Calls Needed to Prevent Further Relaxation of our Mad Cow Disease Protections

The Canadians just can't stop feeding that cheap source of protein--blood meal and other remains following slaughter I suspect.  Too few people in Canada to consume the beef they produce--gotta go to the US with the excess.  The outside world doesn't want Canadian beef because of BSE threat.  Our Obama/Vilsack corrupted USDA agency want to do the US beef industry under anyway--that is the reason for corn-based ethanol which doesn't make sense on many fronts--energy efficiency and pollution included.  This administration has destroyed USDA including NRCS--but NRCS was on the way out anyway.  The Obama folks want BSE problems for the US beef producers I am certain--that's the primary driver for monuments--get beef cattle off public land where cattle graze.

On Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 11:44 PM, DON MEAMBER a href="mailto:dmeamber@sbcglobal.net">dmeamber@sbcglobal.net> wrote:



--- On Thu, 2/9/12, R-CALF USA a href="mailto:r-calfusa@r-calfusa.com" target="_blank">r-calfusa@r-calfusa.com> wrote:


From: R-CALF USA a href="mailto:r-calfusa@r-calfusa.com" target="_blank">r-calfusa@r-calfusa.com>
Subject: Urgent Member Alert: Calls Needed to Prevent Further Relaxation of our Mad Cow Disease Protections
To: dmeamber@sbcglobal.net
Date: Thursday, February 9, 2012, 4:19 PM

R-CALF USA Alert

                       

To:                  R-CALF USA Members, Affiliates, and Friends

 

From:              Bill Bullard , CEO

                         

Date:               February 9, 2012

 

Subject:           Urgent:  Key Senators Are Reportedly Circulating a Letter on Behalf of Multinational Meatpackers to Urge USDA to Issue a Rule that Would Further Relax our Already Weakened Mad Cow Disease Protections:  Calls to Your Senate Offices are Needed, Urgently. 

 

Background:  In 2005, the U.S. became one of the few countries in the world to open its borders to beef products from a country that was having an ongoing outbreak of bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease). That country was Canada . In 2007, the U.S. became one of the even fewer countries in the world to allow the importation of live cattle born while the BSE-agent was known to be circulating in the feed system of a BSE-affected country. 

 

In 2011, Canada reported its 19th case of BSE in an animal which also was the 12th BSE case in Canada that met the United States’ extremely weak age requirements that were established under the USDA’s new rule to allow the importation of live cattle born after March 1, 1999 (the over-thirty-month rule or OTM rule).  In other words, the U.S. is allowing the importation of live cattle that were known to be fed in Canada while the BSE-agent was known to be circulating in Canada ’s feed system.

 

R-CALF USA filed a lawsuit against the OTM rule and won an injunction in 2008 that ordered USDA to reopen the OTM rule and then to issue a final rule that addressed the new public comments.  That was over 3 years ago and USDA has not issued a final rule.

 

Instead, the USDA has told the court that it is revising its BSE policies to bring the United States ’ policies in line with the World Organization for Animal Health (known as the OIE).  The OIE’s policies are even weaker than the already weakened U.S. policies.  Further, the nations of the world that have had BSE (the European Union and Japan ) have much stricter standards than that of the OIE and, therefore, refuse to follow the OIE’s weaker standards.

 

Also, the United States ’ failure and refusal to maintain stronger BSE restrictions has resulted in other nations imposing even stricter standards on U.S. beef exports.  Countries like Japan , South Korea , and Singapore , for example, have maintained extraordinarily strict standards on U.S. beef exports because our BSE policies with respect to Canada are viewed as far too lax.

 

The multinational meatpackers and their allies want the U.S. to bring its BSE policies in line with the weaker OIE standards so they can import more meat from BSE-affected countries. Also, these meatpackers believe if the U.S. leads by example, by further lowering its BSE standards, than our export customers will follow our lead and relax their restrictions against our U.S. beef exports (Note that this has not worked for the past 7 years (57 countries closed their markets to the U.S. in 2004) as Japan, South Korea and other countries did not follow the United States’ lead in 2005 or 2007). 

 

Action:  We received a report today indicating that Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Ben Nelson (D-NE) are circulating a letter in the U.S. Senate trying to get even more Senators to join with them to urge the USDA to issue a rule that would bring our U.S. BSE standards in line with the OIE. 

 

This is absolutely the wrong thing to do. We should strengthen our BSE protections, not weaken them further.  Even the European Union has stronger standards than our’s and the OIE’s as they do not allow the importation of live animals that were born prior to the birth of the last known BSE case.

 

If you live in Iowa , please call Senator Grassley at 202-224-3744 and tell him the OIE’s minimal BSE standards are not good enough to protect the U.S. cattle herd and that he should withdraw his Senate letter. 

 

If you live in Nebraska , please call Senator Nelson at 202-224-6551 and tell him the OIE’s minimal BSE standards are not good enough to protect the U.S. cattle herd and that he should withdraw his Senate letter. 

 

For all other states, please call both your Senators and urge them not to join the Grassley/Nelson letter that is trying to weaken our BSE protections by bringing our U.S. BSE standards in line with the weaker standards of the OIE. You can reach your Senators by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and asking for your Senators by name.

 

Good luck with your calls.  


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