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Court Rules Meatpackers Allowed to Test for BSE
USDA has until June 1 to appeal the decision.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has 60 days to decide whether to appeal a federal judge's ruling that allows Creekstone Farms Premium Beef to test its cattle for bovine spongiform encephalopathy. USDA is reviewing the court’s decision.
U.S. District Judge James Robertson ruled last Thursday that the government doesn't have the authority to regulate BSE testing, though he stayed the order so USDA has time to appeal the decision. If the agency doesn't do so by June 1, the order will immediately take effect, paving the way for other U.S. meatpackers to test animals for the disease as well.
Creekstone, based in Arkansas City, Kansas., filed the complaint in March 2006, seeking the right to test 100 percent of its animals for BSE in an effort to reassure its customers, especially those that closed their markets to U.S. beef after the first U.S. discovery of BSE in 2003, that its product was safe for human consumption.
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