Japan Times, just about any article over the past month will tell you the same thing. Sorry, they're actual paper newspapers, though you may be able to check their website for the archive.
This company isn't trying to create the false belief of anything. It's stating that it will test all of its cows for the disease so that it can export to Japan. In order to do that they need to test all of them for BSE. Since the government won't do it, they need to do it privately. Where is the part about them releasing press releases about how all the rest of the cows in the country are infected, hrm?
In response, he built a laboratory five feet from the overhead chain that carries skinned heads through the plant. His staff was trained in testing for mad cow, using a machine that gives results in seven hours, while the carcasses are still in the cooler.
But on April 9, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forbade Creekstone to test its cattle, saying there was "no scientific justification" for testing young steers like those Creekstone sells. Certifying some beef for Japan as disease-free, the department said, might confuse American consumers into thinking untested beef was not safe.
Source: New York Times (originally)
No government oversight. Self-testing, certifying his cattle disease-free on the basis of those tests, and the government forbade him from testing.
To Creekstone Farms manager Bill Fielding, his company's idea doesn't seem unreasonable. To satisfy its Japanese customers — which the company needs to survive — Creekstone wants to test for mad-cow disease every one of the cattle it slaughters.
Creekstone has spent more than $500,000 to build the first mad-cow testing lab in a U.S. slaughterhouse and hired seven chemists and biologists to operate it. The company made the investment after Fielding returned from a trip to Japan convinced that officials there would lift their ban on U.S. beef — imposed after an infected cow was found in Washington state last December — only if U.S. companies adopt the Japanese practice of testing every animal.
But there's a big obstacle to Creekstone's mad-cow initiative: The U.S. Department of Agriculture will not allow it.
Creekstone has all the equipment it needs, but it doesn't have the kit of chemical reagents needed to run the tests. In the United States, the USDA controls the sale of those kits, and the agency ruled last week that only labs in the government's testing program can buy them.
Source: Washington Post (originally)
So basically the government is refusing to sell him the stuff needed to do the test. He isn't asking for any government funding, just for them to authorize him to legitimately buy the things he needs for his company.
From the same article:
The issue is not the effectiveness of the testing, as Creekstone would be working under the auspices of an academic lab that the USDA has approved for mad-cow testing. Rather, the agency objects to the very idea of testing every animal, including younger ones.
As you can see, it has nothing to do with the effectiveness of the test.
Japanese officials have supported Creekstone's petition, although Tadashi Sato at the Japanese Embassy in Washington said last week that trade could not be restored unless the USDA not only allowed the testing but also certified that it was being done properly.
The people asking for government oversight are the Japanese, not the owner of said industry.
If the tests aren't merited, then there will be plenty of consumers who will continue to buy untested beef. All it would take is a nice public safety campaign explaining that a case of BSE has never ever been found in a cow under 30 months old, and that company X tests cows over that age so their beef is safe. They had enough money to run the 'Beef, it's what's for dinner' ads, didn't they? Saying that the small company shouldn't be allowed to voluntarily test its cows for the sake of the folks who don't want to have to is ridiculous.
Nobody is saying that if one company tests, all companies will have to test. That's an unreasonable slippery slope. If the test is truly unwarranted, then it won't get done by every company. Personally, I think putting a "shark-free" sticker on every bottle of water I create will not force Coca-Cola to put the same label on their bottles of Dasani. If something is truly unecessary, then not everyone will do it, so why the fear?
Either widespread testing IS scientifically feasible, or they're worried for nothing because they can continue to eat their untested beef as millions of American consumers are not currently scared of doing.
This should be a non-issue, and I cannot see this as in any way defensible.