(March 3, 2023) – The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) stands with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, RCALF-USA, Senators Jon Tester (D-MT), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), and Mike Rounds (R-SD) in calling for the immediate suspension of Brazilian beef imports.
According to DTN’s Progressive Farmer, more than a month passed before Brazilian authorities reported a case of mad cow disease, more properly known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
DTN reported earlier that BSE was confirmed in the state of Para. The Ministry of Agriculture identified the infected animal as a 9-year-old male in a 160-head herd. Samples from the sick animal were sent to a World Health Organization for Animal Health Lab in Canada.
USCA President Justin Tupper issued the following statement:
“We acknowledge that Atypical BSE arises spontaneously in certain cattle, especially amongst individuals animals that are 8 years of age or older.
“However, USCA still supports the full and immediate suspension of Brazilian beef imports, not just because of this incident, but because there are enough other reasons to do so: the use of forced labor in the Brazilian beef supply chain, the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest to raise beef cattle, concerns with Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD), and past events where elevated levels of tainted beef were being sent to our border.
“This atypical BSE case follows the finding of the disease in several animal remains in 2021, which the country had obviously failed to report in a timely manner. Brazil has long been a bad actor in the global marketplace, and as such, USCA calls on Secretary Vilsack to promptly protect the health of the domestic herd and immediately halt the importation of beef from Brazil.”
BACKGROUND: In 2018, USCA opposed the Trump Administration’s lifting of the ban on the importation of Brazilian beef. In 2019, USCA requested a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States on all U.S. acquisitions by Brazilian meatpacking giant, JBS, its holding company J & F Investments, and any entity controlled or owned by the Batista brothers. And in 2021, USCA sent a letter urging USDA to strongly consider the concerns outlined HERE to protect the health of the U.S. cattle herd and ensure America’s favorite protein remains in plentiful supply.
BILL ALERT: S.480 – A bill to require the establishment of a working group to evaluate the threat to food safety and animal health posed by beef imported from Brazil. The bill would suspend Brazilian beef imports to the United States until experts can conduct a systemic review of the commodity’s impacts on food safety and animal health.
Introduced: February 16, 2023
Sponsored By: Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), and Mike Rounds (R-SD).