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  Canada's New Policy on Specified Risk Materials

The Government of Canada has amended the Food and Drug Regulations and the Health of Animals Regulations to prevent specified risk material (SRM) from entering the human food supply.

These regulations establish a definition for SRM and prohibit the sale or import for sale of food products containing SRM under the Food and Drug Regulations from countries that are not BSE-free. The amendments to the Health of Animals Regulations will require the removal of SRM from carcasses and prohibit the export and use of SRM in food for human consumption.

SRM are defined as the skull, brain, trigeminal ganglia (nerves attached to the brain), eyes, tonsils, spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia (nerves attached to the spinal cord) of cattle aged 30 months or older (scientific research has shown that these tissues, in cattle younger than 30 months, do not contain the infective agent); and the distal ileum (portion of the small intestine) of cattle of all ages.

The effective date for these regulations is August 23, 2003. However, in federally registered establishments, a CFIA directive will require SRM removal immediately.

These regulations reflect the Government of Canada's commitment to strengthening Canada's BSE measures and to protecting the health of Canadians and consumers of Canadian beef.

For more information on SRM, please visit the Health Canada and

CFIA Web sites at and



Eastern Ontario AgriNews is published on the third Monday of each month. The printed version is distributed free by postal mail to farms in Eastern Ontario, Canada.

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