Press Release: Global 002 - May 22, 2003
INTERNATIONAL TRACEBACK SOLVES MAD COW CRISIS
Local businessman William Kanitz, president of ScoringSystem, Inc., anticipated Canada's mad cow problem and has been preparing for this eventuality since 1998.
On May 20th, a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease, surfaced in Alberta, Canada and has sparked concern about the vulnerability of the US cattle system. Some estimates say one million cattle and one billion pounds of beef cross the US-Canada border every year.
"We recognized early on that the world's food system was vulnerable to disease and developed ScoringSystem to increase the systemís overall safety," said Kanitz.
Canadian officials have the daunting task of researching the background of the diseased cow, the herd it originally came from, the farm where it lived, the plant that rendered the carcass, and the site that received the rendered product. They hope to have answers in a few days, although that is dependant on the quality of the record keeping at each location. Any herds found to be at risk will be destroyed. Kanitz says there is a better way.
"Our web-based system at ScoringSytem.com can track the entire history of an individual animal in minutes and do it for pennies," said Kanitz. "Without giving away our methodology, ScoringSystem works because the animal's record is not dependant on ownership. We are the only online agricultural databank and hope to always have the fastest, least expensive and smartest site specific record keeping system available for farmers and ranchers around the globe."
BSE is a progressive, fatal disease of the nervous system of cattle. Although the exact cause of BSE is unknown, it is associated with the presence of an abnormal protein called a prion. There is no treatment or vaccine currently available for the disease. An animal may have the disease for 3-6 years before symptoms occur. British scientists have suggested that a variant Creutzfelt-Jakob disease (vCJD), found in Britain in recent years, may be caused by human exposure to BSE.
BSE has also been found in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, and Switzerland.