North American Meat Association Responds to Announcement that U.S. BSE Status has been Upgraded

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The Scientific Commission for the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) recommended today that the U.S. risk classification for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) be upgraded to “negligible.” This is an achievement for the U.S. beef industry.

The announcement that OIE will upgrade the BSE status of the United States is an achievement for anyone involved in the U.S. beef industry.

The Scientific Commission for the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) recommended today that the U.S. risk classification for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) be upgraded to “negligible.” The decision is expected to become fully ratified later this spring.

“This is an achievement for anyone involved in the U.S. beef industry, and we commend USDA for its significant efforts to represent the nation’s beef producers and processors, and the high standards we are able to cooperatively achieve,” NAMA CEO Barry Carpenter said.

The OIE determines a country’s BSE risk status based on actions the country has taken to manage any risk of the disease, including a ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban, import controls and surveillance. Coordination and maintenance of this system of interlocking safeguards is overseen by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

As the APHIS Deputy Administrator for Veterinary Services and Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. John Clifford has provided exemplary leadership. NAMA gave Dr. Clifford its E. Floyd Forbes -- the association’s highest honor -- last week during MEATXPO’13.

“Dr. Clifford has been especially important to our industry through his professional and proactive handling of BSE risks and threats. As the Deputy Administrator, he is the delegate to the OIE, and seminally important in the work that led to today’s announcement,” added Carpenter.

With representatives in the United States, Canada and Mexico, and a community of more than 600 companies, NAMA provides its members exceptional regulatory advocacy, educational opportunities, and a spirit of partnership that is unique in the industry.

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Jeremy Russell
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