By Diane Silver
This is not a joke, but it should be. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is in court, once again, to block a Kansas meatpacker from testing all of its meat for mad cow disease. Currently, less than 1 percent of slaughtered cows are tested nationally for this lethal disease. That's no typo, but it is insane.
A federal judge ruled in March that such tests must be allowed. The ruling was to take effect Friday, but the Agriculture Department said Tuesday it would appeal -- effectively delaying the testing until the court challenge plays out.
I foolishly always thought that the role of the USDA was to keep our food supply safe. Apparently, the Bush Administration version of the USDA is designed to keep big companies from spending money and finding out embarrassing results.
Kudos to Creekstone Farms Premium Beef of Arkansas City for wanting to do the right thing. As for the USDA: What the heck are you people thinking?