BSE costs US $11 billion

9 October 2008

According to, The US International Trade Commission released a report estimating that trade restrictions resulting from bovine spongiform encephalopathy cost the US cattle industry $11 billion from 2004-2007.

Farm-gate sales of cattle and calves during that period were $195.5 billion, so the $11 billion in losses estimated by the ITC translates to 5.6% of cattle producers' income, according to a news release from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. The report also estimated that tariffs and tariff-rate quota restrictions cost the industry another $6.3 billion from 2004-2007. The report noted that BSE-related trade restrictions on US beef are not based in science, saying: ‘As of May 2007, the United States has been recognized by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) as a controlled risk country with regard to BSE. However, certain countries ... impose restrictions on US beef that are more stringent than the OIE guidelines for a controlled risk country.'

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