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Johanns' Statement Confirms the Safety of Canadian Beef and Cattle, Says AMI

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

(This statement should be attributed to J. Patrick Boyle, President and CEO, American Meat Institute, Washington, D.C.)

Today’s announcement by Secretary of Agriculture Johanns confirms what the American Meat Institute has maintained for months – that it is safe to import both beef and cattle 30 months of age and older. As Secretary Johanns said in his statement: “Some have suggested that this part of the rule does not reflect the evidence that beef from animals 30 months and over processed in Canada has the same risk profile as beef from Canadian animals 30 months and over processed in the United States.” APHIS has previously concluded that meat from all Canadian animals is safe.

Significantly, the Secretary’s statement does not call into question the safety of meat from older animals, but rather confirms that there is scientific evidence that older cattle and the meat from those cattle share the same risk profile. For these reasons, the only logical and scientifically defensible course of action is to expedite rulemaking to allow the importation of cattle 30 months and older, as well as meat from those cattle, and we will be asking the federal district court to order USDA to do so.


For more information contact:
David Ray
Vice President, Public Affairs
Ayoka Blandford
Manager, Public Affairs

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