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Most Americans don't have any idea how well the Department of Agriculture protects the grower at the expense of the consumer. When a chemical is banned from use, a farmer or livestock operator who has the chemical in stock has a choice: either to lose money by disposing of the product, or to use it and take the risk of getting caught breaking the law. How severe is that risk? Well, if you use a banned product in your cattle feed, you have to face the prospect that the government is going to inspect one out of every 250,000 carcasses. They will test this carcass not for all banned substances, but just for a small fraction of them. And even if they detect some residue of a banned substance, and even if they're able to trace the carcass to the ranch that produced it, the guilty rancher is likely at most to receive a stern letter with a strongly worded warning. I never met a rancher who suffered in any way from breaking any regulation meant to protect the safety of our meat. The whole procedure is, in short, a charade.

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