The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says it strongly opposes the USDA’s decision to allow beef imports from Paraguay.
Kent Bacus, executive director of government affairs, says NCBA has repeatedly raised concerns over the country’s history of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). “We laid out some really, really strong claims backed by science, backed by USDA’s own studies, to call into question the safety of Paraguay’s imports,” he says.
He says USDA based its ruling on outdated in-country visits. “USDA also didn’t take into consideration the fact that roughly 85% of the foot and mouth disease mitigation measures that Paraguay is supposed to use are funded from the private sector,” he says. “Those are funded from cattle sales and a lot of other things outside of the government.” The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service says it conducted a risk analysis and decided fresh beef can be imported safely from Paraguay under certain conditions.