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From: TSS ()
Subject: Re: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Oversight of the Importation of Beef Products from Canada AUDIT REPORT Report No. 33601-01-Hy
Date: February 18, 2005 at 2:50 pm PST

In Reply to: Re: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Oversight of the Importation of Beef Products from Canada AUDIT REPORT Report No. 33601-01-Hy posted by TSS on February 18, 2005 at 2:47 pm:

Release No. 0053.05
USDA Press Office (202)720-4623

Transcript of remarks by Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns To the American Farm Bureau Federation National Leadership Conference New Orleans, Louisiana

February 11, 2005


"I have only been at the USDA I think it's three weeks today as a matter of fact. It was three weeks ago almost at this hour that I was sworn in. And we've had to tackle some really big issues, and I'm going to talk to you a little bit about those issues.

" BSE. Has anyone heard of BSE?


"I figured you'd heard of BSE. Well, last week I testified before the Senate Ag Committee on BSE. Yesterday I met informally with the House Ag Committee. And we talked a lot about that issue, not only with the Senate hearing but also yesterday when I met with the House members.

"We talked a lot about BSE and how it relates to trade. Protecting human and animal health is our top priority and when we can resume trade legally and in a mutually beneficial way. I met two days ago as was reported with my counterpart from Canada, a gentleman by the name of Minister Mitchell, and we discussed a number of items.

"Ladies and gentlemen, today Canada is our largest trading partner. Much of what you do finds a market in Canada. They became our largest trading partner. I'm not talking about a few million dollars; that would define the trading relationship with some countries around the world. I'm talking about billions of dollars worth of trade moving back and forth. I emphasize moving back and forth between borders.

"Now these days we have a team up in Canada-- actually called for by Secretary Veneman, but they started work on the first Monday that I was in office. And they're evaluating some issues relating to their system and the implementation of their feed ban in Canada because we've learned with BSE that ruminant-to-ruminant feeding is really a key issue in terms of stopping the spread of BSE.

"We listened to a lot of people over the last three weeks, had a lot of meetings on this issue, studied the science, studied the background. And as you know, I announced on Wednesday that we will delay the effective day to resume imports of beef from cattle 30 months and older in that March 7th rule.

"I believed it was the prudent thing to do given that our investigation in Canada is not yet complete and given the fact that on animals, live animals over 30 months, animals on the hoof, we hadn't done the risk assessment yet.

"So it wasn't consistent in my judgment to allow the meat in while we were still doing work on the live animal over 30 months. So I decided that the best way to deal with this was to hold that part of the rule up.

"At the same time, my instructions from the Senate Ag Committee and the House Ag Committee and for that matter the White House was very clear, do everything you can to resume beef trade with Japan and other countries.

"A lot has been done since we found that first case of BSE over a year ago, December 23rd of 2003. And not all of it gets the headlines. But the reality is, the majority of beef trade has been restored with the rest of the world. The majority of beef trade has been restored.

"Now we still have in the vicinity of 40 percent that has not yet been restored, but two countries account for most of that, the vast, vast majority of what's left. And those two countries are Japan and Korea.

"I've been to both countries as a matter of fact, and again if you want to talk about a trading relationship this is one you don't define by referring to millions of dollars. It is billions of dollars of products that you raise that we trade with these countries. So that trading relationship is very important.

"I was pleased to learn this week that the Japanese have accepted our grading system for determining the age of cattle. That was an important step forward in terms of the resumption of beef trade with the Japanese.

"This followed my meeting with the Japanese Ambassador Kato on January 27th, so I appreciated the fact that they continued to move forward. But it was only the latest in a series of policy meetings. The work in terms of Japanese trade did not begin because I walked into the USDA. In fact it was last fall that the President and the Prime Minister spoke of this issue. And the President emphasized how important this was to get trade back to where it was before.

"In all of this, science must be our guide in resuming normal trade relationships worldwide. Science must provide the foundation for our policies and for our regulations. Trade should not cut off our nose to spite our face. We must deal with our trading partners as we want them to treat us.

"Our actions now will set precedents for years to come. This is a very important time in terms of trade. We cannot jeopardize trade for short-term gains.

Now if I might go to another topic that of course has gotten just as much attention as BSE, and that's the Budget issues for Fiscal Year 2006.............


"So on behalf of your President and on behalf of your Secretary of Agriculture I say thank you for all you do. And from a higher power let me conclude my comments and just say, God bless each and every one of you. Thank you very much.


PRES. STALLMAN (AFBF): "Mr. Secretary has graciously agreed to take a few questions. We don't have a lot of time before lunch, and I know we don't want to miss that, and I know the Secretary is on a tight schedule. But we are going to do some. You started out with BSE, Mr. Secretary. And while we understand the necessity of making these decisions on science, there is a concern about the marketing impacts as the border opens. This question asks: 'Will the USDA work on some sort of quarterly opening of the Canadian border to prevent a negative impact on producers whose livestock have to be marketed in early March?'"

SEC. JOHANNS: "Let me if I might just kind of explain what I anticipate happening just because of the practical reality of how this is going to work. Keep in mind now that the decision made this week basically says that beef from animals over 30 months and of course live animals are not a part of this rule. So what we're talking about is 30 months and under. And I emphasize over and over again that science is very clear-- remove the SRMs, the specified risk materials, and you've really taken the risk out.

"And the other thing that is very, very clear about this is that this rule requires that if an animal is shipped here under 30 months and fed out it has to be processed before that 30-month period of time runs.

"In terms of progress, I talked to the minister from Canada, the ag minister, about what he anticipates. We've looked at it. First thing I would offer is that cattlemen recently were up there. I spoke at their convention in San Antonio, and they said, 'You know, we think USDA's high on the numbers.'

"We've flown over the lots, we've looked at what they've got up there, and so we're looking at their information.

"There will be -- Canada publishes information I think on February 15th. So we'll get a little better idea in terms, just because the information is more recent. But we've looked at the cattlemen's numbers. Now some have this impression or want to create this impression that literally they are lined up at the border and when the clock ticks over on March 7th there's some kind of stampede that's going to go on. That I don't see.

"They are not lined on the border, and there isn't going to be a stampede. Literally I believe you're going to have a situation where over a period of time you're going to get back to a normal level in terms of animals over 30 months, but just because of trucking issues and all of that I just don't see the claimed stampede that some want you to believe.

"Now let me use this question if I might to offer another thought or two because this is really, really an important issue. Some have written to me, some have publicly said, well let's just delay this. Some are claiming we should just delay it indefinitely; some have asked for a year; some have asked for six months.

"The resiliency of the farmer and rancher is probably the most remarkable thing I've ever witnessed. In our state we've been through drought for the last four or five years. I walked through fields where there's nothing but stubble and grasshoppers. And yet those farmers and ranchers found a way to survive and produce. It's the most resilient thing I've ever seen. They fight for survival because that's part of them.

"Same thing's happening in Canada. That cattle industry is not going to give up in Canada. No one up there is raising the white flag. So what does that mean? What does that mean for those who raise corn that's fed to cattle? What does that mean for the cattle feeder?

"Well, here's what it means. Their industry is restructuring. They're building processing on that side of the line. Does anyone believe for a moment that they're just going to let this pass? No. They're going to fight for survival.

"Now, the cattlemen looked at that issue and they said, you know we see additional processing capacity and we think it's going to continue. Now you might argue is it 10 percent, is it 15 percent, is it 20 percent? But it's going to continue.

"Now they have all of the things that we have to raise cattle and to feed them out and then to process them eventually. So all of a sudden if we just wait, bide our time, what have I done for you? Well, maybe that's kind of a short-term popular thing, but the long-term consequences are very significant for those who are raising the feed and those who are feeding the animals.

"And believe me, it won't slow down just because we want to delay the rule.

"I feel very, very strongly that the first and paramount concern has to be human safety and animal safety. And we are paying attention to that every single minute as we're working on this. But we can't lose sight of the fact that the consequences of inaction are very, very real. They are very real because this industry would do exactly what our industry is doing in this country-- they will figure out a way to survive and work another day.!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB/.cmd/ad/.ar/sa.retrievecontent/.c/6_2_1UH/.ce/7_2_5JM/.p/5_2_4TQ/.d/7/_th/J_2_9D/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?PC_7_2_5JM_contentid=2005%2F02%2F0053.xml&PC_7_2_5JM_navtype=RT&PC_7_2_5JM_parentnav=TRANSCRIPTS_SPEECHES&PC_7_2_5JM_navid=NEWS_RELEASE#7_2_5JM

Greetings list members,

"I feel very, very strongly that the first and paramount concern has to be human safety and animal safety.

SEEMS the new Agr. Comm. talks the talk, but does not walk the walk.
HE keeps mentioning his ''paramount concern has to be human safety and animal safety'',
BUT, then he fails to speak of them, especially the most important issues, blood, SRMs
(new strains of TSEs BASE and others, titre of infectivity of there tissues, new studies showing
muscle tissue infectivity in some of these atypical TSEs in the bovine and the present SRM ban),
atypical TSE VERMONT SHEEP VS atypical BSE Belgium cow and why those mouse bio
assays were put off 2 years, why those TEXAS MAD COWS were covered-up i.e. the
stumbling and staggering one they refused to test and sent to render head and all and the
positive, positive, inconclusive, negatives, why they decided not to use WB on anymore,
continued feed ban violations, cwd continuing to spread, scrapie continuing to spread?

I think what GW had in mind when he replaced Veneman with Johann is just going to be more
of the same 'protect the industry at all cost, including human health' mentality, just better cover-up.
there will be no more TEXAS MAD COW BLUNDERS documented and or mishaps like
when old dave capped that Washington mad cow in the wrong place. they just thought they
had it made, but to there surprise, a sub-clinical BSE that they did not count on. IN essense,
in my honest opinion, the 230,000+ BSE test they have done to date, under the june enhanced
BSE cover-up surveillance program, was a hoax, nothing more. the only thing it told us was just
how far this administration will go to protect the ones that put them in office...TSS

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