Mad Cow Feed Recalled
From Patricia Doyle
From Terry Singletary
ProMed Mail

Mad Cow Feed Recalled Over Mad Cow Violation
Livestock feed ingredients shipped to 9 states may have been contaminated with cattle remains in violation of a 1997 ban to protect against mad cow disease, a manufacturer said Tuesday [20 Jun 2006].
H.J. Baker & Bro. Inc. said it was recalling 3 livestock feed ingredients, including 2 used to supplement feed given to dairy cows. A sample tested by the Food and Drug Administration was positive for cattle meat and bone meal, said Mark Hohnbaum, president of the Westport, Connecticut-based company's feed products group.
"This is very concerning to us. This isn't something that happens to us. We are very serious about food safety," Hohnbaum said. Mad cow disease is only known to spread when cows eat feed containing brain and other nerve tissue from infected cattle. Protein from cattle was commonly added to cattle feed to speed growth until the ban largely outlawed the practice.
Cattle tissue may have contaminated 2 feed ingredients given to dairy cows -- Pro-Lak and Pro-Amino II -- made by H.J. Baker between August 2005 and June 2006. The 3rd of the recalled ingredients, Pro-Pak with Porcine Meat and Bone, was mislabeled. It is used in poultry feed.
The company announced the recall in the wake of ongoing FDA inspections of its Albertville, Alabama plant, Hohnbaum said. The inspections have found manufacturing and clerical issues, he added.
The company shipped the ingredients to feed manufacturers and dairy farms in the following states: Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi and Tennessee. The company is notifying its customers of the voluntary recall. It does not know how much of the feed ingredients it sold, Hohnbaum said.
On the Net:
Food and Drug Administration animal feed information:
Terry S. Singeltary Sr
(The company is already notifying its customers. Furthermore, the company does not know how much feed was contaminated, so they are likely being very cautious and notifying customers, although they may not have had animals exposed.
It is likely the company does not know how much contamination each batch of feed received.
Customers should be forewarned that even if an animal consumes some of this feed, it does not mean it is sure to come down with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). It takes a certain amount of infective material being consumed as well as certain conditions within the animal for BSE to develop.
What is intriguing about this event is that, though the FDA will fine the feed manufacturer, on-farm mixing of feed that may contain prohibited material does not find its way onto the FDA radar screen. There have been multiple cases of farm-site feed mixing with confirmation of prohibited material being in the feed, and the feed being fed to cattle. When this apparent oversight was brought to the attention of the FDA, the reply was that they [the FDA] did not believe they had jurisdiction over the farm, only the manufacturers. Since the FDA could not demonstrate a prion to a court of law, they did not see how they could prosecute a case of farm-site feed mixing.
Clearly, had the international team that surveyed the situation in the US during 2004 known of this approach, their recommendations may well have been different.
Without adherence to the feeding rules, cases of BSE in the United States will likely continue to occur on a sporadic basis. - Mod.TG
Patricia A. Doyle DVM, PhD
Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural Economics
Univ of West Indies
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