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From: TSS (
Subject: Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson ND and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) AGAIN URGES USDA TO KEEP CANADIAN BORDER CLOSED
Date: January 12, 2005 at 12:45 pm PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson ND AGAIN URGES USDA TO KEEP CANADIAN BORDER CLOSED
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 12:32:02 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################




BISMARCK  In response to the announcement of another case of bovine
spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Alberta, Agriculture Commissioner
Roger Johnson has appealed to federal authorities to keep the U.S.
border closed to Canadian beef imports.

This news, coupled with reports of frequent violations of the feed ban
in Canada, should move the U.S. Department of Agriculture to withdraw or
at least suspend its rule allowing a resumption of Canadian beef imports
into this country, Johnson said. The Canadians need to trace and test
all cattle that may have come in contact with contaminated feed.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced earlier Tuesday, that a
cow, born in March of 1998 in Alberta, had tested positive for BSE. The
Canadians said the animal may have contracted the disease by consuming
contaminated feed that had been produced before the 1997 ban on feed
containing ruminant tissue. BSE is thought to be spread principally
through cattle feed containing protein from infected cattle.

Reopening the border now will make it much more difficult to regain the
beef exports markets that we lost last year, when a single Canadian-born
cow, infected with BSE, was found in Washington State, Johnson said.
We cannot expect our trading partners to start buying our beef again if
we allow importation of live cattle and beef from cattle of any age
cattle from a country with a proven history of BSE.

Johnson said in light of the two recent cases in Canada and Canadian
television reports of violations of the feed ban, all feed cohorts of
the confirmed cases should be traced back, slaughtered and tested.

All of the previous objections to reopening the border still hold true,
and now we are told that that this latest confirmed case involves an
animal born after the 1997 feed ban went into effect Johnson said
Tuesday. If that is indeed the case, then common sense dictates that
the border remain closed until a clearer picture emerges of whats going
on up there and at what point in time the feed ban truly became
effective in Canada.

Johnson said USDAs announcement that a technical team is being sent to
Canada to evaluate the situation is not enough to reassure U.S.
producers, consumers and foreign buyers.


MEDIA: For more information, please call Roger Johnson at (701) 328-4754.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Matt Hartwig

January 11, 2005 202-224-3254

Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)

on the New Case of BSE in Canada

WASHINGTON, D.C. ­ Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), ranking Democrat on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Commitee, today expressed disappointment in USDA¹s failure to commit to reevaluating it¹s plans to open the Canadian border to a broader range of live cattle and beef products in light of another BSE-positive cow in Canada. Harkin has been a leading watchdog of USDA¹s anti-BSE efforts and has urged USDA to ensure that all necessary safeguards are in place, both in United States and Canada, before expanding trade in beef and live cattle from Canada.

³I am disappointed that USDA has not stepped up to the plate and committed to reevaluating its plan to reopen the border to Canadian beef and cattle. Critical questions exist about the efficacy of both the Canadian anti-BSE effort and our own anti-BSE policies. Addressing these concerns has to be a top priority of USDA before more broadly opening the border to Canadian beef and cattle.

³I am pleased that Chairman Chambliss has committed to holding a hearing in the Senate Agriculture Committee. I look forward to working with him, as well as the new secretary of agriculture, to protect American consumers, our food supply, and our cattle industry.²

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