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American Farm Bureau Endorses Return to "Normalized" Trade with Canada

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Delegates at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) annual meeting called on the U.S. government to use "sound science as a basis for reopening markets to ensure continued consumer confidence," according to a recent news release by the Federation. The affirmation of science-based trade with global partners came on the heels of the discovery of the 3rd case of BSE in Canada, and the recent USDA decision to reopen most beef trade with our northern neighbor.

“Our fundamental position is that border closings and openings need to be based on sound science, and the science needs to be implemented properly,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “We want to ensure that things are being done right in terms of animal health and food safety. And we will work with USDA to ensure that a return to normalized trade with Canada will proceed in an orderly manner.”

Delegates also voted to support voluntary country-of-origin labeling for meat products, but mandatory country-of-origin labeling for other farm and food products. “The rationale is that while we are making progress to implement a comprehensive animal identification system at the national level, the ability to carry out a voluntary labeling program will naturally follow from that process,” said Stallman.
Delegates also called for “immediate normalization” of trade with and travel to Cuba.

The American Meat Institute (AMI) supports the full restoration of beef and cattle trade with Canada, and has filed a legal challenge to the continued ban on Canadian cattle. “The U.S. should move forward with its decision to import live Canadian cattle and meat products because the firewalls to ensure BSE prevention and food safety are intact. BSE infected cattle have been detected in Canada, and might be detected in the U.S., because our BSE prevention programs work,” said AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle in a recent media statement.

For a copy of the full press release, click here: http://www.fb.org/news/nr/nr2005/nr0112.html

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