Tuesday, March 14, 2006

How do the soy burgers taste?

Oh, NOOOO!!!

Just this week, we learned that another case of mad cow disease has been found in America. So, what might be the action taken by our government? Well, it just might be to cut beef inspection.

The enhanced program, which was to run for 12 to 18 months, remains in place. It has tested more than 650,000 animals -- far more than initially planned -- and was responsible for finding two of the three cases of the brain-waisting cattle ailment in the United States.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said in January he would decide the future of the program in "early 2006."

USDA on Monday offered the first hint of its plans when Agriculture Department Chief Veterinarian John Clifford mentioned "the conclusion" of the program.

"As we talk about the conclusion of our enhanced surveillance program I wanted to reiterate and state that program was to take a snapshot in time to give us an estimate of prevalence," Clifford said during a telephone news conference on the new mad cow case.

This will certainly improve our statistics on mad cow disease. After all, if they cut the number of cattle inspected, then it is less likely that they will find any more cases of mad cow. Heck, if they cut it all the way to zero, then they will NEVER find one! It would take either the Mad Hatter or the Bush administration to find the logic to come up with this kind of response after last week's news.


Karen said...

eli~ i *tweaked* it! Thanks, yer good!!


Karen said...

btw, soy burgers are soundin' better 'n better.

Anonymous said...

I have some experience in this area. Most people may not be aware that meat companies work hand in hand with the USDA. The USDA has inspectors permanently posted at every processing plant in the country. Every single animal is inspected for all kinds of deseases in the slaughtering and evisceration processes. Inspectors routinely run all kinds of tests on animals coming into the plants and each animal is inspected literally from the inside out. It the USDA inspectors see anything that makes them think that the animal may not have been healthy the inspector condemns the carcass and it is discarded.

EAPrez said...

I recommend reading "Fast Food Nation" excellent book will give you an inside look at the meat industry. AND...veggie burgers are good - especially on the grill w/barbq sauce. Ummmmm ummmm ummmmmm. The faux meat products are excellent! I've been a vegetarian for years.

Eli Blake said...

The problem, Mark, is that BSE is a neurological disease spread by a not yet completely understood agent called a prion, and is not easy to detect by conventional methods. While an advanced case might show significant neurological damage, a cow which simply has the infection won't be apparent using even a routine microscopic examination. Hence the specialized testing program for it.

I just wonder why, after the news out last week, they want to pull the plug on this testing program. It seems to me that they should probably increase testing, rather than decrease it.