7/16/2009 10:15:00 AM
NCBA Member Highlights Beef Industry’s Commitment To Food Safety
Source of Article: http://www.cattlenetwork.com/Content.asp?ContentID=330892
WASHINGTON (July 16, 2009) – Dr. Sam Ives, director of veterinary services and associate director of research at Cactus Feeders, Ltd., testified today on behalf of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) at a House Agriculture Committee Hearing on food safety. NCBA members are committed to producing the safest and highest quality beef in the world. Since 1993, cattle producers have invested more than $27 million in beef safety research and the beef industry as a whole spends approximately $350 million every year on beef safety.
The following is an excerpt from Ives’ remarks as prepared:
“…Everyone plays an
important role in the safety of food. And it starts with producers
raising healthy cattle as cattlemen are committed to producing the safest,
most wholesome, nutritious and affordable beef products in the world.
There is no question that the
“We appreciate the willingness of the Energy and Commerce Committee to discuss and learn more about how meat and poultry products are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and we understand the intent of the bill (H.R. 2749) is to exempt livestock and poultry from this Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-focused bill. However, we are concerned the current bill language does not go far enough to ensure Congressional intent is not misinterpreted. The bill must contain clear legislative language to ensure that FDA is not granted the authority to regulate livestock on-farm by mandating production standards for cattlemen across the country. Live animals are not food until the point of processing, and we would like to see language that explicitly excludes livestock and poultry from the definition of “food” under this bill and the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act.
“The bill also grants FDA redundant authority regarding quarantine of a geographical area where food presents serious adverse health consequences to human or animals. This new responsibility of FDA is concerning as under the Animal Health Protection Act, USDA can impose a federal quarantine for animal health reasons when they deem necessary and work closely with State authorities. Under the Animal Health Protection Act, the government is mandated to pay indemnity to producers when the government “takes” an animal, this provision does not require FDA to pay indemnity.
“The beef industry will continue to dedicate time and resources to ensure the safety of beef. We look forward to working with the Committees to ensure Congressional intent of this bill is not misunderstood.”
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