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A Possible Third Case of Mad Cow Disease in U.S.
The U.S. Agriculture Department is investigating a possible third case of mad cow disease in the United States. So far, tests indicate the possible presence of the disease in a cow, the Agriculture Department representatives announced on Saturday. While awaiting results from the tests, the Bush administration is trying to reassure foreign costumers that the meat is safe to consume. Japan, previously the top consumer of American beef, banned imports in January, when it found veal cuts with backbone, spinal material being forbidden by the Asian officials. "We're certainly keeping them [the foreign consumers] informed of the situation and will relay all the information we have. When we have further test results, we will share that with our trading partners," stated spokesman Ed Loyd. While in London, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns met on Friday with his Japanese counterpart, Shoichi Nakagawa in order to brief him of the possible cases of mad cow disease. After the first case in December 2003, in a Canadian-born cow in the Washington state, testing was increased from about 55 to 1,000 daily. 644,603 of the nation's estimated 95 million head of cattle have been examined. If the US finds new cases of mad cow disease, it will be more difficult to convince Japanese negotiators to lift the ban.

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