HJR 35: Relating to mad cow disease and country-of-origin labeling for meat products.

00 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 35 01 Relating to mad cow disease and country-of-origin labeling for meat products. 02 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 03 WHEREAS the first cow in the United States infected with bovine spongiform 04 encephalopathy, commonly known as mad cow disease, was identified in December, 2003; 05 and 06 WHEREAS bovine spongiform encephalopathy is a neurological disease in cattle 07 caused by an aberrant protein called a prion, most commonly found in specified risk materials 08 such as the skull, brain, trigeminal ganglia, eyes, vertebral column, spinal cord, and dorsal 09 root ganglia; and 10 WHEREAS humans can develop variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease from eating 11 contaminated beef products; and 12 WHEREAS cattle most commonly contract bovine spongiform encephalopathy from 13 feed contaminated by infectious prions; and 14 WHEREAS, in 1997, the United States Food and Drug Administration prohibited the 15 use of most mammalian protein in the manufacture of animal feed intended for cattle; and 16 WHEREAS the United States Department of Agriculture has taken steps to identify

01 and destroy cattle that are from the same herd as the infected cow and other animals that may 02 have been exposed to that cow; and 03 WHEREAS, among those steps, the United States Department of Agriculture has 04 banned all nonambulatory disabled cattle from the food chain, prohibited the use of specified 05 risk materials in human food consumption, and prohibited slaughter practices that may cause 06 the dislocation of brain material and its inclusion with other tissue; and 07 WHEREAS the cow infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy was imported 08 from outside the United States; and 09 WHEREAS country-of-origin labeling for meat products has been postponed for two 10 years by the United States Congress; and 11 WHEREAS Americans deserve to know what is in their food and where it comes 12 from; and 13 WHEREAS Americans deserve to have a safe food supply; 14 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports efforts by the United 15 States Department of Agriculture to control and eradicate bovine spongiform encephalopathy 16 in United States cattle; and be it 17 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports any efforts by 18 the Alaska congressional delegation to implement country-of-origin labeling for meat 19 products sooner than the current implementation date. 20 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Ann Veneman, United 21 States Secretary of Agriculture; and to the Honorable Ted Stevens and the Honorable Lisa 22 Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of 23 the Alaska delegation in Congress.