The Alabama cow is believed to be at least 10 years old, which would mean it was born before the government's 1997 ban on the gruesome and disease-spreading practice of using the remains of cows as an ingredient in cattle feed. Yet the Food and Drug Administration, after announcing in 2003 that it would ban such practices, still allows cattle blood to be fed to calves and bovine remains to be fed to chickens (after which the leftover feed is scooped off the floor with the chicken manure and added--you guessed it--to cattle feed). Not only does that make a mockery of the ban, it goes against the common sense that a grazing herbivore wasn't meant to be a cannibal.(Emphasis mine.)
The LA Times article quoted above arrived from LNS with strings of exclamation points and a portion of the text in red. Since this was the only time in years of exchanging email with LNS that anything was so colorfully typed, I assumed it was important. Thanks, USDA*, or should I say Mistuh President? Who's in charge up there, the former lobbyist for the Cattlemen's Feed Association?
NOTE: The article requires registration. To get around it, try bugmenot.com.
UPDATE: Your gov't responds to the recent discovery of a third mad cow by...reducing testing. According to Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, that's because testing isn't a food safety measure, it's "for surveillance.... It was to get an idea of the condition of the herd." Ah, okay. So, like, testing random birds for West Nile isn't a public health measure, it's to get an idea of the condition of a flock. That opens up a whole array of legal defenses, come to think of it. If, for example, I fired a shotgun at Mr.
*A previous version of this post listed the FDA, not USDA.