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Senators Overturn Biden’s Plan To Allow Beef Imports From Paraguay

Both of Montana’s U.S. senators worked to block the Biden administration last week from allowing beef imports from Paraguay.

U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., Noted that beef imports from Paraguay had been suspended since 1997 because of concerns over inspection standards and the potential spread of foot and mouth disease.

“Montanans deserve to know that the meat they buy for their families is safe for consumption and has met the high standards required in the U.S. Biden’s move to carelessly allow beef imports from Paraguay despite its failure to contain infectious diseases may harm Montana consumers and undermines the hard work our Montana ranchers do to produce the best, highest-quality beef in the world,” Daines said in a press released. “The Biden administration must reverse course. Instead of opening the U.S. market to imports from countries with insufficient food safety protocols, the Biden administration should prioritize improving export opportunities for Montana ranchers.”

The Senate passed the bipartisan Congressional Review Act authored by U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont, and U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D.

The resolution passed by a veto-proof 70-25 majority.

“President Biden butchered this decision,” Tester said in a press release. “By cutting corners to resume beef imports from a country with a recent history of foot and mouth disease, the Biden Administration is jeopardizing our food supply and giving Montana consumers and producers a raw deal. We cannot allow beef imports from Paraguay until we have data that shows they are meeting same high animal health standards as American ranchers, and I’m proud to have secured overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate to force the Biden Administration to reverse course.”

Many agriculture leaders were supportive of the decision.

“Here in Montana we hold our beef to a higher standard, and Sen. Tester will stand up to anyone that tries to jeopardize the hard work of our ranchers,” said Walter Schweitzer, president of the Montana Farmers Union. “With plenty of questions surrounding animal safety and standards in Paraguay, it’s clear that reversing a ban on Paraguayan beef is the wrong move for producers and consumers in Montana.”

“American cattle ranchers work diligently to grow and deliver the most safe, healthy, sustainably produced beef to the world,” said John Grande, president of the Montana Stockgrowers Association. “Montana Stockgrowers Association applauds Sens. Tester and Rounds on their work to protect the American beef industry and for their effort to stop unscientific rulemaking on beef imports from Uruguay.”

“We appreciate Sen. Tester and Sen. Rounds’ efforts to protect the American beef supply and urge swift passage of this CRA,” said Cyndi Johnson, president of the Montana Farm Bureau Federation. “Until it can be absolutely proven that there is no risk of an infectious animal disease outbreak in the U.S. domestic animal population caused by these imports, they must be halted.”

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