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Additional testing of a cow suspected to be infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), better known as mad cow disease, indicates that the original test was a “false positive,” and that the animal did not have the brain-wasting disease.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) made the announcement in an email after tests were performed at the National Veterinary Sciences Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.

“Negative results from both the IHC tests makes us confident that the animal in question is indeed negative for BSE,” John Clifford, deputy administrator of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said in the statement.

It was just a year ago that the first case of BSE on US soil was found in Washington State, leading to a ban on US cattle exports by a number of countries and heightened testing here in the US – though there have been those who have maintained that the current testing procedures do not go far enough.
KC's View:
This announcement certainly helps the Bush administration dodge a couple of bullets, since it has been negotiating with Canada to allow live Canadian cattle back into the US, and talking to Japan about opening its borders to US beef imports.

This won’t quiet the naysayers, however, who will remain convinced that just because you dodge a bullet doesn’t mean that the opposition is out of ammunition.