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AMI statement: On the high-level talks among North American agriculture officials aimed at harmonizing animal health and trade

Saturday, January 17, 2004

We are encouraged by the progress of discussions held yesterday with USDA Secretary Ann M. Veneman, Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Bob Speller and Mexican Secretary of Agriculture Javier Usabiaga. We strongly support the expressed goal of these top agricultural officials who met in Washington, D.C., to work toward harmonizing the regulatory structures governing meat and animal health standards and normalizing trade among the countries of North America.

We urge the leadership of all three nations to continue the progress already made toward a rapid resolution of issues affecting trade in livestock and beef products.

Although we recognize that significant agreement still needs to be accomplished on several key issues related to the BSE regulatory structure, we are confident that the strong base of scientific support for the safety of beef products produced in all three countries will serve as a guidepost for a speedy and fruitful conclusion of the discussions among our respective governments.

For more information contact:
Dan Murphy
Vice President, Public Affairs
Ayoka Blandford
Manager, Public Affairs

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