Ibach: We understand grave concerns about ASF situation overseas

Legislative Watch: USDA, FDA to oversee cell-based meat; Trump asks China to drop ag tariffs; Ag groups oppose Farm Credit nominee; Administration to release budget.


P. Scott Shearer, National Hog Farmer 

Mar 08, 2019


This week the USDA announced in coordination with the pork industry, it is making additional efforts to keep African swine fever from entering the United States.


The efforts include:


·         Work with Customs and Border Protection to train and add 60 additional beagle teams for a total of 179 teams working at key U.S. commercial, sea, and air ports;

·         Coordinate with CBP on the further expansion of arrival screenings at key U.S. commercial sea and air ports — including checking cargo for illegal pork/pork products and ensuring travelers who pose an ASF risk receive secondary agricultural inspection;

·         Increase inspections and enforcement of garbage feeding facilities to ensure fed garbage is cooked properly to prevent potential disease spread;

·         Heighten producer awareness and encourage self-evaluations of on-farm biosecurity procedures;

·         Work to develop accurate and reliable testing procedures to screen for the virus in grains, feeds and additives, and swine oral fluid samples;

·         Work closely with officials in Canada and Mexico on a North American coordinated approach to ASF defense, response, and trade maintenance;

·         And continue high level coordination with the U.S. pork industry leadership to assure unified efforts to combat ASF introduction.


In announcing the increased efforts, USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach says, “We understand the grave concerns about the ASF situation overseas. We are committed to working with the swine industry, our producers, other government agencies and neighboring countries to take these additional steps.”


USDA and FDA enter into formal agreement on cell-cultured food products


USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service and the FDA have entered into a formal agreement to jointly oversee the production of human food products derived from the cells of livestock and poultry. FDA will oversee the cell collection, cell banks, and cell growth and differentiation. A transition from FDA to FSIS oversight “will occur during the cell harvest stage.” FSIS will have oversight of the production and labeling of human food products derived from cells of livestock and poultry.


The agreement received support from the meat industry, producer and consumer organizations.


The North American Meat Institute says, “The framework announced today will ensure cell-based meat and poultry products are wholesome, safe for consumption, and properly labeled.  We support a fair and competitive marketplace that lets consumers decide what food products make sense for them and their families, and this agreement will help achieve these goals by establishing the level playing field necessary to ensure consumer confidence.” The Good Food Institute, a non-profit organization that promotes alternatives to animal products says, “The agreement is a significant step forward in providing a transparent and predictable regulatory path to market for cell-based meat, which will help to ensure that the U.S. does not fall behind Israel, China, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore and other countries that are moving quickly to ensure a clear path to market for this method of meat production.”


Trump calls on China to drop ag tariffs ...


Ag groups oppose Farm Credit nominee ... 


Next week: Administration releases budget ...