Wednesday, March 16


"The Government Accountability Office, the investigative wing of Congress, said that while the FDA has made improvements in its management of the feed ban, 'various program weaknesses continue to undermine the nation's firewall against BSE,'" says this AP story. Well, that's one way to put it, GAO, "undermine the firewall." But see, a "firewall" is an all-or-nothing thing. If just a little teensy bit of fire can get past a firewall and start a fire on the other side, it ain't a firewall anymore, is it?

Other findings: The FDA has "no uniform approach to identify the feed manufacturers and shippers that are subject to the feed ban but have not been inspected;" 20 percent of the 14,800 firms inspected since 1997 have not been re-inspected in five years or more; the FDA's feed-ban inspection guidance "does not include instructions to routinely sample cattle feed to test for potentially banned material;" and the FDA has no "consistent standards for cleaning machinery and transport vehicles that handle both prohibited and allowed feed materials." But other than that, firewall all the way.

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