The message was clear: persist with the campaign and we will level food-disparagement claims against you.Some legal experts, however, believe the suit will fail because of the clash between the new laws and constitutional rights of free speech.In the cattle industry, 16 April became known as the day of the "Oprah crash". His cattle-fattening operations in Texas, called Cactus Feeders, boast annual revenues of about $650m.One rancher, Paul Engler of Amarillo, Texas, calculated that the Winfrey show cost him $6.7m. When he began to make a stink about Ms Winfrey's remarks, Texas began to notice."One hundred thousand cows per year in the United States are fine at night, dead in the morning.The majority of those cows are rounded up, ground up, fed back to other cows.The shift of the burden of proof from plaintiff to the defendant in these laws means that their constitutionality is certain to come under the microscope.
By David Usborne Mention bovine spongiform encephalopathy - or mad cow disease - in Europe and the images that float forth are of animals doing the splits on concrete or of piled-high carcasses awaiting incineration."The idea that an activist group with the price of a full-page ad can feed the public misinformation about a food product as part of a political agenda is being challenged," a newsletter of the Animal Industry Foundation recently concluded.The genesis of these laws was an item carried by the CBS news magazine 60 Minutes in 1989 on the so-called Alar scare.Pick- ups across the state now carry the bumper sticker, "The Only Mad Cow in America is Oprah".