How Now Mad Cow
With another mad cow
discovered in the U.S., MSNBC
is reporting that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is promoting the safety of U.S. beef while doing little to actually prevent an outbreak of mad cow disease. The USDA continues to refuse to consider the World Health Organization's recommendations for further testing and for halting the practice of feeding cows blood, tissue, and slaughterhouse waste from other cows. These practices have halted the spread of mad cow disease in Europe.
The interesting question is how this issue might play out in the upcoming race for Texas Agricultural Commissioner
. Last year,in San Angelo
, a cow displaying signs of a brain disorder was not tested for mad cow disease despite a federal policy to screen all such animals.
This issue is a precarious one for anyone running for Agricultural Commissioner because it seemingly pits the interests of the meat producers in conflict with those of consumers and voters. However, it also could be a great issue to attract the interest of urban and suburban voters to this down ballot race. Although, the meat producers should realize that ensuring the integrity of the beef in our food supply is in their interest, both for the safety of the domestic market and to maintain their access to international markets.