The following news stories have several ramifications.
1.The USDA has cut back significantly on food testing and private individuals can no longer test for disease in the USA This is in response to WTO
and OIE guidelines on food and agricultural products. In a nutshell the new USDA creed is “If you do not test for a disease you will not find
2.The USDA (and WTO) wish to use management practices and traceability instead of Food Safety testing for disease. The new regulations promote “Do
not interfere with international trade, just be able to trace the problem after people get sick and die"
3.By banning private testing by individuals, the USDA can declare property (livestock) diseased and confiscate it without the owner being allowed to
defend himself through independent tests. In July 2000, USDA officials claimed in our court hearing that, “The farmers have no rights. No right
to be heard before the court, no right to independent testing, and no right to question the USDA....” Linda Fallice
(Google: Mad sheep,
Henshaw pig slaughter)
The Associated Press
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 08.30.2008 (sorry no link, it is paid subscription)
WASHINGTON â€” The Bush administration can prohibit meatpackers from testing their animals for mad cow disease, a federal appeals court said
Friday. The dispute pits the Agriculture Department, which tests about 1 percent of cows for the potentially deadly disease, against a Kansas
meatpacker that wants to test all its animals.
Larger meatpackers opposed such testing. If Creekstone Farms Premium Beef began advertising that its cows have all been tested, other companies feared
they too would have to conduct the expensive tests. The Bush administration said the low level of testing reflects the rareness of the disease.
Mad cow disease has been linked to more than 150 human deaths worldwide, mostly in Great Britain. Only three cases have been reported in the U.S., all
involving cows, not humans. A federal judge ruled last year that Creekstone must be allowed to conduct the test because the Agriculture Department can
regulate only disease "treatment."
Since there is no cure for mad cow disease and the test is performed on dead animals, the judge ruled, the test is not a treatment. The U.S. Court of
Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned that ruling, saying diagnosis can be considered part of treatment. "And we owe USDA a
considerable degree of deference in its interpretation of the term," Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson wrote. The case was sent back to the district
court, where Creekstone can make other arguments. Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Creekstone Farms defends right to test for BSE
By Tom Johnston on 5/12/2008 for www.Meatingplace.com...
Lawyers representing Creekstone Farms Premium Beef told a federal appeals court on Friday that USDA has no authority to keep the company from testing
slaughtered cattle for bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
The Arkansas City, Kan.-based processor appeared before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington D.C. circuit as the
government continues to try to reverse a lower court ruling that allowed the company to more thoroughly test for BSE among its slaughtered cattle to
reassure overseas customers in Asia. (See USDA reviewing federal court's ruling on BSE testing on Meatingplace.com, March 30, 2007.)
At present, less than 1 percent of slaughtered cattle are tested for BSE under USDA rules. The agency contends that more comprehensive testing
doesn't guarantee food safety and may produce a false positive that alarms consumers.
"They want to create false assurances," Justice Department attorney Eric Flesig-Greene told the judges, according to the Associated Press.
But Creekstone's legal counsel argued that USDA's own regulations regarding treatment of domestic animals do not prohibit individual companies from
testing for BSE, noting the test is conducted only after an animal is slaughtered. He reiterated the agency has no authority to prevent companies from
conducting such testing. "This is the government telling consumers, 'You're not entitled to this information,'" attorney Russell Frye said.
Chief Judge David B. Sentelle indicated agreement with Creekstone. "All [Creekstone wants] to do is create information," he said, adding that
consumers can then decide how to interpret it.Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Around 7 000 BSE cases were detected through the screening of about 50 million cattle with rapid tests in Europe....Please remember, the last
two mad cows documented in the USA I.e. Alabama and Texas, both were of the 'atypical' BSE strain, and immediately after that, the USDA shut down
the testing from 470,000 to 40,000 in the U.S. In 2007 out of about 35 million cattle slaughtered.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Summary of Tuberculosis Surveillance in California Cattle
# of Cattle Tested........1995.....1996 .....1997.......1998......1999.. ...2000.......2001
By Health Officials..10,576....5,100.....2,861.. .. 3,530.....1,425. ...1,967.......2,500
By Private Vets........15,921...17,100...19,930.. .18,189...22,863. .19,930.....19,587
at Slaughter...................39..........58.........64...........39..........58..........64......... 385
SLEEPWALK TO STARVATION
With hindsight, it was the late 1990's and the first decade of the 21st Century when farming went into irreversible decline as it lurched and
staggered like a perpetual drunkard from crisis to disaster....warmwell.com...
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.