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Commissioner Miller Blasts Federal Government for Allowing Imported Meat From Nations (7/21/2015)

AUSTIN - Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is taking a stand against the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for releasing rules that will allow for the importation of foreign fresh beef from areas with a known history of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD). APHIS announced it is lifting a ban on beef imports from Northern Argentina and 14 of Brazil’s 27 states. These regions have struggled with outbreaks of the disease.

“One of my top priorities is protecting the Texas agriculture industry,” Commissioner Miller said. “The gravity of the impact a Foot-and-Mouth disease outbreak could have on our economy is astronomical. This most recent action is just one more example of our federal government placing politics before producers, and I won’t stand for that here in the Lone Star State.”

FMD is a highly contagious disease with the potential of spreading through fresh and frozen meat and meat products. A review of the process by which APHIS deems a country “low risk” for possible introduction of FMD into the U.S. is currently being conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

“Texas leads the country in cattle production, and at no time is it acceptable for the health of our herds to be placed in jeopardy,” Commissioner Miller said. “This is clearly a political move to leave a trade deal legacy for the current administration. I have and will continue to stand against any threat posed to Texas agriculture and the producers who make our state great.”

The U.S. has not suffered from a case of FMD since 1929, in part because of our nation’s bans against animal and meat imports from countries dealing with the disease.