AIT Statement on U.S. Beef
The American Institute in Taiwan would like to reassure the Taiwan public that U.S. beef has been and continues to be safe for human consumption. Recent press reports about a possible second case of BSE (otherwise known as Mad Cow Disease) are misleading. This is not a new case, or a new animal, but a re-test of an old sample taken during an extensive cattle herd surveillance program before Dec. 2004. The program was designed to help U.S. authorities learn more about the prevalence of BSE in our country.
The bottom line is that the animal in question never entered the food supply or feed supply chain. The measures in place to protect consumers and contain the spread of BSE succeeded in identifying, isolating and disposing of the potentially diseased animal. This additional testing, regardless of the results, has no public or animal health implications.
Taiwan's decision to re-open its market to U.S. beef was based on a thorough, objective, and scientific review of the safety of U.S. beef over 15 months, involving 18 outside experts. There are no factors in this re-testing that compromise the safety of U.S. beef or bring into question the integrity of the risk assessment conducted by the Risk Advisory Committee and reviewed by Taiwan's Department of Health.