Kansas-based Creekstone Farms Premium Beef wants to test all of its animals for mad cow disease, in an effort to pacify its overseas customers. According to Creekstone, they’ve been losing business due to a fear of mad cow disease, and Creekstone simply wants to test every animal as a way of boosting confidence. This sounds like a good idea to me, but the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is fighting the effort, claiming that they have regulatory control over the test kits, and they have decided to not allow Creekstone to test every animal. Say what? This appears to be a basic food safety issue, and I really don’t understand what the USDA is thinking.
This story, having caused my jaw to drop in disbelief and my head to shake back and forth, all the while mumbling “That’s absurd,” officially wins the coveted Chad’s News Stamp of Absurdity. Other such items can be found in the “absurd” category
Update: Slashdot has more information—the appeals court found that the USDA does have the right to restrict the use of mad cow disease testing kits. The case, however, was remanded to the U.S. District Court to determine whether or not the USDA’s refusal is arbitrary or capricious.