Health and Consumer Groups Urge USDA to Keep Cattle Spinal Cord Tissue Out of Processed Meat The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) Friday (10 August) petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to implement greater protections to prevent BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) from entering the food supply. In a formal petition, CSPI called on USDA to ban cattle spinal columns from use in "advanced meat recovery" systems and to stop allowing pieces of spinal cord in the meat those systems produce.