November 19, 2020

USDA reports second inconclusive BSE test

first_img The second inconclusive test came 4 days after the first one was announced Jun 25. A USDA laboratory in Ames, Iowa, is now doing confirmatory testing of tissue samples from both cattle. Because the additional tests could rule out BSE, the agency has not disclosed where the cattle came from, where the screening tests were done, or any other details. Jun 30, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Another inconclusive result on a rapid screening test for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was announced late yesterday afternoon by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). “The inconclusive result does not mean that we have found another case of BSE in this country,” said Dr. John Clifford, deputy administrator of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), in a prepared statement. Repeating comments he made in announcing the previous inconclusive test, he added that screening tests are designed to be extremely sensitive and some inconclusive results are expected. “USDA remains confident in the safety of the US beef supply,” Clifford said. He said the exclusion of specified risk materials—tissues most likely to contain the BSE agent in an infected cow—from the food supply would protect the public if more cases of BSE were found. “The carcass has been accounted for and is not in the food supply,” Clifford said. The USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames is conducting the confirmatory tests, and results in the second case are expected in 4 to 7 days, Clifford said. He promised to provide more information about the animal and its origin if the test comes back positive. Clifford said the USDA would hold a technical briefing on the BSE testing program later today. The use of rapid screening tests began with the expansion of USDA’s BSE surveillance Jun 1 as a result of the discovery of a single case of BSE in Washington state last December. The agency plans to screen more than 200,000 cattle over the next 12 to 18 months to assess the existence or prevalence of BSE in US herds. BSE screening tests were conducted on 8,585 cattle in the first 4 weeks of the expanded surveillance program, according to APHIS figures.last_img read more

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Nontariff barriers disadvantage poor people: Think tank

first_imgIndonesia’s nontariff barriers on food imports may limit the accessibility and affordability of nutritious foods, which have become increasingly important for poor communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a think tank has said.Indonesia has 433 nontariff measures related to food imports, which include quantitative restriction or quota, sanitary standards and inspection before shipment in the exporting country, according to data compiled by the Center for Indonesian Policy Studies (CIPS).Beef imports, for example, need 11 administrative requirements and four technical requirements just to get a recommendation from the Agriculture Ministry, the first of six steps in a long process.“With this, now our beef prices are significantly higher than international prices, which makes it harder for people, especially those with lower incomes, to afford beef,” CIPS head of research Felippa Amanta said in a virtual discussion on Thursday.While the government aims to reduce food imports, the average price of beef in Indonesia stood above Rp 100,000 (US$6.93) per kilogram in October 2019, while the global average was slightly lower than Rp 80,000 per kg, according to data compiled by CIPS.The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the country’s economy this year, with the government expecting full-year growth to reach only 1 percent under a baseline scenario or contract by 0.4 percent under a worst-case scenario. On top of an estimated 3 million job loss as of May, the government predicts up to 5.5 million workers could lose their jobs, while 4 million could fall below the poverty line.With the possibility of worsening poverty this year due to the health crisis, eliminating nontariff barriers to minimize price hikes may help Indonesians maintain a sufficient food intake, especially for import-dependent commodities, CIPS stated. Indonesia’s import dependency rate for staple foods is highest for wheat, which stands at 100 percent, followed by garlic at 93.7 percent, according to a report released in May by the World Food Program’s (WFP) Indonesia branch.As it stands, 19.4 million Indonesians are unable to meet their dietary requirements, compounded by poverty and high food prices, according to WFP data. The price of rice in Indonesia is 50 to 70 percent higher than in neighboring countries.Iqbal Wibisono, an associate researcher at CIPS, said on Thursday that eliminating nontariff barriers could lower prices and increase staple food consumption, especially among the poor.For example, reversing nontariff barriers for rice might raise consumption by 1 percent for the poorest 20 percent of Indonesians.“When the price of rice is high, the poor cannot afford it. They have to substitute rice with inferior or cheaper carbohydrates,” Iqbal said.The government is planning to import 612,011 tons of sugar, 603,911 tons of garlic and 282,842 tons of beef to meet demand between May and December.However, the pandemic has disrupted the logistics of food trade as some producing countries like India is under lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.With multiple layers of buyers and sellers, the logistical disruption has affected Indonesia’s food supply chain quite badly, said John McCarthy, an associate professor at the Australian National University in Canberra.“When we have these shutdowns or logistics problems, a lot of people fall out of the systems,” McCarthy said. “This, of course, varies across different commodities.”Topics :last_img read more

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