by Dr. Michael Payne

On Friday May 19th at 5 PM ET, USDA announced detection of an atypical case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in an approximately five-year-old beef cow in a South Carolina slaughter facility. BSE is sometimes incorrectly referred to as “Mad Cow Disease”.

The animal never entered the processing supply chain and at no time presented a risk to the human food supply.

A series of regulatory “fire walls” implemented in 1997 has, for almost three decades, prevented a BSE outbreak in the U.S. similar to that which occurred in the UK in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

To date, there have been no cases of BSE transmission to American consumers associated with beef produced in the United States.

FDA reaffirms that scientific research indicates that BSE cannot be transmitted in cow’s milk, even if the milk comes from a cow with BSE.

Media questions can be directed to either USDA or WIFSS dairy coordinator Dr. Michael Payne.