U.S. mad-cow testing laboratories are closing their doors. Sandi Doughton explains:This makes me glad I don’t eat beef. Remember a few years back. Before SARS and Avian Flu were all the rage. Mad-Cow Disease was the top dog. It was in more headlines than the Anna Nicole Smith saga. Well I guess the nation isn’t worried about it anymore. The Seattle Times reports that
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently scaled back mad-cow testing by more than 90 percent, leading to closure of the WSU lab and several others around the country. The agency has backed off plans for a mandatory animal-tracking system, which can help identify the source of an infection and other animals at risk, and now says the program will be voluntary.I hardly think I’m alone on this, but I worry about this stuff. Now even though I don’t eat beef, I don’t want some dangerous epidemic running amuck in our food supply. Why are we not concerned about this anymore? Oh that’s right. The new season of American Idol is on.
Several of the unappetizing — and risky — practices that came to light in the wake of the initial mad-cow case are still allowed, including the use of cow blood as a food supplement for calves.
And even the prohibition on slaughtering sickly cows, called downers, for human consumption has not been made permanent, though it is being enforced.