Governments



U.S. GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AND RELATED ORGANIZATIONS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION CENTER FOR FOOD SAFETY AND APPLIED NUTRITION CENTER FOR VETERINARY MEDICINE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE UNITED STATES ANIMAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION NATIONAL JOHNE'S WORKING GROUP ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY


USDA:- Food Safety Inspection Service

Overview


Governed by United States Department of Agriculture
 
Mission StatementThe Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the public health agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture responsible for ensuring that the nation's commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged, as required by the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Poultry Productions Inspection Act, and the Egg Productions Inspection Act.
 
AdministratorDr. Tom Vilsack
 
Web Pagehttp://www.usda.gov/agency/fsis/homepage.htm
 
Overview The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) provides service to consumers by regulating the meat, poultry, and egg product industries to ensure that products in interstate commerce are safe, wholesome, and accurately labeled. The FSIS stated strategic goal is "to enhance the public health by minimizing foodborne illness from meat, poultry, and egg products."
 
Paper TrailSee PARA's Paper TrailNew window link indicator for communications between PARA and various agencies of the U.S. Government.
 


Before proceeding further, we would encourage you to read the Important Developments Page prior to reading the rest of this webpage. This will give you some background which may be helpful in evaluating the action or inaction taken by FSIS, and to assess PARA's Concerns in light of significant developments that have taken place around the world.
 


   
   

Introduction


The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is a subordinate agency of USDA, and holds responsibility for ensuring the safety of the nation's beef supply.

Since MAP is not classified as a human pathogen, despite evidence suggesting that MAP may cause disease in humans, beef from MAP- infected cattle is not prevented from entering the human food chain. Beef producers are largely unfamiliar with Johne's Disease. And while both the USDA and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association talk about controlling this disease, there is no federally mandated Johne's Disease control program. Many states have no Johne's Disease control program, and in states where there are Johne's Disease control programs, these programs are voluntary.   (For more information, see the dedicated USDA Page.)

In a  2001 study entitled "Isolation of Mycobacterium paratuberculosis (M.ptb) from thin market cows at slaughter," 189 Dairy Cows and 350 Beef Cows  were sampled for MAP at three large slaughter plants.  (Rossiter, C.A., Henning, W.R., J. Anim. Sci., Vol. 79, Suppl.1/J. Dairy Sci. Vol. 84, Suppl. 1/Poult.Sci. Vol. 80, Suppl. 1/ 54th Annu. Rec. Meat Conf., Vol. II)   

The study had two objectives:

  1. Assess the prevalence of Johne's disease in sound, thin dairy and beef cows at slaughter, at high risk of clinical infection; and
     
  2. Assess M.ptb dissemination to liver (L) and two lymph nodes, the superficial cervical (SC) and the popliteal (P), associated with muscle used in ground product.

Researchers found the prevalence of MAP in thin, sound, market cows at slaughter is 34% in cull dairy cows and 2.6% in cull beef cows.  The concluding remarks of the study are:   "Prevalence and risk associated with disseminated M.ptb should be further characterized."  

PARA agrees with that statement and urges the beef and dairy industries to take immediate measures to ensure that this MAP-contaminated beef does not end up in Happy Meals of our children

(We would encourage you to visit the dedicated page MAP and beef for more detailed background information. )

PARA's Concerns


The methodologies used by the Food Safety and Inspection Service to detect pathogens in retail supplies of beef and beef products are incapable of detecting MAPFSIS has only one method of testing for the presence of bacterial pathogens in beef, namely to test for the presence of the "marker organism" E. coli, another pathogenic bacterium that infects cattle and has adverse effects on human health.

However, E. coli testing is only capable of detecting fecal contamination of meat, and is not capable of detecting intracellular and blood-borne extracellular pathogens, which persist inside bovine blood cells and in the infected cow's blood stream. MAP is an intracellular pathogen and blood-borne, and would be missed by E. coli-based fecal testing. 

Therefore, PARA's concern is that FSIS is failing completely to address the issue of MAP in retail beef!

(See PARA's Paper TrailNew window link indicator for communications between PARA and FSIS. )


   
   

Action you can take


Please visit PARA's "How to Help" section to learn how you can get involved in creating awareness about this vital issue. 


Source: http://www.crohns.org/governments/fsis.htm  
 Contact PARA: http://www.crohns.org/contact.htm
Paratuberculosis Awareness & Research Association, 1999-2003.