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Response to Chris Abbott's letter

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Chris: "Why have Nebraska's Congressional representatives refused to sign the Resolution of Disapproval (HR23) which keeps the Canadian border closed to live cattle"

Obviously your Nebraska representatives understand this issue enough to realize that any BSE presidence we establish with Canada, we will have to live by in the event that another case of BSE is discovered here. Your representatives apparently understand that Canada has taken the exact same and in some cases more stringent precautionary measures to address BSE as the U.S. has.

Not everyone lives for the moment without considering the consequences of those actions down the road.

Chris: "Why aren't they working to secure Country of Origin Labeling?"

Again, obviously your Nebraska representatives understand this issue enough to realize that cowboys who blame packers and retailers for their reduced profitability do not understand beef marketing better than those who actually sell beef.

Anyone who has studied the Country of Origin Labeling law we currently have realizes how flawed that law is by exempting 75% of the imports into this country while prohibiting the means to enforce it ("M"ID prohibited from "M"COOL). The country of origin labeling law we have now will be all cost and no benefit. There is nothing to gain by segregating 5% of our total U.S. beef consumption as a rare novelty item. New Zealand lamb sales proved that.

Chris: "Why has the United States guaranteed that it won't export Canadian beef to Japan when it has blocked efforts to give American consumers that choice"

Because a generic Country of Origin Label ON ALL BEEF is not the same as source verification ON SOME BEEF. There is many source verified branded beef programs in existance today that could supply Japan with source verified beef. The Country of Origin labeling law that you refer to prohibited mandatory ID, remember? Country of Origin labeling is not the same as source verification.

Chris: "Why are Nebraska's representatives willing to risk the loss of consumer confidence by waiving the rules on BSE established in 1989 by world health officials"

They're not willing to risk the loss of consumer confidence.

Your Nebraksa representatives are obviously versed on the BSE issue enough to realize that SRM removal, increased surveilance in the highest risk categories of cattle, the feed ban, removal of BSE positives from the food chain, and importation of cattle under 30 months of age is adequate protection to assure consumer safety. After all, we are currently importing beef from Canada and Canadian consumers never backed away from consuming Canadian beef.

In contrast, it is R-CALF that is jeoprodizing consumer confidence in the safety of beef by suggesting that the BSE precuationary measures taken by both Canada and the U.S. are inadequate to assure consumer confidence in the safety of our product. The precautionary measures taken by the U.S. are the same as Canada's.

Question for you Chris, why don't you realize that the BSE presidence we establish for 5% of our U.S. beef consumption (Canadian live cattle imports), we will have to live by with 80% of our U.S. beef consumption in the event that another case of BSE is discovered here?? Why would you be willing to risk the integrity of 80% of our U.S. beef consumption to stop the importation of 5% of our U.S. beef consumption (Canadian live cattle)?

Can't you understand the potential consequences of recklessly stating that the BSE precautionary measures that Canada has taken are inadequate when we have taken those same precautionary measures in the U.S.?

Where's the logic Chris?

Chris: "Do they realize that if the border opens under relaxed regulations, the U.S. would have the lowest health and safety standards on imported cattle of any developed nation"?

Chris, the bottom line is that either the BSE firewalls that Canada and the U.S. has in place are adequate for both countries or they are inadequate for neither country. You can't have any credibility by suggesting that the same BSE precautionary measures taken by Canada and the U.S. assures the safety of U.S. beef but does not assure the safety of Canadian beef. Only a hypocrite would do that.

Chris: "Will the U.S become a dumping ground for beef from other BSE-infected countries?"

Not if they have taken the same BSE precautionary measures that we have taken. You seem to forget that we had BSE here Chris.

Thank goodness some elected officials see the bigger picture here.

Hope I have adequately answered your questions.

Scott Huber
Kadoka, SD
Do you want his address so you can be assured that he actually sees your reply? I'd be happy to give it to you.
Why don't you just send it to him if you have his address or let him know that his questions have been answered.


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