OIE Panel Recommends Upgrade for U.S. BSE Risk Classification
The Scientific Commission for the World Organization for Animal Health has recommended upgrading the U.S. risk classification for BSE to negligible risk. Negligible risk is the lowest risk level under the OIE animal health code. Countries with negligible risk status have implemented robust BSE controls and done extensive surveillance of their herds to demonstrate this extremely low risk level. U.S. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the ruling will greatly support efforts to increase exports of U.S. beef and beef products. He notes that the commission said the risk assessments submitted for their evaluation were robust and comprehensive - and that U.S. surveillance for and safeguards against BSE are strong. Vilsack says the U.S. continues to press for normalization of beef trade with several nations in a manner that is based on science and consistent with international standards. According to Vilsack - U.S. food and agricultural exporters and consumers worldwide benefit when countries adopt international standards.
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