Mike Pearson gives listeners an update on the reversal of a rule that would have allowed beef into the USA from Paraguay.

April 5, 2024

Mike Pearson tells us how American cattlemen cheered when legislation involving the import of cattle from Paraguay was rolled back.

Back in November 2023, the USDA made a major shift in policy allowing the import of cattle from Paraguay.

In 1997, the import of beef from Paraguay was banned due to an outbreak of Food and Mouth Disease. It's a catastrophic disease that impacts hogs, cattle and sheep.

Cattle producers pushed back against the recent USDA change in rules and all three national cattle organizations called for congressional action.

Montana Democratic Senator John Tester and South Dakota Republican Senator Mike Rounds introduced legislation that basically vetoes certain agency's rule making. In this case, it stops the USDA from enacting the rule to let beef from Paraguay into the USA. Congress voted 70-25.

Tester says he has concerns that Paraguay does not have the same safety guidelines the USA has and the beef should not be allowed in the USA.

Rounds says he agrees. He believes consumers should feel they can feed their family beef and not worry about health standards.

One of the concerns has been about Foot and Mouth Disease. The USA has been free from the disease since the 1920's. However, Paraguay had an outbreak of 2012.

Plus, no USA official has been on the ground in the country of Paraguay to report on health standards since 2014.

It's been 10 days since the Senate voted but the U.S. House of Representatives has yet to pass similar legislation. Legislation was introduced in February but it hasn't come up for a vote yet.

Farm Progress America is a daily look at key issues in agriculture. It is produced and presented by Mike Pearson, farm broadcaster and host of This Week in Agribusiness.

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