FDA Talks Tough, Does Little, On US Mad Cow-Type Disease

Lester Crawford, acting director of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), told the Associated Press "we should probably try to eradicate (Chronic Wasting Disease in deer). There's no reason you couldn't stop it. It's not something you want in the livestock herds." Tough talk, but don't expect much action. Crawford supposedly is well-informed on mad cow-type diseases, but his statements ring hollow and provide no specifics. The FDA has failed even to respond to a 1999 petition from the Center for Food Safety urging the agency to close dangerous and gaping loopholes in US animal feed regulations. FDA and USDA are asleep at the wheel when it comes to this issue, except for repeating the marketing-mantra that 'we don't have mad cow disease in the US.' Also quoted in the AP article is Dr. Will Hueston who, when he was with the USDA, appeared on Oprah Winfrey's April 16, 1996 program examining mad cow risks. Later, when she was put on trial in Texas by the cattle industry for the "crime" of food disparagement, Hueston was a highly paid expert witness for the cattlemen. In his court testimony he compared Winfrey's program to a lynching, a remark for which he was made to apologize..