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Court Opinion Refutes Johanns' Claim

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Anonymous

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Official Court Opinion Refutes Johanns’ Claim
that Decision Only a Procedural Delay


(Billings, Mont.) – On March 2, 2005, U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull granted R-CALF USA’s request for a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Final Rule to reopen the Canadian border to live cattle and additional beef products. USDA’s Final Rule would have reopened the border today.



In response to the court’s decision, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns issued an official statement that said the ruling was not a reflection on the substance of the minimal-risk rule, but rather a procedural delay while the judge considers the merits of the case.

However, the court’s 30-page Order of Preliminary Injunction and Opinion in this case appears to materially refute Johanns’ claim.

“To prevail in our hearing last Wednesday, R-CALF had to demonstrate to the court that our case had a substantial likelihood of success based on the merits of the issues we raised in the complaint we filed on January 10th,” explained Bill Bullard, R-CALF USA CEO. “The court found that R-CALF had indeed presented compelling evidence that we likely would succeed on the merits of our claims.”

Cebull ordered USDA to temporarily halt its plan to lift the ban on Canadian live cattle and additional beef products after listening to arguments that demonstrated “the introduction of BSE into the U.S. will be irreversible and is sufficient to justify a finding of significant irreparable harm.”



In part of his opinion, Cebull wrote:



--(USDA) appears to have applied (an) arbitrary approach to a decision that subjects the entire U.S. beef industry to potentially catastrophic damages.
--The testing…indicates that if Canada were to ship 1.7 million head of cattle a year to the U.S., as it did in 2002 prior to the discovery of BSE in Canada, it is a virtual certainty that Canadian cattle infected with BSE would be imported into the U.S.
--The facts strongly suggest that the USDA, ignoring its statutory mandate to protect the health and welfare of the people of the United States, established its goal of re-opening the border to the importation of live beef from Canada and thereafter attempted to work backwards to support and justify this goal.
--The evidence indicates that Canada has not conducted sufficient testing for BSE to accurately assess the rate of BSE infection in Canada. The discovery of four animals raised in Alberta province stricken with BSE during the past year and a half is inconsistent with the USDA’s assertion that the BSE incidence rate in Canada is ‘very low’ or ‘minimal’.
--The USDA’s assertion that the Canadian feed ban is effective and has been in place long enough to make the risk of additional cases of BSE insignificant is at odds with the facts and, therefore, arbitrary and capricious.
--The USDA did not consider the mitigation of adverse effects of the Final Rule on small businesses that could have been achieved through a requirement that edible bovine products derived from Canadian cattle or imported from Canada be labeled so that consumers could choose not to purchase those products.
The USDA argues in response to (labeling): ‘While labeling provides consumers with additional information, it is neither a food safety nor an animal health measure.’ Such a statement is misleading; certainly allowing U.S. consumers to chose whether or not they are willing to accept the (USDA descriptions) ‘negligible,’ ‘very low,’ ‘highly unlikely’ risk posed by the consumption of Canadian beef …relates to food safety. Any labeling should take place immediately upon opening of the Canadian border to allow consumers the opportunity to make an informed choice when purchasing beef. The cost of said labeling would be minimal compared to the risks associated with eating beef of an unknown origin potentially contaminated with BSE.
The USDA’s failure to give careful consideration to the benefits and costs of mandatory testing, or at least its failure to explain to the public why these benefits do not justify mandatory testing, in the face of the possibility of irreparable injury from any case of BSE that is not identified is arbitrary and capricious . . .”

Cebull instructed the attorneys for both parties to decide on a mutually acceptable schedule for the final hearing of R-CALF USA’s case, and to present that timetable to the court within 10 days. The court will then set a date to determine the fate of USDA’s Final Rule.

“Judge Cebull’s ruling states the obvious – that we do not know enough about Canada’s BSE problem to re-open the border right now,” Bullard said. “We will work with USDA to re-open the border when science – not politics – tells us it is safe to do so.”



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Manitoba_Rancher

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I think we have proved science is not holding things back! It is that short ass hillbilly that likes to lie that is holding things back. Since when does one judge ( that is likely part of R-calf or collecting some of their sale proceeds) over rule the ruleing government! If I was the US government I would kick all of your R-calf asses out of the country! We are not hiding BSE in this country like the US, we are making it public! :cowboy:
 

frenchie

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Manitoba_Rancher said:
We are not hiding BSE in this country like the US, we are making it public! :cowboy:


Go easy on OT now he can,t grasp that concept.
 

Kato

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Did anyone else hear on the CTV National news about what GW said to Paul Martin during their phone conversation the other night? What they reported on the news was that GW would order a panel of three judges to hear this thing.

This court case is becoming an embarrassment to the government. I wonder how patient they are? :?
 

Tam

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I thought the USDA told us that the reason it was taking them so long to write this D**m ruling was they wanted to make sure it was bullet proof. I guess we will just have to see how bullet proof it really is when it comes to trial.
 

Sandhusker

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I don't know why some of you folks can't see the obvious. The USDA went about opening the border all wrong and tried to BS their way thru it. The Judge sees it. This talk about the Judge being on the R-CALF payroll is rediculous.

Why don't take your business in your own hands and institute 100% testing? Quit pointing fingers, calling names, and making outragous allegations! A large part of the ruling is about the USDA not being able to guarantee 100% that no BSE will come down. YOU can take all doubt out by testing! TEST THE SOBs!
 
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Anonymous

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Where is the test for UTM cattle that will detect BSE prions in an animal not yet showing clinical signs????

Where is this test?


~SH~
 
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Anonymous

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Kato said:
What they reported on the news was that GW would order a panel of three judges to hear this thing.

Kato- That does not mean that GW is doing anything special-- A normal appeal goes in front of a 3 judge appeal panel........ If USDA appeals the ruling then it would go in front of a 3 judge panel made up of 3 judges out of the 9 circuit appellate court that are assigned that case.....
 
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Anonymous

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Tam said:
I thought the USDA told us that the reason it was taking them so long to write this D**m ruling was they wanted to make sure it was bullet proof. I guess we will just have to see how bullet proof it really is when it comes to trial.

-"The facts strongly suggest that the USDA, ignoring its statutory mandate to protect the health and welfare of the people of the United States, established its goal of re-opening the border to the importation of live beef from Canada and thereafter attempted to work backwards to support and justify this goal."

I think the above statement of the judge's is what will cause the USDA proposal to fall apart in court- they failed to look at their primary role to protect the health and welfare of the people of the United States. Instead they were told to get the border open at all costs, which left loop holes in the science which you could stick the Queen Anne thru.....

Maybe that explains the "inconsistent science" of taking under 30 month beef from Canada as safe but sending only under 20 month beef to Japan as safe.........
 

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