A second case of “Mad Cow” disease was confirmed in the U.S. Friday — one week before one of the biggest cookout holiday weekends of the year. Iowa State University Extension livestock market economist, Shane Ellis, says Americans will not back off the burgers this Fourth of July IF they trust the testing. He says,”We’re gonna see how the American consumer, how much confidence they have in the animal testing. They tested over 380-thousand cattle, and they came up with one.” Ellis says the one positive finding out of thousands of tests backs the belief that “Mad Cow” cases are highly isolated. “They were expecting to find more cases than this as they started doing the testing,” Ellis says. He says finding just one, and the fact that it did not enter the food system, “If the American consumer has confidence in that, we probably won’t see too much change in demand.” Although there were some inconclusive tests, Ellis says the testing system proved it can find infected animals — and he expects an improvement in the reliability of future tests. He says the “Mad Cow” did show up, we just didn’t have a consistent enough test to confirm it every time. He thinks there’ll be a call for a more consistent test. But he says the fact that the animal was caught with a “rapid test” and then other tests were used to confirm it, shows that nothing’s going to get through the testing system. Ellis says the impact on foreign markets for beef likely won’t be impacted much as many are still closed after the first confirmed case. The first U.S. case of “Mad Cow” disease was confirmed in a Washington State dairy cow on December 23, 2003, and that prompted the tougher tests that led to the discovery of the latest case that was announced last Friday.
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