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GhoulNation: USDA bars meatpacker tests for mad cow

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    Court bars meatpacker tests for mad cow WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Agriculture Department is within bounds to bar meatpackers from testing slaughter cattle for
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2008
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      Court bars meatpacker tests for mad cow

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - 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.

      Three U.S. cases of mad cow disease, a fatal neurological infection,
      have been reported, the last in March 2006. People can contract a
      human version of the disease by eating infected meats. Most nations
      banned U.S. beef after the first case, in December 2003, but trade
      has been restored for the most part.

      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.

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

      Two large export markets, Japan and South Korea, accept beef only
      from younger U.S. cattle. Mad cow is found mostly in older cattle.
      Its incubation period is two to eight years.

      Creekstone said it lost $200,000 a day due to reduced U.S. beef
      exports when it filed its lawsuit.

      In its lawsuit, Creekstone argued the 1913 law could not be invoked
      to prevent use of products like "rapid test" kits for mad cow disease
      and the kits were not a "treatment" for livestock.

      U.S. District Judge James Robinson had ruled in March 2007 that USDA
      could not control mad cow tests because they are not a treatment for
      animals.

      The United States applies a number of safeguards against mad cow,
      formally named bovine spongiform encephalopathy. They include a ban
      on using cattle parts in feed and requirements for packers to remove
      at slaughter the materials most likely to carry the mad-cow agent --
      the brain, spinal column and nervous system tissue.

      (Editing by Walter Bagley)

      http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080829/us_nm/usa_madcow_tests_dc_1

      ...

      file this one under the "Oh Freekin YUMMY!" folder.

      ...
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