September 1, 2008
-- by Dave Johnson
In a new twist on the role of government a federal appeals court has ruled that the government can force companies to NOT test beef for mad cow disease.
The background is that some smaller meat packers wanted to test every cow, to ensure that citizens are safe from mad cow disease. Large meat packing companies felt this would lead consumers to buy from these companies that do the testing, and they don't want to spend any extra money to test their own beef. So they paid the Republicans to force the smaller companies to stop the testing. And there are enough Republican judges appointed now that they got this approved by a court.
The government can prohibit meat packers from testing their animals for mad cow disease, a federal appeals court said Friday, overturning a lower court ruling that would have allowed such testing.
Because the Agriculture Department tests only a small percentage of cows for the deadly disease, Kansas meatpacker Creekstone Farms Premium Beef wanted to test all of its cows. The government said it could not.
Larger meat companies worry that if Creekstone performed the test and advertised its meat as safe, they could be forced to do the expensive test, too.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Friday overturned a lower court ruling. The appeals court said restricting the test is within the scope of the government's authority.
Posted by Dave Johnson at September 1, 2008 11:45 AM
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