Colorado's program to improve food and feed safety through Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy programs is receiving nearly $700,000 to advance its effort.
"This grant will provide us the opportunity to expand our current BSE inspection program," says Steve Bornmann, Colorado Department of Agriculture inspection and consumer services director.
"Colorado has over 2.5 million head of cattle so disease prevention is good, not only for the agricultural community but for Colorado as a whole."
Cattle with BSE, commonly called "mad cow disease," display behavioral, gait and postural abnormalities. As the disease progresses the affected animals stumble, fall and eventually cannot stand. There is no cure or treatment for this disease which kills 100% of its victims.
The Ruminant Feed Ban/Feed Safety Support Program grant is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration fund for major cooperative agreements in four major areas: response, intervention, innovation and prevention.
The goal is to further enhance the infrastructure of BSE programs to increase the ability to locate and visit companies involved in the manufacture, distribution and transportation of animal feed as well as operations feeding ruminant animals, and to verify their compliance with the ruminant feed ban and other feed safety regulations.
The $680,000 FDA fund will enable the CDA lab to significantly increase its bovine DNA screening capability for detection of these banned materials in feeds and livestock, says Bornmann. It is also viewed as a way to increase analyses of feed for contamination such as toxins and adulterants.
FDA's grant money can also be used to conduct educational outreach activities and to develop materials needed to further enhance industry knowledge of and compliance with the ruminant feed ban and other feed safety regulations.
"We are excited to award this grant in an effort to provide greater food and feed safety and defense capabilities to better serve the citizens of the state," says Joseph Reardon, FDA federal-state relations division director.
CDA has been performing BSE testing since 1998.
For more information on the department's BSE prevention efforts, go to www.colorado.gov/ag.ics and click on "Feed." Additional FDA food safety information is available at www.fda.gov.