|CONTACT: Bill Hoerner, Senior Director of Sales; Frank Klein, Senior Scientist, 517/372-9200|
LANSING, Mich., July 8, 2002 - Neogen Corporation (Nasdaq: NEOG) today announced the release of the world's first rapid test to ensure ruminant by-products in animal feed and feed supplements are properly labeled. The new test complements the company's test introduced in early May to detect ruminant by-products in animal protein meal used in the production of animal feed.
Neogen's new Agri-Screen® for Ruminant in Feed Test is designed for use by feedlots, dairies, marketers of feed products, as well as regulators and auditors of final feed quality and safety. This test is intended to be used to verify that ruminant feed and feed supplements are properly labeled, and do not contain FDA-banned materials.
"Neogen's new finished feed test significantly broadens the market for simple, accurate and inexpensive tests to verify compliance with the FDA's requirement," said James Herbert, Neogen's president. "It is now possible for any operation, no matter how big or small, to test feed in only minutes. Operations of all sizes share the same potential consequence for the accidental feeding of cattle with ruminant by-products - destruction of their herds. This test represents a major advance for all those who want to be sure."
The U.S. and most countries worldwide have agreed that eliminating ruminant by-product meal from cattle feed is the most important "firewall" in preventing the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, a.k.a. "mad cow" disease). The use of rendered animal products in animal feed is a common practice to supplement its protein content. In 1997, concern about the spread of BSE led the FDA to ban the feeding of rendered ruminant by-products to other ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats and deer).
In response to the FDA's action in 1997, many beefpackers and end-users of the beef products, including some of the world's largest, have required processors to certify with written documentation that the cattle they buy were fed in accordance with federal regulations. However, producers had no practical method to protect against inadvertent contamination.
Neogen's Agri-Screen for Ruminant in Feed Test requires only simple sample preparation and 10 minutes to provide a clear result. The test involves the immersion of a disposable test device into the sample preparation, and the reading of an easy to interpret visual result. No expensive equipment or technical training is required to use to the test.
Neogen Corporation develops and markets products and services dedicated to food and animal safety. The Company's Food Safety Division markets dehydrated culture media, and diagnostic test kits to detect foodborne bacteria, natural toxins, genetic modifications, food allergens, drug residues, plant diseases and sanitation concerns. Neogen's Animal Safety Division markets a complete line of diagnostics, veterinary instruments, veterinary pharmaceuticals and nutritional supplements.
Certain portions of this news release that do not relate to historical financial information constitute forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. Actual future results and trends may differ materially from historical results or those expected depending on a variety of factors listed in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in the Company’s most recently filed Form 10-K.