Stricter meat testing will cost consumers

Posted: Thursday, January 08, 2004

America's beef supply should be the world's

safest, and, ironically, it will be made safer because of the first U.S. case of mad cow disease.

As cattle producers, meatpackers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture scramble to shore up consumer confidence at home and abroad, the nation's mad-cow testing program is coming under the microscope, and rightfully so.

The startling news ... that a Holstein from a dairy farm near Yakima, Wash., had bovine spongiform encephalopathy was only eclipsed by the fact that the fatal disease was found by fluke, and not because the animal was exhibiting symptoms of a mad cow. ...

In the wake of the first U.S. case of mad cow disease, stricter rules seem inevitable. It will be expensive to expand America's cattle-testing program, and consumers should prepare to help bear the cost.

The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Dec. 30

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