Senate Says 'No' to Paraguayan Beef

Senate Vote Blocks Biden Administration's Previous Decision on Paraguayan Beef

Jennifer Carrico
By  Jennifer Carrico , Senior Livestock Editor
The U.S. Senate voted to block Paraguayan beef imports due to safety reasons. (DTN image)

REDFIELD, Iowa (DTN) -- The U.S. Senate voted March 21 to block the decision by the Biden administration to allow the importation of Paraguayan beef.

The Congressional Review Act resolution passed 70 to 25. It was introduced by U.S. Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Mike Rounds, R-SD, and cosponsored by Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-ND. The resolution was supported by several organizations, including the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), U.S. Cattlemen's Association, Livestock Marketing Association, R-CALF USA, National Farmers Union, and American Farm Bureau Federation.

"Paraguay does not have the same history of enforcing health and safety standards that we do," Rounds said in a news release. "Our inspectors haven't been to Paraguay in 10 years. Consumers deserve to have a high degree of confidence in the quality and safety of beef they want to serve their families. There is more work that needs to be done with Paraguay before introducing their beef to American markets. Filing this resolution has been a bipartisan effort to protect American consumers while standing up for our producers."

Tester followed by saying resuming beef imports from a country with a recent history of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is jeopardizing the U.S. food supply.

The ban on U.S. imports of Paraguayan beef was lifted last November. The risk of introducing FMD to the U.S. would have a devastating effect on the U.S. beef industry. NCBA has repeatedly raised concerns about allowing that country's beef into the U.S.

"Thank you to the strong bipartisan group of senators who voted to overturn the harmful decision to allow Paraguay beef imports into the United States," said NCBA President and Wyoming rancher Mark Eisele. "Our animal health standards are second to none, and we must be vigilant in protecting the U.S. cattle herd from harmful foreign animal diseases."

National Farmers Union President Rob Larew praised the decision as well. "I'm glad to see bipartisan support for a common-sense solution to keep family farmers and ranchers and their herds safe."

Paraguay's last reported case of FMD was in 2012, while the U.S. hasn't had a case since 1929.

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Jennifer Carrico