Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Beyond the Pale

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Beyond the Pale

Article excerpt

THE time has come for some commonsense and a bit less of the 'science' excuses about the importation of beef meat from any country that has had 'mad cow disease'- otherwise known as BSE.

Commonsense says that our cattle prices for an ever-improving quality product have been declining for years and any importation of cheaply produced meat can only provide further competition to, and lower prices for, our product.

But allowing importation of meat from countries with a known history of BSE is beyond the pale.

Our Australian Cattle Council and Federal Government have gone stark raving mad.

This is not only my opinion but also that of the Australian Beef Association (ABA) and all correspondents in this week's The Land rural newspaper.

A regulation exists that says if we get BSE and have not imported any beef, all our beef must be removed from sale. But if we have imported meat this will not be the case. How to follow that reasoning? It beggars belief.

So let's change the regulation and end the problem.

When Japan, Canada and the USA found it in their own herds, they did not take beef off their shelves. However, Japan tested, and then banned, all imports from countries that detected the disease such as Canada and America.

The result was that our beef exports to Japan increased in volume and a real good safe image for the Australian product was established and is now being maintained.

Even now six years down the track Japan only accepts beef meat from cattle less than 30 months of age. It is interesting to read from the ABA that 'when South Korea allowed imports of beef meat from countries with BSE over 10,000 people took to the streets to express their opposition to these imports.

'The president then publicly apologised to his people. He then went on to replace his chief of staff and seven presidential secretaries.'

Can we expect a similar apology from Mr Rudd and the sacking of Ministers Burke, Roxon and Crean who jointly announced this shift in policy? …

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