Editor’s Note: Alzheimer’s disease and mad cow disease share a deadly protein in common. The protein pathogen is called a prion–they are unstoppable and deadly. Very little is known about the family of diseases called Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE), except that they are on the rise in people and animals around the world. Oh, we also know that this family of diseases is transmissible as the name suggests, which means that Alzheimer’s caregivers and family members are being misinformed and misled about risks of transmission of the disease. In our opinion, all of the diseases are being mismanaged. You owe it to your family to arm yourself with facts not myths.
Brazil Not Complying With Prion Disease Safeguards
On Monday, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) provided notice that Brazil confirmed its second case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease, this time in a 12-year-old Brazilian cow. While the notice confirms none of the meat or other products from the infected cow entered the food chain, a recent audit report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture reveals that Brazil has not been complying with BSE safeguard measures required by the U.S.
A recent audit report by USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service sent to the Brazilian government on April 16 reveals that Brazil has not been consistently implementing the U.S.’s mandatory requirement that all specified risk materials (SRM) from cattle be excluded from the human food chain as a condition for allowing Brazil to export beef to the U.S., according to R-CALF USA.
Specifically, the audit found that beginning in early 2007, the Brazilian government relaxed its SRM removal policies by issuing a notice that removed the skull, trigeminal ganglia, vertebral column, and dorsal root ganglia in cattle 30 months of age or older from the list of SRMs that must be removed at slaughter. The tissues improperly removed from the list of SRMs by the Brazilian government are tissues known to harbor the BSE agent in infected cattle.
U.S. food safety inspectors confirmed that Brazil was not routinely removing all high-risk tissues as required for countries that export to the U.S.