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Corvallis, OR, United States
My personal obsession with prion diseases with smidges of music I like and rescue dog advocacy from a disabled Oregonian.


Song in my head:....the day the statue died.....i started singing......bye bye you iraqi bad guy....drove my hummer through the summer...but the bummer won?t die...and rummy?s boys drinkin? whiskey and rye....sayin? this?ll be the day saddam dies..this?ll be the day saddam dies.......Skippy


From today's FSNet:

Mad cow-testing
April 9, 2004
Associated Press
Libby Quaid
WASHINGTON -- The Agriculture Department has, according to this story, rebuffed a plan by Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, a small Kentucky-based meatpacking company, to test every animal at its Kansas slaughterhouse for mad cow disease.
Agriculture Department spokeswoman Alisa Harrison was quoted as saying late Thursday that, "We are looking at what the consensus of international experts is when it comes to testing, and that consensus is that 100 percent testing is not justified. That's why we feel at this time we cannot grant Creekstone's requested timeline for a decision."
Creekstone was cited as saying its customers in Japan promised to buy Creekstone beef again if the company tested for the brain wasting disease in every animal processed at the plant and could show USDA certification of that.
Creekstone spokesman Brad Caudill was cited as calling the Agriculture Department's decision a mistake on Friday, but said the company would survive, adding, "We are pretty depressed about that decision right now. We put a lot of effort and a lot of money into it. We are going to regroup today."

I find it odd that the DOA (Dept of Ag) is denying a private company the right to test every cow being slaughtered. The story continues....

Creekstone says court fight with USDA possible
April 9, 2004
The Meating Place
Daniel Yovich
One day after being denied permission by the Agriculture Department to voluntarily test for BSE all of the cattle it slaughters, Creekstone Farms officials say they may file a lawsuit against the agency for restricting its ability to operate.
"We are extremely disappointed but glad to finally have a response from the USDA," said Creekstone Farms CEO John Stewart. "We now know where USDA stands but are surprised it took them six weeks to respond with a 'no' to our request when it's probably what they were going to tell us all along."


On Thursday, J.B. Penn, USDA's under secretary of agriculture for farm and foreign agricultural services, Dale Moore, chief of staff to Secretary Ann M. Veneman, and Bill Hawks, undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs, met with Stewart and Creekstone Vice President Kevin Pentz, informing them the agency would not approve the Arkansas City, Kan.-based processor's request. Hawks said the agency denied the approval because it "would have implied a consumer safety aspect that is not scientifically warranted."

Freaking unbelievable. A company wants to be diligent and honor consumer requests and they can't. The article cites much support for the increased BSE testing, including a recent editorial in USA Today.

On March 26, USA Today, the nation's largest newspaper, endorsed Creekstone's testing plan in an editorial, noting that USDA and trade association opposition to the proposal "is as confounding as government foot-dragging over approving private testing. And it ill-serves confused customers who are looking for stronger assurances that the meat they buy is safe." (from FSNet 4/9/04)

This article in today's Corvallis-Gazette Times gives a telling clue as to why the beef industry along with the USDA, oppose increased BSE testing.

Scientists have said that testing each animal is excessive. Plus, the American beef industry is worried about the cost of such testing. They fear that any false-positive tests could potentially scare consumers and cause beef sales to slide, and that Creekstone's plan would set a precedent for trade negotiations.

"We want a level playing field for all companies based on science," said Gary Webber, director of regulatory affairs for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association

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