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First Inconclusive Result Turns Up Negative For BSE, as Expected

Wednesday, June 30, 2004
 

(Arlington, VA) As expected, the first inconclusive BSE test, announced last week, has now been confirmed negative by the USDA.

This inconclusive result will likely be the first of many to come due to the nature of the surveillance program and the expanded population of cattle being tested for BSE by the USDA. When the first inconclusive result was announced last week, the USDA’s John Clifford, deputy administrator of veterinary services, noted that it is “very likely” that the final testing would result in a negative for BSE.

J. Patrick Boyle, President and CEO of the American Meat Institute, noted that based on a similar testing program in Japan, fully 90 percent of samples that initially test “inconclusive” prove to be negative for BSE.

“The public, and the markets, need to realize that we’re likely to hear more announcements about inconclusive results in the future, and that it is in everybody’s interest to not over-react,” said Boyle. “Regardless of whether the final test result produces a positive or a negative for BSE, the bottom line is that the animal will never enter the human food supply and that beef remains perfectly safe to eat,” he added.

“BSE has never been found in the meat we eat, and since all parts from all cattle that could contain BSE are uniformly removed and eliminated from the human food supply at processing, our meat is completely safe,” he said.

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For more information contact:
David Ray
Vice President, Public Affairs
703-841-3624
dray@meatinstitute.org
Ayoka Blandford
Manager, Public Affairs
703-841-2400
ablandford@meatinstitute.org

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