It's not easy being the FDA. As if it weren't hard enough stamping out the potential miracles lurking everywhere, the FDA now has to find the narrow room left by its recent decision to make the American food supply safe from Mad Cow Disease, but not too safe.

The arrogance of the recent decision is startling. The FDA will choose the official position of American beef producers, and that position is that random testing of cows is good enough. The beef producer trying to market a safer product has no say, and the beef consumer is not free to vote for the safest beef producer with his dollars.

And now the current difficulties are not surprising. Once it restricts producers from finding the safest ways to produce beef, the FDA now has to solve the puzzle all by its consequence-free lonesome self. Bad press for the FDA doesn't matter, because its officials are not elected. Their budget won't get cut, because that would obviously imply that Congress does not care about food safety in the eyes of the media and gullible viewers.

Hey FDA, I have an idea. Admit you made a mistake. Release your stranglehold on BSE-testing kits. Problem solved. Not only do you not have to worry about testing the beef, but you also don't have to worry about being responsible for people infected by the randomly not-tested cows. Not that your consciences were really bothering you about it.

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"Although our current rules

"Although our current rules are strong, when it comes to public health and safety we cannot be content with the status quo," said Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson.

Yet the FDA can't even make a firm decision to NOT use sick/downed cattle for feed? They need 'input'? Jeebus!