Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Case Doesn’t Impact Markets


by Katie Micik, DTN Markets Editor

OMAHA (DTN) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed earlier this week that a Texas man died of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD).

CJD is a rare, degenerative and fatal brain disease in humans that's believed to be caused by consumption of beef from cows infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy. This is the fourth case of CJD reported in the United States, and all infections appear to have been picked up outside of the U.S.

“The history of this fourth patient, including extensive travel to Europe and the Middle East, supports the likelihood that infection occurred outside the United States,” CDC stated in a news release.

DTN Livestock Analyst John Harrington said because CJD is a very rare condition and the Texas man appeared to travel frequently, it's not a story driving beef prices.

“The market's certainly not bothered by it at this point,” Harrington said. There have been a few reports of cows testing positive for atypical BSE — a rare form of the disease not associated with the animal eating contaminated feed — in Brazil over the past year.

Harrington said large outbreaks related to feed have been pretty much eliminated through strict international protocols and feed regulations.

In May 2013, the World Organization for Animal Health upgraded the United States' risk classification for BSE to negligible because of its upgraded surveillance practices and safeguards.

The U.S. cattle market is grappling with a number of factors right now, but CJD isn't one of them, Harrington said. The bigger questions facing the markets are low cattle placements and how long consumers will continue buying beef at record prices.


© Copyright 2014 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.

Posted with DTN Permission by Haylie Shipp



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