DNA Confirmation that BSE-Positive Cow is of Canadian Origin
Joint U.S. Department of Agriculture and Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Terry Stokes, Chief Executive Officer, National Cattlemen's Beef Association
January 6, 2004

In a joint briefing, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced today that there is now DNA evidence linking the BSE-positive cow from Washington state to a Canadian herd in Alberta, Canada.  Both authorities conducted independent DNA tests, and both tests conclude the same results.

While these tests confirm this is not a native-born case of BSE, it is critically important the firewalls to prevent BSE – such as the Feed Ban instituted in 1997 on both sides of the border – are synergistic in the United States and Canada. 

These government surveillance systems have effectively identified the two cases (the May 20 case in Canada and the December 23 case in Washington state) and will continue to prevent the spread of this disease in the United States. 

More importantly, these systems ensure the U.S. beef supply remains the safest in the world.  It cannot be overemphasized that the BSE agent is not found in steaks, roasts and ground beef.  For that reason, we continue to urge our trading partners to resume trade for U.S. beef exports. 

The U.S. beef industry will continue to work with the Department of Agriculture to produce a wholesome beef product for our consumers and protect the health of our animal herds.

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