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NCBA wins this one

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Well-known member
Feb 11, 2005
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R-CALF myths The facts.
1. The only specified risk material (SRM) removed from under-30 month cattle in Canada are tonsils and small intestine. Tonsil and distal ileum are EXACTLY the same SRM that the United States removes from cattle under 30 months of age. R-CALF says Canada's SRM list should be expanded because that country hasn't had a feed ban in effect for more than eight years-neither has the U.S. The Canadian feed ban was initiated at the same time as the U.S. feed ban; both countries will have had a feed ban for eight years in August 2005.
Why would a group that claims to represent independent cattlemen suggest that U.S. standards to protect human health are not adequate?

2. Canada doesn't qualify as a minimal-risk country under current OIE guidelines. In a signed affidavit, OIE publicly corrected R-CALF's mis-representation of OIE guidelines (see http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/issues/bse/ranchers.pdf). USDA followed up with a rare document that responded to R-CALF directly and in science based terms, yet R-CALF continues to lie about what OIE says. Canada's incidence rate is well below OIE standards for minimal risk because Canada has never exceeded the minimal risk standard over a consecutive 12-month period (or two cases per million population within a consecutive 12-month period). Further, OIE code has never recommended banning trade of cattle or their products, even from countries with high BSE risk, if the country has effective control mechanisms in place, as Canada does.
Why would a cattlemen's group continually and willfully misrepresent international trading standards?

3. Live cattle entering the U.S. will not have appropriate SRMs removed because of Canadian rules. The USDA Final Rule would only permit live cattle younger than 30 months for immediate slaughter or for feed-to-slaughter. These animals, already defined by international BSE authorities as low-risk because they are under-30 months of age, would be processed according to U.S. SRM removal requirements, under the same FSIS inspection process as U.S. cattle.
Why would a cattlemen's group question the safety of U.S. processes?

4. Beef from Canada is unsafe for U.S. consumers-and puts the U.S. food supply at risk for BSE.
Boneless beef from Canadian cattle younger than 30 months is already permitted into the United States. Approximately 1.1 billion pounds of boneless beef, more than ever before in history, entered the U.S. in 2004, and was eaten by U.S. consumers as part of our safe, wholesome food supply.
Why would a cattlemen's group question the safety of the current U.S. beef supply?

5. Canada hasn't had a feed ban in place for long enough to qualify as a minimal risk country.
The feed ban is one of many risk mitigating factors that the OIE asks a country to consider as it evaluates minimal risk. USDA performed a Canadian risk assessment as outlined in the OIE code and found Canada to be minimal risk. The OIE has said the feed ban is not the only mitigation measure necessary to protect human and animal health. If it were, the United States should also be challenged on the same grounds that R-CALF challenges Canada, since the U.S. feed ban has been in place for the same amount of time as Canada's. Neither country's feed ban has been in place for a complete eight years. The eight-year marker will be reached in three months (August 2005) the United States and Canada.
Why would a cattlemen's group question the safety of U.S. beef, by casting doubt on Canada's feed ban-which is the same as ours?

6. Canada's risk mitigation measures for BSE are the weakest in the world.
Since Canada's risk mitigation measures (including SRM removal and the feed ban) are effectively equivalent to the United States, labeling Canada's measures "the least stringent" or the "weakest" in the world certainly suggests to consumers and others that U.S. measures are inadequate as well. The multiple firewalls the United States has in place to eliminate the risk of this disease exceed OIE standards and have been recognized as 'robust' by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis.
Why would a cattlemen's group want consumers to think either U.S. or Canada's mitigation measures are inadequate, when they are scientifically justified?

7. Canada should test all cattle for BSE.
Science says testing cattle younger than 30 months is useless. First, the tests are not sensitive enough to determine disease presence in animals this young. More importantly, scientific data from cattle around the world reveal this disease is extremely rare in younger animals. When it does appear in younger animals, it is because the exposure to feed containing BSE was very high. Neither the Canadian, nor the U.S., cowherd has been highly exposed to BSE, as is evidenced by age of the few positive cases (younger age at onset means higher exposure as a calf). If we expect useless testing of cattle of under 30 months from Canada, the world will expect it from us.
Why would a cattlemen's group want packers to discount U.S. cattle for a useless test?

8. U.S. borders remain closed because other countries don't think Canadian beef is safe.
Our trading partners have reportedly stated that R-CALF's efforts to keep the Canadian border closed are hurting the United States' ability to negotiate for open borders elsewhere-in the press and in other venues. R-CALF's litigation has hampered foreign trade negotiations-and extended the industry's (including independent cattle producers') losses incalculably. Further, if this were true, why do some countries, like Hong Kong, choose to accept Canadian beef, but not U.S. beef?
Why would a cattlemen's group categorically oppose our industry's ability to base international trade on scientifically sound criteria? Why do they wish to shrink our markets, instead of expand them for future generations?

9. NCBA supports packers to the detriment of independent cattlemen. NCBA is made up of packers and not cattlemen. Over 93 percent of NCBA's 25,000 members are independent cattlemen speaking for the industry, with more than 50 state and breed affiliates representing over 230,000 cattlemen across the United States. The remaining 7 percent of NCBA's membership is comprised of voting members representing the livestock market, dairy and processing segments. Through an inclusive voting process involving the board and membership, independent cattlemen set policy for NCBA.
Other, non-voting members include individuals and businesses with a vested interest in the cattle industry such as local feed stores, veterinarians, main street businesses and agriculture lenders.

NCBA's structure demands that new leaders be elected by the membership each year, so that NCBA is a true and dynamic representation of the wishes of independent cattlemen. Any claim of organizational misrepresentation coming from R-CALF, an organization that has had the same, monopolistic leadership since its inception, is difficult to swallow.

How many independent cattlemen have really had a voice in R-CALF's leadership? Why doesn't R-CALF allow many different voices in its leadership? Why does R-CALF brand anyone who disagrees with their policy as "packer aligned?"

10. U.S. consumers will question the safety of beef if we allow Canadian beef into the U.S.
Canadian beef is already entering the U.S. in record amounts, in boxed form. The beef supply remains safe, and consumer confidence in the safety of beef from BSE remains higher than at pre-BSE levels. Consumers know that effective mitigation measures in both the U.S. and Canada mean beef is safe. In both Canada and the U.S., consumer demand for beef increased after BSE was found.

Why would a cattlemen's group say consumers question the safety of U.S. or Canadian beef-when they don't?
11. BSE is a contagious disease. Scientists have found that the only way BSE can be spread is through infected feed. BSE is not a contagious disease, and cannot be spread through animal-to-animal contact, or animal-to-human contact.
Why would a cattlemen's group perpetuate alarming mis-information about BSE?

12. The human form of BSE, called vCJD, can be contracted through tongue piercing.
Although R-CALF's veterinarian has warned his audiences against the dangers of tongue-piercing, BSE cannot be spread to humans through the piercing of any body part.
Why would a cattlemen's group tell crowds of people that they are in danger of acquiring vCJD from unusual and completely unproven sources?

13. Because of the closed border, U.S. cattlemen are experiencing historically high cattle prices.
The U.S. fed cattle price had appreciated significantly prior to May 20, 2003 (Canada's first BSE case.) U.S. prices did jump between May 20 and Sept 8, 2003 when all beef and cattle trade with Canada was stopped but fed cattle prices continued to increase to record levels afterward. Prevention of live cattle trade with Canada had very little immediate impact on prices and no measurable impact whatsoever on the obvious, multi-year upward trend in prices-a trend driven by improved beef demand combined with reduced domestic beef production in 2004 and thus far in 2005, not by keeping Canadian fed cattle out of the U.S.
Why would a cattlemen's group take sole credit for high prices when the industry's total effort, over the long term, is really the reason for success?

14. NCBA and American Farm Bureau inflated the number of agricultural families represented by these two organizations.
NCBA and American Farm Bureau stand by the membership numbers cited in the Amicus brief. American Farm Bureau represents a wide range of farm families, not simply beef cattle production families. Many farms in this country support multiple families including multiple owners, part-owners, operators, tenants, hired workers and their families. We're sure R-CALF doesn't count its membership in farm units, rather than people, and neither do American Farm Bureau, or the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.
Why can't we stick to the facts?
What No comments from the R-CALF gang. :???: Can't any of you answer the questions that were put forward in this posting.
:wink: There is at least 14 of them so take a stab at at least one or two of them.
:? please do feel free to explain why R-CALF has had the same leadership since day one.
:shock: What other membership organization has the same leadership that long?
:roll: Do you not know how to set up an election for new officers yet :help: ?

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