Beef industry leaders urge USDA to finalize comprehensive BSE rule

 Resize text         Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) joined forces with the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), the American Meat Institute (AMI) and the National Meat Association (NMA) to send a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to finalize a comprehensive bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) rule. According to the industry letter, implementation of the comprehensive BSE rule could lead to increased science-based trade opportunities for U.S. beef products.

According to the industry letter, the United States and the European Union (EU) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on beef trade just over two years ago. Under the MOU, the EU agreed to open a 20,000 metric ton (MT) duty-free quota for high quality beef imports. Since the quota was opened in August 2009, EU imports of high quality beef have increased more than 150 percent. However, the letter goes on to explain that the EU understood that the United States would not support moving to the second phase of the MOU, which would increase the duty free quota to 45,000 MT, unless the EU approved using lactic acid as a carcass wash.

“It has come to our attention that certain EU member states are linking their support for the approval of lactic acid to the publication by USDA of its comprehensive BSE rule,” the industry leaders penned. “Currently, the United States applies BSE-related import restrictions to beef imports from the EU, notwithstanding the fact that most of the countries in the EU have been given the same BSE classification as the United States by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). As we understand it, implementation of the comprehensive rule would give USDA the legal authority to base its decisions on whether to open the U.S. market to beef imports from other countries on the international guidelines established by the OIE.”

The industry leaders said implementation of the comprehensive BSE rule will affect trade in other parts of the world as well.

“We continue to face BSE-related barriers to U.S. beef exports in a number of countries around the world,” the letter said. “Implementation of the comprehensive rule would not only permit USDA to respond to those countries in the EU that are interested in exporting beef and veal to the United States, but in our view it should also put the U.S. government in a stronger position to press other countries to follow the OIE’s guidelines and adopt science-based BSE policies.”

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left

XUV 855 Power Steering

Combining power steering with diesel power, durability and toughness, the 30 MPH, 22.8 HP John Deere Gator XUV855D features updates that enhance ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Leads to Insight