Cattle Producers Call for House Resolution Banning Beef Imports from Paraguay

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After the U.S. Senate passed a resolution last week to block beef from imports from Paraguay, ag industry leaders are now pushing House members to do the same.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) is calling on the House to follow the Senate’s lead and pass a resolution against the import of beef from Paraguay. It comes after a USDA decision back in November to allow beef from Paraguay, a country that until now USDA has blocked from beef imports because it must vaccinate for Foot and Mouth Disease. USDA considers the continued need for the vaccine to mean that the disease is still in the country.

“When you have anything coming from those areas of the world that have had those issues, whether it be Foot and Mouth Disease, BSE, or whatever else, to the United States, we in the industry here take an extremely sharp eye to in any kind of discussion about a trade relationship in the beef supply chain with those countries,” said Ethan Lane, Vice President of Government Affairs with NCBA.

“So, the announcement that USDA was going to allow fresh beef from Paraguay back into the United States, having not been on site to inspect those facilities in country since, for FSIS and AFIS 2009 and 2014 respectively, that, for our producers around the country, is unacceptable,” he added.

Lane makes the point clear that while it’s a regulatory issue for the beef industry, consumers do not need to worry about the safety of the meat.

“No, we’re good as far as that goes. Our inspection system and safety system in the United States are unparalleled. This is this is not a consumer issue,” he said. “This is something where we want to make sure that we are exercising an abundance of caution to ensure that we don’t have a problem at some point down the line. But no, this is not a consumer threat issue at all.”

 

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