Republicans Love the Free Market

Well, at least until it doesn’t work for large companies. An unbelievable case in point:

A federal appeals court has ruled that the government can prohibit meat packers from testing their animals for mad cow disease. Because the Agriculture Department tests only a small percentage of cows for the deadly disease, a Kansas meatpacker, Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, wanted to test all of its cows, but the government says it cannot. Larger meat companies worry that if Creekstone is allowed to perform the test and advertise its meat as safe, they could be forced to do the expensive test, too. The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said restricting the test was allowable.

Yes, you read that right and this is, to put it mildly, completely fucking insane. Now let’s get one thing clear off the bat, when they say they’d to be “forced” to do the test, they don’t mean that Congress would make a law or regulatory boards would order them to do it or anything like that, they mean that consumers would flock to buy from the firm testing their meat for disease, and if they wanted to keep their market share they’d have to do the same. In other words, the market would react in such a way as to naturally increase the safety of the foods you eat, assuming that consumers value food safety when making decisions on what product to buy. But that’d cut into the profit margins of the major players now, but thankfully they’ve still got Republicans controlling the regulatory agencies for at least the next 4 1/2 months.