Groups Want FMD Stopped From Spreading

Congress asked to pass legislation strengthening protections against disease introduction.

Published on: May 4, 2010

Twenty-five farm, ranch, manufacturing, labor, and consumer groups have asked 11 members of Congress to introduce and pass new legislation that would strengthen the United States' protections against the introduction of foot-and-mouth disease. The 11 Congressional members included House and Senate members who previously sponsored the Foot and Mouth Disease Prevention Act of 2009, a bill that would have prohibited the Agriculture Secretary from allowing imports of fresh or chilled beef or pork from Argentina unless the Secretary first certified to Congress that every region within Argentina was free of FMD without vaccination. 

In the signed letter they the organizations stated - we request that you introduce new legislation that would expand the list of countries to include Brazil and any other country that has not been certified as a country in which every region within it is free of FMD – without vaccination. The letter continues - we believe such legislative action is necessary to prevent USDA from creating a dangerous precedent that would unnecessarily expose the U.S. to a heightened risk for disease introduction.

The groups want to see USDA pre-empted from implementing its April 16 proposed rule that would lift FMD restrictions for the Brazilian State of Santa Catarina and allow the importation of fresh and chilled beef and pork from that state, even while USDA considers all of Brazil to be a country affected with FMD.