The Department of Agriculture (USDA) today confirmed a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (known as the “mad cow”) in California, the fourth recorded in the history of the country, but authorities ruled out any danger for human consumption.
“The dead animal is in possession of state authorities in California processing plant and will be destroyed,” he said in a statement John Clifford, USDA’s chief veterinarian. “His fate was never going to be drinking, so that at no time presented a risk to the food chain or human health,” he added.
Clifford said the animal was infected with an atypical variant of the disease and are considered not contracted by eating badly contaminated food.
It also hopes that the event does not affect the country’s meat exports.
Processing plants use the remains of dead animals to make products such as soap and antifreeze.
The disease can be fatal to humans through eating contaminated meat (Creutzfeld-Jakob disease), although the World Health Organization (WHO) argues that humans can not get through the bad milk of infected animals.
The cases were detected earlier in 2003 (Washington State) in 2005 (in Texas) and 2006 (in Alabama).
Consumption of meat contaminated with the disease has killed more than 150 people worldwide.
Most deaths were in the United Kingdom, where the first outbreak of “mad cow” took place in the mid 80′s.
“Our systems and security measures to prevent the disease are working, and the actions taken by other countries around the world,” said Clifford, who recalled that in 2011 29 cases were detected worldwide, down 99 percent from the peak set in 1992, 37.311 cases.
“This is directly attributable to the impact and effectiveness of control measures,” he added.
Category: Business News