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USDA Scales Back Tests for Mad Cow Disease

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Agriculture Department says there's little
reason to keep testing for mad cow disease at the same level.

So the USDA is rolling back its testing program to about one-tenth
of what it has been for more than two years.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns says the tests suggest there is a "very, very low level" of the disease known as BSE in the US.

The new level will be around 110 tests per day, compared with the previous thousand-tests-a-day conducted since the first the first American mad cow case was found in 2003.

Johanns says a panel of independent scientists agrees with the department's analysis of the minimal risk from the brain-wasting disorder.

An Alabama cow tested positive for the fatal nerve disorder in March and was the nation's third case.


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