AR-News: FDA Says Feed Maker Admits to Mad Cow Violation
Adam Weissman, Wetlands Preserve
adam at wetlands-preserve.org
Fri Jul 11 23:08:35 EDT 2003
Top Science and Health News
FDA Says Feed Maker Admits to Mad Cow Violation
Jul 11 2003 6:49PM
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on
Friday a Washington state livestock feed manufacturer admitted
selling "adulterated and misbranded" feed that violated federal rules
to prevent mad cow disease.
But the FDA said there was little risk from the contaminated animal
feed because the United States has never had a case of mad cow
In 1997, the FDA banned the use of brains, spine and other nervous
system tissue from mammals in cattle feed. Mad cow disease is
believed to be spread when the remains of an infected animal are used
to make livestock feed.
Linda Tollefson, deputy director for FDA's Center for Veterinary
Medicine, said the agency discovered in February 2002 that X-Cel
Feeds Inc. sold adulterated animal feed to small farms in Washington
state and parts of Asia. The privately owned company is based in
"We discovered the possibility that there was cross contamination of
banned material with unbanned material," Tollefson said.
But the prohibited feed posed a "very, very small risk" because there
have no cases of U.S. cattle infected with the disease, she said.
Mad cow disease, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, has
been linked to the deaths of more than 100 humans, mostly in Britain
An attorney representing X-Cel said there was no evidence that any of
its animal feed was contaminated with prohibited material.
X-Cel said its equipment used to manufacture animal feed was
improperly cleaned and contained traces of ruminant animals. The FDA
said the company did not properly label the products to alert farmers
that the feed should not be used as cattle food.
X-Cel Feeds Inc. was ordered to adopt clean-out procedures at its
plant, obtain protein supplier certifications and take other measures
to comply with FDA rules, the FDA said. X-Cel agreed to implement the
measures as part of a consent decree, which will take effect after it
is approved by a judge.
To ensure compliance with its rules, the FDA tested 1,200 samples of
animal feed last year. In May, the FDA said its most recent test
results showed that 13 animal feed plants out of a total 1,555 had
feed that contained some of the banned material.
Tollefson said the X-Cel feed plant has previous violations of other
07/11/03 18:46 ET
Copyright © 2002 Reuters Limited.
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