A bipartisan congressional committee has accused the USDA of misrepresenting the facts in the latest BSE scare. USDA officials believed the cow in question was a "downer," a sick animal that couldn't walk, but witnesses at the slaughterhouse signed affidavits saying the cow appeared to be fine. The USDA system for testing cows is based on sampling only downer cows and a USDA spokeswoman said the agency was investigating this claim.

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