Court says USDA can prohibit beef manufacturers from mad cow testing

Court says USDA can prohibit beef manufacturers from mad cow testing

I think we may have stumbled upon some form of mad human disease.

Here’s how events unfolded…

Creekstone, a Kansas meat packing company, begins testing its cattle for mad cow disease in order to reassure nervous Japanese customers that the animals are disease-free.

But the USDA steps in and orders Creekstone to stop testing. The reasoning: The company had no scientific justification to test their relatively young animals when only older cattle develop mad cow disease.

Well it’s a free country, right? If meat packer wants to test the animals he owns, that’s his prerogative, right?

So Creekstone sues the USDA. And they win.

Then the USDA appeals.

A few days ago, a U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the lower court’s ruling.

And here’s where legal logic gets deeply twisted. In the original ruling, a federal judge stated that the USDA can only regulate disease treatment, and mad cow testing is not a treatment because it can only be performed on dead animals. Seems pretty clear. But the Court of Appeals ruling states that diagnosis can be considered part of treatment. On a dead animal!

The diagnosis here is pretty obvious: mad human disease.

You can read the whole mad story that lead up to this insane decision in the e-Alert “Mad Hatters” (5/28/08).

“Court: US Can Block Mad Cow Testing” Matt Apuzzo, Associated Press, 8/29/08,