In 1997, the . Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with support from the TSE ( transmissible spongiform encephalopathy ) Advisory Committee, began monitoring the potential risk of transmitting animal diseases, especially bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease. An FDA study from that year stated: "...steps such as heat, alkaline treatment, and filtration could be effective in reducing the level of contaminating TSE agents; however, scientific evidence is insufficient at this time to demonstrate that these treatments would effectively remove the BSE infectious agent if present in the source material."  On March 18, 2016 the FDA finalized three previously-issued interim final rules designed to further reduce the potential risk of BSE in human food.  The final rule clarified that "gelatin is not considered a prohibited cattle material if it is manufactured using the customary industry processes specified."