- Washington, DC (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture
has ordered its inspectors in Texas not to talk about mad cow disease with
- United Press International has learned that the gag order
was sent May 6 by e-mail from the USDA's Dallas district office. It was
issued in the wake of the April 27 case at Lone Star Beef in San Angelo,
in which a cow displaying signs of a brain disorder was not tested for
mad cow disease despite a federal policy to screen all such animals for
the deadly disease, otherwise known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
- The order reads: "All BSE inquiries MUST be directed
to Congressional Public Affairs Phone #202-720-9113 attention Rob Larew
OR Steve Khon. This is an urgent message."
- Representatives from the National Joint Council of Food
Inspection Locals -- the national inspectors union -- alleged the order
suggests the agency is concerned about its personnel leaking damaging information
about the Texas case.
- Ijaz Qazi, the author of the e-mail and circuit supervisor
for the Dallas district, told UPI the notice was not issued in response
to the Texas case and inspectors are free to talk to outside parties, including
- Copyright 2004 United Press International http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20040511-043831-5225r.htm