Big Muddy rancher said:
I know I will be corrected if I am wrong , but I haven't seen other commodity groups i.e.pork and chicken, use BSE to scare consumers away from beef. I wish I could say that about a certain cattleman's organization . :cowboy:
From: Mike Callicrate Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2005 9:16 AM
The Merry-Go-Round of Beef
Published: March 15, 2005
Early this month in Billings, Mont., a federal judge, Richard Cebull, blocked the Bush administration's plans to resume imports of Canadian cattle and beef. Those imports ended in late May 2003 after mad cow disease was discovered in a Canadian cow. Since then, Canada has discovered three more cases of the disease. The United States Department of Agriculture argues that there is a "very low" or "minimal" risk in reopening the border to live cattle under 30 months of age and to certain cuts of beef. But that argument is based on a hope and a wish.
In pressing to reopen the border, Mr. Cebull writes in his injunction, the U.S.D.A. has made "a decision that subjects the entire U.S. beef industry to potentially catastrophic damages and that presents a genuine risk of death for U.S. customers." The Senate has endorsed this position, and the House is planning to introduce legislation. President Bush has vowed to veto any bill that keeps the border closed.
Mr. Bush believes in open trade borders, but in this case his thinking stumbles into an obvious pothole. Mr. Bush wants Japan to reopen its border to American beef. Japan won't do so unless America can prove it's free of mad cow disease. Yet the president is trying to force open the border with Canada, which can't prove that its herd is free of disease.
But the future of the beef trade with Japan worries us less than the safety of the American meat supply. Canada can't send cows across the border, but it is allowed to ship packaged meat. So Canadians have been building new slaughterhouses and selling low-priced boxed beef to American markets.
The only responsible way to resume international trade in beef is to ensure the health of the cattle. And the only way to do that is to test the cattle - all of them, if need be - and to bring a categorical end to the feeding practices that can spread mad cow disease. The agriculture department can cling, if it likes, to the notion of unproven "minimal risk." But all it takes is one sick cow to shut down a border. It doesn't get much more minimal than that.
It's hard to fathom what would happen to the beef business in this country if a single case of the human version of mad cow disease were discovered and attributed to eating Canadian or American beef. "Minimal risk," based on little more than a set of assumptions, should be an unacceptable gamble for every cattle rancher and every politician.