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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued its Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Comprehensive Rule, agreeing to follow international import standards for BSE, or mad cow disease. This decision is a step toward reopening the United States to beef imports from countries like the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Netherlands. In return, other countries could reopen their markets to U.S. beef. Kansas is the third largest beef producing state in the nation and expanding market access for U.S. beef would have a significant economic impact on the state. Sen. Moran recently signed a letter to USDA urging the publication of this rule (attached below).

“It is great news that the USDA issued its comprehensive BSE rule today, something the U.S. beef industry has requested for many years,” Sen. Moran said. “By adopting a comprehensive BSE rule the United States is showing leadership on a global scale and I am hopeful other nations will follow in our footsteps. When nations base their decisions on sound science, more markets will be expanded or opened to U.S. beef. This rule will be a powerful tool in U.S. trade negotiations."

Under the proposed rule, USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will adopt the standards used by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) for classifying a country's risk for BSE. USDA could still do its own assessment of a country in cases where the OIE has not classified that nation's BSE risk. OIE's assessments are based on actions a country has taken to prevent mad cow disease.

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