To the undoubted great relief of thousands of American cattlemen, the USDA announced today that it made giant strides reopening the Chinese market to US beef. “China is an important market for U.S. beef, accounting for $100 million of our beef exports in 2003,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns. Johanns was hopeful, assuring stockmen that they “will work quickly to finalize the terms of this market opening.”
Strangely, though, Johanns went on to say, “This decision comes after lengthy technical discussions and is based on evidence that our safeguards work and that science supports the safety of U.S. beef.”
If our beef is certified safe by the very Secretary of Agriculture calling for an animal id system and our safeguards to protect our food supply work, why do we need the National Animal Identification System? Why would we need a system that’s supposedly needed to protect an already safe food supply?
What’s more, if a $100 million dollar market has just opened up, why load millions of dollars of tagging, registration, and possible future taxes on US cattlemen and women? It appears we just sold a big giant steak without a costly, intrusive animal identification system. Kinda makes you wonder if they’ve told us the truth about why they want the National Animal Identification System in the first place, huh?