Mad, Cloned Cows Fetter the Free Market

The world of livestock demonstrates the government’s mixed up free market–and food–policies:

The New York Times (via Dean Baker) says that…

…a federal appeals court has ruled that the government can prohibit meat packers from testing their animals for mad cow disease. Because the Agriculture Department tests only a small percentage of cows for the deadly disease, a Kansas meatpacker, Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, wanted to test all of its cows, but the government says it cannot. Larger meat companies worry that if Creekstone is allowed to perform the test and advertise its meat as safe, they could be forced to do the expensive test, too. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said restricting the test was allowable.

Meanwhile, according to the Wall Street Journal, cloned animal products are finding their way into the food supply:

Milk and meat from the offspring of cloned livestock are entering the U.S. food supply.

The number of clones is on the rise, and no one is keeping track of all their offspring. In January, the Food and Drug Administration said products from cloned cattle, pigs and goats — and their conventionally bred offspring — are safe to eat.

The government needs to keep its sticky fingers out of the first case, and put them into the second. Feeding ignorant consumers tainted and/or scientifically curious meat is a sick way of capitalizing off an information deficit.

Overturn the testing restriction and require big orange “Cloned” stickers on packages of cloned animal meat, then we’re getting somewhere.

  • Shamiq

    What are they going to restrict next? I can’t test myself for HIV because then if I advertise myself to be virus-free, then other males will be disadvantaged?

    Perhaps theme park owners should be disallowed from testing their rides, since it could force others with potentially dangerous rides into testing their own roller coasters.

    “The government needs to keep its sticky fingers out of the first case…”
    I agree. A firm is creating a wholy legal competitive edge. The consumer benefits, and the producer can avoid expensive recalls and lawsuits. I don’t see who is losing out in the long run.

  • really…cos i just happen to be an ex meat farmer and this was never happening with me…