MU Economist Analyzes Market Impact of Mad Cow Disease

8 years 4 months 3 weeks ago Friday, April 27 2012 Apr 27, 2012 Friday, April 27, 2012 7:48:43 AM CDT April 27, 2012 in News
By: University of Missouri

COLUMBIA - Mad cow disease is much less scary to beef consumers than it was when the first case in the U.S. was found almost a decade ago.

New regulations and time have dulled the market impact of the disease as the USDA on April 24 confirmed a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) at a California dairy farm, said Ron Plain, a University of Missouri Extension economist. It was the first recorded case of BSE in the U.S. since 2006.

"Each new case seems to have slightly less impact than the previous occurrence," Plain said. "There will be a negative impact, but it doesn't appear that it will be that large or last as long as previous ones."

Futures markets took a hit Tuesday with the USDA's announcement but had regained 40 percent of those loses as markets closed Wednesday. Slaughter steer prices stood at $1.20 per pound as of April 26.

BSE, also known as mad cow disease, is a neurological disorder in cattle. First discovered in Europe in the 1980s, it spread when beef byproducts from infected cattle were ground up and fed back to cattle. The USDA and FDA banned that practice in 1997.

After the first U.S. case in 2003, the USDA strengthened rules to keep BSE-infected cattle from entering the food supply. Nervous system tissue - the brain, spinal cord, significant nerves and tonsils - was banned from being used in food in 2004 by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. These tissues are more likely to carry BSE.

More stringent restrictions also keep higher-risk cattle from entering the food supply. Federal or state inspectors visually observe all live cattle before they become anyone's meal.

"They observe all cattle for illness and are specifically looking for any signs of central nervous system disorders when it comes to BSE," said Bryon Wiegand, an MU meat scientist. "Cattle showing any signs of illness are held out of the food chain until a diagnosis can be confirmed and their safety determined. In addition, any cattle that cannot stand are not permitted into the food chain."

Testing offers a final line of defense. The USDA samples nearly 40,000 cattle per year from farms, veterinary diagnostic labs, public health labs, processing plants, veterinary clinics and livestock markets. One of these samples found the current case of BSE at a dairy in California.

BSE risk remains extremely low. According to a 2006 USDA study that evaluated seven years of testing, less than one case of BSE exists per 1 million adult cattle. Analysis of that data found the likely number of cases is four to seven infected animals out of 42 million cattle.

The U.S. food supply appears to remain unscathed by the disease.

"No sample of beef or milk from the United States has been ever been found to contain BSE," Wiegand said. "Human and animal health experts agree that in the U.S., both beef and milk are safe to consume."

With each identified case of BSE, public alarm has decreased and so has the market downturn in the aftermath. After the first occurrence of BSE in the U.S., the beef industry lost $3 billion in exports in 2004. Exports dropped from about 2.52 billion pounds per year to only 460.3 million pounds after the announcement.

Plain says this time the impact on beef sales likely won't last long.

"It was a huge market impact when mad cow disease was found in the U.S. in 2003. Cattle prices dropped six days in a row and we lost 18 cents per pound off prices," he said. "Each subsequent case has had less impact than the first one. More than anything, this outbreak reminds people just how few cows in the U.S. are infected with BSE."

More News

Grid
List
Washington (AP) - The body of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will lie in repose at the Supreme Court this week,... More >>
33 minutes ago Monday, September 21 2020 Sep 21, 2020 Monday, September 21, 2020 11:21:01 AM CDT September 21, 2020 in News
NORMANDY, Mo. (AP) — Police in suburban St. Louis say a man was fatally shot over the weekend at an... More >>
44 minutes ago Monday, September 21 2020 Sep 21, 2020 Monday, September 21, 2020 11:09:56 AM CDT September 21, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. Previous coverage: ... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, September 21 2020 Sep 21, 2020 Monday, September 21, 2020 9:02:00 AM CDT September 21, 2020 in News
MU adds casing to protect Thomas Jefferson tombstone A clear casing was added to Thomas Jefferson's tombstone at... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, September 21 2020 Sep 21, 2020 Monday, September 21, 2020 4:42:00 AM CDT September 21, 2020 in Top Stories
HOWARD COUNTY - After four elections running unopposed for the Howard County coroner's position, Frank Flaspohler faces new opposition this... More >>
12 hours ago Sunday, September 20 2020 Sep 20, 2020 Sunday, September 20, 2020 11:07:00 PM CDT September 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Heading into the 2020 season, the Battle Spartans had their share of concerns starting the season during the... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, September 20 2020 Sep 20, 2020 Sunday, September 20, 2020 8:23:00 PM CDT September 20, 2020 in Sports
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Health officials say a Chiefs fan who tested positive for COVID-19 one day after attending... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, September 20 2020 Sep 20, 2020 Sunday, September 20, 2020 4:44:24 PM CDT September 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A clear casing was added to Thomas Jefferson's tombstone at MU Saturday night. The acrylic vitrine covering... More >>
19 hours ago Sunday, September 20 2020 Sep 20, 2020 Sunday, September 20, 2020 4:25:00 PM CDT September 20, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. Previous coverage: ... More >>
20 hours ago Sunday, September 20 2020 Sep 20, 2020 Sunday, September 20, 2020 3:11:00 PM CDT September 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Downtown Columbia nightclub Nash Vegas had its operating permit suspended Friday night due to several health violations, according... More >>
20 hours ago Sunday, September 20 2020 Sep 20, 2020 Sunday, September 20, 2020 3:06:00 PM CDT September 20, 2020 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - The Missouri State Highway Patrol said divers found the body of 73-year-old Dennis Jaeger at... More >>
21 hours ago Sunday, September 20 2020 Sep 20, 2020 Sunday, September 20, 2020 2:04:00 PM CDT September 20, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police are investigating a shooting incident that left four people injured. According to the Jefferson City... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 20 2020 Sep 20, 2020 Sunday, September 20, 2020 7:00:00 AM CDT September 20, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A driver has been taken to hospital after a single vehicle crash on Saturday night. The... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 20 2020 Sep 20, 2020 Sunday, September 20, 2020 5:40:00 AM CDT September 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg left lifelong impressions on two Columbia students. The students, a high... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 6:47:00 PM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – While high school football has been happening so far this season in the wake of COVID-19, one part... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 6:47:00 PM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Monday night will likely be a long one for the Columbia City Council as it gets another... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 6:14:00 PM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a 19-year-old was fatally shot near the Missouri State University campus in Springfield. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 2:46:00 PM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. Previous coverage: ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 2:14:00 PM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 67°
12pm 71°
1pm 74°
2pm 76°
3pm 76°