NATIONAL MEAT ASSOCIATION h 1970 Broadway, Suite 825, Oakland, CA 94612

(510) 763-1533 Fax (510) 763-6186 h Email Address: [email protected] h

Edited by Kiran Kernellu

August 18, 2003





Guidance from our technical consultant, Louis A. Ciferni, who attended the Livestock and Seed Program/Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) educational and informational meeting on the voluntary USDA Beef Export Verification (BEV) Program in Kansas City, MO last Monday, is now available. Members who would like to receive this information electronically should contact Kiran Kernellu at 510-763-1533 or [email protected]. Members exporting to Japan are encouraged to submit their BEV plans as soon as possible.


AMS has the following information on the BEV Program posted on its website at:


Last Wednesday and Thursday the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), in cooperation with AMS, held teleconferences to help participants better understand the requirements of the BEV Program. AMS has already begun examining BEV plans and sending out its Program auditors. Officials encouraged participants to be concise in BEV plans, as a lengthy document will require more analysis. Potential participants are also encouraged to submit plans as soon as possible, especially because the Agency aims for a two-day turnaround between plan submittal and initial audit.

BEV Program guidance materials are also available to the public on the USMEF website at:, or by clicking on “Beef Export Verification (BEV)” at the bottom of the USMEF homepage, Scroll down to find the following documents: LS Form 313; AMS’ BEV Program Q&A; sample cover letter; example BEV Program Policies and Procedures chart; Sample Quality Plan Addressing Program Requirements and Plan-Do-Check-Act chart; BEV Program checklist.; and AMS PowerPoint presentation with program and procedure overviews,

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Reuters reported last Monday that Japan’s farm ministry confirmed that it has reached an agreement on beef imports from the U.S., according to Kyodo news agency. Under the USDA Beef Export Verification (BEV) Program, the U.S. will issue certificates for its beef exports stating the meat is U.S.-produced. Japan will have the right to refuse any imports of beef without such certification, the agency added. “A reliable system has been established in order to prevent Canadian beef from being shipped to Japan via the U.S.,” Hiroshi Nakagawa, an official at the agriculture ministry, said in the Kyodo report.




NMA’s 2003 Summer Conference and Board Meeting is only days away! There is still time to register for the event. Contact NMA at 510-763-1533 or [email protected] for more information and registration materials. Pre-registration is encouraged. Please call the NMA office by August 20, 2003 if you plan to attend.


Don’t miss out on Industry Meeting speakers Barry Carpenter, Livestock & Seed Division, AMS/USDA; Tim Biela, Texas American Foodservice; David Hall, aLF Ventures; William Smith, OFO/FSIS/USDA; Wythe Willey, Esquire; Richard Alaniz, Alaniz & Schraeder; Dr. Bill Mies, eMerge; and Dr. Kerri Harris, International HACCP Alliance. Dr. Gary Smith, Colorado State University, will also speak at the Industry Meeting, in addition to providing a presentation for the Beef Committee Meeting. Other committee meeting presenters include: Phil Olsson, Esquire, Olsson, Frank & Weeda; Bob Savage, HACCP Consulting Group; and Dr. Nick Nickelson, Standard Meat Company. Remember, all committee meetings are open to members. The Friday Luncheon presentation by Dr. Elsa Murano, Under Secretary for Food Safety, is sure to be informative and inspiring.


Download a copy of the brochure, which includes a registration form, for the Conference at: Download a registration form for the Regulatory Issues & Update Seminar at: Update _ Issues Seminar-2.pdf.


We look forward to seeing you at the Annual Summer Conference in Lake Geneva, WI, August 20-23, 2003 at the beautiful Grand Geneva Resort & Spa!




Lean Trimmings and Herd on the Hill are offered electronically. If you’d like to receive the newsletter via e-mail, please contact Kiran Kernellu at [email protected] or 510-763-1533. Receive the latest news every Monday afternoon in your inbox instead of waiting for it in the mail!


NMA reports news items that are of special interest to its readers, and provides information that they may want to be able to access.  Below are links to the Federal Register, AMS, APHIS, and FSIS, respectively:


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FSIS is holding five workshops around the country to explain its new rule, “Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-to-eat Meat and Poultry Products,” to owners and operators of small and very small inspected establishments, as reported last week in Lean Trimmings. Workshops will be held September 13 in Raleigh, NC, and Bridgeport, CT; September 20 in Kansas City, KS; and October 4 in Oakland, CA and Albuquerque, NM. Meeting sites in each city will soon be announced.


The new rule, which becomes effective on October 6, 2003, requires that producers of RTE products exposed to the environment after lethality treatments have controls for L. monocytogenes, and verify the effectiveness of those controls through testing. FSIS also will test varying its verification activities according to the nature and effectiveness of the strategies being used by the plant. The workshops will provide attendees detailed information on the rule, including alternative control strategies that may be used, sampling and recordkeeping requirements, and the use of labeling claims.


Attendees should register in advance by contacting Sheila Johnson at 202-690-6498 or [email protected]. Because of limited space, preference will be given to representatives of federal and state small and very small meat and poultry establishments.




Last Tuesday Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elsa Murano announced the establishment of a New Technology Office within FSIS. The new office is part of USDA’s food safety vision, which includes strategies to improve the safety of the U.S. food supply including programs to improve workforce training, best management practices and risk analysis coordination as well as a comprehensive food safety research agenda. Dr. Murano said in a release that the new office was created to streamline implementation of new technologies in a plant’s operations and reduce the amount time it takes the agency to review safe new technologies.


The office will review new food safety intervention technologies to ensure that their use is consistent with agency regulations and that they will not adversely affect product safety, inspection procedures, or the safety of FSIS inspectors. Though not a requirement, Dr. Murano said that companies would benefit from submitting new technologies because they can avoid delays to their operations. To this end, FSIS has established an e-mail address, [email protected], to encourage the expanded use of new technologies by allowing interested parties to submit their information on-line.


The New Technology Office will manage the review process for experimental protocols, handling assessments related to new uses of approved substances and labeling considerations for these technologies. The office will also coordinate with academics affiliated with USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service. Additionally, the office will launch a website containing summaries of new technologies under review along with their approval status and sources of additional information about the technologies covered.


“The combination of science and new technologies offers endless possibilities for success in our fight against foodborne illness,” said Dr. Murano in the release. “The New Technology Office will place greater emphasis on encouraging the use of new technologies that can help reduce pathogens on meat and poultry products.” Learn more about the New Technology office at:


August 20Regulatory Update & Issues Seminar – Lake Geneva, WI

August 21-23 - Basic HACCP in Spanish -- Los Angeles, CA

September 18-20 - Basic HACCP -- San Francisco, CA

October 1-2 - Beyond Basics  -- College Station, TX

Contact NMA at (510) 763-1533 or [email protected] for more information and registration materials.

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Reuters reported last Thursday that Canada is prepared to dramatically increase the number of cattle it tests for BSE. Reportedly, regulators want to move to test all ill cattle and all cattle that die on farms. George Luterbach, a veterinarian with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), reportedly told a gathering of cattle farmers that the agency wants to test 20,000 to 60,000 cattle a year, up from levels of 10,000 in recent years. However, CFIA will not test all animals that go for slaughter, as Japan has requested, Luterbach reportedly said. “Testing normal, healthy animals is not the most efficient way to find (the disease),” he said in the report.



NMA - East: 1400 - 16th St. N.W., Suite 400, Washington D.C. 20036 Ph. (202) 667-2108

NMA - West: 1970 Broadway, Suite 825, Oakland, CA 94612 Ph. (510) 763-1533 Fax (510) 763-6186

Edited by Kiran Kernellu

August 18, 2003




The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided on July 11, 2003 in Orleans International, Inc. v. United States that the lower court, in this case the United States Court of International Trade, had erred when it held that it did not have jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s claim that it should not be required to pay check-off money on beef imports.  The plaintiff, an importer of meat, challenged the constitutionality of import assessments mandated by the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985.  The Court of Appeals, in a two to one decision, reversed the lower court’s ruling and remanded the case for further proceedings to the lower court.




The Alameda District Office has informed NMA of the beginning of a proactive Very Small Plant Project.  The project consists of evaluations conducted by FSIS front line Supervisors who have received training in CSO methodology. The evaluations will verify the development and implementation of HACCP and SSOP programs as well as microbiological testing requirements in conjunction with generic E. coli testing and compliance with the Salmonella performance standards.


The District Office has indicated that front line Supervisors will also evaluate records associated with HACCP and SSOP regulatory requirements. The District Office estimates that front line Supervisors will select 25% of the very small plants in their circuits for review.  NMA understands that the project will commence on August 25 and conclude toward the end of September. NMA urges the very small plants to cooperate openly with the reviewing official and request an exit interview to learn about any findings, which should be addressed immediately.    




In the FSIS Administrator’s briefing this morning, it was clarified that E. coli O157:H7 testing for this school year will now be done by the AMS laboratory and results will be notified back to the AMS staff and the company promptly.  These results will no longer be relayed through FSIS’s LEARN system to the official establishment.  Further, it was clarified that FSIS should not be taking regulatory samples of the same product that is being sampled by AMS. Such sampling is duplicative and AMS is the primary agency for this sampling. 




The U.S., Canada and Mexico are expected to lay out proposals to the World Organization for Animal Health, the OIE, in September, Alex Thiermann, a BSE expert for the group was reported as saying in the Wall Street Journal today.  At base is the disproportionate trade reaction that occurred as a result of identifying a single case of BSE in Canada earlier this year. Certainly, Canadians have rallied around the country’s beef industry and consumed record quantities when other countries shut their borders to Canadian beef. And certainly, the Canadian authorities searched intensively for additional cases and found none. 


USDA’s delegate to the OIE is Dr. Peter Fernandez, a veterinarian with USDA’s APHIS. He is quoted as saying that we’re trying to find ways that countries can find a means to continue trade. Canada, because of its single finding, falls under OIE’s moderate BSE risk category and would have to be free of BSE for seven years to move into the “minimal BSE risk” category, as presently defined. 


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Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy G. Thompson and Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced last Monday the 13 professionals who will serve on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the group responsible for reviewing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans report, which is published every five years.  This will be the sixth edition, slated for release in 2005.


The Committee designees will meet in the early fall to review and update the most recent scientific literature in preparation for the release of the 2005 version of Dietary Guidelines for Americans, advise HHS and USDA on any nutritional and dietary revisions necessary to the guidelines before they are republished, and ensure that the science behind the Guidelines is translated for the public in a user-friendly, easily understandable format. The following individuals have been designated for membership to the advisory committee:


Lawrence J. Appel, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 


Yvonne Bronner, Sc.D., R.D., L.D., Professor and Director of MPH/DrPH Program, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD


Benjamin Caballero, M.D., Ph.D., Director and Professor of the Center for Human Nutrition and Division of Human Nutrition, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD  


Carlos Arturo Camargo, Jr., M.D., Dr.P.H., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 


Fergus M. Clydesdale, Ph.D., Professor of Food Science and Dean of the College of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA


Vay Liang W. Go, M.D., Professor of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine


Janet C. King, Ph.D., R.D., Senior Scientist, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, CA, Professor Emerita, Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology, University of California at Berkeley, CA; Adjunct Professor, Department of Nutrition and the Department of Internal Medicine; University of California at Davis, CA 


Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Ph.D., R.D., Distinguished Professor of Nutrition, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 


Joanne R. Lupton, Ph.D., Professor of Animal Science, of Food Science and Technology, of Nutritional Sciences, and of Veterinary Anatomy and Public Health, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 


Theresa A. Nicklas, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., L.N., Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 


Russell R. Pate, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research, School of Public Health, and Professor, Department of Exercise Science, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC


F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, M.D., M.P.H., Director, Obesity Research Center, Professor of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition, St.Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, New York, NY                                                                                                                          


Connie M. Weaver, Ph.D., Head and Distinguished Professor, Department of Foods and Nutrition, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN


For more information, visit




Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Mark McClellan, in an address at the National Press Club recently, outlined some key principles in FDA’s science-based enforcement strategy. In terms of deterrence, he said, “Since the other steps don’t always work, [we] seek out bad actors aggressively, and punish them using the most effective tools available, including enforcement actions and criminal prosecutions that will stand up in court … and as the public health threats we face continue to evolve, one thing remains the same at FDA: we will continue to ensure that we are bringing to bear the best tools, methods, and personnel to keep Americans safe and secure. Day and night, here at home and around the world, the FDA is on the job,” Dr. McClellan added. Read more of his speech at: