As a part of the cotton agreement, announced earlier this week by U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, it was announced that the United States has agreed to publish a proposed rule to recognize the State of Santa Catarina, in Brazil, as free of foot-and-mouth disease, rinderpest, classical swine fever, African swine fever, and swine vesicular disease.
This agreement, based on World Organization for Animal Health Guidelines, is pending the competition of a risk evaluation that is currently underway and the identification of appropriate risk mitigation measures to determine whether fresh beef can be imported from Brazil while preventing the introduction of foot-and-mouth disease in the United States.
R-CALF USA is asking consumer organizations, farm and cattle organizations and other groups to help it put an immediate stop to the agreement. In a prepared letter, R-CALF USA states that this action signifies that the Administration is following the footsteps of the previous Administration that had continually allowed trade-related objectives to decisively trump food safety and animal health safety. R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard says that their request is that USDA immediately abandon its proposal to relax FMD import restrictions regarding Brazil.