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Beef Company Argues USDA Exceeding Authority

Company issues a response to USDA's brief in opposition to the company's attempts to conduct voluntary BSE testing.

In its case against USDA, Creekstone Farms Premium Beef filed a reply to the USDA's brief opposing Creekstone's motion for summary judgment. USDA is opposing Creekstone's attempts to secure permission to voluntarily test their cattle for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly called "mad cow disease."

Making its case before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia case, Creekstone claims that the USDA misinterpreted and exceeded the authority granted to it in the Virus, Serum, and Toxins Act.

"The USDA is using the VSTA in a way that Congress never intended," says Creekstone Farms founder and former CEO John Stewart. He says the USDA is preventing Creekstone from "conducting its business: meeting worldwide demand for BSE-tested beef."

The USDA says that Creekstone has not lost business by not being able to conduct their own BSE tests, but the company claims to have lost about 35% of its revenue because of BSE concerns.

Stewart also accuses USDA of interfering with a free market and with favoring large meatpackers with low margins over high-end meatpackers such as Creekstone.

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