Wyoming Cattle Rancher's Thoughts on Canadian Border Reopening and Reasons
(Note: This gem should be read and shared by all consumers, because it's not just cattle that are impacting our health and well being. Have you noticed how difficult it has become to purchase produce that has been grown in America? Have you noticed the COUNTRIES of origin that are on the orange juice label or bulk nuts sticker? Have you tasted the chemicals on grapes, even after you've washed them? All these things are part and parcel of globalization, which undermines the country that should be the standard-bearer for all the rest -- that's our America -- and instead exploits the resources, including Human resources, of 'third world' or 'developing' countries in order to turn a bigger profit. This is a peerless piece of education to open eyes and minds to the actual agenda, which has nothing to do with making life easier for small farmers and ranchers, timberers and fishermen -- or consumers. Please, share with many, many others!)
December 30, 2004
By Lois Herbst
Riverton, Wyoming
Why should the U.S. open its border to Canada -- when other countries will not accept beef from Canada -- and this new rule will keep the export markets of the U.S. closed to our biggest importers, Japan and South Korea?
Why allow a country to ship 70% of its production to the United States just to lower the prices that processors pay?  Canadian cattle are used as captive supply by the processors. 
Why ignore the *OIE (Office of International Epizootics, also known as the World Organisation for Animal Health http://www.oie.int/eng/en_index.htm ) guidelines to make Canada a minimal risk area, and why claim to follow the OIE guidelines if they are to be ignored to accommodate one country?   
Why are Canadians allowed to comment on a **rule promulgated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)? 
Why is USDA Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman rushing to publish this rule before she is terminated? 
This could easily have been handled by the new Secretary of Agriculture. 
Why does the USDA http://www.usda.gov/ ignore all input from producers in this country?
The big problems are the overproduction in Canada and the captive supply tactics of the big packers.
I do everything possible to produce quality feeders [feeder cattle], and then I am told by a firm in Colorado that the economic reality is that cattle can be purchased cheaper in Canada. 
This border reopening has caused divisiveness among beef producers in this country.  These cattle should all meet the requirements  for the animal identification program being worked on by the USDA, and the meat product should be labeled as to country of origin (COOL) as will be required by law in Fall of 2005.
I believe it is the crime of the century that our foods aren't labeled as to country of origin at the retail level, and that so many well-funded lobbyists work expressly to prevent consumers from having that knowledge.
Canada has never been a good trading partner ... look at their tactics to keep U.S. feeder cattle from going north.
Just my thoughts/comments.
The original article that prompted the above:
Ranchers, beef industry celebrate long-awaited U.S. border re-opening
December 29, 2004
The OIE is an intergovernmental organisation created by the International Agreement of 25 January 1924, signed by 28 countries. In May 2004, the OIE totalled 167 Member Countries.
To ensure transparency in the global animal disease situation
Each Member Country undertakes to report the animal diseases that it detects on its territory. The OIE then disseminates the information to other countries, which can take the necessary preventive action. This information also includes diseases transmissible to humans and intentional introduction of pathogens. Information is sent out immediately or periodically depending on the seriousness of the disease. This objective applies to disease occurences both naturally occurring and deliberately caused. Dissemination is via the OIE Web site, e-mail and the following periodicals: Disease Information, published weekly and the annual compilation World Animal Health.
To collect, analyse and disseminate veterinary scientific information
The OIE collects and analyses the latest scientific information on animal disease control. This information is then made available to the Member Countries to help them to improve the methods used to control and eradicate these diseases. Guidelines are prepared by the network of 156 OIE Collaborating Centres and Reference Laboratories across the world.
Scientific information is also disseminated through various works and periodicals published by the OIE, notably the Scientific and Technical Review (3 issues a year).
To provide expertise and encourage international solidarity in the control of animal diseases
The OIE provides technical support to Member Countries requesting assistance with animal disease control and eradication operations, including diseases transmissible to humans. The OIE notably offers expertise to the poorest countries to help them control animal diseases that cause livestock losses, present a risk to public health and threaten other Member Countries. 
The OIE has a permanent contact to international regional and national financial organizations in order to convince them to invest more and better on the control of animal diseases and zoonosis.
Within its mandate under the WTO SPS Agreement, to safeguard world trade by publishing health standards for international trade in animals and animal products
The OIE develops normative documents relating to rules that Member Countries can use to protect themselves from the introduction of diseases and pathogens, without setting up unjustified sanitary barriers. The main normative works produced by the OIE are: the Terrestrial Animal Health Code, the Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals, the Aquatic Animal Health Code and the Manual of Diagnostic Tests for Aquatic Animals.
OIE standards are recognised by the World Trade Organization as reference international sanitary rules. They are prepared by elected Specialist Commissions and by Working Groups bringing together internationally renowned scientists, most of whom are experts within the network of 156 Collaborating Centres and Reference Laboratories that also contribute towards the scientific objectives of the OIE. These standards are adopted by theInternational Committee.
To improve the legal framework and resources of national Veterinary Services
The Veterinary Services and laboratories of developing and transition countries are in urgent need of support to provide them with the necessary infrastructure, resources and capacities that will enable their countries to benefit more fully from the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement (SPS Agreement) while at the same time providing greater protection for animal health and public health and reducing the threat for other countries which are free of diseases. The OIE considers the Veterinary Services as a Global Public Good and their bringing into line with international standards (structure, organisation, resources, capacities, role of paraprofessionals) as a public investment priority.
The Office is placed under the authority and control of an International Committee consisting of Delegates designated by the Governments of Member Countries.
The day-to-day operation of the OIE is managed by a Central Bureau situated in Paris, placed under the responsibility of a Director General elected by the International Committee. The Central Bureau implements the resolutions passed by the International Committee and developed with the support of elected Commissions: 
Administrative Commission  Regional Commissions (5)  Specialist Technical Commissions (4)  The OIE's financial resources are derived principally from regular annual contributions backed up by voluntary contributions from Member Countries.
International Relationships  The OIE maintains permanent relations with more than 20 other international organisations. The Office has also appointed regional coordinators on all 5 continents. 
History  Incursions of rinderpest into Europe and most notably the epizootic which occurred in Belgium in 1920 led to the creation of the Office International des Epizooties in 1924.
Copyright 2002, OIE World Organisation for Animal Health.
**The rule:
Country of Origin Labeling (COOL)
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