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AMIF Assembles Experts at Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Briefing in Washington, DC

Wednesday, March 7, 2001

Washington, DC – The American Meat Institute Foundation (AMIF) will host a special briefing featuring leading industry, government and scientific officials to provide a comprehensive update on the U.S.’s successful efforts to prevent bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in U.S. cattle herds. The briefing will be held March 23 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC.

Dagmar Heim, the BSE team leader at the Swiss Federal Veterinary Office, has been invited to deliver an overview of Europe’s BSE crisis. William Hueston, DVM, Ph.D., professor and associate dean of the University of Maryland, who previously was a key USDA official responsible for managing BSE prevention efforts, will detail the many steps taken by the U.S. government to prevent the disease.

Dr. Paul Brown of the National Institute’s of Health will discuss the latest research on the human disease Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and its connection to BSE.

Key officials from USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine also will discuss the control measures in place in the U.S., like import restrictions and the ban on the feeding of mammalian protein to ruminants.
During an afternoon session, representatives from the rendering, animal feed, packing and cattle producing industries will review actions taken by their respective industries in response to BSE. Retail and restaurant industry representatives will discuss consumer concerns and efforts to provide reassurances.

“While our aggressive efforts to prevent BSE in U.S. cattle herds have been successful, it is imperative that everyone stay apprised of issues related to this devastating foreign animal disease,” said AMIF President Jim Hodges. “It is our hope that this informative and comprehensive briefing will help fill a knowledge vacuum about BSE and prevent the hysteria that has swept Europe.”

The briefing will begin at 8 a.m. and is scheduled to last until late in the afternoon. Registration is $245 for members of AMI and related food and agriculture trade associations, $225 each for three or more members from the same company and $345 for nonmembers.

Contact the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC, directly at 202-528-1234 before March 12, 2001, to reserve a hotel room. Mention AMI to receive a special discounted rate of $189 for a single occupancy room or $209 for a double occupancy.

For more information or to register, please contact AMI’s Education and Convention Services Department at 703-841-2400 or visit AMI’s web site at www.meatami.org.

The AMI Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to research, education and information that benefit the meat and poultry industry. Originally created in 1944, the AMI Foundation today solicits grants from government, industry and other organizations to fund a broad range of food safety, worker safety, nutrition and consumer information projects.

AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute provides legislative, regulatory and public relations services, conducts scientific and economic research, offers marketing and technical assistance and sponsors education programs.

For more information contact:
Janet Riley
Vice President, Public Affairs
Josee Daoust
Manager, Public Affairs

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