The New York Times
U.S. Won't Let Company Test All Its Cattle for Mad Cow

The Department of Agriculture refused yesterday to allow a Kansas beef producer to test all of its cattle for mad cow disease, saying such sweeping tests were not scientifically warranted.

The producer, Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, wanted to use recently approved rapid tests so it could resume selling its fat-marbled black Angus beef to Japan, which banned American beef after a cow slaughtered in Washington State last December tested positive for mad cow. The company has complained that the ban is costing it $40,000 a day and forced it to lay off 50 employees.

The department's under secretary for marketing and regulation, Bill Hawks, said in a statement yesterday that the rapid tests, which are used in Japan and Europe, were licensed for surveillance of animal health, while Creekstone's use would have "implied a consumer safety aspect that is not scientifically warranted."

I don't know whether I trust the Japanese or the Americans more on this issue. The Japanese say they're testing all of the cows, but frankly, I have my doubts. On the other hand, the Americans won't even LET them test all of the cows so obviously, they're not all being tested. On the other hand, more people are dying in Iraq than from Mad Cow in Japan or the US so we should keep this in perspective...

via Plastic

9 Comments

I dont consider myself qualified to evaluate which government is right on this one, we get mad cows in japan even though the testing methods are more stringent in theory. What I do know is I miss my Yoshinoya gyudon so much that once this thing is over, I'm gonna be waiting at the docks for the first boatload of beef with a welcome flag!

The difference between people dying from mad cow and people dying in Iraq is not *how many*, but *who*. Most people reading this in Japan and US have little fear of dying in Iraq I would assume. On the other hand, eating a mad cow? Somehow we have tricked ourselves into making that sound plausible.

Of course, if you want to adjust perspecitve to fit with numbers of people dying, both mad cow and Iraq would hardly be on the chart, they would be dwarfed by malaria, AIDS, malnutrition, etc... but then those don't directly effect us as much as eating a big juicy hunk of bad beef, or raising prices at the gas stand do.

Heh, did anyone check the latest numbers for people starving to death in Africa? Please, go and check it out...

But who cares? It's not like it's in Media.

US Government to little company: "We WILL NOT allow you to conduct BSE tests on the carcasses you process. We WILL NOT allow you to decide by yourself to apply quality criteria relevant to your business that go beyond those decided by the Government. Resistance is futile. You WILL do as dictated."

I'm glad i'm vegetarian! : )

With all the Mad Cow disease, Avian Flu and toxic mercury/lead in the ocean stock maybe it is time to change the way people look at food and the resources it uses.

One fact that I was told years ago (true or not I never quite looked into it) was that it takes 100Kg of grain to have 1Kg of beef. You do the math. : )

Watch the latest "Penn & Teller's BULLSHIT!" to get the scoop on mad cow. It is, as the title implies... BULLSHIT.

Another question is how much pressure did the big meat processors put on the government to say no to full testing? They were against the idea from the start. I guess they are afraid that if a high end producer chooses to do the testing they will all have to test. They don't care if they are hurting a small community as long as they keep their profit margins.

What do you mean, more are dying in Iraq than of mad cow? NO ONE has died of Mad cow, except for MAYBE four people in the UK many, many years ago. Number of dead in Japan and the US: Z E R O

Mad cow will hit the world heavily one day. The thing about MadCow is that it could take 20-30 years to kick in and show signs in people. Some people have better immunity to it than others.

Millions of people can have it and won't even know they have it until its too late. Every peace of meat should be tested. It costs less than 10 cents to do it..

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So much for letting the market place manage problems and find solutions. According to this article, Feds block mad cow tests, a small business cannot do extra testing of its product to try to get a competitive advantage. The Bush administration knows b... Read More

I have always wanted to be a vegetarian. Vegetarians have a certain mystique, or, at least, I have always felt that they did. Unfortunately for my vegetarian aspirations, I am quite accustomed to meat and to stop eating it would... Read More

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