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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has ordered its inspectors in Texas not to talk about mad cow disease with outside parties.
United Press International has learned that the gag order was sent May 6 by e-mail from the USDA's Dallas district office.
Over the past two years, Lone Star Beef, the 18th-largest packer in the United States, has slaughtered 350,000 head. Yet only three animals have been screened for brain-wasting diseases. And according to freedom of information requests filed by United Press International, the USDA tests animals at just 100 of America's 700 slaughterhouses.