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NCBA strengthens international partnerships

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Over the past few weeks, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has been busy furthering international partnerships between cattle producers in an effort to promote sustainability of the cattle industry. 

On May 8, NCBA and Cattle Australia (CA) signed a joint statement at the Beef 2024 Convention in Rockhampton, Australia, and a week later, on May 15, the organization signed a second joint statement with the Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas (CNOG) and the Canadian Cattle Association (CCA) during the CNOG 2024 Convention in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. 

Both partnerships are dedicated to advocating for greater oversight of lab-grown protein sources and protecting cattle from disease. 

Lab-grown meat and animal disease

According to NCBA’s May 8 press release, the joint statement signed with CA focuses on both countries’ commitment to proper labeling of lab-grown meat and protecting cattle health. 

NCBA notes, while there are no lab-grown beef imitation products currently on the market in the U.S., several companies are attempting to create them.

“It is critically important these products are properly vetted by regulatory authorities so they do not pose a potential risk to consumer health and food safety, and it is important they are labeled in a way that is transparent to consumers so they can choose between naturally-produced beef and lab-grown proteins,” says NCBA. 

While both the U.S. and Australia have been free of foot and mouth disease for decades – the U.S. since 1929 and Australia since 1872 – the two countries also agreed in their statement to utilize vaccine banks to counter the threat of the economically-devastating disease. 

Additionally, the U.S. and Australia agreed to continue sharing information on cattle industry sustainability and promoting the benefits of cattle production while engaging with their respective governments to secure policies in favor of the industry regarding the aforementioned priorities. 

“America’s cattle producers stand with Australia’s cattle producers and look forward to being partners in combatting foreign animal diseases, promoting sustainability and ensuring proper oversight of lab-grown proteins,” says NCBA President and Wyoming Rancher Mark Eisele. 

“As a rancher, I understand the importance of proactively talking about the good work we do in both countries,” he adds. “Cattle producers provide significant benefits to the global population, from providing safe, wholesome, real beef to implementing conservation practices which conserve millions of acres of prime wildlife habitat in the U.S. and Australia.”

“This joint commitment will strengthen the partnership between American and Australian producers and support our efforts to educate the public on the benefits of raising cattle,” Eisele continues.

CA Chair Garry Edwards further comments, “In signing this joint statement of priorities, we are encouraging the Australian and U.S. governments to join forces in combating devastating foreign animal diseases, promoting sustainable global trade to encourage efficient production practices and ensuring science-based food safety and marketing regulations of emerging food technologies such as lab-grown proteins.”

Open markets and import oversight

While NCBA’s agreement with CNOG and CCA addresses these same goals, the three organizations also penned a letter to U.S. Trade Rep. Katherine Tai, Secretaria de Economía Raquel Buenrostro Sanchez and Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development Mary Ng urging their respective governments to re-open markets for beef exports and provide more science-based oversight of beef imports. 

“Unfortunately, the three governments have expanded market access for beef imports while providing little opportunities for beef exports,” reads NCBA’s May 15 press release. “If this continues, it will place North American cattle producers at a competitive disadvantage to other beef producers, including South America.” 

While signing their agreement, NCBA brought up their ongoing concern with Brazil’s failure to report cases of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and the country’s access to the American market. 

“These atypical cases occur spontaneously, but countries are required to report any cases within 24 hours to the World Organization for Animal Health,” explains NCBA. “The U.S. has upheld the 24-hour requirement continuously, but Brazil has often delayed reporting cases from anywhere between 35 days and up to two years. This lack of transparency increases the risk to food safety and makes Brazil an unreputable trading partner.”

Eisele states, “I am pleased American, Mexican and Canadian cattle producers are standing together to hold our trade partners accountable. For the U.S., we have significant concerns Brazil continues to have access to the U.S. market, even though they have a repeated history of failing to disclose animal health concerns, including cases of atypical BSE,”

“We continue urging our respective governments to protect the beef supply by blocking Brazilian imports,” Eisele continues. “We are pleased to be partners on these issues and act as the voice of cattle farmers and ranchers to our respective governments.”

Hannah Bugas is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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