USDA, industry urge ending BSE-related ban on Canadian cattle

first_img “Clearly, North America is not Europe,” Kuehne said. “The multiple-firewall approach is working,” said Johns. The USDA had proposed to reopen the border to live Canadian cattle younger than 30 months of age on Mar 7 of this year, after classifying Canada as a “minimal risk region” for BSE. (The United States resumed importation of boneless Canadian beef in late 2003.) But on Mar 2, a federal judge in Montana ordered the agency to delay the move on grounds that it could increase human exposure to BSE. The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by R-CALF USA. Kelli Ludlum of the American Farm Bureau Federation said her group strongly supports the USDA plan. Calling the risk of BSE to the US food supply “minuscule,” she said, “There is no scientific justification for keeping the Canadian border closed.” Mar 4, 2005, CIDRAP News story “BSE-related ruling prolongs US ban on Canadian cattle” In a roundtable discussion that packed an auditorium at the University of Minnesota, officials asserted that it’s safe to reopen the border because both countries have strong and essentially identical “firewalls” for preventing BSE. They also warned that the border closure is hurting US meat processors and could ultimately strengthen Canada’s beef exports at the expense of the United States. Barbara Masters, acting administrator of the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, reviewed the BSE safeguards added after the first US case was found. The main ones were the holding of cattle carcasses tested for BSE until test results are in and the ban on “specified risk materials” (SRM), high-risk tissues such as the brain and spinal cord, from the human food chain. Carl Kuehne of the American Meat Institute contrasted the North American and European experiences with BSE. More than 180,000 BSE cases have occurred worldwide, most of them in the United Kingdom, as compared with three in Canada and one in the United States, he said. The world has had 158 cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), the human equivalent of BSE, but none have occurred in American or Canadian citizens, he added. In responding to Bullard, APHIS’s DeHaven said Canada has tested a higher proportion of its high-risk cattle population than the United States has, given that Canada has about 5.5 million adult cattle and the Untied States has about 45 million. In response to the first US case of BSE, discovered in a Canadian-born cow in December 2003, the USDA greatly expanded its BSE testing program. Johanns said at the meeting, “Our surveillance program has now tested about 375,000 cattle in the high-risk populations, and we haven’t found any cases of BSE.” The testing program has focused on cattle unable to walk or showing signs of neurologic disease. USDA experts have reviewed and endorsed Canada’s feed-ban enforcement program, its epidemiologic investigations of BSE cases, and its compliance with international guidelines for preventing BSE, DeHaven said. “USDA is fully confident that American and Canadian cattle are both equally protected from BSE,” he added. In brief, time-limited comments, representatives of several beef industry groups supported the USDA plan to reopen the border. All the panel members were there at the USDA’s invitation. More than one panelist contended that the US ban on Canadian cattle imports is inconsistent with its demand that Japan resume importation of American beef. Japan and many other countries stopped importing US beef when the US BSE was discovered. Cattle contract BSE by eating feed containing protein from infected cattle. Ron DeHaven, administrator of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, explained that the United States and Canada imposed similar bans in 1997 on the use of ruminant protein in feed for ruminants. He added that both countries have successful BSE testing programs. See also: Johanns, in his opening remarks, said, “Every day that the border is closed there’s an impact. The very large processors do find ways to survive—it’s the small ones that suffer.” He reported that a meatpacking plant in Nebraska had just shut down, eliminating 200 jobs. “I’m confident that the beef supply in North America is a safe beef supply,” USDA Secretary Mike Johanns declared in his opening remarks.center_img The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to rule Jul 13 on a challenge to the injunction that blocked the border reopening, according to a report today in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Jun 10, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and several beef industry officials at a St. Paul meeting yesterday made the case for resuming importation of live Canadian cattle, which have been banned since Canada’s first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) turned up in May 2003. Bullard called for more BSE testing to verify the effectiveness of the existing measures. He further suggested that BSE risks are not equal in Canada and the United States. “With far fewer tests—70,000—they’ve found multiple cases of BSE,” which shows that the feed ban failed to prevent spread of the disease, he said. The panelists also talked a lot about the effect of the border closure on the structure of the beef industry, especially on meat packers and processors. Several warned that the closure is restricting the flow of cattle to US slaughter plants, forcing some to lay off workers or even shut down. An official of the National Renderers Association, David Kaluzny II, responded to Bullard’s point about the failure of the original UK feed ban to prevent BSE from spreading. He said enforcement of the British feed ban in the early years was “very loose,” which allowed the disease to spread to other countries. “We shouldn’t be comparing ourselves to their experience,” he said. “The [US] ban has worked.” Dennis Sjodin, a spokesman for the National Farmers Union, also opposed an immediate reopening of the border. He said the latest Canadian BSE case was in a cow born after the feed ban took effect. “We believe the [border closure] issue must be resolved as soon as possible, but that doesn’t mean taking unnecessary risks for the industry and consumers,” he said. Keith Collins, the USDA’s chief economist, discussed the effects of the border closure on US and Canadian beef trade and prices. With the US border open to Canadian beef but closed to live cattle and with Canadian beef prices way down, Canadian slaughter plants expanded their capacity by about 25% in 2004 and are continuing to expand this year, he said. Meanwhile, cattle slaughtering in the United States dropped about 8% in 2004. DeHaven also called the US and Canadian feed bans “very, very similar.” One difference, however, is that the United States allows restaurant plate waste and poultry litter to be used in ruminant feed, whereas Canada does not, he said. Two cattle-producer groups, R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) and the National Farmers Union, declined to join the call to end the import ban. An R-CALF spokesman contended that US and Canadian safeguards are inadequate and that the three BSE cases in Canada show the feed restrictions there have not worked. But Bill Bullard, a spokesman for R-CALF USA, disagreed. He called the US BSE safeguards “inadequate” in comparison with those of many other countries. The US feed ban is the same as one imposed in the United Kingdom in 1988, which failed to stop the spread of BSE there, he said. He also said the United States has yet to follow the recommendation of experts to ban the use of cattle blood and poultry litter in cattle feed. He warned that without access to Canadian cattle, American slaughter plants will continue to operate below capacity, forcing some to cut back their operations, even though high beef prices are likely to trigger increased US cattle production. As US slaughterhouses shut down, US cattle producers have fewer places to sell their cattle, Collin said. Mike Johns of the National Cattleman’s Beef Association and John Adams of the National Milk Producers Federation also expressed support for reopening the border. “The longer the border remains closed, the more likely Canada will continue to expand cattle slaughter and beef exports to the United States, and ultimately to the rest of the world,” Collins said. In addition, Bullard said that Canada has not met international standards recommended for preventing the spread of BSE because it has not banned SRM from all animal feed. (Neither Canada nor the United States has banned SRM from feed for nonruminant animals. Such a ban would prevent cross-contamination, whereby SRM in cattle parts used in feed for pigs, poultry, or pets could end up in cattle feed if both kinds of feed are made with the same equipment or in the same plant. Cross-contamination also can occur if cattle are given feed intended for other animals.) “We need to be consistent. The only way to do that is to open up to Canada on the same terms and conditions that we’re asking from Japan and others,” said Kuehne of the American Meat Institute.last_img read more

US marijuana use doubles in a decade

first_imgNZ Herald 22 October 2015Nearly one in 10 adults smokes marijuana in the US, a rate that has more than doubled in the past decade as laws and attitudes about pot relax, researchers said.However, experts warned that the rise in marijuana use has also been accompanied by an increase in abuse and dependence.“Based on the results of our surveys, marijuana use in the United States has risen rapidly over the past decade, with about three in 10 people who use marijuana meeting the criteria for addiction,” said George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.“Given these increases, it is important that the scientific community convey information to the public about the potential harms.”Researchers found that 9.5 per cent of adults in the United States smoke marijuana, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Psychiatry.That has risen from a rate of 4.1 per cent in 2001-2002. read more

Badgers avoid own upset in rout of Grambling State

first_imgTrevon Hughes goes up for an acrobatic shot during the contest Saturday.[/media-credit]Coming off an emotionally exhausting win against Duke last Wednesday, the biggest obstacle the Wisconsin basketball team had to overcome was the chance of complacency in a Saturday afternoon contest with Grambling State.Pouring in a quick 12 points in the crucial first five minutes, the Badgers alleviated any hangover concerns pretty quickly on their way to a dominating 79-46 victory.Predictably, UW head coach Bo Ryan made sure Thursday morning the Duke game was far from everyone’s mind.“I think it’s always hard to come back and practice the next day after a win like that,” UW sophomore guard Jordan Taylor said about the Duke game. “But we have a coach who puts a lot of emphasis on what’s next. So that is what we are used to doing at this point.”Going up against a guard-heavy Tiger team, UW’s backcourt provided the majority of the scoring with Trevon Hughes tallying a game-high 20 points and Jason Bohannon and Jordan Taylor each finishing with 11 points.Besides lighting up the scoreboard, Wisconsin’s guards took care of the ball and distributed well for the second straight game.“We just have to make plays and get in the lane. Jordan (Taylor) did a good job again getting in the paint and making plays today. He finished well. He was 5-for-6 and his turnover ratio was great and so was Jason Bohannon.”Getting the ball in the paint seemingly at will in the first half, Wisconsin finished the game shooting 60 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc — marking the third straight game the Badgers shot over 40 percent from 3-point land.Bohannon in particular lit up the nets from the perimeter knocking down three of four 3-pointers including two in the first six minutes of the game. After struggling with his deep shot against the Blue Devils, the quick turnaround for Bohannon was a welcome sight for Badger fans.“It feels good,” Bohannon said. “You just have to have confidence in your shot. The shots were there against Duke and the shots were there again today and the happened to fall today. If my shots aren’t falling, I’m trying to contribute in some other way and that’s how any other person on the team is.”Entering the second half with a 14-point lead, UW quickly stretched the difference to 22 points in less than three minutes of play.The barrage included two three pointers and a dunk to completely demoralize Grambling State.“It was like the first three minutes, the first four minutes; we didn’t come out to compete,” Grambling State head coach Bobby Washington said. “We just didn’t hit shots and of course Wisconsin’s big bodies. After a while those big bodies lay on you and we have small bodies and it wears you down.”And wear down they did.For the game, Wisconsin scored 34 points in the paint and got to the free throw line 28 times, making 19.The swing offense was in full effect with 10 different players putting up points for Wisconsin.“Well, there will be teams that will be bigger, stronger. Everybody knows that,” Ryan said. “But again, we always coach the game of basketball, not the opposition. They key is that for us, we are respecting the game of basketball and playing it like it should be played. So, I would say 80 percent of the time we did that.”After avoiding any emotional letdown, the Badgers will likely be ranked in the top 25 for the upcoming week.Sticking to the company line, this of course matters little to any of the players.“It really doesn’t mean a lot to us,” Bohannon said. “We like to stay focused on one game at a time. We have to get to where we want to be in March and get to where we want to be come the Big Ten season.”last_img read more

Stranger things on court have LA Clippers upside-down

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error LOS ANGELES — Clippers guard J.J. Redick spent his free time during training camp sprinting through the Netflix original horror series “Stranger Things.”And, by the time the credits rolled on the final episode, he probably thought he was done with the show until new episodes are released sometime in 2017.But Wednesday night at Staples, Redick might’ve thought he was right back in the upside down world of that show.After all, there was a bald-headed, short person bleeding from the nose (Chris Paul). The Clippers played a game in the 80s, the decade when the show is set. And, the strangest thing of all, they continued to be the opposite of what we expected from them. Through four games, they’re a bench-led, defense-first team that is struggling to create offense. And Wednesday, things kept looking odd.Paul, normally sure-handed with the ball, turned it over five times. Blake Griffin, normally proficient from the mid-range, missed shots in a bunch of different ways. And Redick, one of the best shooters in the NBA, failed to even hit the rim on a wide-open look.And while all this happened, they played incredibly tough defense, fought toe-to-toe with the best rebounding teams in the NBA and lost a game in which only one player on the other team score more than nine points.Stranger things indeed.“Our defense is ahead of our offense right now,” guard Jamal Crawford said. “That’s not anything we’ve said at this point in the season before.”center_img While the sample sizes are incredibly small, through Wednesday the Clippers have the second-best defense in the NBA. They’re defending the 3-point line, they’re rebounding in the top 10, they’re forcing more turnovers than anyone else.Instead of being a team that is throwing down dunk after dunk, they’ve won games by getting stop after stop.That’s the good news.The bad news, they’ve been one of the worst offense’s in the league. Weirder still, their starting lineup has been the primary culprit.Through four games, Griffin, Paul, Redick, DeAndre Jordan and Luc Mbah a Moute are scoring 97.5 points per 100 possessions. Last year, Clipper starters score more than 110 per 100 possessions.Using true shooting percentage, a metric that combines and weights free throw, 2-point and 3-point baskets, the Clippers’ starters were the second-best shooting group in the NBA. So far this year, they’re tied for third worst.While they certainly shot the ball poorly Wednesday, unable to crack 40 percent from the field against the Thunder, the Clippers’ problems ran deeper.“Tonight it was just not shooting, though we got open shots. Tonight, it was the way we played,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “Other than that, I’ve not been disappointed offensively. We’ve missed shots that I think we’ll make eventually. I’m not worried about that.”His players, though, have expressed some early signs of concern. They’ve said things like the offseason alterations to their playbook haven’t really caught on. They’ve griped about the ball movement, about the lack of pace and the inability to get the shots they’re used to getting. And, they’ve noticed timing — something a group with this level of continuity shouldn’t worry about — is way off.Following Wednesday’s game, Rivers and Redick had an extended conversation in the Staples Center hallway. Before doing his postgame media responsibilities, Paul also went looking to talk to Rivers.That the players are looking for their coach for a few minutes after a loss isn’t strange. That they’re talking about a struggling offense certainly is.No one is scared that the offense won’t come back from the upside-down. No one is freaking out about the supernaturally weird misses, the spooky turnovers or the horrifying inability to score points — not while the team is defending and rebounding so well.“If offense is a thing we’re worried about, then we’re in good shape,” Griffin said Wednesday, evoking their past success. “… It’s not something that’s impossible to correct. And, I think it’ll come. But, it needs to come sooner than later.”last_img read more

Mark Ssonko to officiate at 2019 AFCON

first_imgSsonko (left) will be among the 29 assistant referees at the AFCON finals. (Agency Photo)Event: 2019 AFCON Finals Date: 19th June – 19th July, 2019Host: EgyptUganda’s Mark Ssonko will be one of the 55 officials that will officiate at the upcoming 2019 AFCON finals in Egypt.This was confirmed on Wednesday night after CAF released a list of officials who will be at the 32nd edition of Africa’s football showpiece.Ssonko will be the only Ugandan referee at the finals but is part of the 8 that will represent the CECAFA region.He has been listed among the 29 assistant referees who will assist at the tournament which will run from 19th June to 19th July.Host country Egypt has the biggest number of officials (6) with Tunisia and Senegal contributing five apiece.Algeria, Cameroon, Morocco and Sudan have three officials apiece.The rest of the countries have either one or two.The Uganda Cranes will also be part of the tournament after sealing qualification earlier this year.They are in Group A alongside Egypt, DR Congo and Zimbabwe.The Cranes are in Group A of the finals. (file photo)The list of Referees that will officiate at the 2019 AFCON:Mustapha Ghorbal (Algeria), Joshua Bondo (Botswana), Pacifique Ndahibawenimana (Burundi), Alioum Alioum (Cameroon), Amin Mohamed Omar (Egypt), Gehad Gerisha (Egypt), Mahmoud Zakria El Banna (Egypt), Bamiak Tessema (Ethiopia), Gassama Bakary Pap (Gambia), Daniel Nii Ayi Laryea (Ghana), Peter Waweru (Kenya), Mahamadou Keita (Mali), Redouane Jiyed (Morocco), Noureddine El Jaafari (Morocco), Jackson Pavaza (Namibia), Jean Jacques Ndala Ngambo (Democratic Republic of Congo), Louis Hakizamana (Rwanda), Maguette Ndiaye (Senegal), Bernard Camille (Seychelles), El Fadil Mohamed Hussein (Sudan), Sadok Selmi (Tunisia), Youssef Essrayri (Tunisia), Guirat Haythem (Tunisia), Jannu Sikazwe (Zambia), Issa Sy (Senegal), Belda Dahane (Mauritania)The list of Assistant Referees that will be at the 2019 AFCON:Mokrane Gourari (Algeria), Abdelhak Etchiali (Algeria), Seydou Tiama (Burkina Faso), Nguegoue Elvis Guy Noupue (Cameroon), Evarist Menkouande (Cameroon), Issa Yaya (Chad), Soulaimane Almadine (Comoros), Tahssen Abo El Sadat (Egypt), Abouelregal Mahmoud (Egypt), Ahmed Hossam Taha (Egypt), Tesfagiorghis Berhe (Eritrea), Samuel Temesgin (Ethiopia), Sidibe Sidiki (Guinea), Gilbert K. Cheruiyot (Kenya), Souru Phatsoane (Lesotho), Attia Amsaaed (Libya), Lionel Andrianantenaina (Madagascar), Azgaou Lahcen (Morocco), Arsenio Maringule (Mozamibque), Mahamadou Yahaya (Niger), Baba Adel (Nigeria), Oliver Safari (Democratic Republic of Congo), El Hadji Malick Samba (Senegal), Djibril Camara (Senegal), Mohammed Ibrahim (Sudan), Waleed Ahmed Ali (Sudan), Yamen Mellouchi (Tunisia), Anouar Hmila (Tunisia), Mark Ssonko (Uganda)Comments Tags: 2019 AFCONMark SsonkoUganda Craneslast_img read more