AR-News: (US) Lawmaker Questions USDA Mad Cow Efforts

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Fri May 14 00:00:17 EDT 2004

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Agriculture Department's blunder in
failing to test a condemned Texas cow for mad cow disease may reflect
wider problems in the government's surveillance program, a Democratic
lawmaker said on Thursday.

The USDA last week acknowledged it erred in failing to test a 12-year-old
cow for the brain-wasting disease when the animal arrived at a Texas
slaughterhouse exhibiting a possible central nervous system disorder.

A USDA supervisor in Austin, Texas refused to test the animal despite
requests from federal animal health inspectors, said California Rep. Henry

"This sequence of events is troubling, and it raises the question of
whether this is an isolated incident," Waxman said in a letter to
Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman. 

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