AP Takes on "Mad Cow" Supplements 34849

March 1, 2001

2 Min Read
AP Takes on "Mad Cow" Supplements

AP Takes on "Mad Cow" Supplements

WASHINGTON--Dietary supplements may put you at risk for"mad cow" disease, or so it appeared from stories that werecirculating in early February from the Associated Press (AP) and The New YorkTimes. While the original discussion on the topic took place last year inthe editorial pages of a medical journal, the most recent scrutiny stems from astory that 1,222 Texas cattle had to be quarantined because they hadinadvertently been fed meat and bone meal (ground-up parts of other animals, thereason behind bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE) in cattle supplements.Purina Mills Inc. provided the feed, which it immediately recalled, to Vaquerosof Texas Cattlefeeders; however, a small amount of the tainted feed did find itsway into the cattle's food supply.

"Reports today from the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] indicatethere were very small amounts of meat-and-bone meal detected in cattle feedsupplements produced by a Purina feed mill," stated Chuck Schroeder, chiefexecutive officer of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA)."It's important to note that the situation in Texas is a compliance issue,not a safety issue, and NCBA supports full compliance with FDA feed banregulations." Purina Mills also announced that it was voluntarilypurchasing all 1,222 animals to ensure they do not accidentally enter the foodchain.

The "supplements" mentioned in Schroeder's statement relate to apremix that is added in order to supplement the cattle feed of corn, rice andmeal. The AP story, however, also used the opportunity to revisit what thegovernment is doing in response to a July 27 letter to the New EnglandJournal of Medicine written by Dr. Scott Norton about finding bovine insupplements. However, the AP article offers no new information than what waspreviously stated in November: that FDA is sending safety letters tomanufacturers and importers of supplements containing bovine tissues.

Mike Greene, director of public affairs at the Council for ResponsibleNutrition (CRN), stated that he was aware of the media recycling this news. Hesaid that he understood AP's desire to inform people about BSE, but he did notapprove of AP's approach in targeting the dietary supplement industry."When informing the public about supplements, CRN keeps two things in mind:1) keep our members happy, and 2) keep the public safe," he said. Foradditional information, visit www.crnusa.org,www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/bse.htmlor www.washingtonpost.com(conducting a keyword search using the AP function).

Subscribe and receive the latest insights on the health and nutrition industry.
Join 37,000+ members. Yes, it's completely free.

You May Also Like