June 26, 2008
Contact: Linda Wuebben, 402-357-3778
ICON Calls for Beef Import Safety Measures and Implementation of
A recent announcement at the end of June by the Canadian Food Inspection
Agency (CFIA) is spreading alarm once again in the U.S. Cattle Industry.
Yet another case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) has been
detected in Canadian beef. This is the 14th case of BSE detected in
native-born Canadian cattle. Canada imposed feed bans in l997 which
prohibit the grinding and feeding of other ruminants to cattle, but
over one-half of the Canadian cattle infected with BSE were born after
the feed ban was put in place.
That worries the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON), said board
of director member Louis Day. ICON is also concerned with the protection
of the United States cattleman, the US consumer, and residents of any
foreign country purchasing beef produced in the United States.
In November, 2007, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
implemented regulations which permit the importation of live cattle
from Canada if they were born after March 1, 1999. Canadas latest
BSE case was in a five-year-old Holstein cow from British Columbia,
Canada born in 2003. As such, her owners could have exported her to
the United States as a live animal under the OTM (Over thirty months)
Rule according to a news report from R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America.
ICON is concerned with the new BSE case and questions the security
of Canadas food inspection agency. While we sympathize with
Canadas producers, we do not want them to export their problems
to the United States. said Day. . It is obvious that the
l997 feed ban was not fully implemented until at least 2003 and that
puts thousands of Canadian animals in jeopardy. For ICON, this is unacceptable,
said Day. It not only would affect the US consumers and the exported
US beef but also threatens the American beef producer.
Day can understand the lack of confidence which other countries have
in American beef when truckload after truckload of Canadian
cattle are shipped into the United States to regional packing plants
where the product is mixed in with disease-free American beef.
Day and ICON officials encourage Congress to take measures offering
the American consumer protection against the introduction of BSE into
the US cattle and beef market. Imported cattle from Canada need to be
tested before entering the U.S. food supply either by federal
officials at entry levels on the border or by all packing companies
ICON also believes the quick implementation of Mandatory-Country of
Origin Labeling (M-Cool) will give consumers the opportunity to make
an educated choice in the marketplace. M-Cools implementation
will protect beef producers in the United States from contaminated blended
product which is currently untraceable, says Day.
INDEPENDENT CATTLEMEN OF NEBRASKA
"Solid as a windmill. Always working for the
For more information on ICON or R-CALF USA , visit or www.independentcattlemen.com
or call (308) 282-2826.