Friday, January 20


Well that sure didn't take long. A little over a month after lifting its 2-year ban on imports of US beef over Mad Cow fears, Japan has reinstated the ban. And why? Oh, you know, just "the discovery of spinal material in a shipment that should have been removed due to the risk of mad cow disease." Hmmmmm. Oh well, I'm sure it was just that one shipment that had the problem, right?

Don't worry, though, folks, the USDA is making sweeping changes right away: "Within the United States, two USDA inspectors instead of one will now be required to review every shipment of beef to be exported to Japan." Did you get that? They're going to make doubly sure that the beef they send to Japan is safe... while you sit here and eat all that single-inspector beef that might or might not have BSE-carrying spinal cord in it.

Let's just be clear that this belies once again the whining that US vegetarians and consumer activists were the ones whipping up Mad Cow fear. It's the US Beef industry that is creating the fear by their shoddy practices (as well as the shoddy concept behind their industry) and it's international trade that's in the driver's seat of everything they do.

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