Voluntary livestock traceback participation isn’t working. Duh!

I thought you knew where it came from?

A disappointing one-third of cattle, hog and poultry farmers are enrolled in a livestock traceback system intended as a primary U.S. defense against mad cow and other diseases, said an Agriculture Department official.

To be effective, participation must be at least 70 percent, said USDA chief veterinarian John Clifford. He said low participation could hamper disease control and make it harder to restore sales to nations who ban U.S. meat.

“Unfortunately, a disappointing rate of producer participation — currently only 35 percent — hampers our ability to achieve animal traceability outbreak,” he told a joint hearing of House Agriculture and Homeland Security subcommittees…

The government embraced a voluntary tracking system as a response to the first U.S. case of mad cow disease in December 2003. Critics, including some members of Congress, say the program, which has cost $130 million, is not working. Many have called for a mandatory system and hinted they may withhold funding until it is put in place.

Of course, it’s not working. Virtually every “voluntary” program which tracks problems affecting profits even for a few – are rejected by the whole of any sector of our wonderful “free” marketplace. We’d still be laboring in Upton Sinclair’s JUNGLE if it wasn’t for regulation and oversight.

This is just the predictable result of more neocon claptrap premised upon avoiding responsibility.

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