Testing Like Mad

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, "under fire for the way it has handled the discovery of mad cow disease" in the U.S., announced plans to test hundreds of thousands of cattle over a 12 to 18 month period. USDA Chief Veterinary Officer Ron DeHaven indicated the goal was 201,000 to 268,000 cattle, but later admitted: "For me to predict how many samples we will be able to collect in a new program that we don't have any experience from would simply be a wild guess." Japanese officials said the new testing was not sufficient to lift their ban on U.S. beef. In Britain, "a sensible precautionary measure" was passed blocking anyone who received a transfusion since 1980 from donating blood. In December, a death from vCJD, the human form of mad cow disease, was traced to an infected blood donor.