The Missouri Cattlemen’s Association (MCA) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) submitted comments April 22 in response to a proposed rule that would allow the importation of fresh and frozen beef into the United States from certain regions in Brazil.
The rule was proposed in December by the USDA.
MCA President Jim McCann said the cattle industry has a host of issues with the proposed rule.
“Our biggest concern is regarding Brazil’s problem with Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). While we value free and open trade, no amount of trade is ever worth putting our domestic herd at risk,” McCann said in a news release.
NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall said NCBA hired experts at the University of Minnesota to conduct a risk assessment, which was used by NCBA and its state affiliates when submitting comments.
“Our biggest concern is we do not want the reintroduction of Foot and Mouth Disease,” said Woodall. “We expect most, if not all, of our international markets to dry out immediately. That would cost our industry about $5 billion on the bottom-end and could cost even more.”
Woodall said studies have concluded the potential economic impact to the U.S. beef industry could be as much as $50 billion.
McCann said MCA would like to see the rule withdrawn.