The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed Friday that a cow, previously negative for mad cow disease, has now tested positive for the lethal brain-wasting disease after a third round of examination. The animal did not enter the human food or animal feed supply, according to the National Cattlemens Beef Association (NCBA).
On June 10, the USDA had ordered additional tests on the suspected animal after a second testing came back positive for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).
Agriculture secretary Mike Johanns has directed USDA scientists to work with international experts to develop a new protocol that includes performing dual confirmatory tests in the event of another inconclusive BSE result.
Terry Stokes, chief executive of the NCBA, says that the association supports Secretary Johanns' recommendations and that "the bottom line for consumers remains the same: Your beef is safe."