Eye On Boise

Who's afraid of the big mad cow?

Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne (shown at right with U.S. Rep. Butch Otter, R-Idaho) bit into a freshly barbecued, juicy-hot double hamburger at a beef rally across from the state Capitol on Friday, and encouraged Idahoans to keep eating beef, despite a mad cow scare in Washington. That scare, nearly everyone at the rally noted, involved a cow that came from Canada.

"The system works," the governor declared. "They found that one cow ... and could identify it. ... So folks, eat beef -- eat it with the assurance that it is safe, it's good for you, it is nutritious."

Hundreds of people lined up for free, freshly grilled hamburgers at the Boise event, sponsored by the Idaho Cattle Association.

"Y'know, the American public is subjected to a terrific amount of information about food. Some of it is hard to sort through," said Ted Hoffman, a veterinarian and cattle rancher from Mountain Home, and an ICA past president. "But it's not hard to sort through when we say we have enough faith in this, we're going to cook some and give it to you now."

The Cattle Association wants Idahoans to put beef on their menus an extra time each week, to help the industry make up for lost export business due to the mad cow scare.




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