Agriculture Department Kills American Beef Exports by Outlawing Private Mad Cow Testing

Posted by: Steve Marr in In the News on Mar 03, 2004

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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has taken the outrageous step of outlawing private testing for Mad Cow disease.


As a result, the resumption of the $3 billion beef export market has stalled.


But the government has refused to allow such testing on the grounds that the meat supply is safe.Only one government lab in Iowa performs Mad Cow testing, but tests are done only as determined by the government. The lab refuses to perform private tests, even when a rancher, exporter, or retailer is willing to pay the costs.The theory is that the private testing may be unreliable or if positive result is are found, the public may start to panic. The USDA insists that the beef supplies are safe and need only limited testing and has gone so far as to threaten prosecution of any third party that starts testing. 

But King Solomon wrote, "He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him" (Proverbs 18:13 NASB). It is the same to arbitrarily eliminate testing and then claim that all beef is safe.


Private medical labs conduct the most complex and important tests everyday- surely private labs can do the same on beef products. Allowing private testing has no downside risk and could prove to be an enormous benefit. We need to allow private enterprise to improve the confidence in our meat products.

In the meantime, as our imbalance of trade continues to widen, American beef ranchers are being denied a billion dollar export market solely due to government interference.

Steve Marr, Your Christian Business Coach