What is the U.S. beef industry doing to protect beef safety from "mad cow"?

America’s cattlemen remain committed to an important goal: Continuing to produce the world’s safest beef. U.S. beef producers have worked with federal authorities for the past two decades to set up the system of science-based safeguards that keep the cattle herd and the food supply safe from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, commonly referred to as "mad cow disease").

In 1996, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) called for a voluntary feed ban, which established an industry standard against feeding ruminant-derived meat and bone meal (MBM) protein to cattle. In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made the ban mandatory. The feed ban breaks the cycle of BSE and, with full compliance, assures the disease will be eliminated.

The beef industry continues to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other food chain partners to further strengthen U.S. food safety systems overall. In fact, the industry invests $350 million annually in beef safety efforts. Beef producers alone have invested more than $30 million since 1993 in beef safety research.

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