31 January 2006



No Change in U.S.-Canada Trade Foreseen

Agriculture Online News

Canada's Agriculture Minister this week announced the detection of a fourth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) within the country's borders. The finding likely won't affect trade in beef or cattle between the U.S. and Canada.

"I appreciated the opportunity to speak with Canadian Agriculture Minister Andy Mitchell today, who apprised me of the new BSE detection in Canada," U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said in a release today. "I assured him that based on the information he supplied, I anticipate no change in the status of beef or live cattle imports to the U.S. from Canada under our established agreement."

"Our beef trade decisions follow internationally accepted guidelines that are based in science."

(Editor's Note: Perhaps he ment to say science-fiction?)

Johanns said USDA will continue to evaluate the situation as the investigation continues. He has directed USDA to work with Canada and its investigative team. Minister Mitchell has reportedly pledged his full cooperation.

"We will continue to adhere to international guidelines in our relationships with all trading partners, and my hope continues to be that we achieve a system of science-based global beef trade," Johanns said.

Meanwhile, the National Farmers Union President, Dave Frederickson, says he is "deeply concerned" by the situation.

"U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns should suspend all imports of Canadian cattle immediately, until we can be assured that Canada has its problem under control, and it can meet U.S. meat inspection standards," he said.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) says the confirmed case of BSE affects an approximately six-year-old crossbred dairy brood cow born and raised in Alberta.

They say no part of the animal entered the human food or animal feed systems.

The source of infectivity, they say, is probably contaminated feed.

"Although the first evidence of BSE in the Canadian herd was in May 2003 and this recent animal would have become infected with the disease prior to that time, this case does support the need for Canada to continue to move towards enhancing the current feed ban," CFIA said.

The CFIA, working with the producer and the Province of Alberta, has launched a comprehensive investigation into the feeding regime and storage practices employed on the farm, as well as the production and source of feeds delivered to the farm.

Consistent with international standards, the CFIA says it will identify cattle born on the farm within 12 months before and after the affected animal, as well as offspring of the affected animal born during the last two years. Any live animals found from these groups will be segregated and tested.

CFIA says this case is "consistent with a low level of disease and does not indicate an increased risk of BSE in Canada."

They also noted in a release to the press today that the finding is not unexpected and was identified through Canada's national surveillance program, which targets cattle at highest risk of being infected with BSE. The program has tested more than 87,000 animals since Canada's first BSE case in 2003.

"If the current feed ban was not doing its job and the disease was amplifying, the number of cases detected through our aggressive surveillance program would be much higher. This program is directed at the highest risk animals and is based on guidelines of the World Organization for Animal Health," the CFIA said in a statement on its web site.

Editors Comments
Well I'm not sure what concerns me most these days with all the news 'you can swallow' coming from the USDA and their "Global Partners". Mabye we'll see some turkeys from, well Turkey, just in time for Thanksgiving this year if MJ has his say in matters.

When the NFUP President and a senior (D) Senator on the Senate Agriculture Committee express sometimes being 'deeply concerned' regarding the handling of Beef and Poultry for our nations food supplies, how should I view this in the 'wake' of a coming tsunami named NAIS on the small farm food supply?

When they say (and I quote) "The source of infectivity, they say, is probably contaminated feed." What THEY are really saying is '....hell boys we don't know!' Now that should scare you. Not to worry, some burro-rat will introduce legislation to propose tracking the national seed stock, because after all we need Security. After all, don't be alarmed because (and I quote) "They say no part of the animal entered the human food or animal feed systems." Don't know about you, but I'll sure sleep better tonight knowing that! (::cough::) Now just incase you thought that Ole Mikey's "flying by the seat of his pants" rest assured (and I quote) "Our beef trade decisions follow internationally accepted guidelines based in science." I wonder if MJ is a Star Trek fan or that this is the US Food Supply not the UN Food distribution guidelines for the global food supply.

Mabye Mike ought to look at his own quotes and ask what information didn't the AM of Canada supply him? Just a thought.

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At 5:04 PM, Blogger Northern Farmer said...

The USDA is the enemy to every small farmer in this country, period. I figure I'd better comment on this one after being so involved with this BSE situation for the last few years. To make a long story short it's corruption at the highest levels. It makes me sick. And to top it off they don't want anyone to even know what country the meat is from that a person buys. Labeling is the LAW, but sub committees cut off funding for it, attach it to War on Terrorisim funding bills, etc. It's all out corruption, nothing less, that rules DC today. Both parties are just as responsible for it. Oh, by the way, that USDA label on a package of meat means nothing at all. It wasn't inspected, it could be from dozens of different countries, etc.

At 7:27 PM, Blogger Scott Holtzman said...

Sorta like them 'your pre-approved' lettersfrom the debt mongers. Means absolutely nothing! I know bad example, never having had a credit card, but I'm sure they didn't miss you in their mass mailing offers.

Yeah, I know about one and I mean one politician in DC I remotely trust to take a stand and tell it straight. That's a sad commentary in and of itself.

Regarding the BSE issue I know the basic talking points regarding the issue but I got this real bad feeling inside that what we have seen to date is like the tip of the berg that sank the big T. Hope I'm wrong and not dead about this.

Our shift in food consumption began last summer. Though it's a 'catch up' leaner as we go process for us here.

Perhaps your view on the BSE issue would be a good post. (If it's not something you have done already - I'm about 60% done with reading through pervious posts. I still like that corn photo.........

At 10:33 AM, Blogger Walter Jeffries said...

Great Post. Love the toon. Linked to this post with the toon from my http://NoNAIS.org site.


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