FDA was quick to proclaim that the milk supply in Washington was perfectly safe, after the discovery of a cow with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in that state.
"The scientific data indicate that milk from BSE cows does not transmit BSE," the FDA said in a statement. "National and international public health organizations have consistently stated that milk and milk products are safe regardless of whether the country producing them has had cases of BSE."
Mad cow disease is a brain-wasting disease in cattle. A human form of BSE has been linked to the deaths of more than 130 people, mostly in Britain.
In late January, animal health officials investigating the case identified three animals in Idaho that were herdmates of the infected dairy cow in Washington state. After Washington and Oregon, Idaho became the third state to have cattle herds quarantined since the Dec. 23 discovery.