Friday, March 5


Although I sympathize completely with what he's up against, I worry about Dave Louthan, how his story gets bigger and, well, wilder as time goes on. But there's nothing I wouldn't put past the folks at the USDA given their previous history. So I gotta pay attention when Louthan says that Rodney Thompson, the press-sequestered USDA vet who supposedly marked the cow a downer,"was given a promotion and bumped up three pay grades in an effort to keep him silent," and attributes the info to a named source, meat inspector Donald West. Either Louthan's starting to go off the deep end, or the USDA is in some serious, serious trouble. It's one or the other.

Steve Mitchell says, "UPI has been unable to verify any of Louthan's allegations, in part because the USDA has refused to give out any information on Thompson. In fact, agency officials will not even verify if Thompson is still a USDA employee, saying they cannot comment on an ongoing investigation. Asked about the promotion and pay-raise allegations, USDA spokeswoman Alisa Harrison said, 'I haven't heard of that at all ...I'm sure that's part of what the (Inspector General) is taking a look at.'" Hmmm. Isn't that what they call a non-denial denial?

Meanwhile, the first lawsuit - a class-action lawsuit - has been filed in King County, WA over the mad cow meat that got to consumers' plates in the wake of the yank-now-confess-later recall. This is started by one family, but who knows how many other families ate some of that 19 tons of potentially deadly meat?

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