Arkansas Meat Processor Battling Mad Cow Fears

December 26, 2003 - Posted at 7:43 a.m. CDT

SPRINGDALE, AR - Springdale-based Tyson Foods is trying to curb consumers' fears that they could contract mad cow disease from the company's products.

Tyson is the world's largest meat producer.  The company says that it hasn't purchased or used any food products from any of the beef plants flagged this week for possible contamination with the disease.

The U.S.D.A. received preliminary confirmation yesterday that a cow in Washington state is the first U.S. case of the brain-wasting disease.

Officials are still working to track the herd the cow came from because the disease can be passed through cattle feed.

Tyson was affected financially by the mad-cow scare, however.  It has, at least temporarily, lost hundreds of millions of dollars in exports to countries that cut off American beef imports.