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BSE ("Mad Cow Disease"): A Brief Overview

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The appearance of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy or "mad cow disease") in North America in 2003 raised meat safety concerns and disrupted trade for cattle and beef producers. A major issue for Congress has been how to rebuild foreign markets for U.S. beef. Other issues include whether additional measures are needed to further protect the public and cattle herd, and concerns over the relative costs and benefits of such measures for consumers, taxpayers and industry. This report will not be updated.