CSPI on Bush Administration "Broken Promises" on Mad Cow Protections

Statement of CSPI Food Safety Director Caroline Smith DeWaal

July 9, 2004

The Bush Administration today broke its promise to institute important new protections for animal feed. Instead of regulations, the agency issued a second Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking--a fancy bureaucratic tool for delay--on the critical issue of the safety of animal feed.

Last January, FDA announced that it would issue an interim final rule to ban cow blood, poultry litter, and plate waste from being used in animal feed. This would have offered immediate protection. But instead of delivering these promised reforms that have been under consideration since 2002, today FDA announced another formal study of these issues, which delays a final rule by a year or more.

Also, the FDA banned the use of brain, spinal cord, tonsil, and other risky cattle parts from use in human food, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. Unfortunately, that ban is incomplete because FDA relied on the USDA definition of Specified Risk Materials that allows their use if they come from cattle younger than 30 months.

These regulatory actions are disappointing and represent more broken promises by the Bush administration. Why the animal feed industry would fight for the right to feed cow blood, poultry litter, and plate waste to animals destined for the food supply is totally beyond me.


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