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USDA REPORT CONFIRMS BEEF'S SAFETY

 USDA REPORT CONFIRMS BEEF'S SAFETY
 WASHINGTON, June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of


Agriculture's annual report on its residue monitoring program for meat confirms that U.S. beef continues to be one of the safest foods available to consumers, the National Cattlemen's Association (NCA) said today.
 The USDA report showed virtually no violative residues in beef from samples analyzed in 1991. As part of its meat inspection program, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service checks for unacceptable levels of animal drug and pesticide residues in meat and poultry.
 "The finding that there are virtually no residue problems in beef does not surprise us," said Dr. Wes Bonner, chairman of NCA's Animal Health and Inspection Committee. "We are confident that we are producing a safe product, and USDA's 1992 residue regulatory program report again confirms the safety of beef."
 Bonner attributed beef's outstanding safety record to three basic elements: (1) the Food and Drug Administration's stringent drug approval and enforcement programs; (2) USDA's meat inspection and residue monitoring programs; and (3) cattlemen's commitment to producing a safe and wholesome product for consumers.
 "Cattlemen care about the safety of the products they produce," said Bonner. "In fact, cattlemen have developed and implemented extensive beef quality assurance programs at the state level which go above and beyond the already stringent regulations of the government. Currently, 37 states have beef quality assurance programs. These states are home to more than 95 percent of all fed cattle marketed in the U.S., and the program continues to grow."
 Bonner noted that, contrary to the efforts of activist groups who attempt to promote their own agendas by using food safety issues to scare consumers, the USDA report confirms that residues simply are not a health issue.
 "It is also important to recognize the FDA programs which assure that only safe animal health products are available for use in producing livestock in the U.S.," Bonner said. "In addition, because of USDA's inspection system, beef is one of the most closely inspected foods in the world. The partnership between the FDA, the USDA and cattlemen assures consumers that beef is safe and wholesome."
 -0- 6/22/92
 /CONTACT: Darrell Wilkes, Ph.D., or Gary Cowman, Ph.D., of the National Cattlemen's Association, 303-694-0305/ CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture; National Cattlemen's Association ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:


TW -- DC037 -- 2609 06/22/92 17:50 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 22, 1992
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