WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that the agency will publish in the Federal Register a comprehensive rule for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Associate Director of Legislative Affairs Kent Bacus issued the following statement regarding the USDA announcement.
“NCBA has been pushing for this rule since the first case of BSE was detected in the United Stated in December 2003. This has been a long time coming and we certainly welcome USDA’s announcement. Quite simply, this proposed rule will show the United States is willing to talk the talk and walk the walk with regard to following international standards developed by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
“Non-tariff trade barriers hinder our ability to expand U.S. beef exports with many of our global trading partners. Cattlemen need our trade negotiators to eliminate these barriers by requiring our global trading partners to make science-based decisions regarding U.S. beef. Along those lines, it is also important for the U.S. government to take all necessary steps to properly address risk related to BSE by adopting this proposed comprehensive rule.
“It is very difficult for the United States to demand our trading partners follow OIE standards when we are not here at home. The comprehensive BSE rule will change that and will solidify the United States’ commitment to basing our trade relationships on internationally-recognized, science-based standards. We stand ready to work with members of Congress and the administration to finalize this rule.”