
716 RSQ
Ext 3356




DH REPRESENTATIVES     Nigel Richardson
                       Will Burton
                       Eammon Hoxey
                       Jeremy Tinkler
                       Helen Campbell

                       Carol Bleakley

                       Bill Waine

The main purpose of the meeeting is to discuss the companies current
manufacturing procedures, future plans and their compliance with the
BSE guidelines. Their views were also sought as to the practical
feasibility of the guidelines with respect to the manufacturing
process, and any improvements that could be suggested.

The meetings were held separately with each company. Neither had
received any queries concerning BSE from countries to which their
products are exported.


1.__________ have brought in a microbiologist as a technical scientific
adviser, initially to inform them of the current understanding of
BSE. He is still available to them and keeps them up to date with new

2. At present they produce bovine pericardial heart valves, & (a sister
company) produces heparin coated products (from a porcine source). In
the future it is possible that they will introduce a bovine patch
produced from bovine pericardium from the same source. They will keep
the Department informed of any progress in this area.


3. The source material for the manufacture of heart valves is bovine
pericardial sacs. The cows used are 18-24 months old when slaughtered,
the majority around 18 months. BMS have no knowledge of the actual

4. The cows are killed using brain penetration. Dr Bleakley made the
point that as far as she was aware this was the only method used in
this country. Meat inspectors are paid to obtain the bovine
pericardium. They are paid a set rate but bonuses are given for
increased yields. Mr Burton expressed concern as to the conflict of
interests that may arise as a result of this. Dr Bleakley did not
believe that this was the case because of the relationship BMS had
developed with the inspectors.


14. Dr. Bleakley believed that the pericardium would not allow the
replication of the causative agent, and does not present a risk.

15. She suggested that the guidelines were impossible to implement
from the point of view of the manufacturing process for the following

-It is not possible to use closed herds simply because of the numbers
of cattle involved. This is up to 800 each week.

-Calves under 6 months old cannot be used as the pericardium is too
thin to be incorporated into a valve.

-For cows this in the age group used brain penetration is the only
method of slaughtering used in this country.


16. The goverment should fund research in this area. For example,
investigating the presence or absence of the infectious agent in
other parts of the body, such as the pericardium. Also to look at how
the slaughtering process affects the spread of the disease.

17. Ideally the answer would be to take random tissue samples in
order to detect contaminated material. This is not currently feasible
with the length of time required to conduct titre testing.


18. Everything present reflected the published material, but the
validity of some of this is questionable. It was pointed out that:-

-it was stated that different strains display different heat
sensitivity, but this does not appear to be chemically related

-the claim to be "effective' would depend on the type of material that
was being used and the time involved.


19.____________ manufacture porcine valves and bovine pericardial
patches. The possibility of producing porcine conduits is currently
being investigated. This has not yet progressed.

20. The material is obtained from 2 abattoires in this country:-

-Dorchester, where veal calves under 18 weeks are slaughtered for
sourcing pericardium for ________________. These are used to produce
small patches of less than 90mm diameter, this may be divided into 4
quadrants. This represents 80-90% of sales.

-Fairham where cows between 5 and 10 years old are slaughtered to
produce larger patches and strips of 100mm by 45mm.


32. As a result of the concern voiced of direct inoculation of BSE
via sectioning instruments it was stated that it would be feasible to
use new blades with each carcass.


33. Dr Waine was not convinced of the need for sterile sectioning
equipment and separate packaging from the abattoire. He felt that
this would merely have a cosmetic effect.

34. He suggested that the possibility of bovine-human cross-infection
was very remote.

35. He did not believe that it was possible for manufacturers to
follow the guidelines as they stand.


36. Dr Waine felt that the steps taken by the Government had been
realistic to control the outbreak.


37. Dr Waine did not believe that any sterilization treatment
proposed would retain the surgical usage of the pericardium.


38. The response has been that this problem is restricted to the U.K.
Thier material is obtained from the same Italian source as the
patches. There is no age specification on the cows but the preference
is for the larger valves which would therefore come from the older


39. There was a small discussion as to whether these products do fall
under the issued guidelines. The assumption had been made by the
company that they are not included as pigs are not known to be
susceptible to infection by a Scrapie-like agent. This was confirmed
by Dr Hoxey.

40. The pigs are electrocuted and the heart and pericardium obtained
prior to inspection.

41. One abattoire supplies them with most of their porcine requirments.

H Campbell
Room 312 RSQ
Ext. 3212
12 December 1989


TIP740203/3 0241

Bovine Spongiform Meeting Held On Friday 26th January 1990

Present Dr E Hoxey {chairman)
        Mr W Burton
        Dr N Richardson
        Mrs J Dhell
	Ms K Turner
        MS H Cambell
	Mr N Weatherhead (secretary)

        copies: Miss Duncan


Apologies were received from Miss Duncan

2.Minutes of the last meeting.

The previous minutes were accepted.

3.Matters arising not on the agenda.

As agreed at the previous meeting the paper on "Inactivation of
Scrapie-like Agents" was sent with a Covering letter drafted by
Dr Hoxey to all companies that use Bovine or Porcine materiais.

4.Report on the STD meeting with ___________________

The minutes of the meeting were discussed by the committee it was
noted that:-

a} _____________ now meet DH Guidelines as the devices produced from
the calf material comply as that they are obtained from animals less
than 6 months old.The company had written to confirm that they now
source older animals from overseas.

b) _____________ are unable to meet the DH Guidelines.
and will not be doing so in the foreseeable future. The panel showed
concern over the stance that BMS are taking. The committee felt that it
was important to arrange a further meeting to inform them that they
are now the only company using UK sourced material. [see minutes of the
meeting dated 8/12/89 attached). Dr Hoxey agreed to write separatey
to Miss Duncan on this issue.

action: Dr Hoxey

5. Report on the CSM/MCA BSE working party meeting 10/1/90

Mr Burton had produced a note of the above meeting as the minutes had
as yet not been distributed. The committee noted that:-


TIP740203/3 0242

1) _______________ has exceeded all expectations tn complying
with DH Guidelines. They will be sourcing all raw material from
Australasia from January 1990.

2) _______________ are using an international expert _______________
to advise them on factory decontamination at the change over of source.

3) The use of Dr Taylor and the factory decontamination may qenerate
press interest.

4) The offal ban has not yet been expanded to include Scotland.

5) The CSM/MCA BSE working group agrees with the approach that STD
are taking to Tissue Harvesting and wished to be kept updated.

The note of the meeting is attached for reference.

6. STD Database updating

Mr Burton drafted a minute for signature by Mr Worroll.The object of
the minute was to enable STD to keep a check on companies that use
animal material in their products.

The control manual committee amended the minute and agreed that the
audit report procedure should include (if it does not already) a
statement to the effect that the company information section should
include details of raw materials used.

The CMC suggested a sentence to the effect "Team leaders visiting
Blue Guide companies should additionally take account of Mr Worroll's
minute of Jan 1990." The committee agreed with this sentence and passed
it back for inclusion in the Base-line Documents.

action N Weatherhead

7. Review of the 'Interim Report of the Consultative Committee on
Research into BSE" (Tyrell committee report.)

Mrs Dhell presented a summarized Version of the above document to the
committee. It was noted that only the research studies catorqorised
high/medium priority would all somehow receive funding. The committee
expressed a wish to find out:-

1) Areas which have not been prioritised which have relevance to
STDS area of interest.

2) Has any party taken up the study "Investigation into the fate of
bovine and ovine tissues and product that could lead to infection by
as yet unrecognised routes."


TIP740203/3 0243

3. The protocol of work being carried out by the Clinical Research
Laboratory in Harrow add proposed by the Neuropathogenesis unit in

a) Have they any plans to include pericardium. If not could PD suggest
that they miqht include it.

b) What controls are they using.

c) Will it be possible to arrange a visit.

4) It was suggested that Dr Pickles be contacted as the DH
representitive on the Tyrell committee, to enquire if comments on
this document were being sought by the committee, as PD has a number
of points it wishes to raise.

8. Incorporation of Guidance into Chemical Methods for the sterilization
of animal tissue Used in medical Devices.

The draft paper on methods of validation in chemical sterilization was
shown to the BGRP for comments, these were later received. A copy was
also forwarded to MCA and despite numerous reminders no reply had as
yet been received.

The committee recommended that the paper on "Chemical Methods for the
Sterilization of Animal Tissue Used in Medical Devices" should be
amended include Tissue Harvesting. The BGRP will be informed of this
and a copy of tbe document will be presented to the next CMS/MCA BSE
working group which is to be held on 4th July l99O.

Mrs Dhell to arrange a meeting to draft this ammendment.

Mrs Turner
action:Hr Tinkler
Mrs Dhell
Dr Hoxey

9. Possibility of sending STD paper 'Inactivation of Scrapie-like
Agents" to Dr Taylor and Dr Kimberlin for their comments.

The committee felt that the paper should be sent to Dr Taylor and
Dr Klmberlin and that they should be invited to comment. If they
subsequently required payment for this work the committee felt that
the Department should finance it if necessary.

Mrs Dhell will draft a letter to accompany the report for Miss Duncan
to sign.

action: Mrs Dhell


TIP740203/3 0244

10. - presentation on current situation

Miss Duncan's report was passed over until the next meeting.

1l. Oral discussion on relevant media interest and media reports.

The discussion mainly revolved around _____________ and the exposed
position PD would be in if the media became involved. The possible
press coverage expected in relation to events at ___________ could also
raise the profile of BSE in "medical" products.

Mr Burton to obtain copies of any defensive briefings drafted
by MCA in responce to the ______________ situation.

N Weatherhead


Feces, vomit on raw meat a growing risk

Wednesday September 6, 2000 Reuters By Julie Vorman

Americans face a growing risk of eating feces, vomit and metal shards in meat and poultry because the US Agriculture Department is allowing companies to perform more of their own food safety inspections, two consumer groups and a labor union said on Tuesday.

Their survey of 451 federal inspectors showed many were concerned that too much contaminated meat and poultry was slipping through company production lines under the government's new food safety procedures. The 451 respondents represent about six percent of all federal meat inspectors.

Public Citizen, the Government Accountability Project and the American Federation of Government Employees said the USDA's decision to give plants more responsibility for safety will unravel public health gains made since author Upton Sinclair documented grisly slaughterhouse conditions in "The Jungle."

The USDA contends that its data shows the new meat inspection procedures give consumers more protection against microscopic diseases such as E. coli 0157:H7 and salmonella. The activist groups disagree.

"Our survey warns consumers that on a good day, their meat and poultry are inspected under an industry honor system," Felicia Nestor, food safety director for the Government Accountability Project, told reporters at a news conference.

"Federal inspectors check paperwork, not food, and are prohibited from removing feces and other contaminants before products are stamped with the purple USDA seal of approval," she added.

Frequent Contamination Spotted: Some 206 meat inspectors who responded to the survey said there were weekly or monthly instances when they did not take direct action against animal feces, vomit, metal shards or other contamination because of the new USDA rules.

At issue is the USDA's broad policy shift in 1996 to require the owners of slaughter plants to adopt a series of food safety checkpoints and to perform scientific tests for microscopic bacteria to confirm that meat and poultry is safe.

That approach has meant the redeployment of USDA inspectors in an experiment at some three dozen slaughter plants. Instead of physically examining carcasses on the production line - a technique known as "poke and sniff" -- they now scrutinize company paperwork and test results.

"It sounds to us, as a union, like this is designed to eliminate inspection and they are reducing numbers gradually," said Arthur Hughes, president of the Northeast Council of Food Inspection Locals.

The government's pilot program was successfully challenged in court by the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents many of the 7,500 meat inspectors. A federal appeals court ruled in June that the nearly century-old law requires the physical inspection of cattle, pig, chicken and other meat carcasses by USDA employees.

The court ruling came after the USDA's own office of inspector general, an independent investigative arm of the department, issued a 400-page report that urged tighter rules for all meat and poultry plants to protect consumers.

Last week, the USDA offered to station an inspector on the production line at pilot plants specifically to watch for contamination problems. The inspectors union said that was not enough to fix the problems with safety procedures.

Usda Says Survey Not Credible

USDA officials criticized the survey as flawed and reflecting the desire of a small number of inspectors to block more scientific food safety techniques."Our meat and poultry products are safer than they have ever been," Tom Billy, administrator of the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, said in an interview.

"If that (survey results) were true, why are companies challenging us in court on our salmonella performance standards," Billy added. He was referring to a bitter court battle between the USDA and Texas-based Supreme Beef Inc. over federal requirements that a beef processing plant meet salmonella test standards.

Under the 1996 food safety changes, federal inspectors who spot contaminated meat or poultry cannot immediately pull the product but must follow it through to the end of the production line to see if plant safety checkpoints catch it. If the checkpoints do not halt the tainted product, USDA inspectors must step in and seize it, he said.

In an instance like that, a plant would be written up for having inadequate safety procedures, Billy said.

"An inspector who allows any adulterated product to the leave the plant is failing to do his or her job," Billy said.

Physical inspection of every carcass is difficult with production lines typically moving 85 to 140 birds per minute through a poultry plant.

Meat and poultry companies insist it is in their own best interests to avoid food safety shortcuts.

By some estimates, the 1993 outbreak of deadly E. coli 0157:H7 in hamburgers sold by a Jack in the Box restaurant cost the company close to $1 billion in lawsuits, hospital costs and lost sales.

Dane Bernard, a vice president of the National Food Processors Association, said the new survey was based on a small sample of inspectors but that USDA should examine the results to identify possible ways of improving its policies.

"We're in the early stages of building a new food safety inspection system," Bernard said. "We see the concern over union jobs being behind a lot of this battle."

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