For the first time since 2006, US officials have confirmed a new case of mad cow disease, this time in California. The dairy cow's illness was detected during routine testing at a rendering plant by the USDA. None of the affected cow's meat got into human food, the agency says, and studies show the disease can't be contracted through milk, reports the Wall Street Journal.
"There is really no cause for alarm here with regard to this animal," says a USDA official. It's not clear how the cow contracted the disease, notes AP. Though foreign countries barred US beef following the first mad cow case in 2003, they're not likely to do so over today's news, officials say. Still, cattle futures dropped as a result. It's the fourth case of mad cow disease reported in the US. (Read more mad cow disease stories.)