Thursday, March 16, 2006

They Got 'Em All

Pursuant to the discovery of the third confirmed case of BSE in 27 months, the USDA has sent signals that it has decided to go ahead with plans to scale back testing.

US Testing Schedule
2003 - about 55 cows/day
2006 - about 1000 cows/day
Future - maybe 110 cows/day

US cattle herd: 95 million, of which 40 million are slaughtered each year. That chart on the right would show a more accurate perspective if the y-axis stretched to 40,000,000 not 12,000. But then you might not notice the blip that represents cows tested.
"This would be a tenth of a percent of all animals slaughtered. This starts to be so small that in our opinion, it approaches a policy of don't look, don't find."
- Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives at Consumers Union
How the US Rates Among Nations1
Japan tests all cows
UK tests all cows over 24 months
Europe tests all cows over 30 months
US will test 0.1% of all (40,000,000) cows

1 Source: US Congressional Press Release, Jan 2004, from Congressman George Miller (D-California) who proposed testing all cows slaughtered.

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