NCBA Wants U.S. Gov't to Submit Info for Updated OIE Review of BSE Status

May 28, 2009 07:00 PM
 

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Goal is to go from 'controlled risk' to 'negligible risk'


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) is encouraging the U,S. government to submit "appropriate information” to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to conduct a review of its current BSE risk status for the United States.

NCBA said the U.S. has demonstrated it should be classified as a "negligible risk” country versus the current status of "controlled risk.”

Background: Under OIE regulations, there are three BSE risk categories -- negligible, controlled and undetermined risk. Controlled risk status is granted to countries where adequate measures are taken, including the removal of certain risk materials such as brains, eyes and spinal cords, even though some cases of BSE are still found. More than 30 countries, including the U.S., Britain and France, are in the controlled risk category while 10 countries are classified as negligible risk.

Earlier this week the OIE voted to grant BSE "controlled risk" status to Japan. NCBA said it hopes this will have "a positive effect on our ongoing efforts to increase market access for U.S. beef in Japan.”

NCBA said Japan's restriction on beef products from cattle over 21 months is limiting the U.S. to about 25 percent of the potential market there,"which translates to more than $1 billion in untapped beef export revenues each year.”


Comments: The NCBA push is both warranted and overdue based on events (or in this case, the lack of them) to date. Also, take note of NCBA's assessment of the potential beef trade revenue the U.S. beef industry continues to lose as a result of the multi-year inability to come to grips with this issue: more than $1 billion in untapped beef export revenues each year. In a town that has gone from billions to trillions that may not sound like much, but just ask U.S. ranchers and U.S. beef exporters if that isn't real money.


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


 

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