When is Beef a Product of the USA

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sstterry

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10th Circuit Hears Oral Arguments in Beef Labeling Case (lawandcrime.com)

A group of New Mexico ranchers made their case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit over food companies allegedly deceiving ranchers by labeling beef “Product of the USA,” when, in reality, the cattle are raised overseas and are slaughtered and processed in the United States. (full article in link)
 
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sstterry

sstterry

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But they are not importing the carcass, they are importing the whole animal and then slaughtering them here. The USDA needs to change the lnguage in the rules. But that is a big ask since the politicians (both parties) are controlled by the big money interest groups.
 

Hpacres440p

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The only way to enforce it for cattle would be with mandatory official ID, which hasn't been a popular proposal with cattle producers.
“I don’t want Government to force me to do it, but I want government to somehow enforce it”-big contradictory statements
 

greybeard

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But they are not importing the carcass, they are importing the whole animal and then slaughtering them here. The USDA needs to change the lnguage in the rules. But that is a big ask since the politicians (both parties) are controlled by the big money interest groups.
I don't know about currently, but as I understood it several years ago, they came here 3 ways.
Frozen boxed beef that was randomly opened here and inspected by USDA inspectors and the entire lot given the 'product of USA' stamp.
Whole chilled carcasses via ship and reefer truck, that were inspected by USDA inspectors at the US processing facilities and given the 'product of USA' stamp.
Live carcasses, either going straight to feed lots or to directly slaughter facilities, which meant that eventually, when processed would also get the coveted (tho often meaningless) 'Product of USA' stamp even tho none of the above ever ate a mouthful of US grass in it's whole life.

We most certainly import a huge amount of lean beef trim for mixing with US produced beef fat for them big macs and whataburgers..

But, every pound of it competes against the American beef producer's product.
 
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sstterry

sstterry

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I don't know about currently, but as I understood it several years ago, they came here 3 ways.
Frozen boxed beef that was randomly opened here and inspected by USDA inspectors and the entire lot given the 'product of USA' stamp.
Whole chilled carcasses via ship and reefer truck, that were inspected by USDA inspectors at the US processing facilities and given the 'product of USA' stamp.
Live carcasses, either going straight to feed lots or to directly slaughter facilities, which meant that eventually, when processed would also get the coveted (tho often meaningless) 'Product of USA' stamp even tho none of the above ever ate a mouthful of US grass in it's whole life.

But, ever pound of it competes against the American beef producer's product.
This is from the Oral Argument in the Court:

"We have a situation where we have floating feed lots that come across the ocean under really no regulation whatsoever," he explained.

"[T]hey offload cattle, stand on American soil for minutes, maybe hours," he continued, "Then they're still receiving that same label, even though they didn't really breathe much of the air here in this country, or eat much of the feed here."

Dunn gave the court an example of a recent outbreak of mad cow disease in Brazil. Under current regulations, Dunn said, "that beef could be shipped into the U.S. from Brazil and then offered to consumers with a sticker on it saying 'product of the United States.'
 

greybeard

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Not really necessary, the USDA already knows what cattle are imported, and could mark them as such. US cattle wouldn't need id, because they're not imported.
Aren't some US cattle moved back and forth across US/Canadian and US/Mexican borders at different times in their lives?
 

Buck Randall

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Not really necessary, the USDA already knows what cattle are imported, and could mark them as such. US cattle wouldn't need id, because they're not imported.
Cattle have to be identified to cross the border, but their movements are not tracked beyond that. If I import a load of calves and sell them to a backgrounder who goes on to sell them to a feedlot, how is the packer supposed to know their origin?
 

simme

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Biggest BMW auto manufacturing facility in the world is in Spartanburg, SC, USA. Engines and other parts are flown in from Germany to the nearby GSP international airport. 1500 cars per day produced there by 11,000 US employees and 70% of the cars exported - with a lot going to China. Goes against the model of a lot of global manufacturers, doesn't it?

But, would you call these cars "Product of the USA" given that the engines and other major parts were not made here? Obviously beef is simpler than that. When the calf is born here, fed here and processed here, it is a product of the USA. Even if slaughtered in a Brazilian owned facility by imported workers. If the calves come from Mexico or Canada and fed here and slaughtered here, it is not as clear what label they should get. I think a person could make a valid argument either way and feel that their conclusion is the right one - for them.
 

J+ Cattle

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JBS is one of the big meat packers operating in this country and they are a Brazilian company. They can bring in Brazilian cattle to process in the USA possibly bringing in Mad Cow Disease with them and end up with a product of USA label on it. Let one of those imported animals here in the US test positive for BSE then what do you think will happen to our export market...or even our domestic demand for beef. Consumers will shy away from beef and grill chicken and pork instead.
You may not like it but mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) and animal traceability is needed.
 

sim.-ang.king

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Cattle have to be identified to cross the border, but their movements are not tracked beyond that. If I import a load of calves and sell them to a backgrounder who goes on to sell them to a feedlot, how is the packer supposed to know their origin?
All from canada have to have health papers with matching individual ear tags to enter the US, and it is unlawfully to remove such tags.


Health certification requirements
1. In both slaughter and non-slaughter categories, the animals must have been
"Idividually identified with an approved Canadian ear tag (or any tag deemed equivalent under the livestock identification and traceability program), applied prior to each animal's entry into the U.S."


Like I said the USDA already know who was imported.
 

Buck Randall

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All from canada have to have health papers with matching individual ear tags to enter the US, and it is unlawfully to remove such tags.


Health certification requirements
1. In both slaughter and non-slaughter categories, the animals must have been
"Idividually identified with an approved Canadian ear tag (or any tag deemed equivalent under the livestock identification and traceability program), applied prior to each animal's entry into the U.S."


Like I said the USDA already know who was imported.
I'm aware of all that. The problem is that there is currently no monitoring or tracking system in place. If a Canadian animal loses its tag, there is no obligation to replace it. Nobody is scanning the tags at the plant and tracing them back to their origins.

If you want to effectively trace foreign born cattle, you need to identify and have traceability for all cattle. If you're only going to trace the imports, it will be amazing how many of those cattle will "lose" their tags.
 

Hpacres440p

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I'm aware of all that. The problem is that there is currently no monitoring or tracking system in place. If a Canadian animal loses its tag, there is no obligation to replace it. Nobody is scanning the tags at the plant and tracing them back to their origins.

If you want to effectively trace foreign born cattle, you need to identify and have traceability for all cattle. If you're only going to trace the imports, it will be amazing how many of those cattle will "lose" their tags.
It’s Easier for folks who want “an edge” to remove tags from out-of-country animals to get them certified than to require them for tracking those that really do qualify. Kinda like a hand stamp in a bar when you’re a minor-if you need one to buy a beer, you transfer your buddy’s while it’s still damp. Harder if you have to wash it off and it’s permanent ink....
 

wbvs58

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It’s Easier for folks who want “an edge” to remove tags from out-of-country animals to get them certified than to require them for tracking those that really do qualify. Kinda like a hand stamp in a bar when you’re a minor-if you need one to buy a beer, you transfer your buddy’s while it’s still damp. Harder if you have to wash it off and it’s permanent ink....
Have them ID with rumen EID bolus.

Ken
 

Farmerjon

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Want to see how this plays out in a small scale? Have a county bred and born class at you 4H fair. People will play the stupidest of games, lie and cheat for a $10.00 trophy. I was against all ID years ago. But knowing beef is brought in and sold as USA beef, from regions where illegal products are used, beef producers need COOL. Who would best oversee this? I do not have a clue.
 

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