(PatriotNewsDaily.com) -Senators Jon Tester, a Democrat from Montana, and Mike Rounds, a Republican from South Dakota, are collaborating to introduce a bill that aims to prevent the Biden administration from permitting beef imports from Paraguay. They are concerned that these imports might bring foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), which could pose a risk to the U.S. food supply.
Tester and Rounds announced their plan to introduce a Congressional Review Act resolution to counteract the USDA’s decision to end a longstanding ban on Paraguayan beef imports. This decision, which is expected to be implemented soon, has faced opposition from both senators and U.S. livestock industry groups. These groups highlight Paraguay’s history with cattle diseases.
Tester criticized the decision, emphasizing the risks it poses to both Montana consumers and producers. He expressed doubts about Paraguay’s animal health standards and is prepared to challenge this matter in the Senate. He accused Washington bureaucrats of compromising the U.S. food supply and disadvantaging American ranchers and consumers.
Rounds also voiced his concerns, stating that American families should be able to trust the quality and safety of the beef they consume.
The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has set conditions for Paraguayan beef imports to ensure they are free from livestock diseases. However, the U.S. cattle industry remains worried due to Paraguay’s struggles with FMD, a disease that could severely impact the U.S. economy if it were to spread among American livestock.
In a recent meeting, Paraguayan officials expressed their eagerness to resume beef exports to the U.S. The Embassy of Paraguay in the United States also advocated for the importation of Paraguayan beef, promising to comply with all U.S. food safety regulations.
Despite these assurances, several U.S. cattle associations and the American Farm Bureau Federation have expressed significant concerns. They fear that allowing Paraguayan beef imports could lead to an FMD outbreak in the U.S., which has been free of the disease since 1929. This could result in considerable economic damage. The USDA’s decision, based on an assessment using data from over nine years ago, is seen as flawed by industry experts, who worry about the reliability of Paraguay’s inspection system and the country’s recent economic downturn.
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