The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today announced a technical meeting to present and receive comments on an updated risk assessment for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the United States.
The technical meeting to discuss the updated model will be held from 1 – 4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25, 2006, in the Jefferson Auditorium of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) South Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, D.C., 20250.
In April 1998, USDA entered into a cooperative agreement with the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis (HCRA) of the Harvard School of Public Health and the Center for Computational Epidemiology at Tuskegee University to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the BSE risk in the United States. The report, referred to as the Harvard Risk Assessment, was completed in 2001, and was revised in 2003 after being peer reviewed.
Both USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implemented measures to strengthen protections against BSE in the United States immediately following the discovery of BSE in a cow in Washington State on December 23, 2003. USDA then contracted with the HCRA in May 2004 to revise the Harvard Risk Assessment model to reflect information available through December 2003.
The updated risk assessment analyzes the effects of various BSE risk mitigation scenarios. HCRA analyzed the effects of the measures implemented by USDA and HHS-FDA and analyzed recommendations made by an international expert BSE panel that was convened to review the actions taken by the United States in response to the BSE case in Washington State.
For further details pertaining to the updated risk assessment, contact Dr. Chuanfa Guo, Senior Risk Analyst, Risk Assessment Division, Office of Public Health Science, by phone at (202) 690-0817. Persons requiring a sign language interpreter or other special accommodations for the public meeting should contact Ms. Jones.