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Reuters reports that a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) advisory committee plans to advise the Bush administration by the end of the month what steps it needs to take to prevent mad cow disease outbreaks in the US.

The committee was appointed after the first case of the brain-wasting infection was found on US soil just before Christmas.

Among the options being considered are those recommended by an international panel of experts that already has gone on the record as saying it believed that there is a high probability that more mad cow cases exist in the US and have been undetected. The panel also has recommended that the federal government ban all farm animal remains from cattle food as a precaution, ban cattle brains and spinal material in animal feed and pet food, increase testing of older cattle, do random tests of healthy cattle, and ban the use of mechanically separated meat in human food.
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