Note: Steve Kouplen is president of Oklahoma Farm Bureau, the state’s largest and most influential farm organization. He is an Okmulgee County cattle producer with bachelor and master degrees from Oklahoma State University and past chairman of the Oklahoma Beef Industry Council.
Statement by Steve Kouplen, President
Oklahoma Farm Bureau
The overall safety of our food supply is not in question. Overall, beef remains a safe choice for consumption. Oklahomans and Americans should continue eating beef. I know it will be on my table during the holidays.
Despite the isolated detection of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) in Washington State, Dec. 23, we remain confident in the safety of our beef supply. The risk to human health from BSE is extremely low.
The incident was isolated and there are prescribed procedures in place to identify, contain and eliminate BSE. While no plan is foolproof, we know that the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies have prepared for an incident of this nature and will do a good job.
The USDA determined the cow came from a farm in Washington State and as part of the USDA response plan, that farm has been quarantined.
We are confident that our scientific and regulatory authorities are applying all of the latest technologies and that the proper safeguards for our food supply are in place and are being implemented.