Friday, February 03, 2006

How Now Mad Cow?


In yet another of those all-too-frequent reports, it turns out that the federal agency tasked with inspecting the nation's meat supply overruled a field scientist's decision to retest a potentially infected cow.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's top officials tried to prevent advanced retesting of suspicious meat "because they feared a positive test would undermine confidence in the agency's testing procedures."

Needless to say, after the attempt to silence the science failed, it turned out the meat was infected with mad cow (bovine spogiform encephalopathy). Yum, yum!

What's more, according to the Agriculture Department's Inspector General, the meat inspection "system did not collect the information needed to say whether slaughterhouses were following all mad cow-related regulations. In nine of 12 facilities visited, the report said, inadequate recordkeeping made it impossible to know whether proper procedures were being followed."

Are you a vegetarian, yet?