Fact v. Fiction

The United States has just had its first official case of home-grown mad cow disease. “Just had” in this case corresponding to seven months ago but, well, you know.

While it took seven months from the first suspicion of this lone mad cow to positively identify its condition, at least it wasn’t entered into the nation’s food supply.

US Ag. Secretary Mike Johanns sez:

“The fact that this animal was blocked from entering the food supply tells us that our safeguards are working exactly as they should.”

In reality, we know it proves virtually nothing. By analogy, a security system that prevents one robber from looting a museum is working to perfection. Which would be the case if only one attempt was made to rob the museum, but not if multiple attempts were made by multiple robbers. Could it be working to perfection? Sure. Could it be working to abomination? Sure.

The fact of Johanns making claim of the US Mad Cow net’s working to perfection does nothing but make me suspicious, not of ill-will so much as of incompetence.

Stay tuned.

(AP: “Feds: Safeguards Working Amid Mad Cow Case,” by Libby Quaid [June 25, 2005])