If I say yes to you, I may have to say yes to everyone else: Bush admin seeks to stop company from testing all beef for mad cow
May 10, 2008
The Bush administration made its request on Friday to the court that is considering overturning a ruling that allowed Creekstone Farms Premium Beef of Arkansas City, Kan., to test all its beef for mad cow disease.
Creekstone wants to conduct the intensified testing so that its meat can be sold to customers in Japan and other foreign countries that have tougher safety laws to protect its consumers from contacting the fatal disease.
Company lawyers argue that the government has no right to stop it from conducting more tests than the U.S. Department of Agriculture requires.
USDA guidelines only call for testing less than 1 percent of the cows slaughtered for human consumption in America for BSE.
That has some critics asking that all slaughtered beef be tested for the fatal disease regardless of whether it is going oversees or is intended for American consumption.
Mad cow disease, known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is a chronic, degenerative disorder affecting the central nervous system of cattle. It has been found to cause a similar fatal disease in humans who consume the contaminated beef or use cosmetics made from it.
Other than testing, there is no way to detect the disease and humans that eat beef from cattle with BSE, or who wear cosmetics made from BSE contaminated cattle, can contract a disease known as Variant Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease disease (vCJD).
“Variant CJD (vCJD) is a rare, degenerative, fatal brain disorder in humans,” according to a statement by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “There has never been a case of vCJD that did not have a history of exposure within a country where this cattle disease, BSE, was occurring.”
Some 200 cases of vCJD in 11 countries have been identified since the new disease was discovered. BSE was discovered after cattle, who are vegetarians, were fed discarded animal parts from sheep and other slaughtered animals that processors had no use for.