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Wide-scale BSE testing not even allowed?

For all those who know I'm not eating beef right now because of the BSE controversy, you should know that something fishy is going on. According to this NYT article, a beef producer which wants to export its beef to Japan, can't, because the Department of Agriculture decided it "implies a consumer safety aspect that is not scientifically warranted." And, yeah, there's a law which stipulates that the Department of Agriculture can decide these things - to prevent producers from doing more than they're required.

Sheesh. Yeah, this is pretty scary. The beef lobby is definitely in control here...

Via Joi Ito via Plastic


Ever since news of mad cow in the US hit, I haven't touched beef either. The guy who found mad cow even said that the USDA has stopped testing the cows altogether for BSE, because further discoveries of infected cows would further errode the U.S. market. Even so, there are still people eating beef, and lots of it, apparently spurred on by the Atkins diet. My guess is that most beef is tainted with BSE, or that the tests they've been giving all along were made such that even tainted cows could pass, and the cow that didn't was a fluke. In any case, I don't eat beef, and I encourage others not to eat beef either. Pork, turkey, chicken and tofu are great protein alternatives.

Of course, the real problem is that no one has any idea if, even if you eat food tainted with BSE, the risk is high of your brain turning to swiss cheese.

Hopefully, some progress will be made on that front.

And, the sad thing would be if I've already got it (we've had several years of potential exposure...) and I'm missing out on In-N-Out. Unfortunately, technology is just too far off from any sort of testing at that level yet. What a world....

Just reading up on some of this lately, was interesting.

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