Last night US authorities received an inconclusive test result of a rapid test from animal samples as part of the country’s enhanced BSE surveillance programme. John Clifford, US Chief Veterinarian, said an inconclusive result does not necessarily mean BSE, it just means there is a possibility.

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy = BSE = Mad Cow Disease

John Clifford added that the cow did not enter the food chain. In about four to seven days conclusive results should be available.

This is the last thing US meat exporters wanted just as the country is trying to get Japan to start buying US beef again. Since December 2003 there have been two confirmed cases of BSE in the USA. If tests prove positive, this one will be the third.

Japan is the USA’s number 1 beef importer.

Both Japan and South Korea have been reluctant to resume beef imports from the USA, despite assurances from Americans that their beef is safe. On January 20 beef imports stopped, after opening for a short period, after forbidden spinal material was found in veal.

Written by: Christian Nordqvist
Editor: Medical News Today