NATIONAL MEAT ASSOCIATION h 1970 Broadway, Suite 825, Oakland, CA 94612

(510) 763-1533 Fax (510) 763-6186 h Email Address: [email protected] h

Edited by Kiran Kernellu

August 11, 2003




Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced on Friday, August 8, 2003, that USDA will begin accepting applications for import permits for certain ruminant-derived products from Canada. After a thorough scientific analysis, USDA has determined that it will no longer prohibit the importation of hunter-harvested wild ruminant products intended for personal use and it will begin to accept applications for import permits for certain products from Canada, including:


1.      boneless sheep or goat meat from animals under 12 months of age;

2.      boneless bovine meat from cattle under 30 months of age;

3.      boneless veal (meat) from calves that were 36 weeks of age or younger at slaughter;

4.      fresh or frozen bovine liver;

5.      vaccines for veterinary medicine for non-ruminant use; and

6.      pet products and feed ingredients that contain processed animal protein and tallow of non-ruminant sources when produced in facilities with dedicated manufacturing lines.


“We have a long history of safeguards in place to prevent the introduction of BSE in the United States, and the continued protection of the U.S. food supply is our top priority,” Veneman said in a release. “Our experts have thoroughly reviewed the scientific evidence and determined that the risk to public health is extremely low.”


The U.S.-Canadian border is still closed to live Canadian cattle, but Secretary Veneman said in the release that a rulemaking process would begin immediately for the importation of live ruminants and ruminant products. Access more information at APHIS’ website:




Beef product that may be imported includes boneless beef items of livestock less than 30 months of age, and may include boneless trimming derived from hand-trimming and it may come in boxes or combos. It does not include beef derived from any mechanical de-boning or ground beef. 





NMA’s 2003 Summer Conference and Board Meeting will surely be a great meeting of the minds! Industry Meeting speakers include: Barry Carpenter, Deputy Director, Livestock & Seed Division, AMS/USDA; Tim Biela, Texas American Foodservice, Fort Worth, TX; David Hall, aLF Ventures, Salt Lake City, UT; William Smith, Assistant Administrator, OFO/FSIS/USDA; Wythe Willey, Esquire; Richard Alaniz, Alaniz & Schraeder; Dr. Bill Mies, eMerge; Dr. Kerri Harris, Executive Director, International HACCP Alliance. Dr. Gary Smith, Professor, Colorado State University, will also speak at the Industry Meeting, as well as provide a presentation for the Beef Committee Meeting. Other committee meeting presenters include: Phil Olsson, Esquire, Olsson, Frank & Weeda; Bob Savage, HACCP Consulting Group; and Dr. Nick Nickelson, Standard Meat Company. Dr. Elsa Murano, Under Secretary for Food Safety, will be the Friday Luncheon speaker.


NMA has brought many of the leaders of the industry together for the Summer Conference in order to provide its members with an informative and thought-provoking agenda. This past year has been an eventful one for the industry, and attending the Summer Conference is a practical and fun-filled way to keep abreast of the changes! We look forward to seeing you at the Annual Summer Conference in Lake Geneva, WI, August 20-21, 2003 at the beautiful Grand Geneva Resort & Spa! Contact NMA at 510-763-1533 or [email protected] for more information and registration materials.



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On July 15, 2003 the Commodity Futures Trading Commission published a notice of availability for public comment of the proposed amendments to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s (CME) live cattle futures contract, entitled “Chicago Mercantile Exchange: Proposed Amendments to the Live Cattle Futures Contract Restricting Delivery to Cattle Born and Raised in the United States.” 


According to the notice, the CME has requested that the Commission approve the subject proposed amendments for the live cattle futures contract. The proposals will require that all cattle delivered on the futures contract must be born and raised exclusively in the United States, and the seller must provide supporting documentation that conforms to industry standards at the time of delivery. The amendments are contingent upon the promulgation by the USDA of regulations implementing Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements, which by statute is intended to take effect on September 30, 2004.
The comment period has been extended to August 22, 2003. Submit comments on or before that date to Jean A. Webb, Secretary, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20581; (202) 418-5521 fax; [email protected],  e-mail. Please reference “CME Live Cattle Amendments” in your comments. Contact Martin G. Murray of the Division of Market Oversight, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20581; (202) 418-5276; (202) 418-5527 fax; [email protected] ­e-mail, for more information. Access the notice at:




The U.S. Dietary Guidelines are up for revision. The law mandates that the guidelines must be updated every five years to keep up with the latest scientific research. A 13-member panel of scientists and experts that will include nutrition experts in pediatrics, obesity, cardiovascular disease and public health, as well as other fields, updates the guidelines. The panel’s first meeting will take place this fall, followed by a series of public meetings during the year. Interested parties may submit scientific research and comments.


USDA staff will revise the USDA Food Guide Pyramid in an internal process.



Lean Trimmings and Herd on the Hill are offered electronically. If you’d like to receive the newsletter via e-mail, please contact Kiran Kernellu at [email protected] or 510-763-1533. Receive the latest news every Monday afternoon in your inbox instead of waiting for it in the mail!


NMA reports news items that are of special interest to its readers, and provides information that they may want to be able to access.  Below are links to the Federal Register, AMS, APHIS, and FSIS, respectively:

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FSIS announced on August 4, 2003 the availability of food safety and security guidelines for meat, poultry, and egg product transporters and distributors, as part of its continuing effort to help protect the U.S. food supply from intentional and accidental contamination.  View the guidelines at:


The Federal Register Notice also includes a series of questions posed by FSIS about these guidelines to help the agency determine whether any of these guidelines should be adopted as regulations.  FSIS intends to collect and analyze data on the possible impacts of these guidelines before deciding whether it should proceed with rulemaking.  The agency invites public comment on how to strengthen the safety and security of these products during the transportation and distribution process and is especially interested in responses to its questions. Interested parties may submit comments no later than October 3, 2003. 


FSIS has developed the FSIS Safety and Security Guidelines for the Transportation and Distribution of Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products because meat, poultry, and egg products are transported multiple times and often stored and further processed on their way to the consumer, and hazards may be present or intentionally introduced at any point during such transportation and distribution. There are two sections to these guidelines.  Section one recommends certain food safety measures to help prevent contamination of food products during transportation and storage. Section two recommends food security measures to help prevent intentional contamination occurring as part of criminal or terrorist acts. NMA members contact Kiran Kernellu at [email protected] or 510-763-1533 for a copy of the Olsson, Frank & Weeda memorandum summarizing the notice.




On October 6, 2003 the interim final rule, “Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-to-Eat Meat and Poultry Products,” will become final.  FSIS will continue its outreach efforts to assist small and very small plants by holding five workshops to provide an overview of the final rule to owners and operators of small and very small Federal and State plants.  The workshops will provide a more in-depth understanding of the three compliance alternatives, sampling provisions, recordkeeping requirements and the use of labeling claims.


The workshops will be held on September 13, 2003, in Raleigh, NC and Bridgeport, CT; on September 20 in Kansas City, KS; and on October 4 in Oakland, CA and Albuquerque, NM. Meeting locations will be announced at a later date. Contact Mary Cutshall, Director, Strategic Initiatives, Partnerships and Outreach Staff, at 202-690-6520, for more information. 


August 21-23 - Basic HACCP in Spanish -- Los Angeles, CA

September 18-20 - Basic HACCP -- San Francisco, CA

October 1-2 - Beyond Basics  -- College Station, TX

Contact NMA at (510) 763-1533 for more information and registration materials.


August 12-15, 2003, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, $95 per person

The International HACCP Alliance is offering a condensed version of the USDA/FSIS Consumer Safety Officer (CSO) Educational Program and the Food Safety Regulatory Essentials (FSRE) program. The session will focus on the CSO Work Methods and Administrative Enforcement Activities of the Consumer Safety Officer and the FSRE program will focus on elements being taught to inspectors from FSIS Directive 5000.1, Revision 1. Contact the International HACCP Alliance office at 979-862-3643 for more information.



All members are invited to attend NMA’s 2003 Summer Conference! Download a copy of the brochure, which includes a registration form, for the Conference at: Download a registration form for the Regulatory Issues & Update Seminar at: Update _ Issues Seminar-2.pdf. Contact us at [email protected] or 510-763-1533 to receive materials for both events by fax, e-mail or mail.


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The Meat Importers Council of America, Inc. (MICA) published a revised edition of its “Guidelines for the Settlement of Fat Claims.” These guidelines are used in the event that the fat content of imported products is in dispute. NMA members contact Kiran Kernellu at 510-763-1533 or [email protected] for a copy of these guidelines.




The National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) will address several food safety issues at public meetings August 19-22, 2003 at the Hotel Monaco, Athens Room, 700 F Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20004. The committee will discuss protocols for FSIS’s ongoing microbiological baseline studies of raw meat and poultry products, performance standards for broilers (young chickens) and ground chicken, the scientific basis for establishing safety-based “use-by” date labeling for refrigerated ready-to-eat foods and scientific criteria for redefining pasteurization. More information is available on the FSIS website at:




NMA has available information on the purchases for Fiscal Year 2003. NMA members contact Kiran Kernellu at [email protected] or 510-763-1533 for a copy.



NMA - East: 1400 - 16th St. N.W., Suite 400, Washington D.C. 20036 Ph. (202) 667-2108

NMA - West: 1970 Broadway, Suite 825, Oakland, CA 94612 Ph. (510) 763-1533 Fax (510) 763-6186

Edited by Kiran Kernellu

August 11, 2003




The Livestock and Seed (LS) Program of the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is holding an educational and informational meeting on the voluntary USDA Beef Export Verification (BEV) Program today in Kansas City, MO for potential producers, slaughterers, fabricators, processors, and exporters of beef, beef products, and processed beef products, as well as other interested parties. The BEV Program specifies that beef and beef products produced by suppliers approved under the program be derived from cattle slaughtered in the U.S. to participate in the voluntary, user-fee service. AMS will conduct independent process verification audits of suppliers’ program documentation and procedures for BEV Program requirements.


According to the draft document delineating the program, these requirements include:



·         Only eligible suppliers may produce beef and beef products for the BEV Program. Eligible suppliers must be listed on the Official Listing of Eligible Suppliers for the Beef Export Verification (BEV) Program.





1.        the names and positions of persons with managerial responsibilities for operation of the BEV Program;


2.        written procedures that describe the company’s procedures for ensuring products received, processed, and identified conform to the BEV Program requirements;


3.        a written segregation plan that describes the identification, segregation, and labeling of product;


4.        completed examples of all forms, tags, labels, etc. used to track or demonstrate program conformance; and


5.        an issue date or other method for identifying the most current version of all program documentation.



The BEV Program is designed to satisfy Japan’s requirements for beef exports from the U.S. NMA has a technical consultant attending the meeting, and his guidance for our members will be available later this week. Members who would like to receive this information electronically should contact Kiran Kernellu at 510-763-1533 or [email protected].


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As previously reported in Lean Trimmings and Herd on the Hill, Japan has requested that U.S. beef exports have a slaughtered in the U.S. certification beginning September 1, 2003. The request also calls for the segregation of all Canadian products from beef destined for export to Japan. USDA has outlined the Beef Export Verification (BEV) Program to comply with the request.


A Japanese technical team visited the United States last week for the express purpose of observing a USDA-certified process verification system.  The team members visited NMA- member PM Windom, Minnesota, a firm that has developed such programs for its case-ready beef products and is also a major exporter to Japan. Representatives of USDA/AMS and USMEF accompanied the team.  In a separate item in this week’s Herd on the Hill (see previous page), NMA is providing information about a USDA/AMS-sponsored meeting in Kansas City, MO, which is designed to provide information and guidance to exporters about developing a process verification program to meet the USDA BEV Program requirements, including that the export products for Japan are derived from beef slaughtered in the United States.  AMS is working closely with FSIS to provide for the appropriate official certification to meet Japan’s requirement. FSIS maintains listings of many countries requirements to meet their particular quality or other needs.  These are available at the FSIS web site. 


NMA has a technical consultant attending the educational and informational meeting on the voluntary USDA BEV Program today in Kansas City, MO, and his guidance for our members will be available later this week. Members who want to receive this information electronically should contact Kiran Kernellu at 510-763-1533 or [email protected].




State animal health officials, livestock industry groups, and the federal government have come together to finalize a national animal identification (ID) plan. Cattle Buyers Weekly (CBW) reported today that Phase One of the plan, called Premises ID, may be in place by July 2004. Premises ID requires that standardized premise ID numbers be established for all production operations, markets, assembly points, exhibitions and processing plants.


The U.S. Animal Identification Program (USAIP), as it is initially being termed, is the result of a year and a half of rigorous work. The draft plan was developed by the Animal Identification Development Team with the goal of identification of all contact premises within 48 hours of a foreign animal disease discovery. The team reportedly expects that it will complete its mission in the next sixty days, and that the resulting plan be available to industry stakeholders for review and comment at that time.


Reportedly, the team has outlined Phase Two. It calls for individual identification for cattle in commerce. Other food animal and livestock species would require all animals entering commerce be identified through individual or group/lot identification, according to CBW. Phase Two reportedly would be in place by early 2006.




Last Monday APHIS published an interim rule and request for comments in the Federal Register entitled, “Exotic Newcastle Disease; Removal of Areas From Quarantine,” effective July 30, 2003. The notice amends the exotic Newcastle disease (END) regulations by removing portions of Arizona, California, Nevada, and Texas from the list of quarantined areas, which also removes restrictions on the movement of birds, poultry, and certain other articles from those areas. There are now no areas in Arizona, Nevada, and Texas that are quarantined because of END, and the size of the quarantined area in California is reduced by this action. FSIS will consider all comments received on or before October 3, 2003. Access the notice at: