Creekstone Farms Premium Beef,LLC, a privately held producer and processor of black Angus beef, plans to challenge the United States Department of Agriculture's decision not to allow it to test voluntarily all the cattle it processes for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease. Creekstone submitted to the USDA its request to conduct private testing at their Arkansas City KS processing plant Feb 19, 2004.
The Kansas-based company said it is 100% committed to conduct BSE testing at its plant in order to reverse embargoes and allow its beef back into Japan and other export destinations. "We may have been backed into a corner, but we will survive," said John Stewart chief executive officer of Creekstone. "We know what we're doing is right; we're forging ahead and will be successful."
Stewart and another Creekstone executive met April 8 in Washington DC with USDA officials. According to Creekstone, the officials at that meeting said the USDA will continue to negotiate with Japan and other export nations to reinstate US beef exports. However, the agency said BSE testing of younger animals such as those processed by Creekstone is not scientifically justified or necessary.