May 25, 2007
May 25, 2007 - Both the United States and Canada have been classified as "control risk" regions by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). This designation technically allows the two countries to export beef from cattle of any age to foreign markets.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns issued the following statement:
"I'm pleased to report that the World OIE has formally classified the United States as a controlled risk country for BSE. This classification confirms what we have always contended-that U.S. regulatory controls are effective and that U.S fresh beef and beef products from cattle of all ages can be safely traded due to our interlocking safeguards.
"We appreciate OIE's review of our application, as well as its leadership in developing sound, science-based standards that will help countries standardize regulations and import requirements. The U.S. is taking action to achieve compliance with OIE standards, and we ask the same of our trading partners.
"We will use this international validation to urge our trading partners to reopen export markets to the full spectrum of U.S. cattle and beef products. We are notifying our trading partners of our expectation that they commit to a time frame to amend import requirements and expand access to their markets to reflect this controlled risk determination. We will use every means available to us to ensure that countries rapidly take steps to align their requirements with international standards." Reprinted in part from USDA Press Release