Web Zap*Germs Archive

June 15, 2005

USDA Waited Months Before Retesting Mad Cow Sample

UPI reports that the USDA dug in its heels in response to a Consumers Union request that it use a more sensitive test on a suspected mad-cow tissue sample -- only to capitulate nearly seven months later, when the agency's own inspector general made the same request.

The "Western blot" BSE test was finally run and came back positive on June 10. Now the USDA will retest the tissue using the Western blot test at a lab in Weybridge, UK.

The Western blot test can detect mad-cow disease at an earlier stage of infection, and is used in Europe and Japan in addition to (or sometimes instead of) the immunohistochemistry (IHC) test routinely used by the USDA.

Update 24 June 2005: UK Western blot test positive.


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