US health officials have discovered an atypical case of “mad cow disease” in a cow at a slaughterhouse in South Carolina, they announced Friday.
The USDA statement said the animal “has never been slaughtered and has never posed a threat to food or human health in the United States.”
The agency said the US has a “low-risk profile” for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), the official name for the neurological disease, and “we do not expect any commercial impact as a result.”
Mad cow disease is associated with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which is fatal when infected meat is eaten.
The atypical variant occurs sporadically in older cows, while the classic form spreads when farmers fatten their herds on the meat and bone meal of sick animals.
The classical form poses a great danger to humans.
This is the seventh time mad cow disease has been detected in the United States in the past 20 years, officials said, and all but one are rare.
Cases of mad cow disease in the United States, Canada, Israel, Europe and Japan have disrupted billions of dollars of global food trade.
But the U.S. health agency was confident the new results “won’t change the low-risk profile of the U.S. and shouldn’t lead to any trade problems.”
Source: Science Alert
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