A world Organization for Animal Health (OIE) commission recommended that the United States’ risk classification for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) be upgraded to negligible risk.  This is the lowest risk level under OIE code.  Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said, “This is a significant achievement for the United States, American beef producers and businesses, and federal and state partners who work in coordination to maintain a system of three interlocking safeguards against BSE that protect our public and animal health. Being classified as negligible risk for BSE by the OIE will also greatly support our efforts to increase exports of U.S. beef and beef products.”  The North American Meat Association stated, “This is an achievement for anyone involved in the U.S. beef industry and we commend USDA for its significant efforts to represent the nation’s beef producers and processors and the high standards we are able to cooperatively achieve.”