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McDonald's wants ID system yesterday.

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Well-known member
Feb 10, 2005
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Montgomery, Al
McDonald's exec: BSE testing adequate, ID needed
Thursday, June 09, 2005

McDonald's Corp. spokesman Robert Cannell said he is satisfied with USDA's expanded BSE surveillance program and its overall effort to maintain consumer confidence in U.S. beef.

However, Cannell, McDonald's director of U.S. supply chain management, was not as upbeat about USDA's proposed timeline for a mandatory animal identification system unveiled last month.

USDA proposed the implementation of a National Animal Identification System (NAIS) which would become a mandatory tracking system by January 2009. The deadline to comment on USDA's proposed NAIS timeline ended today (June 6).

"We feel very strongly about animal ID," Cannell told FarmWeek last week. "From our expectations (of NAIS), yesterday would have been a better timeline" to implement the mandatory ID system.

While Cannell said McDonald's is sensitive to the fact that some beef producers need both time and money to implement NAIS, the giant hamburger chain is not waiting around. Cannell said McDonald's is seeking contracts with beef suppliers who currently can track all animals.

"We've stepped up and taken a leadership role," Cannell said. "We feel it's important to go ahead (with NAIS)."

Despite political pressure from some countries such as Japan to increase BSE surveillance in the U.S. to include every animal, Cannell said he is satisfied with USDA's expanded surveillance program.

One year ago, on June 1, 2004, the USDA expanded its BSE surveillance program to specifically target animals that exhibit signs of nervous system disorders, non-ambulatory animals, and animals that die on farms for reasons that could be consistent with BSE.

The expanded program originally was designed to test at least 220,000 animals within 18 months. Just prior to the one-year mark, USDA already had tested more than 330,000 animals.

"There's a lot of misinformation out there (about BSE testing)," Cannell said. "I think (USDA) is targeting the right animals and is doing great things for consumer confidence. They surpassed their 18-month goal (for animal testing) in 12 months."

While Cannell wouldn't comment on whether the U.S. should open its border to live Canadian cattle, he did say high beef prices in the last year-plus are having little effect on his business.

"Obviously, we all know beef prices are high. But, we are first and foremost a hamburger chain," Cannell said. "We're selling more beef every year."

Cannell reported that McDonald's purchases more than 1 billion pounds of beef in the U.S. each year.

"The high prices aren't impacting the availability of beef products," he continued. "It's not like we're pulling sandwiches off the menu, although we are adding options like chicken and salads."

Cash cattle prices pushed $87 late last week as some cattle feeders passed on packer bids of $85 and $86, according to information on the website { www.cattlenetwork.com} .

Some analysts have speculated that uncertainty of feed availability due to some tough conditions at the start of this corn growing season, could push beef prices higher down the road. – Daniel Grant
For More Info Contact:
David McClelland, Editor of Publications
Phone (309) 557-3156 Fax (800) 640-1995 E-mail [email protected]
After the last couple of news days ,I would say that MickeyD's has the right to protect themselves from a lawsuit over a MAD COW by demanding RECORDS EVEN from the PACKERS.
PORKER said:
After the last couple of news days ,I would say that MickeyD's has the right to protect themselves from a lawsuit over a MAD COW by demanding RECORDS EVEN from the PACKERS.

When all the talk of the ID thing started a few years ago I figured all the grading cattle would require ID at first, then the cutters/canners would not have to be. But it looks as though the burger boys are gonna be more picky than the steak folks. Good for them!
I am glad to hear it. The best way to get MID started is to have the consumers demand it.

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