USDA may change BSE-related import rules
Posted Dec. 4, 2013
Federal agriculture authorities plan to use international findings on bovine spongiform encephalopathy to decide which countries can send cattle and beef to the U.S.
The Department of Agriculture’s restrictions on such trade will be based on assessments of countries’ BSE-related risk by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). U.S. reliance on that list is primarily expected to affect beef and other cattle products, potentially allowing more such products to enter the country, according to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
OIE officials announced May 29 that the organization’s delegates had determined the U.S. had negligible risk of BSE infection, an improvement over the previous determination that the U.S. had “controlled risk.” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack responded at the time with a statement that the USDA would “press trading partners to base their decisions on science, consistent with international standards.”