On Monday Tommy G. Thompson, secretary of health and human services announced that the Food and Drug Administration will implement several new food security protocols to further tighten the controls that keep BSE out of the American food supply.

The new safeguards are science-based and further bolster the multiple levels of safeguards already in place. They include:

  • A ban on a wide range of bovine-derived material for use in human food, including dietary supplements, and cosmetics. This extends the same safeguards that protect Americans from exposure to the agent of BSE through meat products regulated by USDA to food products that FDA regulates. (This includes any material from "downer" or dead cows, and any specified risk materials.)
  • FDA will also further strengthen FDA’s 1997 "animal feed" rule by the following actions:
  • Eliminate the present exemption that allows mammalian blood and blood products collected at slaughter to be fed to other ruminants as a protein source.
  • Ban the use of "poultry litter" as a feed ingredient for ruminant animals.
  • Ban the use of "plate waste" as a feed ingredient for ruminants. Plate waste consists of uneaten meat and other meat scraps that are currently collected from some large restaurant operations and rendered into meat and bone meal for animal feed.
  • Require equipment, facilities or production lines to be dedicated to non-ruminant animal feeds if they use protein that is prohibited in ruminant feed. Currently, some equipment, facilities and production lines process or handle ruminant and non-ruminant feed — a practice that could lead to cross-contamination.

To implement these new protections, FDA will publish two interim final rules that will take effect immediately upon publication, although there will be an opportunity for public comment after publication.

For the complete press release, go to: http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/news/2004/hhs_012604.html