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News Update
Oct. 21, 2005

Thailand Lifts Beef Ban

Thailand lifted its ban on most imports of U.S. beef, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials announced yesterday.

Prior to the announcement, Thailand had banned imports of U.S. beef since the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) case December 2003 in Washington state. Since that time, U.S. officials have been working with Thailand and other countries to remove remaining restrictions imposed on U.S. beef imports, USDA reported.

“It is now time for Japan, South Korea, China and other Asian markets to follow suit. There is no justifiable reason for borders to be closed to U.S. beef,” Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns said.

It appears some countries may be following Thailand’s lead. Meatingplace.com reports that South Korea will decide between late October and early November whether to resume U.S. imports, according to one of the county’s directors at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s livestock bureau.

Senate Cuts Ag Payments

A Senate committee voted Oct. 19 to cut $3 billion from farm and conservation payments, according to The Associated Press. In an 11-9 vote, committee members approved the budget bill in response to ag budget cuts outlined by Congress earlier this year.

The legislation would spare a $1 billion dairy subsidy program and the food stamp program, and aid to farmers recovering from disasters will be voted on separately, the article noted.

The bill will now meet its fate in the full Senate.

House Passes Obesity Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Oct. 19 banning obesity-related lawsuits in state and federal courts, according to The Washington Times. Approved by a 306-120 vote, the bill would help protect food makers, sellers or trade associations from obesity lawsuits.

Cattle Industry Featured on TV Program

Cattle and beef producers will be featured on the PBS series, “America’s Heartland,” the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) reports.

The television show profiles American agriculture and will feature the cattle industry in several upcoming segments. “America’s Heartland” is featured on 141 PBS affiliates. Check local listings for program times or visit www.americasheartland.org.

— by Crystal Albers, Angus Productions Inc.

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