Blog for Rural America

The Center for Rural Affairs, a private, non-profit organization, is working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Permission to reprint items from this web log is hereby granted, on the condition that clear credit is given to the original source of the material. If the blog provides information for a story, please let us know by sending an email to johnc@cfra.org.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Center for Rural Affairs supports House Joint Resolution 23

"Don't re-open the
Canadian border to live cattle trade."


The Center for Rural Affairs has signed on in support of the House Joint Resolution 23 asking members of the US House of Representatives to deny the USDA's plan to permit commodity imports from countries, including Canada, that have documented cases of BSE.

If you would like to include your organization as a co-signer, please contact mailto:kcondon@nfudc.org, 202-314-3106.

The deadline is Close Of Business (Eastern Time), Friday, March 11, 2005.



United States House of Representative
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative:

We write today representing millions of Americans that do not support the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) plan to establish “minimal-risk regions” and permit the importation of commodities from countries with documented cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE); including resuming live cattle trade with Canada. We ask for your support and cosponsorship of House Joint Resolution 23, introduced by Representatives Herseth (D-SD) and Cubin (R-WY) to reject USDA’s current plan. It is vital this resolution be passed before USDA’s rule is implemented and we urge you to place consideration of the resolution at the top of the House of Representatives’ priority list.

Now is not the time to rush in reopening the border with Canada, particularly given their most recent announcements of BSE-positive cattle, discovered after the publication of USDA’s plan.

United States must be absolutely sure that the proper steps are being taken to protect the public before the border to Canada is open to cattle and beef products. America produces the safest and most abundant food supply that our consumers have come to depend on. It is unwise to potentially jeopardize the consumer trust instilled in our food supply to prematurely opening our markets to BSE-positive countries.

The United States Senate passed a similar resolution rejecting USDA’s plans by a vote of 52-46. During debate in the Senate, many members remarked on the lack of compliance Canada has demonstrated regarding its ruminant feeding ban; the fact our largest beef export markets remain closed to U.S. beef; and finally, mandatory country-of-origin labeling is not in place. We fully concur with these concerns and strongly believe these issues need to be resolved prior to opening the border to Canada.

On behalf of American consumers and agricultural producers, we again urge you to support and cosponsor H.J. Resolution 23. Please contact Representative Herseth’s office at 225-2801 (Ryan Stroschein) or Representative Cubin’s office at 225-2311 (Allison McGuire) to cosponsor H.J. Resolution 23.

Sincerely,
Americans for Country of Origin Labeling Coalition Members

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