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.: March 2006 --> More Mad Cow Disease

More Mad Cow Disease

» A third case of Mad Cow disease has been found in Alabama. Predictably, the USDA and National Cattlemen's Beef Association say this is evidence that the voluntary program is working. Public-interest groups say voluntary programs are not enough, and are urging Congress to make permanent bans on allowing "downer" cows into the human food supply, and to extend it to pigs and other livestock. Frankly, I'm shocked to discover that this was a temporary measure. "There is no reason to play Russian roulette with the food supply, nor is there any reason to torment nonambulatory livestock by dragging or pushing them into slaughterhouses with chains, bulldozers, or forklifts." Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States.
 [ 03.15.06 ]


I think the solution is obvious: Culling the occasional downer cow from the slaughterhouse is clearly a value proposition, killing and selling that cow decreases the price of meat by that one more cow they manage to push through the assembly line.

So rather than the current 8 USDA grades, we just need to add a ninth, giving us: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial, Utility, Cutter, Canner and Downer.

The addition of a new low-end to the meat classification system will lower the prices of a burger at McDonald's, or cuts of beef from the Super Wal*Mart, allow the cattle raisers with the afflicted cows to make their profit, and while it will raise meat prices by a few pennies everywhere else, on average everybody wins.

True, we might have to make a little adjustment in the health care system, but those a problems we can solve when they happen.

That is Swiftian in its utter brilliance.

That's truly a win win situation!



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