USDA to allow beef imports from Argentina

USDA to allow beef imports from Argentina

The Department of Agriculture is amending its rules that govern which meats can be imported into the U.S. to allow fresh beef that’s either chilled or frozen to come from Brazil and Argentina.

“Based on the evidence in a recent risk analysis, we have determined that fresh (chilled or frozen) beef can be safely imported from Northern Argentina, subject to certain conditions,” USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said in its final rulemaking. “This action provides for the importation of beef from Northern Argentina into the United States, while continuing to protect the United States against the introduction of foot-and-mouth disease.”

In a statement Monday, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said she is “greatly disappointed” with the USDA’s decision to allow beef imports from Argentina and Brazil.

“America has not had a case of foot-and-mouth disease since 1929 because of our strict ban against the importation of live animals or meat from countries that have experienced this virulent animal disease, as Brazil and Argentina have previously,” she said. 

She later added that "this is a clear example where trade is trumping the safety of our food supply."

The rule will take effect Sept. 1.