Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) on the Positive Finding of BSE in the United States

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced another confirmed case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a cow within the United States. USDA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are now conducting an investigation into this case to determine where this animal was born, what feed it consumed, and what offspring it had.  Answering these questions would be much more rapid and certain if USDA would move ahead to put in place a national animal identification system.  

“Consumers should not question the safety of U.S. beef based on this test.  In addition to the other safeguards in place, it is important to note that this particular cow was destroyed and kept out of the human and animal food chains.  Nevertheless, this latest case is another reminder on how critical it is that USDA and FDA further strengthen BSE safeguards to reassure both U.S. and foreign consumers that the United States is doing everything possible to prevent BSE in the U.S. cattle herd.”