R-CALF USA, along with 10 other plaintiffs, has filed a complaint against the USDA in the District Court – District of South Dakota, Northern Division (District Court) in an effort to prevent the agency decision from opening the Canadian border to imports of live cattle born after March 1, 1999, and beef products from cattle over 30 months of age. USDA’s decision, often referred to as the OTM (over 30 month) Rule, is scheduled to take effect Nov. 19. Eleven cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) have been detected in Canadian-born cattle, seven since the beginning of last year.
Individual plaintiffs include
“The OTM rule creates an unjustified and unnecessary increased risk of infection of the
“The OTM Rule will expose
“It’s hard to fathom why the USDA would move to eliminate a critical protection against BSE at a time when the public is increasingly concerned about the safety of imported foods,” said Chris Waldrop, Director of the Food Policy Institute at Consumer Federation of America.
“The decision to allow risky older cattle from Canada to enter the U.S. shows once again that the USDA is more concerned about facilitating trade than protecting consumers’ health,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “Until the
“Consumers expect the government to protect the food supply from the risk of BSE, but instead USDA has taken an illegal step that creates a new food import health risk,” said Joseph Mendelson, legal director for the Center for Food Safety.
BSE is an unusual disease that requires an unusually vigilant response. If cattle in the
The stakes are enormous: The 2003 discovery of a single case of BSE in a cow imported into the U.S. from Canada virtually shut down the U.S. beef export market, which is still trying to recover, costing the industry (and the U.S. balance of trade) billions of dollars.
“USDA is downplaying the risk of BSE, and this is one of those situations where a low probability of a very bad consequence is not acceptable,” Bullard concluded. “If BSE is introduced into the
Source: R-CALF news release