But, some American scientists caution that U.S. agriculture is not immune from the disasters that have befallen farmers abroad.
Last year, an extensive study conducted by Harvard University concluded it was "extremely unlikely" that an outbreak of BSE, or Mad Cow disease, would occur in the United States. This week, the Government Accounting Office presented its study that places the U.S. in the "unlikely but not excluded" category.
At the same time, the U.S. was already taking precautions to prevent an outbreak of Mad Cow on American soil. Those precautions included banning the practice of supplementing cattle feed with meat and bone meal from sheep, goats, and cattle. The brains and spinal cords of infected animals are believed to be the organs that harbor BSE.
The GAOs concern centers around this rule. Government Officials conducted a random survey of more than 10-thousand 5-hundred feeding operations and found 364 in violation.
The USDA responded to the GAO study by insisting that the U.S. is safe from Mad Cow due to its aggressive and proactive prevention program. The Department has also moved to strengthen those programs through increased inspection of animals and improvements to communication channels between federal agencies.