The New York Times has an article about Creekstone Farms. Creekstone had a very lucrative business selling premium beef to the Japanese market. Their business took a nose-dive after the case of U.S. mad cow.
Creekstone struck a deal with their Japanese client?le: they agreed to test all of their cows for mad cow, and the Japanese agreed to start buying their beef again. Now, the USDA has prohibited Creekstone from performing the tests! The USDA is claiming that it will set a bad precedent and that as a result, other US producers will have to start testing all their beef too (god forbid).
So, here we have a government agency, bowing to pressure from the beef lobby to stop a private business from voluntarily increasing their safety standards.