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ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. - On the heels of a pledge by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fight a federal court ruling that would pave the way for U.S. meatpacking companies to test their animals for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, Creekstone Farms Premium Beef based is intent on pursuing its right to privately test its cattle.
"In refusing to allow Creekstone Farms to respond to its customers' preference for beef from animals that have been tested for BSE, the USDA is doggedly pursuing a course that scientists, consumer groups, trade associations and business, and members of Congress regard as a bad policy," said Dennis Buhlke, Creekstone's president and c.e.o. "While Creekstone Farms has taken a lead role in this effort, it is not alone in believing that the government should not prevent private companies from voluntarily testing cattle for BSE."
Buhlke's comments were issued in response to an appeal filed by USDA regarding the March 29, 2007 federal court decision handed down in Creekstone's favor regarding voluntary testing for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) commonly referred to as "mad cow" disease.
"Although we are disappointed, we are not surprised by USDA's decision to appeal," Buhlke added. "Beginning in February 2004, Creekstone has tried to work with USDA to find a way to voluntarily test its cattle for BSE. For more than two years prior to filing our lawsuit, we attempted to work cooperatively with USDA. We still hope to convince USDA to work with Creekstone on a voluntary BSE testing program. However, Creekstone Farms will continue to pursue our right to test even in the wake of this latest action by the USDA."
Creekstone Farms, a specialty beef processor of Black Angus beef, sells a wide variety of branded fresh beef as well as value-added products such as burgers, deli meats, and fully-cooked entrees.