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Mad Cow Case Casts Light on Beef Uses

THE NATION

January 04, 2004|Stephanie Simon | Times Staff Writer

The FDA issued a public notice 14 months ago that it was considering restricting the use of poultry litter, pet food and restaurant leftovers as cattle feed. It has not yet acted. Sundlof said the agency was still accepting public comment on the notice.

"The challenge we face is that all these [practices] are tied together in one big system," Hueston said. "These are very complex issues, with social as well as biological and economic implications."

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday January 07, 2004 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 65 words Type of Material: Correction
Cattle feed -- A Sunday Section A story about the beef industry incorrectly stated that out-of-date pet food containing beef byproducts can be legally fed to cattle. The Food and Drug Administration requires that any pet food containing rendered cow carcasses be labeled "Do not feed to cattle" before it is sold as livestock feed. Cattle can eat pet food made from other rendered material.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday January 11, 2004 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 67 words Type of Material: Correction
Cattle feed -- A Jan. 4 article in Section A about the beef industry incorrectly stated that out-of-date pet food containing beef byproducts can be legally fed to cattle. The Food and Drug Administration requires that any pet food containing rendered cow carcasses be labeled "Do not feed to cattle" before it is sold as livestock feed. Cattle can eat pet food made from other rendered material.

The issues clearly disturb some Americans; the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals reported receiving 10,000 requests in the last week for its free "vegan starter kit." That's triple its normal call volume. Overall, though, consumers continue to eat as much beef as always. McDonald's, Burger King and other restaurants have reported no drop in sales. Interviews around the country confirm that most people are sticking with their favorite foods.

"We're beefeaters, end of story," said Steve McCarthy, who was downing brisket and sausage at a Houston barbecue joint last week.

In a public show of confidence in American cattle, Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley and North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven made it their New Year's resolutions to eat beef more often. Hoeven then invited Gov. Tim Pawlenty of neighboring Minnesota to dine with him at a restaurant of his choice -- any restaurant, that is, where the menu features steak.

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Times researcher Lianne Hart in Houston contributed to this report.

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