Advocate Groups Want Changes to Canadian Imports

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack addressed a letter he received from a number of consumer and U.S. farm advocate organizations asking that the USDA tighten the standards for animals and beef products imported from Canada. A letter cites a variety of slip-ups and breaches of manufacturing controls that could greatly effect the export industry across the United States.
The biggest concern follows the 18th case of mad cow disease (spongiform encephalopathy) in February. The issue is not only relevant to the beef industry, but dairy industry as well. Many dairy organizations have joined the fight for stricter restrictions as well.
The letter was sent by the American Agriculture Movement, the National Farmers Organization, R-CALF USA, the National Family Farm Coalition and other advocate groups. The letter states, “Above all other considerations, the health and safety of the people of the United States and United States’ livestock must come first – first before trade and first before international relations.”
One of the biggest changes the groups want is to ban the imports of animals over 30 months old. This is the group that is at most danger of being diseased. “Canada’s detection of 11 BSE-positive cattle born after March 1, 1999, cannot be considered isolated. It’s epidemiologically significant, and it does contribute to the spread of BSE,” the letter read.
No decision has been made, but the entire letter can be read here.
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