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Press Release

AIT Announces U.S. Department of Agriculture Testing Shows U.S. Cow Not Infected with "Mad Cow Disease"

PR0456E | Date: 2004-11-24

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) announces that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has found that brain tissue from a U.S. cow suspected of having "mad cow disease," or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), produced a negative finding for the disease after further testing.

"The USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, has determined that the inconclusive screening test sample reported on November 18 has tested negative for BSE upon confirmatory testing," John Clifford, Deputy Administrator Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), said in a statement released November 23, 2004.

"The November 18 sample is the first that has tested inconclusive under an APHIS protocol announced in August that calls for public reporting of screening results only after two reactive screens. NVSL used the immunohistochemistry (IHC) test, an internationally-recognized gold standard test for BSE, and received a negative result on November 22," Clifford said.

"Because the November 18 screening test results were reactive in both the first and second screens, NVSL scientists made the recommendation to run the IHC test a second time. On November 23 they reported the second IHC test was negative. Negative results from both IHC tests makes us confident that the animal in question is indeed negative for BSE," he said.

"APHIS began an enhanced surveillance program on June 1 and to date has tested over 121,000 samples for BSE. Screening tests are designed to be extremely sensitive and false positives are not unexpected. APHIS has reported three inconclusives including the November 18 sample and all have tested negative on confirmatory testing," Clifford said.