"But if it simply confirms that they disagree (IHC & WB), we will have to
haul all of our former beef customers back to the classroom, drilling foreign buyers with the critical lesson that meaningful safeguards and firewalls (e.g., the tanking of downers, the removal of specified risk materials) matter more than all the tests one can imagine."
I TOTALLY disagree with this statement! We cannot be feeding positives to people, period. Although I know a few have slipped through the cracks. If people think that they might have a chance of eating an infected steak......they just won't buy anymore! We'd have to give it away.
I used to say "test them all". But if they use the wrong tests what's the use?
I cannot believe the USDA has put US (the cattleman) in this position. We should all be outraged.
I doubt "testing them all" would open the Japanese border to your beef. They would then come up with another excuse for not accepting the product. I"m sure there are other reasons they do not want to buy your meat, I guess we will all know in time.
It seems to me that if some people won't eat beef because of the minute danger of BSE, those same people would probably not go out in a thunderstorm, would not drive in a vehicle, fly in an airplane, eat anything that might cause cancer or or take part in any activity that could possibly cause death.
Reader (the second), I truly do sympathize with your loss. I think you are the kind of person, who, had her husband died of any disease, would have researched that disease to find out all the answers possible. Many more people die of cancer,which can also be a terrible death. I knew of one man who died of Aids(sp?), that was the worst kind of death I could ever have imagined. He apparently did not catch that disease by any of the known ways either. I have a friend whose Mother was stricken and died of CJD a few years ago. That lady and her family had no idea where or how she contracted that terrible disease. Life is often not fair, niether is death.
So far CJD has not infected nearly as many people as most of the common terrible diseases in the world.
I, and many like me, will not stop eating beef, driving, flying, eating chicken(Avian flu) until many more deaths are documented and the causes of the deaths are really known.