Meat & Livestock News

U.S. Senate Joins House in Opposing Paraguayan Beef Imports

Closeup of three cosher meat steaks with bone for dinner

Congressional Concerns Escalate

The debate over beef imports from Paraguay has intensified in the U.S. Congress, with the Senate now joining the House in expressing concerns. This development marks a significant expansion of opposition within the legislative branch.

Senators Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) have spearheaded a bipartisan initiative, introducing a bill focused on protecting U.S. cattle producers and consumers from potential risks associated with foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Paraguayan cloven-hoofed animals.

Provisions of the Senate Legislation

The newly proposed Senate bill advocates for a temporary suspension of beef and beef product imports from Paraguay. It also recommends establishing a USDA working group tasked with evaluating the threat to U.S. food safety and animal health.

This evaluation would be based on the latest research data. The bill stipulates that this working group should begin its assessment within 120 days of the bill’s enactment.

House Representatives’ Prior Actions

This move in the Senate echoes earlier efforts by House members, including U.S. Reps. Tracey Mann (D-Kan.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.), and 19 other federal lawmakers. They had previously sent a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, voicing opposition to the Biden administration’s earlier changes to federal meat import regulations.

Industry Backing for the Congressional Efforts

The legislative actions in both the Senate and the House have received support from prominent industry groups. R-CALF USA, the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association are backing these measures, reflecting the concerns of the wider U.S. cattle industry.