03 February 2004

From Today's New York Times

To the Editor:

Re "Mad Cow Disease Raises Safety Issues Beyond the Kitchen" (news article, Jan. 29):

The decision by the Food and Drug Administration to ban "the use of dead or disabled cows in the products it regulates" is in welcome contrast to the waffling on this issue previously shown by the Department of Agriculture. But existing loopholes, like allowing the use of potentially high-risk parts from animals younger than 30 months, must be closed as well.

The public is becoming educated on the surprisingly broad array of uses for beef parts. Just one case of mad cow disease in an animal that slipped through the regulatory safety net will undo any positive gains in consumer confidence achieved through recent controls and multiply losses already suffered by the beef industry.

Staten Island, Jan. 29, 2004

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