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Consumer Groups Mad About Current Mad Cow Safeguards

WASHINGTON - A coalition of eight U.S. consumer groups on Thursday demanded tougher federal safeguards to prevent another case of mad cow disease, Reuters reports.

The coalition, which met with Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, said the steps the USDA has taken after last month's discovery of the first U.S. case of mad cow disease were not enough. They urged the USDA to test all cattle over 20 months of age for mad cow disease, and said the FDA should test all downer cows that will be processed for animal feed.

"Thousands of infected cattle in Europe were not downers and showed no outward signs of the disease," the coalition said in a statement. "Widespread testing is essential and should include healthy animals over 20 months of age."

Consumer groups included the American Public Health Association, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Consumer Federation of America.
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