Bill halts Brazilian beef imports
Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced legislation suspending Brazilian beef imports into the U.S. until a systematic review of the safety of the imported commodity can be made. This announcement comes after Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), otherwise known as mad cow disease, was detected in imported beef from Brazil.
“Folks expect their beef to have been rigorously tested against the strictest standards, and concerns about Brazilian imports not only jeopardize consumer trust, but present a serious health risk to Montana producers,” Tester said.
Several agricultural organizations weighed in on the bill, noting the strong record of U.S. beef producers and importance of consumer trust.
“We cannot wait for an endemic animal disease to reach our borders before we take action,” said U.S. Cattlemen’s Association Director Emeritus Leo McDonnell. “There is a clear and present threat associated with the importation of Brazilian beef we need to halt imports immediately.”
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane shared, “U.S. cattle producers have a longstanding track record of meeting U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rigorous oversight standards in order to promote public health, food safety, animal health and wellbeing – and any country who wishes to trade with the U.S. must be held to those same standards.”
“R-CALF USA greatly appreciates Sen. Tester’s leadership in protecting both the U.S. food supply and the U.S. cattle industry from the possible introduction of beef from a country with a long history of food safety infractions,” said R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard. “American consumers and cattle producers deserve no less.”