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Agriculture Department Drastically Cuts Mad Cow Testing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture formally announced a drastic cutback late last week in keeping track of the occurrence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) -- better known as mad cow disease -- by almost 90 percent from 1,000 cattle per day to 110. Surprising, since the United States tests far fewer cows than many other countries.

Agriculture officials claim there's no significant problem with BSE in America, considering there were only two official cases reported along with a handful of undetected cases. Nevertheless, the department's inspector general discovered serious flaws with the way cows are tested.

And Japanese health and agriculture inspectors found compliance problems at two American meat processing facilities during a recently concluded month-long tour, and had been pushing for maintaining the same number of tests per day as before.

No wonder, American consumers are replacing factory-farmed grain-fed beef pumped full of hormones with healthier grass-fed beef, lower in chemicals that can harm you and rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and antioxidant vitamins A and E.

I limit my beef intake, whenever possible, to grass-fed sources. The best way to purchase it is from the farmer who raised the animal, but you may not have a source close to you. If you can't find one, you may want to consider the source on my Web site.

Washington Post July 21, 2006

The News-Sentinel July 25, 2006

Town Hall July 25, 2006

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