SACRAMENTO, April 24, 2012 – CDFA Secretary Karen Ross issued this statement following the USDA’s announcement of the detection of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a California dairy cow:
“The detection of BSE shows that the surveillance program in place in California and around the country is working. Milk and beef remain safe to consume. The disease is not transmitted through milk. Because of the strength of the food protection system, the cow did not enter the food or feed supply. There are numerous safeguards in place to prevent BSE from entering the food chain.
“The atypical BSE designation is important because this is a very rare form of BSE not generally associated with an animal consuming infected feed. CDFA veterinarians are working with the USDA to investigate this case and to identify whether additional cows are at risk. Feed restrictions in place in California and around the country for the last 15 years minimize that risk to the greatest degree possible. We will provide additional information about this case as it becomes available.”
The USDA announcement may be viewed at: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2012/04/0132.xml&contentidonly=true
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814