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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?


Join The Conversation
Ultress Ultress 9 years
i think we're all operating under the obviously misguided assumption that the USDA functions to protect the consumer. Silly us. It's only interest is protecting the profitability agribusiness. case in point--the definition of "organic" is a moving target to the point where many small farmers forgo organic certificaiton because it's so costly to the point where only large corporations can afford to jump through the most recently instituted hoops. as for creekstone, they should be applauded for trying to raise the bar, obviously something the bush administration doesn't want to happen--why eat into margin with "needless" testing? it's a cost with no real return on investment in their idiotic short sighted eyes. yet the WORLD sees our meat export as unsafe and is banned in several countries, although intermittently so. so why, again, if our interest is protecting the cattle industry would it be a BAD thing to reassure the world that our meat is safe? again, the only thing that sums up this f****ing administration--WTF?
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
You would think they would...
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
this seems to me like an obvious plan of action: to test or not to test should not be a question!
nancita nancita 9 years
Truly terrifying to me. I don't understand why food safety should be a partisan issue. Doesn't everyone want meat that's untainted by disease, especially when that meat is sold to school lunch programs?
phosphene phosphene 9 years
That's so ridiculous. I don't think there necessarily NEEDS to be more testing, but if a company chooses to do it why stop them? As long as they are not putting false information on their package and are not putting customers more at risk they should be able to do what they want. And what does the government care if that raises prices? If people decide that they would rather have cheaper food than safer food they can buy beef from another company that tests less.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i think tha tthere is a lesson to be learned from all the recalls this past year on meat, and they should allow farmers to test more animals. i can understand that they don't want to give people fasle senses of security, but to not test nearly as much - who knows what the reprocussion will be. how many millions of people need to get sick from meat before they realize that it's something that needs to be done. i don't think that consumers would be thrilled with the increased price, but their health is ultimately more important.
jJuliet jJuliet 9 years
This shows how the Republican party has been taken over by Neocons. Republicans are supposed to step out of the way and let businesses operate as they see fit. From what I've seen, all Neocons want is to keep the population ignorant and scared while amassing $$$ for corporate lobbyists, such as the meat industry.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 9 years
Of course there should be more testing. What are people going to tell citizens if there's an outbreak? "Oops, sorry about that" wouldn't cut it. I'm glad I don't eat meat anymore but what about people who do including my family? :(
meijan415 meijan415 9 years
yes - companies should have more testing. it doesn't surprise me this administration's government wants to rule otherwise. unfortunately, it seems likely that it'll take a disaster to change this.
javsmav javsmav 9 years
I don't understand the Bush administration, the meat industry, or people who eat cows.
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