Ag officials in several of America’s top beef-producing states say federal officials didn’t properly assess the risk of disease when deciding to allow beef imports from Paraguay to resume. USDA recently ended a 25-year prohibition on those imports.
The prohibition was the result of Paraguay’s difficulty in ridding itself of foot and mouth disease. A severe outbreak in the U.S. has the potential to cost more than $200 billion. Beef industry groups and some lawmakers have opposed the move, saying the risk analysis was based on outdated information. Mike Naig, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, and officials from seven other states wrote a letter to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack to consider pausing the decision until a more reliable risk assessment can be completed based on modern visits to Paraguay.
Ag officials from Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming all signed the letter to Vilsack.