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Big Muddy rancher

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Are these the ones your talking about?


Researchers and the nation's No. 1 burger seller say the
government is not fully protecting animals or people from mad cow disease.

Stronger steps are needed to keep infection from entering the food chain for
cattle, the critics wrote in comments to the Food and Drug Administration.

The group includes McDonald's Corp., seven scientists and experts and a
pharmaceutical supplier, Serologicals Corp.

The government proposed new safeguards two months ago, but researchers said
that effort "falls woefully short" and would continue to let cattle eat
potentially infected feed, the primary way mad cow disease is spread.

"We do not feel that we can overstate the dangers from the insidious threat
from these diseases and the need to control and arrest them to prevent any
possibility of spread," the researchers wrote.

McDonald's said the risk of exposure to the disease should be reduced to
zero, or as close as possible. "It is our opinion that the government can
take further action to reduce this risk," wrote company Vice President Dick
Crawford.

In people, eating meat or cattle products contaminated with mad cow disease
is linked to a rare but fatal nerve disorder, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob
Disease.

No one is known to have contracted the disease in the United States. The
disease has turned up in two people who lived in the U.S., but it's believed
they were infected in the United Kingdom during an outbreak there in the
1980s and 1990s.

The U.S. has found two cases of mad cow disease in cows. Since the first
case, confirmed in December 2003 in a Canadian-born cow in Washington state,
the government has tested more than half a million of the nation's 95
million cows. The second case was confirmed last June in a Texas-born cow.

"While this surveillance has not uncovered an epidemic, it does not clear
the U.S. cattle herd from infection," the researchers said.

The primary firewall against mad cow disease is a ban on using cattle
remains in cattle feed, which the U.S. put in place in 1997. However, the
feed ban has loopholes that create potential pathways for mad cow disease.
For example, using restaurant plate waste is allowed in cattle feed.

The Food and Drug Administration proposed in October to tighten the rules,
but critics said glaring loopholes would remain.

The FDA, which regulates animal feed, accepted public comments on the
proposal through last month. An agency spokeswoman said Wednesday it would
be inappropriate to respond to those comments.

The critics said their biggest concern is that tissue from dead animals
would be allowed in the feed chain if brains and spinal cords have been
removed. Brains and spinal cords are tissues that can carry mad cow disease.

In dead cattle that had the disease, infection had spread beyond brains and
spinal cords. Leaving tissue from dead cattle in the feed chain would negate
FDA's attempt to strengthen its safeguards, the critics said.

The most effective safeguards, they said, would be to:

_Ban from animal feed all tissues considered "specified risk materials" by
the Agriculture Department, which requires that such materials be removed
from meat that people eat. This includes tissues beyond the brain and spinal
cord, such as eyes or part of the small intestine.

_Ban the use of dead cattle in animal feed.

_Close loopholes allowing plate waste, poultry litter and blood to be fed
back to cattle.

Within the meat industry, many say the FDA proposal is effective, although
some companies contend new rules are unneeded. The American Meat Institute
Foundation, which represents meat processing companies, backs the FDA
proposal.

"To take out the most potentially infected material, and that would be
brains and spinal cords, that removes about 90 percent of the potential
infectivity that is in an animal - if it's infected," said Jim Hodges, AMI
Foundation president.

Mad cow disease is the common name for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or
BSE, a degenerative nerve disease in cattle.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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Yes I agree that the US should adopt those rules but nowhere does it say you need to stop the importation of Canadian cattle. they are the same risk as US cattle. So why does R-CALFkeep pursueing the closing of the border?
Would they not be better off to try just for the safe guards and not link it to the phony issue of Canadian cattle?
 
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I think this part of R-CALF's statement pretty well sums it up...The USDA is so heavily influenced by the packer that they won't institute a law passed two years ago, let alone put in new restrictions... Thats the reason the suit against USDA was brought back up...... I see no other alternatives, since NCBA blindly follows wherever the packers tell USDA to go....Like I've posted several times- Institute the M-COOL law that is already on the books and put in the safeguards- then open her Up....And I think a majority of R-CALF members feel the same...

“The solution is to immediately correct those known deficiencies,” he emphasized. “Recently, fast-food giant McDonald’s, as well as a group of the world’s foremost scientific experts on BSE, all filed formal comments with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that back up, with solid scientific research, the message and the position that R-CALF has maintained since the onset of our case.”

R-CALF USA Region IX Director James Fudge said that R-CALF USA’s motives, from the beginning, have been not only to strengthen our domestic safeguards against BSE, but also to get USDA to implement Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (M-COOL), and force the agency to harmonize global beef-trade practices.

“Our goal has been to work with the agency to these common ends, and avoid litigation if possible,” said Fudge. “But in the end, we had to stand up for what was right to ensure the long-term viability of cow/calf producers around the country.
 

DiamondSCattleCo

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Ah, so first its "Give us time to get the same feed rules in place that Canada has".

Then when that arguement has been refuted, it changes to:

"Give us time to get the same feed rules in place that Canada has AND institute a trade restricting labelling program that attempts to convince consumers that beef from one country is inherently safer than beef from another country scant miles away"

So what happens when that fails to scare people away from beef produced outside the US?

Perhaps a new labelling program:

"This isn't US beef. If you eat this beef, your cat will shed more and your dog will bite the neighbor leading to a lawsuit that will cost you thousands of dollars. Don't step on that crack, you'll break your mothers back too"

Rod
 
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DiamondSCattleCo said:
Ah, so first its "Give us time to get the same feed rules in place that Canada has".

Then when that arguement has been refuted, it changes to:

"Give us time to get the same feed rules in place that Canada has AND institute a trade restricting labelling program that attempts to convince consumers that beef from one country is inherently safer than beef from another country scant miles away"

So what happens when that fails to scare people away from beef produced outside the US?

Perhaps a new labelling program:

"This isn't US beef. If you eat this beef, your cat will shed more and your dog will bite the neighbor leading to a lawsuit that will cost you thousands of dollars. Don't step on that crack, you'll break your mothers back too"

Rod

Rod- M-COOL is a U.S. law- signed by the President...Its a travesty that a Packer controlled USDA and a few Congressmen that are bought by Packer donations can stop it--and not allow consumers the choice.....Shades of the Abramoff stink......
 

DiamondSCattleCo

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It doesn't matter if its been signed, sealed and delivered: If all M-COOL is is a thinly veiled trade disruption that violates trade agreements, then its not a legal law. Perhaps this is why the USDA/FDA won't back it? Why make it mandatory? Seems to me if a packer is genuinely proud of the US beef, feels they could get more money for it, then they would label the US beef, and just not bother labelling out of country stuff. Same result, without artificial trade distortion based on mistruths about the safety of out-of-country beef.

Rod
 

Econ101

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DiamondSCattleCo said:
It doesn't matter if its been signed, sealed and delivered: If all M-COOL is is a thinly veiled trade disruption that violates trade agreements, then its not a legal law. Perhaps this is why the USDA/FDA won't back it? Why make it mandatory? Seems to me if a packer is genuinely proud of the US beef, feels they could get more money for it, then they would label the US beef, and just not bother labelling out of country stuff. Same result, without artificial trade distortion based on mistruths about the safety of out-of-country beef.

Rod

Rod, I don't think you will have the problems with labeling and selling Canadian beef in the U.S. unless there is a real problem that is not being addressed by the Canadian health services. Labeling with the Maple Leaf may be a good thing for Canada especially as long as the quality of the product and its safety are paramount. Large packers do not want to have the label of not supporting the U.S. beef industry as they substitute cheaper foreign sources into the food chain. I don't consider Candadian a "cheaper" food source but I probably would some of the other countries' beef. We have not seen the problems in the seafood labeling that you are saying may be a problem for Canadians with MCOOL.
 

DiamondSCattleCo

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Econ101 said:
Rod, I don't think you will have the problems with labeling and selling Canadian beef in the U.S. unless there is a real problem that is not being addressed by the Canadian health services. Labeling with the Maple Leaf may be a good thing for Canada especially as long as the quality of the product and its safety are paramount. Large packers do not want to have the label of not supporting the U.S. beef industry as they substitute cheaper foreign sources into the food chain. I don't consider Candadian a "cheaper" food source but I probably would some of the other countries' beef. We have not seen the problems in the seafood labeling that you are saying may be a problem for Canadians with MCOOL.

You could be right Econ (I am completely unfamiliar with seafood labelling), and I certainly see your point. Perhaps I'm stuck on a line of thinking that makes no sense or is a little too conspiracy theory. :)

I think the only problem I have with mandatory labelling is the way the media can be used these days to influence people. A wrong word, or single error on the part of an inspector could lead to Canuck beef plummeting from being the safest thing on the market to the worst thing since acid rain and nuclear bombs.

Look at this whole BSE thing. When the first case was found, the news made it look like the world of Canadian beef was going to end. It scared people away from not just our beef, but everyones. And it was all because most reporters don't really care about the truth, they just wanna sell the story. With mandatory labelling, it would just be too easy for the wrong people to influence the market and distort trade for their own gains.

On the other hand, labelling your own countries beef is something that I would just consider smart business, as long as it was good beef. With the border closures, and the resurgence of nationalism, many grocers were having a tough time selling anything but Canadian beef. I would think with the high level of patriotism that most Americans possess, labelling US Beef would accomplish virtually the same thing. Should a sensationalised story hit that claims another countries beef is less safe, then the packers could drop the labelling until the BS is cleared up. No artificial trade distortion, no problem.

Rod
 

Econ101

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DiamondSCattleCo said:
Econ101 said:
Rod, I don't think you will have the problems with labeling and selling Canadian beef in the U.S. unless there is a real problem that is not being addressed by the Canadian health services. Labeling with the Maple Leaf may be a good thing for Canada especially as long as the quality of the product and its safety are paramount. Large packers do not want to have the label of not supporting the U.S. beef industry as they substitute cheaper foreign sources into the food chain. I don't consider Candadian a "cheaper" food source but I probably would some of the other countries' beef. We have not seen the problems in the seafood labeling that you are saying may be a problem for Canadians with MCOOL.

You could be right Econ (I am completely unfamiliar with seafood labelling), and I certainly see your point. Perhaps I'm stuck on a line of thinking that makes no sense or is a little too conspiracy theory. :)

I think the only problem I have with mandatory labelling is the way the media can be used these days to influence people. A wrong word, or single error on the part of an inspector could lead to Canuck beef plummeting from being the safest thing on the market to the worst thing since acid rain and nuclear bombs.

Look at this whole BSE thing. When the first case was found, the news made it look like the world of Canadian beef was going to end. It scared people away from not just our beef, but everyones. And it was all because most reporters don't really care about the truth, they just wanna sell the story. With mandatory labelling, it would just be too easy for the wrong people to influence the market and distort trade for their own gains.

On the other hand, labelling your own countries beef is something that I would just consider smart business, as long as it was good beef. With the border closures, and the resurgence of nationalism, many grocers were having a tough time selling anything but Canadian beef. I would think with the high level of patriotism that most Americans possess, labelling US Beef would accomplish virtually the same thing. Should a sensationalised story hit that claims another countries beef is less safe, then the packers could drop the labelling until the BS is cleared up. No artificial trade distortion, no problem.

Rod

The whole issue centers around the packer's control of international supplies of beef. I have never thought of anything from Canada being truely international. Regular Canadians are so much like regular Americans that it is sometimes hard to tell the difference. Peter Jennings. I think the packers just want the current argument to further their own agendas. Can we think of a way around it instead of getting in their trap? You do bring up some good points here.
 

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The problem with the COOL law was not that Canadian beef had to be labeled, it was the phony trade distortion of requiring seperate coolers and trucks for the beef. The added cost of building a second distribution system was/is the reason Canadians don't like COOL.

If we are allowed to label our beef and have our source verification system recognized, it will beat US product to that segment of consumers that want that.
 
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Jason said:
The problem with the COOL law was not that Canadian beef had to be labeled, it was the phony trade distortion of requiring seperate coolers and trucks for the beef. The added cost of building a second distribution system was/is the reason Canadians don't like COOL.

Jason- that is not the way it was laid out-- All that is required is that it be labeled thru to the consumer...It is already coming across labeled- we just need to make it illegal for the Packer/retailer to remove the Canadian labels and slap on a USDA stamp and pass it off as US product...The only time that I know of when complete segregation was required was when the Canadians first found BSE and the Japanese were requiring segregation....

I think in the years to come, with the likely prospect of a largely increased supply of cheap imported South and Central American beef, the Canadians will be crying for their own M-COOL law.....

You can't promote your product if consumers can't identify it!!!
 

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Econ101 said:
Regular Canadians are so much like regular Americans that it is sometimes hard to tell the difference. Peter Jennings. I think the packers just want the current argument to further their own agendas. Can we think of a way around it instead of getting in their trap? You do bring up some good points here.

Quite frankly, I think that the best starting point would be genuine free trade between the US and Canada, in ALL markets. Don't let special interest groups or paid politicians distort the truth, or the market, for their own gains. Sure, there would be some fallout, on BOTH sides of the border that would come of genuine free trade. Some industries in Canada won't be able to make a go of it, some in the US won't either. But eventually the markets would adjust, and the industries would shift to the country who was able to be most competitive.

Of course, this kind of thing would require so many shifts in government policy on both sides of the border that it will likely never happen.

As far as what you say about regular Canucks and regular Americans, I agree. I've been all over the US and Canada over the years, and really don't see a whole lot of differences. Oddly enough, one of the biggest differences that my southern friends pick up on is that I like gravy on my fries, and I've gotten some strange looks at truck stops when ordering :)

I think I see more differences east/west than north/south. A good friend of mine in Utah once said that we should simply take the border and make it run North/South, and keep our fingers crossed that "the earthquake" really will take the western seaboard with it. :lol:

Rod
 

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If labeled Canadian beef enters the States and proceeds with no further processing to it's destination, it is still labeled. If a primal is further processed, it gets an inspection label.

No beef leaves Canada in retail case ready packages...YET.

The labeling arguement is bogus and just a thinly vieled trade barrier. Good thing USDA and food service that buys Canadian product aren't fooled.
 
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DiamondSCattleCo said:
Econ101 said:
Regular Canadians are so much like regular Americans that it is sometimes hard to tell the difference. Peter Jennings. I think the packers just want the current argument to further their own agendas. Can we think of a way around it instead of getting in their trap? You do bring up some good points here.

Quite frankly, I think that the best starting point would be genuine free trade between the US and Canada, in ALL markets. Don't let special interest groups or paid politicians distort the truth, or the market, for their own gains. Sure, there would be some fallout, on BOTH sides of the border that would come of genuine free trade. Some industries in Canada won't be able to make a go of it, some in the US won't either. But eventually the markets would adjust, and the industries would shift to the country who was able to be most competitive.

Of course, this kind of thing would require so many shifts in government policy on both sides of the border that it will likely never happen.

As far as what you say about regular Canucks and regular Americans, I agree. I've been all over the US and Canada over the years, and really don't see a whole lot of differences. Oddly enough, one of the biggest differences that my southern friends pick up on is that I like gravy on my fries, and I've gotten some strange looks at truck stops when ordering :)

I think I see more differences east/west than north/south. A good friend of mine in Utah once said that we should simply take the border and make it run North/South, and keep our fingers crossed that "the earthquake" really will take the western seaboard with it. :lol:

Rod

Great idea Rod-- Just ain't gonna happen. That is what NAFTA was supposed to do- until each industry wanted its share...NAFTA then became a joke...I probably shouldn't tell you this, but when the original NAFTA type free trade idea was proposed I was a supporter of it--until I saw how corporate influenced it was going to be.......

Monsanto got cheaper Canadian chemicals banned from the US (exact same ingredients)- US pharmaceutical companies got cheaper Canadian and Mexican drugs banned (some that were made in the same plants)- Canadians pay $500 for a jug of Ivermec- I pay $65, and now the Canadian government wants to ban that from the Canadians....The US had rules for cattle going south- the Canadians had a different set with additional restrictions on the cattle going north......

Just like these current BSE firewalls-FDA instituted some of them for a while because their scientists recommended them- but then backed down because of Corporate pressure... Could easily reinstitute them, but are being pressed by the Dairy, Chicken farmer (Tyson) and Packer side of the industry( which NCBA again is blindly following)....

As long as we live in this Corporate dominated political system where its allowed for laws and rules to be made by who pays the most instead of whats best for the country it will continue.....
 

DiamondSCattleCo

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Oldtimer said:
As long as we live in this Corporate dominated political system where its allowed for laws and rules to be made by who pays the most instead of whats best for the country it will continue.....

Whats that I hear? Ice cracking in Hell? Oh god, my world is ending as I know it. I agree with something that an R-Calfer said.

:lol: :lol:

Sorry OT. You're really not a bad guy, 'cept for that whole RCalf thing. :)

In that other thread I suggested RCalf quit spending money with the lawyers and spend it on something worthwhile. Maybe they should buy a couple politicians instead and make a start on reclaiming the market from the large corporations?

One of the problems I see in Canada and the US is that its far to easy for minority special interest groups to influence policy. I am also distressed when I see politicians pointing their fingers across the border (and I don't care which direction the finger is going) and saying 'They're the bad guys. Its their fault.' When that happens, it often means that the politician at home has screwed up something and is trying to cover it up.

Rod
 

mrj

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DiamondSCattleCo said:
Oldtimer said:
As long as we live in this Corporate dominated political system where its allowed for laws and rules to be made by who pays the most instead of whats best for the country it will continue.....

Whats that I hear? Ice cracking in Hell? Oh god, my world is ending as I know it. I agree with something that an R-Calfer said.

:lol: :lol:

Sorry OT. You're really not a bad guy, 'cept for that whole RCalf thing. :)

In that other thread I suggested RCalf quit spending money with the lawyers and spend it on something worthwhile. Maybe they should buy a couple politicians instead and make a start on reclaiming the market from the large corporations?

One of the problems I see in Canada and the US is that its far to easy for minority special interest groups to influence policy. I am also distressed when I see politicians pointing their fingers across the border (and I don't care which direction the finger is going) and saying 'They're the bad guys. Its their fault.' When that happens, it often means that the politician at home has screwed up something and is trying to cover it up.

Rod

Actually, some of the R-CALF guys have been calling for spending checkoff money to lobby. Good thinking on the part of the ranchers who designed the checkoff that they had the foresight to prevent that possibility! It is tough enough to get the cattlemen on those committees to agree on projects promoting beef and researching and educating consumers, let along to agree on political agenda's.

MRJ
 

Sandhusker

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MRJ said:
DiamondSCattleCo said:
Oldtimer said:
As long as we live in this Corporate dominated political system where its allowed for laws and rules to be made by who pays the most instead of whats best for the country it will continue.....

Whats that I hear? Ice cracking in Hell? Oh god, my world is ending as I know it. I agree with something that an R-Calfer said.

:lol: :lol:

Sorry OT. You're really not a bad guy, 'cept for that whole RCalf thing. :)

In that other thread I suggested RCalf quit spending money with the lawyers and spend it on something worthwhile. Maybe they should buy a couple politicians instead and make a start on reclaiming the market from the large corporations?

One of the problems I see in Canada and the US is that its far to easy for minority special interest groups to influence policy. I am also distressed when I see politicians pointing their fingers across the border (and I don't care which direction the finger is going) and saying 'They're the bad guys. Its their fault.' When that happens, it often means that the politician at home has screwed up something and is trying to cover it up.

Rod

Actually, some of the R-CALF guys have been calling for spending checkoff money to lobby. Good thinking on the part of the ranchers who designed the checkoff that they had the foresight to prevent that possibility! It is tough enough to get the cattlemen on those committees to agree on projects promoting beef and researching and educating consumers, let along to agree on political agenda's.

MRJ

How do you get all the members of NCBA to agree on the political candidates NCBA endorses?
 

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