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Sandhusker

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I've seen a few people ask this question and I've never seen an answer;
If the USDA bases their trade decisions on "sound science" or "the best science available", or whatever..... why is the age of animals that we will take beef from Canada set at under 30 months, but the age requirement they negotiated with Japan at under 20 months?
 

Mike

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Sandhusker said:
I've seen a few people ask this question and I've never seen an answer;
If the USDA bases their trade decisions on "sound science" or "the best science available", or whatever..... why is the age of animals that we will take beef from Canada set at under 30 months, but the age requirement they negotiated with Japan at under 20 months?

Sandhusker, it's called "Political Science". Surely you must have taken a course in it while in college! :D
Some colleges have an entire curriculum based on it. By God, some people even get degrees in learning how to "cave" and save face based on the power of money.
 

Sandhusker

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reader (the Second) said:
what's the name of that book by Chris Matthews - Hardball - they read it in AP Government here in senior year in high school and learn the various political techniques. being a country girl, i never heard of such things until my daughter took AP Government. Ahh, but since my husband died and I started dealing with Congress, FDA, state legislatures, and so on I have had my eyes opened. Best of all (this is sarcasm so you Canadians don't think I'm making light of your plight) have been the political lessons to be gleaned from the behavior of USDA, the administration, the Canadian Government, R-CALF, etc. in this border fiasco.

Did you read the book? If so, is it a good read?
 
A

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Sandhusker: "If the USDA bases their trade decisions on "sound science" or "the best science available", or whatever..... why is the age of animals that we will take beef from Canada set at under 30 months, but the age requirement they negotiated with Japan at under 20 months?"

Let me once again start out by saying that I never did buy the old cliche' about "no such thing as a stupid question". You are proof of that.

We don't make Japan's decisions for them. Japan set their own age threshold.

Japan is obviously "overly cautious" due the amount of BSE that has been found in their country.

You pick the most trivial things to split hairs over.


~SH~
 

Soapweed

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Sandhusker: "I've seen a few people ask this question and I've never seen an answer; If the USDA bases their trade decisions on "sound science" or "the best science available", or whatever..... why is the age of animals that we will take beef from Canada set at under 30 months, but the age requirement they negotiated with Japan at under 20 months?"

Did hear on Agri-Talk a couple days ago, the term "International Science". This should be enlarged upon, universal standards that all countries recognize and adhere to.
 

Sandhusker

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~SH~ said:
Sandhusker: "If the USDA bases their trade decisions on "sound science" or "the best science available", or whatever..... why is the age of animals that we will take beef from Canada set at under 30 months, but the age requirement they negotiated with Japan at under 20 months?"

Let me once again start out by saying that I never did buy the old cliche' about "no such thing as a stupid question". You are proof of that.

We don't make Japan's decisions for them. Japan set their own age threshold.

Japan is obviously "overly cautious" due the amount of BSE that has been found in their country.

You pick the most trivial things to split hairs over.


~SH~

A few months ago your line was that the Japanese "caved" into our demands - now Japan set their own age threshold? How can they do both? A few months ago we were to reject Japan's request for testing because was not based on "sound science", now we don't make their decisions for them?

SH,"Japan is obviously "overly cautious" due the amount of BSE that has been found in their country."

Wow, we agree on something. :shock: How many times did I say exactly that, but you scoffed at those words because bring overly cautious was not following "sound science"?

There is till a problem here that you skirted. The USDA claims to use "sound science" as their guide. If "sound science" states the magic age to be 30 months, 20 months, whatever, it should apply universally. All other things being equal (cattle used for human consumption), there can be only one age if science is being strictly adhered to. My original question to you, and I directed this question to you solely because you seem to back the USDA regardless (that and I enjoy squabbling with you) remains unanswered.

These inconsistancies and double standards are part of what Judge Cebull is seeing from the USDA.
 

Sandhusker

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Soapweed said:
Sandhusker: "I've seen a few people ask this question and I've never seen an answer; If the USDA bases their trade decisions on "sound science" or "the best science available", or whatever..... why is the age of animals that we will take beef from Canada set at under 30 months, but the age requirement they negotiated with Japan at under 20 months?"

Did hear on Agri-Talk a couple days ago, the term "International Science". This should be enlarged upon, universal standards that all countries recognize and adhere to.

You're right, Soapman, we should have something we can agree on and be able to hang our hats on. Seems like that is easier said than done. I reference the OIE standards on BSE. Japan is clearly not following them in regards to trade with us, but what do you do then? There is no final word and enforcement authority such as the relationship between states and the Federal Government - and I certainly don't want the UN to have any power over us. It seems that in international trade, agreements between countries are akin to gentlemen's agreements between thieves!
 

don

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"If the USDA bases their trade decisions on "sound science" or "the best science available", or whatever..... why is the age of animals that we will take beef from Canada set at under 30 months, but the age requirement they negotiated with Japan at under 20 months?"

Maybe usda is doing what you've been adivising: giving the consumer what they are asking for. Are you still eating beef? If you are that is an expression of confidence in the american beef supply and food safety system so they are meeting your requirements. usda is doing what it has to do to maintain your confidence. If they meet the requirements to hold the confidence of Japanese consumers, is that a bad thing? If you are concerned that the offer to the Japanese gives them a margin of safety you need then demand it by not buying beef until all over twenty month animals are tested for domestic consumption. You are doing the two-faced thing by saying the Japanese are getting a safer product but you don't reflect your safety requirements in your buying decisions. Kind of an r-calf thing I guess. Put your money where your mouth is or quit the yipping.
 

Sandhusker

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don said:
"If the USDA bases their trade decisions on "sound science" or "the best science available", or whatever..... why is the age of animals that we will take beef from Canada set at under 30 months, but the age requirement they negotiated with Japan at under 20 months?"

Maybe usda is doing what you've been adivising: giving the consumer what they are asking for. Are you still eating beef? If you are that is an expression of confidence in the american beef supply and food safety system so they are meeting your requirements. usda is doing what it has to do to maintain your confidence. If they meet the requirements to hold the confidence of Japanese consumers, is that a bad thing? If you are concerned that the offer to the Japanese gives them a margin of safety you need then demand it by not buying beef until all over twenty month animals are tested for domestic consumption. You are doing the two-faced thing by saying the Japanese are getting a safer product but you don't reflect your safety requirements in your buying decisions. Kind of an r-calf thing I guess. Put your money where your mouth is or quit the yipping.

Don,
I'm all for giving the customer what they want. That's how you run a business. My problem with the USDA is that they say one thing, then do another. They've made a stand on using "sound science" as if it is an absolute, but then in their actions, they treat as if it is negotiable. How can you claim that you are using "sound science" when you set the age limit at 30 months for Canada and also say you are using the same "sound science" when you set the age for Japan at 20 months? I ask that the USDA either be consistant or straightforward. Is that asking too much? It's been a long time since they've been either.
 

don

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Don,
I'm all for giving the customer what they want. That's how you run a business. My problem with the USDA is that they say one thing, then do another

but, in effect, they are giving the customer what they want. if the japanese want under twenty month, usda is saying here it is. whether or not that is good enough is still up for debate. the japanese will decide but that is what usda has negotiated. the american consumer hasn't indicated that the health of the american herd is an issue to them, yet. to that extent they are getting what they are asking for. my point is that if the japanese market is satisfied and the american market is satisfied why stir the crap. if health is an issue to r-calf, demand all domestic slaughter over twenty months be tested but don't complain just because the threshold is different between customers. if both customers are satisfied and usda is satisfied both parties are being provided with a safe product, the discrepancy shouldn't be an issue. if someone proves that the difference puts americans' health at risk then usda should take the steps to ensure food safety. until then, r-calf is merely raising he** and proving nothing.
 

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Sandhusker, is USDA the only govt. agency involved in the trade negotiations with Japan?

Isn't the word NEGOTIATION indicative of what probably happened there?

We got the UTM we wanted, and they set the point at the 20 month level to show that they really "did not cave" to our point.

What was the usual age of cattle we were selling to them prior to BSE?

I have not heard that, and am wondering if the under 20 months is any different than what was customary prior to BSE.

MRJ
 

Mike

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MRJ:"We got the UTM we wanted"

We got nothing yet. The Food Safety Admin in Japan has not even written a report yet. In the event they approve, the Parliament will have to change the law on their testing protocol, then the Parliament would have to vote on acceptability of the our plan.
 

Sandhusker

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MRJ said:
Sandhusker, is USDA the only govt. agency involved in the trade negotiations with Japan?

Isn't the word NEGOTIATION indicative of what probably happened there?

We got the UTM we wanted, and they set the point at the 20 month level to show that they really "did not cave" to our point.

What was the usual age of cattle we were selling to them prior to BSE?

I have not heard that, and am wondering if the under 20 months is any different than what was customary prior to BSE.

MRJ

MRJ, Negotiating is exactly what happened, but you can't claim "sound science" to be the absolute standard that must be followed, and then not follow it by negotiating. :wink: The USDA has been saying that we have to use "sound science" when making policy with BSE. They wouldn't allow testing because it wasn't based on "sound science." We put the age for Canada at 30 months because that was what "sound science" dictated. They use "sound science" in arguing their court cases. They have used the words "sound science" so many times that we're sick of it. With that in mind, they abandon what they have been preaching and negotiate a different standard with Japan? They are not practicing what they preach. So what is policy? To be consistant, you have to do one or the other. Either you use the same standard "sound science" or you don't. All other things equal, "sound science" can't possibly endorse two different age standards.

The USDA is exhibiting troubling inconsistancies in dealing with Japan. Creekstone couldn't provide tested beef because testing UTM wasn't based on "sound science". This same "sound science" determines we can take 30 month cattle from Canada - but in negotiating 20 months with Japan, USDA has exposed themselves to either be two faced or suffering from severe short memory. :?
 

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MRJ, Negotiating is exactly what happened, but you can't claim "sound science" to be the absolute standard that must be followed, and then not follow it by negotiating


So how do you want it, Sandhusker??? You used sound science against usda when they said creekstone couldn't test because you said 'give the japanese what they want'. Now if usda gives japan a deal they can live with you are offended that they abandoned sound science. If the science says under thirty months is safe and that science is accepted what are you complaining about. If under thirty months is not safe, show it and demand the same standard as japan requests. If under thirty months is safe but Japan demands an extra measure of safety it is you who is inconsistent by saying usda shouldn't meet their demands. It's an r-calf strategy of throwing lots of sh*t and seeing if you can get some of it to stick. Cebull fell for it and did harm to the american cattle industry with his reasoning which basically said the american food safety system doesn't work to deal with bse. I guess that's fine as long as no bse is found in the states.
 

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Bull Burger said:
Sandhusker,
I think MRJ is right about the age of cattle that went to Japan pre-BSE. I doubt the cattle were much over 14-18 months anyway.
BB


It does not appear that Japan wants to hear the two words in your statement: "THINK" and "DOUBT"
 

Sandhusker

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don said:
MRJ, Negotiating is exactly what happened, but you can't claim "sound science" to be the absolute standard that must be followed, and then not follow it by negotiating


So how do you want it, Sandhusker??? You used sound science against usda when they said creekstone couldn't test because you said 'give the japanese what they want'. Now if usda gives japan a deal they can live with you are offended that they abandoned sound science. If the science says under thirty months is safe and that science is accepted what are you complaining about. If under thirty months is not safe, show it and demand the same standard as japan requests. If under thirty months is safe but Japan demands an extra measure of safety it is you who is inconsistent by saying usda shouldn't meet their demands. It's an r-calf strategy of throwing lots of sh*t and seeing if you can get some of it to stick. Cebull fell for it and did harm to the american cattle industry with his reasoning which basically said the american food safety system doesn't work to deal with bse. I guess that's fine as long as no bse is found in the states.

How do I want it? I want consistancy. I want them to practice what they preach. Just for a minute, put your disdain for R-CALF on the back burner and lets take this down to a simpler level;

Suppose a Hereford breeder wanted to sell fats to the local CO-OP packing plant but was rejected by management because they will only deal in Angus. The packer tells everybody they only deal in Angus and all you hear from them is Angus this and Angus that. You drive by their plant and see pens full of Holsteins. Now tell me your eyebrows don't raise.

Ok, now lets bring it back up and realize that this is not a CO-OP packer but is an agency of the federal government. An agency that has a huge say on what goes on in this country and even in international trade circles.
Are you still going to tell me this is R-CALF s***?
 

don

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Ok, now lets bring it back up and realize that this is not a CO-OP packer but is an agency of the federal government. An agency that has a huge say on what goes on in this country and even in international trade circles.




you wanted usda to give the japanese what they were asking for and now that they start negotiating to make a deal more likely you jump all over them. you are no more consistent than them and your argument loses it's validity.

i still want you to answer why the japanese can't have under twenty and the american market under thirty if it can't be shown that under thirty is not safe. before you wanted to give the japanese 100% tested and now you don't want to give them a different age threshold. if you and other american consumers are satisfied that under thirty month (or presently all beef) is safe what do you care what the japanese want? if you're satisfied that you're getting a safe product and the japanese are satisfied what's your objection? you wanted a deal with the japanese and if you get one you get back your exports, the japanese feel secure with the product and the american consumer is confident of a safe meal. who loses?????
 

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don said:
Ok, now lets bring it back up and realize that this is not a CO-OP packer but is an agency of the federal government. An agency that has a huge say on what goes on in this country and even in international trade circles.




you wanted usda to give the japanese what they were asking for and now that they start negotiating to make a deal more likely you jump all over them. you are no more consistent than them and your argument loses it's validity.

i still want you to answer why the japanese can't have under twenty and the american market under thirty if it can't be shown that under thirty is not safe. before you wanted to give the japanese 100% tested and now you don't want to give them a different age threshold. if you and other american consumers are satisfied that under thirty month (or presently all beef) is safe what do you care what the japanese want? if you're satisfied that you're getting a safe product and the japanese are satisfied what's your objection? you wanted a deal with the japanese and if you get one you get back your exports, the japanese feel secure with the product and the american consumer is confident of a safe meal. who loses?????

Don, please go back and read all my posts. Nowhere did I say that I didn't want to give Japan under 20 beef. Maybe that is why we aren't communicating very well. What I want is the USDA to not have double standards. If "sound science" is the standard and "sound science" says 30 months is the number - then 30 months is the number across the board when quoting it as your standard. The said they used "sound science" when setting that number for Canada. They also said they would use "sound science" in negotiating with the Japanese. Either 30 months is not "sound science", or they didn't use "sound science" as they claimed they were with the Japanese. It's that simple.
 

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