USDA was notified today by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) that the U.S. risk classification for BSE had been upgraded to negligible risk.  Following the OIE statement, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said:

“I am very pleased with OIE’s decision to grant the U.S. negligible risk status for BSE. This is a significant achievement that has been many years in the making for the U.S., American beef producers and businesses, and federal and state partners who work together to maintain a system of interlocking safeguards against BSE that protect our public and animal health. This decision demonstrates OIE’s belief that both our surveillance for, and safeguards against, BSE are strong. U.S. beef and beef products are of the highest quality, wholesome and produced to the highest safety standards in the world.

"Last year, exports of U.S.-origin beef and beef products totaled $5.5 billion. With our negligible risk classification from the OIE, we have a strong foundation in place to continue increasing exports of U.S.-origin beef and beef products. In doing so, we will continue to press trading partners to base their decisions on science, consistent with international standards. U.S. food and agricultural exporters and consumers worldwide benefit when countries adopt science-based international standards,”Vilsack said.

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