In a ruling last week a federal appeals court has ruled that Beef exporters are banned from testing their cattle for mad cow disease without the approval from the USDA (United States Agriculture Department). Creekstone Farms Premium Beef wanted to test 100% of their beef so they can assure their customers in Japan and South Korea that their beef is safe. Once again we have another instance of the government interfering in a business decision. They should have the right to test as much as they want to but big meat packers are afraid of being forced to test more than 1% of their meat and the USDA sided with them. This not only has an effect on Creekstone Farms but it has the potential to reach all of us who eat beef. The appeals court ruled, 2 to 1, that under a 1913 law, test kits that are used only after an animal is killed still constitute “diagnosis” and “treatment” ? this for a disease that has no treatment and is 100% fatal ? and therefore fall under the USDA’s authority to regulate. Just how crazy is that?

Creekstone?s case is not entirely over. The appeals court remanded to the U.S. District Court to resolve whether the USDA?s refusal to let Creekstone test its cattle is arbitrary and capricious.

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