Canadian, America, Mexican, and Australian cattle groups sign joint statement following trilateral meeting

(photo courtesy Canadian Cattle Association)

North American cattle industry representative met last week in Mexico to attend the Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas’ (CNOG) annual meeting and a trilateral meeting between the parties.

Up for discussion was sustainable global trade that encourages efficient production practices, as well as focusing on protecting herds from animal diseases, such as foot-and-mouth and lumpy skin disease, and advocating for greater oversight and regulations of emerging lab-grown proteins.

Leaders of the Canadian Cattle Association, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and CNOG signed a joint statement following the meetings, with Cattle Australia also signing on.

“Canadian beef producers are leaders in raising high quality, sustainable beef both for consumers in Canada and around the world. We are committed to working with our partners around the world in addressing challenges our industry faces and continuing to proudly provide sustainably-produced beef,” says CCA president Nathan Phinney, who attended the meetings.

CCA says that it also discussed the importance of market integration in relation to voluntary Product of USA labelling and the upcoming review of Canadian-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).

In the joint statement, animal health is identified as a major economic threat facing the North American and Australian cattle industries. Of note, the global threat level of foot-and-mouth (FMD) is higher than ever before, the groups say, with FMD present in areas of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and South America.

“We call for the urgent and continued investment in critical infrastructure and preparedness activities in each of our countries to protect against and ultimately respond to outbreaks of foreign animal disease,” the statement reads.

Each country will be bringing these messages back to their respective policy makers.

The groups discussed growing beef demand and new technologies, including lab-grown protein created to mimic beef. “Most of these technologies are still in the developmental phase and are not commercially viable, but it is critically important that these technologies are properly vetted by regulatory authorities, so they do not pose a potential risk to consumer health and food safety,” the statement reads.

Signatories underscored the importance of understanding the long-term effects on human health, nutrition, and the environment that result from these emerging technologies.

“If approved, we must ensure that marketing of lab-grown proteins is transparent and does not compromise the consumer trust that we have built as cattle producers. While some lab-grown protein companies may rely on disparaging advertising to differentiate their products, others may choose to bring little attention to the fact that their product is not from conventional livestock production. Regulatory authorities should ensure that lab-grown proteins are clearly identified on packaging to limit consumer confusion. The growing global consumer base wants access to safe, nutritious beef, produced from cattle that are sustainably and efficiently raised in a natural environment – not in a bioreactor,” the statement reads.

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