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AMI Statement: On Announcement that DNA Evidence Indicates BSE Cow Born In Canada

Tuesday, January 6, 2004

(Attribute Statement to AMI President J. Patrick Boyle)

U.S. and Canadian officials are to be commended for their thorough, ongoing efforts to determine the source of the BSE-positive cow in Washington State that was announced Dec. 23. This investigation should reassure consumers that this situation is being handled aggressively and is well under control. Americans also should be reassured that the surveillance system worked as it should.

We remain confident in the science, which clearly indicates that BSE is not in meat. Given this fact, U.S. and Canadian beef are as safe today as they were before this announcement.

While no country wants to find BSE in its herds, isolated cases are not unexpected and should be treated as animal health - not food safety issues. The Office of International Epizootics (OIE) - the leading international animal health organization -- has long held the view that minimal BSE-risk nations should be permitted to trade beef internationally. It’s time for us all to start heeding OIE’s standards.

We urge our trading partners to consider an expedited process for reopening borders to U.S. beef.

For more information contact:
Dan Murphy
Vice President, Public Affairs
Janet Riley
Sr. VP, Public Affairs

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