Waco, TX – According to the state officials, the Texas Agriculture Commissioner Miller released the following statement:
“Today, I joined fellow state agriculture leaders from Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming to express strong opposition to importing beef from Paraguay. The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) decision to allow Paraguayan beef imports threatens our nation’s agriculture industry. We are calling on Secretary Vilsack to pause the implementation of this rule until a more reliable risk assessment can be completed.
Texas leads the nation in cattle and is a major player in agricultural trade. The cattle industry provides about $16 billion in revenue to our state’s economy. I understand the desire of Paraguayan beef producers to gain access to the American market. However, Paraguay’s poor track record of managing outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease endangers American ranching. Foot-and-mouth disease is highly contagious among livestock, and if it were reintroduced into the United States, it would devastate the American beef industry. USDA willingly risks Texas ranchers by relying on outdated information to justify opening the market.
As your Texas Agriculture Commissioner, I strongly oppose the import of Paraguayan beef until the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) completes and provides a diligent and up-to-date assessment of Paraguay’s ability to prevent the exposure of foot-and-mouth disease. We must protect our nation’s consumers and livestock.”