Daily Montanan: Tester, Rounds attempt to stop beef imports from Paraguay

by Daily Montanan Staff

U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, and Jon Tester, D-Montana, said Tuesday that they have filed a Congressional Review Act resolution that would overturn the Biden administration’s recent decision to lift a ban on beef imports from Paraguay.

Congress can use CRA resolutions to overturn final rules issued by federal agencies by a simple majority vote.

Rounds said in a news release that the move is necessary to protect the safety of the beef supply. He said Paraguay has a history of struggles with foot and mouth disease.

“Consumers across America should be able to confidently feed their families beef that they know has met the rigorous standards required in the United States,” Rounds said.

Rounds and Tester said their resolution is supported by the South Dakota Farm Bureau Federation, South Dakota Farmers Union, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, United States Cattlemen’s Association, R-CALF USA, Livestock Marketing Association and National Farmers Union.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s final rule allowing the imports says that after a risk analysis, the department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service “concluded that fresh beef can be imported safely from Paraguay under certain conditions.”

Those conditions include verifying that foot and mouth disease has not been diagnosed in the exporting region in the past 12 months, the meat comes from premises where the disease has not been present during the lifetime of any of the animals, and the animals were inspected before and after death.

“My message to the Biden Administration is simple: Cutting corners to resume beef imports from a country with a recent history of foot and mouth disease is bad news for both Montana consumers and producers, and I won’t let it stand,” said Tester. “Montana ranchers produce the best beef in the world, and it’s clear that the USDA doesn’t have the data to show that Paraguay meets the same animal health standards. That’s why I’m teaming up with Senator Rounds to overturn this decision from the Biden Administration that is giving a raw deal to American ranchers and could have dangerous impacts on our food supply.”