For the first time since 2001, bans on chillded or frozen beef from Brazilian and Argentina have been lifted. The bans began in 2001 after foot-and-mouth disease was detected in cattle from those countries, reported Courtney Kueppers for the Star Tribune.
“The reason the ban is being lifted is because it’s safe,” Bill Watson, a trade policy analyst at the Cato Institute, told Kueppers. “It has been recognized internationally as safe for quite a while. The [WTO] decision was that the ban itself is protectionist; it’s not designed to deal with an actual safety problem, but just to keep prices up and protect producers from competition.”
However, not everyone agrees with lifting the ban, with committees in both the U.S. House and Senate creating bills to delay the change. American ranchers are voicing their disagreement as well, worrying that the risk of bringing the disease back to the country outweighs any positives.