A place to rant about politics, the media, and especially the electorate. Much like alcohol, the electorate is both the cause of, and the solution to, all of America's problems.

Location: Seattle, Washington

Friday, June 24, 2005

Your Government.... Always With Your Best Interests At Heart

So the FDA has been literally begged for over a year now to, um, test cows and enact rules aimed at preventing mad cow disease. For example, 8 months ago:

FDA must immediately close loopholes in its rules on animal feed that could allow the disease to spread,” said Michael Hansen, Ph.D., a research biologist at CU.

Predictably, republicans, and cattle ranchers, didn't care for the idea of, um, making sure that our food was incurable-disease-free. Worse yet, those very people are part of our government:

"U.S. Won't Let Company Test All Its Cattle For Mad Cow:" (04/10/04): "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. Lobbying groups for cattle ranchers and slaughterhouses applauded the decision, but consumer advocates denounced it, saying the department was preventing Creekstone from taking extra steps to prove its product was safe. Under the Virus Serum Toxin Act of 1913, the department decides where cattle can be tested and for what.

You read that right. Sure, ranchers aren't typically going to be inclined to do any more testing than they absolutely have to. But it doesn't matter - even if they wanted to do more testing, they CAN'T.

The result of all of this? Predictable:

Tests Confirm Second Mad Cow Case in U.S.

What I find ironic about all of this is that the ranchers, and the republicans, thought they were protecting big business, by (a) saving them the expense of testing, and (b) saving them from the truth (no testing = no failing). But it wouldn't surprise me if, now that there's another mad cow, the American beef industry might well be headed straight to Enron-ville.

Would YOU, if you were another country, trust American beef? Did they trust British?


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