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BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy)

Fact Sheet

BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy)
April 26, 2012

Consumer Notice


• BSE is not found in meat like steaks and roasts. It is only found in central
nervous system tissue such as brain and spinal cord.
• BSE can only be spread through contaminated feed, in 1997, the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA), with the full support of the beef industry, banned from
cattle feed such protein supplements that could spread BSE. *BSE is not a
contagious disease
• Animals most likely to have BSE are older animals either unable to walk or
showing signs of neurological disease. Such animals are banned from the
human food supply.
• BSE is fast approaching eradication worldwide—according to the World
Organization for Animal Health (OIE), there were only 29 cases of BSE
worldwide in 2011.

Fresno County Case 4/24/12:

• According to the USDA, the cow “was never presented for slaughter for human
consumption, so at no time presented a risk to the food supply or human health.”
• Officials believe it is a rare spontaneous case and not linked to contaminated
• Dairy cows that have outlived their usefulness routinely are sent to rendering
plants where they are processed into bone meal and tallow.
• It is the first confirmed case of BSE since 2006 to be found in the US. This is
only the fourth case in nine years and none of them were headed for the food

To learn more about BSE, information can found at the following Web sites:

o Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Q&A:
o Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Q&A:
o U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
o Beef Industry Scientific Panel Information Resource:

Additional Resources
BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy).pdf
Last Updated Friday, February 27, 2015 - 03:43 AM.
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