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The Idaho Statesman reported that three dairy cows have been found in Idaho that were part of the herd from which the cow infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), better known as mad cow disease, emanated.

One of the three cows died last March, and was not tested for mad cow disease…though to this point state officials say they have found no indication that it was infected with BSE. The dead cow reportedly was sent to a rendering plant and not put into the food supply.

The Idaho Department of Agriculture has put a "hold order" on the farm where the cows were identified, though officials there went to great pains to reassure consumers that there was no reason to worry about the food supply.

Until this announcement, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) reportedly had identified and located 23 of the 81 cows that came from Canada in the herd that included the cow infected with mad cow disease. When that cow was found to have BSE, it was the first discovery of mad cow on US soil.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that the federal government plans to implement rules that would prevent potentially contaminated materials derived from cattle to be fed back to cattle and other livestock. The Bush administration is also considering a ban on the inclusion of high-risk materials such as cows' small intestines in human food or supplements.

It is generally perceived that the government is making these moves under pressure to do something in response to the mad cow crisis, though it is resisting calls for broader testing of cattle in the US.

And for its part, the beef industry is launching a $3 million advertising campaign to get people to eat meat, though the ads reportedly will not mention mad cow disease.
KC's View:
They can be as reassuring as they want…if cows from that herd keep popping up in more and more states, it certainly is going to create issues and questions about what else is out there.