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National Grange News
National Grange Supports the "Foot and Mouth Disease Prevention Act of 2008"
  NOVEMBER 2008 --

The National Grange wrote to House and Senate Agriculture Committee members supporting S 3238 and HR 6522, the Foot and Mouth Disease Prevention Act of 2008. These pieces of legislation would ban beef imports from Argentina until that country can guarantee that its beef exports are free of Food and Mouth Disease (FMD). In addition to Argentina’s unpaid debt, FMD is one of Argentina’s many problems that could potentially harm America’s farming community.

Argentina has proven to be an international pariah with its economic and foreign policies, which hurt America’s family farmers and ranchers. Argentina repudiated its debt obligations of over $30 billion in public and private debt in 2005 to American taxpayers. After the 2001 default, the Argentine government manipulated its currency, which allowed the country to maintain an unfair export incentive.

Argentina recently moved to impose a 45% export tax on soybeans that amounts to “sovereign profiteering” in light of a world food crisis. At a time when food safety is a rising international priority, Argentina has been unable to prove that its beef exports are FMD free.

Clearly, Argentina can’t be trusted to honor its debt, to export its soybeans without profiteering on the pressing humanitarian needs of a hungry world, or export disease free beef. These pieces of legislation are a step in the right direction toward making Argentina accountable to the basic standards of the international community.


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