OAKLAND, CA – National Meat Association applauded Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns’ announcement today that USDA would better prioritize its efforts to assure the safety of the U.S. meat supply. With over 759,000 animals tested and cleared, USDA’s surveillance program for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) has far exceeded the number of tests initially planned.

“The enhanced surveillance program is a complete success, and has proven that BSE exists in the United States at only a very low level. It’s time USDA enhanced other critical areas,” said NMA Executive Director Rosemary Mucklow.

USDA will continue testing of at-risk livestock at a rate of 40,000 animals per year, an amount 10 times that of the international standard recommended by the OIE. Consumer safety will continue to be protected by a series of interlocking firewalls, including the ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban and the removal of Specified Risk Materials (SRMs) from the human food supply. 

National Meat Association is a non-profit trade association. Since 1946, NMA has represented meat packers and processors, equipment manufacturers and food suppliers who provide services to the meat industry. The association has members throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Australia and Mexico.

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