Monday, December 08, 2008

New FDA dog-food rules affect dead-cow disposal

New Food and Drug Administration standards to prevent the spread of mad-cow disease have some worried about other health risks. In an effort to stop the disease from entering the U.S. food supply, the FDA has enacted a ban on using cow brains or spines in dog food, which will go into effect this April.

Some rendering plants and pet-food manufacturers now say they will not accept dead cows, because of the increased costs associated with removing these parts. This means that the price of disposing of dead cows could more than double, leading many to worry that farmers will simply bury the animals or leave them to decompose in the open.

"According to the FDA's own environmental assessment of the new rule, abandoning dead cattle or improperly burying or composting them can cause foul odors; pollute soil, groundwater and streams; and attract insects and scavengers," says an The Associated Press reports. "Moreover, the infectious agent that carries mad cow disease may survive burial or composting." (Read more) Thanks to Ryan Craig of the Todd County Standard in Elkton, Ky., for the tip on this story.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As I understand the new regulations, the dead cow by-products formerly acceptable for use in the manufacture of animal food will no longer be acceptable. However, the by-products will be acceptable for use in the manufacture of fertilizer.
And fertilizer is used to grow food for cows in my neck of the woods. Is there enough chemical breakdown in the process of by-product to fertilizer to grass to ingestion to do away with the danger of exposure to mad cow disease here? Use the by-products to make animal food or use the by-products to make fertilizer to grow the animal food. Hmmm....