R-CALF Questions USDA's Proposal to Allow Paraguay Beef Imports
“A country the United States does not consider for your foot and mouth disease or FMD, which is among the most contagious diseases affecting cattle, hogs, and sheep.”
He says that our R-CALF USA has submitted comments regarding the proposal.
“And we call the action reckless and irresponsible because it will knowingly expose the largest segment of American agriculture the US cattle industry to an unnecessary and avoidable risk of introducing Foot and Mouth Disease into the US.”
In addition, Americans are concerned about Paraguay's environmental laws being ignored with high rates of deforestation, which is occurring because of demand for Paraguan and beef products. According to Bullard, he speaks to the issue of climate change and economic loss for domestic cattle producers.
“Well, I guess it just doesn't apply to deforestation in Paraguay. And I almost forgot the USDA predicts that in return for accepting an unnecessary and avoidable disease risk and for contributing to the deforestation in South America, US cattle farmers and ranchers will be rewarded with annual losses of between 12 and $23 million.”
Bullard explains that it is his understanding that the reason for the USDA proposal is because Paraguay has requested that the US import the country's beef and the US being a part of the World Trade Organization felt compelled to issue this proposal based on WTO scientific guidelines.