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The Strange Matchmaker That Is BSE

Some consider it surprising that Japan's announcement this week of the reopening of its markets to U.S. beef was preceded by USDA's announcement of last week that it will dramatically reduce its BSE testing regime to just over 100 head/day.

The new testing protocol will still be well above the accepted industry guidelines for testing. And despite the misinformation that's being put out there, it's obvious the global marketplace understands testing is for surveillance and not for food-safety reasons.

Not surprisingly, activist groups whose goal is undermine consumer confidence in U.S. beef safety were united in trying to raise such concerns. What is most interesting, however, is the strange bedfellows BSE has created -- some with the goal of moving beef production out of the country, while others strive to shut down imports. With either goal, however, these activist groups know that achieving their objective rests on ensuring the U.S. consumer questions the safety of our product.
-- Troy Marshall