Last week USDA officials confirmed that two cases of BSE in the U.S., one in Texas last year and one in Alabama this year, resulted from an atypical strain of the disease. The strain identified in these two cases matches about a dozen other cases where atypical BSE was found in France, Italy, and other European countries and Japan.

More research is needed to understand if these atypical cases of BSE are spontaneous in nature, or if another mode of transmission is at work. 

USDA chief veterinarian John Clifford told the Associated Press that until science reveals otherwise, these cases will be treated as BSE. USDA has no plans to change the current safeguards that project the U.S. beef supply.

For more from the Chicago Tribune, go to:,1,6377640.story?track=rss

Associated Press, Chicago Tribune,  Dow Jones Newswire