They say “NO” to testing meat for mad cow

Who would DO such a thing?

Why, our very own United States Department of Agriculture, that’s who!

The Agriculture Department is within bounds to bar meatpackers from testing slaughter cattle for mad cow disease, a U.S. Court of Appeals panel said in a 2-1 ruling on Friday.

Creekstone Farms Premium Beef LLC, a small Arkansas packer, filed suit on March 23, 2006, to gain access to mad-cow test kits. It said it wanted to test every animal at its plant to assure foreign buyers that the meat was safe to eat . . .

In a 25-page ruling, Appellate Judges Karen Henderson and Judith Rogers said USDA has authority under the 1913 Virus-Serum-Toxin Act to prevent sale of mad-cow test kits to meatpackers. USDA interprets the law to control products for “prevention, diagnosis, management or care of diseases of animals.”

David Sentelle, chief judge of the District of Columbia appeals circuit, dissented from the decision. He said USDA “exceeds the bounds of reasonableness” for a law enacted to prevent the sale of ineffective animal medicine.

Because, you know, if any ol’ meatpacker had the capability to test for mad cow, it might, um. Mess things up. They might — horrors! — use the results to “market” their product as mad cow-tested.

USDA . . . says the tests should not be used as a marketing tool and the cattle that comprise the bulk of the meat supply are too young to be tested reliably.

And we can’t have that. The USDA has to be in CONTROL.

USDA allows the mad-cow test kits to be sold only to laboratories that it approves.

This is where our tax dollars go. This is how a federal agency established to serve this country’s interest is spending our freaking money. To protect ITSELF and its hold on power and the status quo IT has established.

Rather like the Food and Drug Administration, which thinks we should be irrradiating spinach to kill E. coli. Who cares that we’re adding one more item to our lengthening list of biologically altered foodstuffs, as meanwhile we’re already dropping dead from the crap we eat? Who cares if irradiation destroys folate and Vitamin A and who knows what other phytonutrients and might have other, poorly-understood effects on our food?

(Hey, here’s an idea — lets turn over healthcare to a government agency too! It’s worked so well in so many other areas.)

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