No Evidence Canadian BSE Originated in the United States

BSE has never been found in the United States, despite an aggressive 14-year surveillance program. "We have no reason to believe any cattle exported to Canada from the U.S. were infected with (mad cow disease)," said USDA spokesperson Julie Quick in response to a recent Canadian report speculating about a possible tie between the United States and the recent case of BSE in Canada.

"In the U.S. we have a very aggressive surveillance program in place, which has been in place for 14 years," she explained.

As a result of measures such as the following to insure that BSE would not be introduced into the United States, a risk analysis by Harvard University concluded, "The U.S. is highly resistant to any introduction of BSE."

  • The United States has banned imports of cattle and bovine products from countries with BSE since 1989.
  • The United States began a surveillance program for BSE in 1990. It was the first country without the disease within its borders to test cattle for the disease.
  • The United States has banned the use of meat and bone meal in cattle feed since 1997.