FDA Strengthens Protection Against Mad Cow Disease

WASHINGTON - Closing loopholes in protections against mad cow disease, the Food and Drug Administration yesterday banned brains and other cattle parts that could carry the disease's infectious agent from use in cosmetics and dietary supplements.
calendar icon 13 May 2008
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The action puts the agency's restrictions in line with those issued by the Agriculture Department after the brain-wasting disease was found in December in a Holstein cow in Washington state.

The ban affects products made from animals 30 months of age and older, the age in which the government has said the brain-wasting disease can be found. The restrictions prohibit the use of the brain and spinal cord, where the misshapen proteins blamed for mad cow disease are considered most likely to be found. The banned parts from the older animals also include skulls, eyes, and nervous-system tissue close to the spinal cord.

However, the use of tallow, a processed fat made from cattle, will still be allowed provided it carries less than .15 percent impurities, which could include proteins. Tallow is used in cosmetics, but the FDA has said that the high heat and pressure used to make it should minimize any risk of having mad cow infectious agents in tallow.

Source: Philly
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