The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) is urging USDA to seek “Provisionally Free” BSE status for the U.S. from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). NCBA says the designation “will provide additional assurance to our trading partners that U.S. cattle and beef are safe from BSE.”

NCBA says the designation is consistent with OIE's 2004 Terrestrial Animal Health Code because the U.S. meets all criteria.

“There is no country in the world that has done all that we've done to prevent this disease,” NCBA says, pointing out the two decades of work done in analyzing BSE risks and instituting firewalls dating back to 1989.