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US Government Seeks to Overturn Ruling That Allows Meatpackers the Ability to Test More Cows for Mad Cow Disease

Is the Government Mad For Not Testing More Cows?

Last Friday the Bush administration asked a federal appeals court to stop allowing meatpackers to test all animals for mad cow disease. That's right, the government wants companies to test fewer animals.

Currently, under Agriculture Department guidelines, less than 1 percent of slaughtered cows are tested for the disease. Yet due to a lower court ruling, Kansas-based Creekstone Farms Premium Beef has been granted the ability to more comprehensively test their beef. The government is hoping to stop Creekstone Farms by having the ruling overturned. They argue that widespread testing does not guarantee safety, and that companies are trying to create false assurances. They also stated that a false positive could scare consumers, and that testing would result in increased food prices.

Creekstone attorney Rusell Frye is not buying it and believes the government doesn't have the authority to stop companies from testing. He said:

This is the government telling the consumers, "You're not entitled to this information."

Call me crazy, but doesn't it seem like the more testing you do, the more likely you are to catch something wrong? The folks at Creekstone were supposed to begin testing last June, but because of this appeal the new testing process has been delayed.

So tell me, do you think companies should be allowed to test more cows? Or do you agree with the government and think that it causes false assurances?


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