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From: TSS ()
Subject: Coalition of beef, consumer groups asks court to reject USDA appeal
Date: June 3, 2005 at 7:21 am PST

Coalition of beef, consumer groups asks court to reject USDA appeal

by Pete Hisey on 6/3/2005 for

A group of 67 national, state and local organizations has filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, asking that it keep the Canadian border closed to live cattle until USDA comes up with a more satisfactory Rule opening the border.

David Domina, lead attorney for the coalition, which was organized by Cattlemen's Competitive Market Project, an offshoot of the Organization for Competitive Markets, said during a press conference Thursday that "USDA's rule fails USDA's own eight-step criteria for public safety regulations." Specifically, he said that the Rule ignored a requirement to follow the best science in formulating the rule, and that weaknesses in both the U.S. and Canadian feed bans, inadequate cattle inspection and testing procedures, and inadequate supervision of the removal of specified risk materials (SRMs) make it "a certainty that bovine spongiform encephalopathy will be vectored in to the U.S. herd within a year."

Chris Waldrop, a spokesman for the Consumer Federation of America, added that procedures under the Rule don't even address issues such as sterilizing blades and knives after removing SRMs and hides, and that it is silent about suspected transmission mechanisms such as bovine blood being fed to calves and being included, along with plate waste and poultry litter, in feed for poultry and swine, which could then be accidentally fed to cattle. SRM removal is not even considered a HAACP element, he added.

In addition to CCMP and CFA, organizations joining the coalition include National Farmers Union, Public Citizen, the Center for Food Safety, the National Farmers Organization, Just Food, and dozens of state and local farm and cattle grower organizations.


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