News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
SUNDAY, MARCH 19, 2006


Public deserves to know more about mad cow

State officials don't get high marks for the way they've handled the case of mad cow disease in Alabama.

They tell us they have taken care of the situation and there is no danger of the disease infecting humans. Then they, in secret, exhume the body of the cow with the disease and round up its 6-weeks-old calf for observation even though they say the brain-wasting disease doesn't pass from mother to offspring.

Many indicators point to the cow having been in a Lawrence County herd. But state officials won't confirm that for fear other farmers might not report sick cows in their herd.

Rumors, however, travel fast and often are inaccurate.

Their handling of the case is much like the way the federal government handles national security. They raise the level of concern with their secrecy, then tell us there's nothing to worry about.

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