USDA wants to import Namibia beef into USA as that African nation fights foot and mouth disease epidemic in cattle herds

Namibia Beef

The Oshakati open market hardly has anyone selling meat. Ndamononghenda Shidinge (right) is one of the few sellers. Foot and mouth disease has meant a drastic shortage of beef.

Namibia has a big problem – foot and mouth disease infecting its cattle herds. Officials are confident they will push back the attack on their beef industry, and have enacted strict controls of movement of animals from one location to another within the country.

On September 1, a local newspaper reported that “the foot and mouth disease broke out in Ohangwena and Oshikoto regions in May and spread to other regions, such as Omusati, Oshana, Kunene and Kavango West.”

Animals can only be moved under strict regulations and permission from the department of veterinary services. This has resulted in farmers failing to sell meat to kapana (grilled beef) sellers at Oshakati, Ondangwa, Ongwediva, Omuthiya, Eenhana, Oshikango, Outapi, Okahao, Onesi, Tsandi and Ruacana.

The suspension of cattle movement has also severely affected traditional gatherings in the North such as weddings, funerals as well as other commemorations and celebrations where cattle, goats or sheep are usually slaughtered.

Many people are now forced to use either fish or chicken, sometimes against tradition.

On the other side of the world we have the USDA, supposed protector of all things agricultural, including beef. These victims of foot in the moth syndrome have a plan for Namibia beef – begin importing it into the USA, and help to put our cattlemen out of business or at least force them to reduce production. That decision was announced today to the cheers of foreign meat packers and investors in global trade.

This move began earlier this year, when revised international regulatory standards for managing foot and mouth disease were adopted at the World Organization for Animal Health world assembly in Paris. These new rules were designed to increase international trade (what else matters, but global profit-making) and remove former standards to fence off infected herds.

The Congress and USDA worked together against consumers to authorize imports of beef from Argentina and Brazil in June.  USDA acknowledges neither country is considered free of the highly infectious foot-and-mouth disease.

Meanwhile, Congress is working to repeal our country of origin labeling law so all this imported beef will be undifferentiated in our U.S. market. Neither Brazil, Argentina or Namibia have been certified free of foot and moth disease (FMD). Cheap beef, bad beef, diseased beef – all will all look just like any other meat in your supermarket.

3 responses

  1. Fred, thanks again for introducing the public to these life-threatening events. Who knew that such deceptive practices were being foisted on the public. I may never eat beef again. Keep up the good work.
    Anne Kaler

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  2. We hear so much about how our government’s military and intelligence forces are “keeping us safe” from terrorists, and then the damn USDA even CONSIDERS not labeling food with countries of origin. One bad carcass, and how are we supposed to even know which meat processing plant to shut down? Stupid idea! And as far as the Namibians are concerned, shame on them, but double shame on us for letting them foist off their diseased meat on us!!

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