Sunday, April 11, 2004

Is there something the USDA doesn't want to find?

This company wants to test all of their cattle for BSE. But the USDA doesn't want them to. Anybody else think this is a bogus excuse?
    Gary Weber of the cattlemen's association called 100 percent testing misleading to consumers because it would create a false impression that untested beef was not safe. He compared it to demanding that all cars be crash tested to prove they are safe.

    Asked if American beef producers were content to give up the $1.5 billion Japanese market, Mr. Weber said: "We're not going to give in to their demands. If that means in the short-to-medium term that we don't have that market, that's the price we'll pay. But in the long run, it means there's testing that's science based and that creates a level playing field."

    Asked if beef producers did not want to be pressured to imitate Creekstone and pay for more tests, Mr. Weber said it was "absolutely not about the money."
Hunh??? The 'science-based' comment annoys me to no end. I'm gathering that his science is not the same science that I studied in college. Continuing, the irony abounds.
    Consumer groups were critical of the department's decision.

    "It is ironic in the extreme that an administration that's so interested in letting industry come up with its own solutions would come down with a heavy government hand on a company that's being creative," said Dr. Peter Lurie, deputy director of the health research group at Public Citizen, a frequent food industry critic.
The logical consumer would think the ultimate sense of safety would lie in 100% testing, ala Japan. Japan, by the way, has found 11 cases of BSE with their 100% testing policy. My already high sense of skeptism just jumped a notch here.