Friday, June 18


Steve Mitchell keeps digging into the particulars of the USDA's testing plan, and has uncovered the fact that they plan "to notify industry officials of positive mad cow test results at least one hour before informing the public." He notes wryly that "The revelation comes as government officials are being investigated for possibly leaking information about the first U.S. case of mad cow in December to commodity traders prior to telling the public."

UPDATE 6/19: Mad Cow testing slow to get started nationally The AP reports that the much-ballyhooed acclerated BSE testing program that was supposed to make us not care how few tests have been done since December has tested less than 3,000 cattle (2,871) in its first two weeks. Calling the program "slow to gear up to the point where it can screen 220,000 animals" in 12 to 18 months, the story quotes Agency spokesman Jim Rogers' spin: "On the first day, it wasn't expected we would be performing at maximum output." OK, well, it's not the first day, pal, it's the first two weeks. And even if you went the full 18 months, at this rate, Mr. Rogers, you'd complete 113,000 tests not even FIFTY FREAKIN' PERCENT OF THE NUMBER "PROMISED." We'll wait and see when the program actually does start to "gear up."

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