FDA expands ruminant feed ban


The NCBA applauds the caution given to test-result disclosure.

Rockville, Md.—The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final rule that prohibits the use of most mammalian protein in feeds for ruminant animals. The addendum to the ban, which became effective in August 1997, was devised to prevent the establishment and amplification of BSE through feed in the United States.

As of July 17, the FDA had received more than 31,000 inspection reports, 70 percent of which were performed by state officials contracted by the FDA. Of the 14,355 firms whose initial inspection has been reported by the FDA, 2,901 firms were handling materials prohibited from use in ruminant feed. Of the 2,901firms using banned materials, 17 had taken official action at the time of inspection, and 86 firms were classified as taking voluntary action.

More than 2,900 firms were using materials banned from use in ruminant feeds so far this year.

  • In other BSE news: Improvements in BSE testing by the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are being lauded by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA). APHIS says it will wait until the second and third concurrent rapid tests are conducted before declaring a test sample inconclusive. Only if one of these tests is reactive will APHIS announce the result as inconclusive, at which point a confirmatory test will be conducted at the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, NCBA explains.

"We suggested this change to USDA and support their action," says NCBA President Jan Lyons. "It conforms to the manufacturers recommendations and is consistent with practices by other countries, which have identified the best scientific practices to identify the disease," he adds.

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