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R-calf's fact sheet-distributed to beef vendors

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Manitoba_Rancher

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what a joke!


“Keep U.S. Beef Safe!” Fact Sheet

As USDA lowers protections against imported Canadian beef, federal officials refuse to tell consumers where the beef is from. On March 7th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will lift a ban against imported Canadian meat products, essentially gutting existing protections and lowering U.S. standards significantly below international ones practiced by most industrialized countries. USDA takes this step, as it continues to oppose mandatory labeling of meat to provide consumers the choice of steaks and burgers from cattle born and raised in the United States or from cattle or meat products imported from another country. In 2002, Congress passed a law specifically requiring meat products to have a "country of origin" label. USDA has lobbied Congress to delay the law’s implementation twice: once in 2002 and again in 2004. The agency has made clear its opposition to mandatory labeling and has sought to have the law repealed.

The USDA inspection stamp is false advertising. Many consumers believe that the USDA Inspection Stamp implies that meat products either come from U.S. cattle and/or have been inspected by U.S. government officials. The truth about the USDA Inspected Stamp is more complicated. The USDA stamp does not mean the meat is from cattle born and raised in the United States. It could be from any one of the 13 countries we import beef from.

BSE has been found in four cows born and raised in Canada in the past 21 months. Why USDA would want to lift the ban on Canadian meat imports is puzzling, given that mad cow disease has been identified in four cows born and raised in Canada during the past 21 months. Canada’s first case of BSE was found in May 2003, the second in December 2003 (identified in U.S.; born and raised in Canada), and the third and fourth cases in January 2005.

The one and only case of BSE found in the U.S. was in a cow born and raised in Canada. In December 2003, a Canadian born and raised cow was slaughtered in the State of Washington. Meat from the cow had been packaged and distributed to seven states, before anyone identified the disease in the cow’s remains.

To date, no cow born and raised in the U.S. has been detected with BSE. Even prior to growing concerns about mad cow disease, the United States in 1989 adopted some of the world’s toughest import safety standards to protect consumers. After over 15 years of testing, not one single case of mad cow has been found in a U.S. born and raised cow. Allowing Canadian cattle to enter into the country before Canada eradicates BSE from its herd is a contradiction of this country’s historically successful disease prevention strategy. Lifting the ban also represents a shift in philosophy from preventing and avoiding the problem to increasing the risk of mad cow in this country.

Canada has the weakest control measures of any country with BSE. Of those countries with BSE, Canada has the weakest control measures. For example, Japan tests every slaughtered cow for mad cow disease. European countries test every cow over 30 months. Other countries, such as France, test cows even younger than 30 months.

Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China are among 33 countries that have banned Canadian beef. The Asian rim countries, especially China, have been identified as essential to the growth of U.S. beef exports. By lowering protection standards in this country and allowing imports of Canadian beef, the U.S. meat markets risk extensions of existing bans as well as being banned by other countries in the future. Currently, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, and many other countries have banned meat products from both the U.S. and Canada. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently raised the issue of Japan lifting completely a ban on imports of U.S. beef during a meeting with her Japanese counterpart.

Canada’s feed ban is not adequately enforced. News reports originating in Canada indicate that as much as 70% of cattle feed samples tested contained unauthorized animal parts, suggesting that Canada has not adequately enforced its feed ban. A ban on using animal parts in cattle feed is recognized as the single most important measure for controlling BSE.

The U.S. bans consumers from buying drugs from Canada, but wants to open the border to potentially unsafe meat. While federal government officials don’t trust Canadian officials to distribute safe pharmaceuticals that are less expensive than American-made drugs, they apparently trust them well enough to sell U.S. consumers their beef.
 

Manitoba_Rancher

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BILLINGS, MONT. (February 21, 2005) The Ranchers-Cattlemen’s Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA) urged consumers today to tell their grocery store managers, butchers, mayors, governors, members of Congress and local health officials: "Keep U.S. Beef Safe!" This call-for-action is part of a nationwide campaign to stop federal officials from dropping crucial food safety protections for imported beef, specifically from Canada. Four cases of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), a deadly disease also known as mad cow, have been identified in Canadian cattle since May 2003.

"The United States has the safest beef in the world, and we want to keep it that way. Even with increased testing we have yet to find one single native case of BSE in U.S. born and raised cattle. For this reason, we are urging consumers to speak out: ‘Keep U.S. Beef Safe!’" wrote Leo McDonnell, Jr., President of R-CALF USA, in a letter to every Member of Congress, Governor, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities.

R-CALF USA, which represents over 12,000 ranchers and cattle producers across the country, is enlisting its members to distribute a "Keep U.S. Beef Safe!" fact sheet to area consumers, elected officials, and health officials. R-CALF USA also has posted the fact sheet on its web site, www.r-calfusa.com. It lists facts that R-CALF USA officials said would stop "cold in its tracks" the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s March 7th plan to lift the ban against Canadian meat products, if the public knew about the facts and understood the consequences of ignoring them.

"This is an irresponsible and dangerous move. This will put U.S. import standards lower than other major consuming nations," said Bill Bullard, CEO of R-CALF USA. "U.S. consumers deserve and expect the highest standards, not lower standards."

Both McDonnell and Bullard emphasized that the U.S. now has effective firewalls in place that reduce the likelihood of the disease in this country. "We test annually over 150,000 more cattle than Canada tests, and Canada has a much higher exposure to European cattle than the U.S. Out of 16,000 animals tested in Alberta, four had mad cow. That kind of rate shows we better learn more about the Canadian system before we open our borders," said McDonnell.

After the discovery of mad cow disease in Great Britain in 1986, USDA halted all cattle and beef trade with BSE infected nations, beginning in 1989. In May 2003, the U.S. halted beef imports from Canada with the first discovery of a Canadian born and raised BSE infected cow. In 2004, USDA attempted to lift the ban against higher-risk Canadian meat products, but R-CALF USA successfully stopped the effort in federal court. Earlier this year, the agency once again announced its intention to open the Canadian borders on March 7th. Again, R-CALF USA filed a lawsuit to stop USDA from lifting the ban. The U.S. District Court in the District of Montana has scheduled a hearing on the matter for March 2 in Billings, Mont.

R-CALF USA has urged USDA to acknowledge how little is known about BSE contamination and how it infects and spreads, both in cattle and humans. There is no known cure for the disease, which has killed at least 150 people, mostly in Great Britain. R-CALF USA also has urged USDA to require a "country of origin" label on meat products; however, the agency opposes mandatory labeling and has convinced Congress to delay implementation of a federal law that requires labeling.

"The imported animals from Canada will not be tested for mad cow," said Chuck Kiker, an R-CALF USA board director from Beaumont, Texas. "And, our consumers won’t know where it’s from because none of it is labeled for origin. And worst of all, some are going to think they’re not exposed to eating Canadian beef because it will carry a USDA inspected stamp. Talk about misleading moms and dads who are buying food for their families!"

Herreid Livestock owner and South Dakota board director, Herman Schumacher said, "Consumers don’t need to be exposed to any risk from BSE. Because they care about their consumers, thirty-three countries have banned beef and cattle from Canada and until Canada can prove they’re BSE free, we shouldn't let untested cattle cross the border."

In its lawsuit, R-CALF USA argues that USDA has "ignored science." Recent scientific evidence has revealed that the agent responsible for BSE contamination has recently been found not just in nerve tissue, but in muscle tissue as well, raising concerns that standards should be raised, not lowered.

"I’m hoping we will be successful in court again. If enough consumers knew even one or two of these facts, they would stop the decision to lift the ban cold in its track. Until people are able to make an informed decision about what meat to buy for their families, the ban should stay in place," said McDonnell.
 

Bull Burger

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Canada has the weakest control measures of any country with BSE. Of those countries with BSE, Canada has the weakest control measures. For example, Japan tests every slaughtered cow for mad cow disease. European countries test every cow over 30 months. Other countries, such as France, test cows even younger than 30 months.

........of course RCALF has proof.....................I guess Winston is right..........
 

SMS

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Who wants to take RCalf, Leo and Bullard to court for slander and liable?

Talk about slanting the truth, 1/2 truths and out and out lies.

This just proves the old saying
"Facts are negotiable, but perception is reality"
 
A

Anonymous

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SMS: "Who wants to take RCalf, Leo and Bullard to court for slander and liable?"

I can't believe you haven't yet!

Your case would be a slam dunk!



~SH~
 

SMS

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SH

Its cause we are still under the delusion and the truth will prevail in the end.... :(

But it is being seriously discussed now. I find the most distrubing fact of this whole injunction is that the US does not have a International Trade Policy anymore. One judge in some backwoods one horse town can overrule the elected politicians and the administration that is in place to operate these big picture issues.

Who is running the candy store? the owner or the Kids?
 

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