Wednesday, March 10, 2004

That wasn't so hard, was it?

The Agriculture Department is expected to announce before the month's end a significant ramp-up in it's already increased bovine spongiform encephalopathy testing program, and reportedly has established a target of between 200,000-to-300,000 BSE tests per-year, likely to be conducted in the agency's network of about 20 regional laboratories.
The obvious solution is to tests everything, but this really does represent a huge step towards the slimmest credibility for USDA. We'll see what beef importers think, and if they continue to threaten producers who want to test every cow with legal action. Also, there appear to be some shenanigans with the test chosen. Anyone who an explain the relative merits of ELIZA and Southern-blot, please get in touch with me. Of course,
In January, Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman announced the agency was increasing its BSE testing from about 20,000 to 40,000 animals per year. However, several USDA officials have privately told that the agency is woefully behind schedule to test anywhere near that number through the first 10 weeks of this year.


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