Li vest ock Tr aceabi l i t y

:
What You Need t o Know
A l t h o u gh t h e U SD A t rac eab i l i t y p r o gram w o u l d ap p l y t o al l
l i vest o ck , t h e m aj o r f o c u s i s o n c at t l e, w i t h r eq u i r em en t s
t h at each i n d i v i d u al an i m al b e t agged .
2
O t h er an i m al s, l i k e
sw i n e an d p o u l t r y, w o u l d al so n eed i n d i v i d u al t ags — b u t
m any o f t h e l ar gest o p erat i o n s, i n c l u d i n g m o st f ac t o r y
f ar m s, w o u l d o n l y b e r eq u i r ed t o p r ov i d e o n e t ag f o r an en -
t i r e gr o u p o f an i m al s,
3
sígníícuntíy íoveríng theír costs to
p ar t i c i p at e c o m p ar ed t o sm al l er p r o d u c er s w h o d eal w i t h
t h ei r an i m al s i n d i v i d u al l y.

Th e c at t l e p o r t i o n o f t h e p r o p o sal h as sm al l an d i n d ep en -
d en t c at t l e p r o d u c er s w o r r i ed . D esi gn ed t o t ag an d t rac e
ever y h ead o f c at t l e t h at m oves ac r o ss st at e l i n es, t h e
n ew est U SD A an i m al I D p r o gram i s adver t i sed as essen -
t i al t o c o n t ai n i n g an i m al d i sease o u t b r eak s an d p r o t ec t i n g
t h e l o n g- t er m v i ab i l i t y o f an i m al agr i c u l t u r e i n t h e U n i t ed
St at es.
4
I n r eal i t y, t h i s t rac eab i l i t y p r o gram i s d ev i sed t o
expund export opportunítíes, vhích vííí beneít corporute
agr i b u si n ess an d c o u l d h u r t sm al l c at t l e p r o d u c er s.
Th e p r o b l em s w i t h t h e U SD A’s i m p l em en t at i o n o f t h i s
t rac eab i l i t y p r o gram ar e al l t h e m o r e ap p ar en t i n l i gh t o f
t h e m any m o r e p r essi n g i ssu es t h at U SD A i s n o t ad d r essi n g:
d an ger o u s sl au gh t er h o u ses p rac t i c es t h at i n c r ease t h e r i sk
o f f o o d b o r n e i l l n ess, t h e gr ow t h o f t h e f ac t o r y f ar m m o d el ,
an d ab u si ve m ar k et p rac t i c es by t h e h an d f u l o f c o r p o ra-
t i o n s t h at c o n t r o l m eat p r o c essi n g. A d d r essi n g any o f t h ese
íssues vouíd huve u íur more beneícíuí ímpuct on produc-
er s, c o n su m er s an d m ar k et s t h an a p o o r l y d esi gn ed an i m al
t rac eab i l i t y p r o gram t h at c o u l d d o m o r e h ar m t h an go o d .
Export Obsession
Fo l l ow i n g t h e d i sc over y o f m ad c ow d i sease i n t h e U n i t ed
St at es i n 2 0 0 3 , U . S. b eef ex p o r t s d r o p p ed d ram at i c al l y as
f o r ei gn m ar k et s, l i k e Jap an , b an n ed o r r est r i c t ed U . S. b eef .
5

Th e ex p o r t m ar k et n ever f u l l y r ec over ed ,
6
an d t h e b eef i n -
d u st r y h as b een p u sh i n g t rac eab i l i t y as t h e w ay t o get U . S.
b eef b ack i n t o t h ese m ar k et s.
Th e U . S. M eat Ex p o r t Fed erat i o n (U SM EF), a gr o u p l ed by
íurge meutpuckers such us 1yson und Smíthíeíd,
7
p u b l i sh ed
a 1 1 5 - p age ec o n o m i c an al y si s o f t rac eab i l i t y i n 2 0 1 1 ,
f u n d ed by t h e U SD A , t h at c o n c l u d ed t h at U . S. ex p o r t s o f
b eef ar e at r i sk w i t h o u t an an i m al t rac eab i l i t y sy st em .
8
Th i s
i s b ec au se so m e t rad i n g p ar t n er s r eq u i r e t h at i m p o r t ed b eef
b e t rac eab l e.
9

Cu r r en t l y, f o r U . S. b eef t o r each st r i c t ex p o r t m ar k et s l i k e
}upun, producers must purtícípute ín LSDA certíícutíon
p r o gram s t h at ver i f y c er t ai n asp ec t s o f t h ei r b eef , i n c l u d i n g
asp ec t s o f t rac eab i l i t y l i k e i t s age o r so u rc e.
1 0
Pr o d u c er s
w h o p ar t i c i p at e i n t h ese p r o gram s, w h i ch c ar r y a c o st , ar e
r ew ar d ed w i t h a p r em i u m — as m u ch as $ 2 5 p er h ead o f
c at t l e.
1 1

Enabling Corporate Concentration
I n d ep en d en t ran ch er s h ave n o t ed t h at t h e U SD A’s p r o p o sed
t rac eab i l i t y p r o gram w o u l d l i k el y erase t h ese p r em i u m s
by m ak i n g t rac eab i l i t y m an d at o r y, gi v i n g c o r p o rat e m eat -
p ack er s ex p o r t - r eady b eef at n o c o st .
1 2
Fo u r c o r p o rat i o n s
c u r r en t l y sl au gh t er m o r e t h an 8 0 p erc en t o f t h e c at t l e i n
t h e U n i t ed St at es.
1 3
Su ch c o r p o rat e c o n c en t rat i o n h as
b een w i d el y c r i t i c i z ed f o r an t i - c o m p et i t i ve m ar k et ac t i v i t y
t h at d am ages sm al l p r o d u c er s.
1 4
Th e U SD A’s t rac eab i l i t y
p r o gram , by gi v i n g c o r p o rat e m eat p ack er s yet an o t h er
ec o n o m i c advan t age — p ai d f o r by l i vest o ck p r o d u c er s —
seem s d esi gn ed t o ex p an d c o r p o rat e c o n c en t rat i o n . Th i s
h as an i m p ac t o n c o n su m er s, t o o , w h o w i l l p ay h i gh er
p r i c es an d h ave f ew er ch o i c es i n t h e m ar k et p l ac e i f m o r e
sm al l p r o d u c er s l eave t h e b u si n ess.
N ear l y 2 0 p erc en t o f U . S. b eef c ow o p erat i o n s h ave d i sap -
p ear ed over t h e l ast 2 5 year s, c ed i n g t h ei r m ar k et sh ar e t o
ever- l ar ger o p erat i o n s.
1 5
Even af t er t h i s sh i f t , 8 0 p erc en t
o f b eef c ow o p erat i o n s st i l l h ave f ew er t h an 5 0 h ead o f
c at t l e.
1 6
lt ís these smuíí producers vho ure most ínuncíuííy
v u l n erab l e i n a m ar k et p l ac e d o m i n at ed by a f ew l ar ge
I
n 2 0 1 1 , t h e U . S. D ep ar t m en t o f A gr i c u l t u r e (U SD A ) an n o u n c ed i t s l at est at t em p t
t o c r eat e a n at i o n al an i m al t rac eab i l i t y p r o gram , d esp i t e c l o se t o a d ec ad e o f
w i d esp r ead o p p o si t i o n f r o m ran ch er s an d $ 1 0 0 m i l l i o n al l o c at ed o n a p r ev i o u s,
f ai l ed at t em p t .
1

Fact Sheet + November 2011
FOOD
m eat p ack er s an d w h o c an n o t af f o r d a c o st l y n ew t rac eab i l -
i t y p r o gram .
A p r ev i o u s, f ai l ed at t em p t by t h e U SD A t o i n i t i at e a t rac e-
ubíííty progrum, cuííed the Nutíonuí Anímuí ldentíícutíon
Sy st em , r eveal ed t h at t h e sm al l est p r o d u c er s w o u l d p ay
m o r e t o p ar t i c i p at e t h an t h e l ar gest p r o d u c er s, w i t h so m e
est i m at es p u t t i n g t h e n u m b er as h i gh as $ 4 0 p er h ead o f
c at t l e f o r t h e sm al l est p r o d u c er s.
1 7
Th ese est i m at es d i d n o t
f ac t o r i n l o st r even u e f r o m p r em i u m s, m ean i n g t h e ac -
t u al c o st s c o u l d b e m u ch h i gh er. By c o n t rast , t h e U SM EF
ec o n o m i c an al y si s f o u n d t h at t rac eab i l i t y w o u l d c o st t h e
l ar gest m eat p ack i n g p l an t s o n l y 1 6 c en t s p er h ead o f c at t l e
t o p ar t i c i p at e.
1 8
Par t o f t h e r easo n t h at sm al l p r o d u c er s ar e d i sp r o p o r t i o n -
at el y af f ec t ed i s b ec au se o f t h e t i m e, l ab o r an d t ech n o l o gy
t h at a t rac eab i l i t y p r o gram c o u l d r eq u i r e. El ec t r o n i c t rac e-
ab i l i t y, i n c l u d i n g ch i p p i n g an i m al s w i t h rad i o f r eq u en cy
ídentíícutíon (RllD) devíces, couíd vork veíí on the íurg-
est o p erat i o n s, w h i ch c an m o r e easi l y ab so r b t h e c o st o f
set t i n g u p t h e sy st em . Bu t o n sm al l f ar m s, ad o p t i n g a h o st
oí nev hí-tech ínírustructure íntroduces sígníícunt costs, u
p o i n t t h at b o t h t h e U SD A an d U SM EF ack n ow l ed ge i n t h ei r
ec o n o m i c an al y ses.
1 9
Misplaced Priorities
I t ’s n o t j u st t h e m eat i n d u st r y t h at i s o b sessed w i t h ex p an d -
i n g ex p o r t s. Th e U SD A gi ves t h e U . S. M eat Ex p o r t Fed era-
t i o n ar o u n d $ 2 0 m i l l i o n a year, p r ov i d i n g m o r e t h an h al f o f
t h e gr o u p ’s r even u e.
2 0
U SM EF’s m em b er s i n c l u d e Car gi l l ,
JBS an d M o n san t o , an d i t s ex ec u t i ve c o m m i t t ee i n c l u d es
1yson, Smíthíeíd, the Nutíonuí Cuttíemen's ßeeí Assocíu-
t i o n an d t h e N at i o n al Po r k Bo ar d .
2 1

W h i l e t h e U SD A p ar t n er s w i t h t h e U SM EF o n i t s advo c acy
w o r k i n f avo r o f an i m al t rac eab i l i t y, i n d ep en d en t ran ch er s
an d c o n su m er s c o n t i n u e t o ex p r ess gr eat o p p o si t i o n t o t h e
progrum und to íts hígh costs, nebuíous beneíts to unímuí
h eal t h an d p o t en t i al t o ex p an d c o r p o rat e c o n c en t rat i o n .
I n st ead o f f o c u si n g o n h ow t o h el p m eat c o m p an i es ex -
p an d t h ei r ex p o r t b u si n ess, U SD A sh o u l d b e f o c u si n g i t s
r eso u rc es o n p r even t i n g t h e an i m al d i seases t h at k eep U . S.
b eef o u t o f f o r ei gn m ar k et s. St at e an d f ed eral d i sease p r e-
ven t i o n p r o gram s al r eady ex i st f o r m any an i m al d i seases.
Cthers, ííke uvíun íníuenzu und mud cov díseuse, ure tíed
t o p rac t i c es u sed by l ar ge i n d u st r i al i z ed o p erat i o n s t h at
coníne thousunds oí unímuís together. lronícuííy, uíthough
U SD A an d t h e b eef i n d u st r y d evo t ed a l o t o f ef f o r t t o r eas-
su r i n g c o n su m er s af t er m ad c ow d i sease w as d i sc over ed i n
t h e U n i t ed St at es i n 2 0 0 3 , m any o f t h e p rac t i c es t h at c o u l d
st r en gt h en p r even t i o n ef f o r t s, su ch as t est i n g c at t l e f o r t h e
d i sease an d en f o rc i n g r u l es f o r r em oval o f r i sky m at er i al s
f r o m c at t l e c arc asses, ar e st i l l n o t i n p l ac e.
W h en t r y i n g t o sel l t h e t rac eab i l i t y p r o gram t o U . S. au d i -
en c es, U SD A t en d s t o i nvo k e i m p r ov i n g m eat saf et y as
a sel l i n g p o i n t f o r t h e p r o gram . Bu t t h e c u r r en t p r o p o sal
d o es n o t o f f er c o n su m er s any assu ran c es o f f o o d saf et y b e-
c au se t h e t rac eab i l i t y i t o f f er s en d s w h en t h e an i m al get s
t o t h e sl au gh t er h o u se an d d o esn ’ t h el p t h e gover n m en t ,
p r o c esso r s o r r et ai l er s t rack c o n t am i n at ed m eat b ack t o i t s
so u rc e.
I n st ead o f t r y i n g t o f o rc e sm al l p r o d u c er s i n t o a l i vest o ck
t rac eab i l i t y sy st em t h ey c an n o t af f o r d , U SD A sh o u l d r ef o -
c u s i t s p r i o r i t i es o n p r o t ec t i n g c o n su m er s by st r en gt h en i n g
meut ínspectíon procedures thut vouíd íet them índ the
so u rc e o f c o n t am i n at ed m eat , an d st r en gt h en i n g t h e p r o -
grums to prevent unímuí díseuses ín the írst píuce.
Endnotes
1 U . S. D ep ar t m en t o f A gr i c u l t u r e A n i m al Pl an t H eal t h I n sp ec t i o n
Ser v i c e. “ A b u si n ess p l an t o advan c e an i m al d i sease t rac eab i l i t y.”
September 2008 ut 4l, 76 led. Reg. 50082-50083. (August ll,
2 0 1 1 ).
2 76 led. Reg. 50082-50083. (August ll, 20ll).
3 76 led. Reg. 50085, 50088-50089. (August ll, 20ll), 9 ClR §
7 1 . 1 9 .
4 76 led. Reg. 50082-50083. (August ll, 20ll).
5 U . S. M eat Ex p o r t Fed erat i o n . “ Ec o n o m i c A ssessm en t o f Evo l v i n g
Red Meut Lxport Murket Access Requírements íor 1ruceubíííty oí
Li vest o ck an d M eat .” M arch 2 0 1 1 at 2 7 .
6 Ibid. at 2 7 –3 0 ; M c Co n n el l , M i ch ael an d Jo h n D y ck . U SD A Ec o -
nomíc Reseurch Servíce. ºCrovíng beeí consumptíon ín }upun
couíd beneít L.S. producers.¨ Amber Waves. M arch 2 0 1 1 at 3 .
7 U . S. M eat Ex p o r t Fed erat i o n . U SM EF M em b er sh i p D i r ec t o r y, 3 5 t h
A n n i ver sar y. 2 0 1 1 at 5 , 6 .
8 U . S. M eat Ex p o r t Fed erat i o n . M arch 2 0 1 1 at 6 1 ; Sch u f f , Sal l y.
“ Trac eab i l i t y o f f er s ed ge i n m eat ex p o r t s.” Feedstuffs. O c t o b er 3 ,
2 0 1 1 .
9 LSDA Agrícuíture Murketíng Servíce. ºLSDA Lxport Veríícutíon
(LV) lrogrum Specííed lroduct Requírements íor ßeeí }upun.¨
D ec em b er 1 2 , 2 0 0 5 at 5 . 2 . 1 ; U . S. M eat Ex p o r t Fed erat i o n . M arch
2 0 1 1 at 2 1 –2 2 , 3 2 .
1 0 U SD A A gr i c u l t u r e M ar k et i n g Ser v i c e. D ec em b er 1 2 , 2 0 0 5 ; U . S.
M eat Ex p o r t Fed erat i o n . M arch 2 0 1 1 at 7 . (U SM EF b ased i t s
ec o n o m i c an al y si s o n t h e “ c o r e assu m p t i o n ” t h at t rac eab i l i t y w i l l
requíre uge veríícutíon.)
1 1 St al c u p , Lar r y. “ I s i t w o r t h i t ?” Beef Magazine. Feb r u ar y 1 , 2 0 0 6 .
1 2 Fl y n n , D an . “ Sec o n d go at an i m al d i sease t rac eab i l i t y h i t s b u m p s.”
Food Safety News. Sep t em b er 2 0 , 2 0 1 1 .
l3 LSDA Cruín lnspectors luckers & Stockyurds Admínstrutíon. luckers
& Stockyurds lrogrum Annuuí Report. 20l0 ut 45.
l4 ºCroups pushíng CllSA ruíe píeud theír cuse to Congressíonuí stuíí-
er s.” Oklahoma Farm Report. N ovem b er 1 9 , 2 0 1 0 ; Co n gr essi o n al
Record. House oí Representutíves. Letter íntroduced by Rep. Murcy
Kap t u r. Ju n e 1 5 , 2 0 1 1 at H 4 2 6 1 .
1 5 U SD A A gr i c u l t u ral Cen su s. 2 0 0 7 at 7 , 1 9 . Bet w een 1 9 8 2 an d 2 0 0 7 ,
t h e n u m b er o f f ar m s w i t h b eef c ow s d r o p p ed by 2 0 . 1 p erc en t ; over
t h e sam e t i m e p er i o d t h e t o t al n u m b er o f b eef c ow s d r o p p ed by l ess
t h an 4 p erc en t .
1 6 U SD A A gr i c u l t u ral Cen su s. 2 0 0 7 at 1 9 .
1 7 Jo l l ey, Ch u ck . “ Fi ve M i n u t es w i t h D r. D al e Bl asi , Kan sas St at e U n i -
ver si t y.” Drovers Cattle Network. A p r i l 8 , 2 0 0 9 .
1 8 U . S. M eat Ex p o r t Fed erat i o n . M arch 2 0 1 1 at 4 1 .
1 9 Ibid. ut 3546, LSDA ºßeneít-cost unuíysís oí the nutíonuí unímuí
ídentíícutíon system.¨ }unuury l4, 2009 ut 1ubíes 4.24.3.
20 L.S. Meut Lxport lederutíon. ºlndependent Audítors Report oí
Fi n an c es f o r Fi sc al Year 2 0 1 0 .” O c t o b er 2 7 , 2 0 1 0 at 4 .
2 1 U . S. M eat Ex p o r t Fed erat i o n . 2 0 1 1 at 5 , 6 , 3 9 –4 1 .
For more information:
w eb : w w w. f o o d an dw at er w at ch . o r g
em ai l : i n f o @f w w at ch . o r g
phone: (202) 683-2500 (DC) - (4l5) 293-9900 (CA)
Copyríght © November 20ll lood & \uter \utch

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