I thought this thread belongs firmly within the General Economics thread.
Should Australia support a free market approach to beef imports?
Is it protectionist to support the Australian beef industry?
Is Australian beef "inferior" to that offered by other producing countries?
Should Australia easily give up the "Clean & Safe" gains it has made within the North Asian market by allowing foreign imports?
I remember reading a book called Bushwhacked Life in George W. Bush's America by Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose back in 2005. Specifically recall the perils of free-market competition, safety de-regulation and the influence of lobby groups within the beef industry on US politicians. And it wasn't scaremongering it was just a scary recital of the dangerous practices of US slaughterhouses and the lack of a functional meat inspection system.
A great read that's for sure.
Personally, I don't see any problem with protecting our beef industry on this issue. We have worked hard to build up an undeniable reputation as a "clean & safe" exporter of beef. And well done on the exporters making sure that there is a sticker on every product sold within the North Asian market to relay this re-assuring message to Asian consumers.
Cattle Council mad over pie protest
The Cattle Council of Australia says opposition to the Government's plan to lift a ban on imported meat is protectionist.
Two decades ago the Australian Government shut down imports of foreign beef due to the threat of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), otherwise known as mad cow disease.
But with mad cow disease no longer prevalent in many overseas countries, the Federal Government says it is comfortable with resuming limited beef imports.
The Government now plans to lift the ban on processed and fresh beef from the United States and the United Kingdom on Monday.
The plan has attracted harsh criticism from the industry, the Opposition and independent Senator Nick Xenophon.
But the Cattle Council's president, Greg Brown, says their response is simply scaremongering.
"This [reaction] is unbelievably damaging to the Australian beef industry and there are so many people complicit in this issue generating this damaging discussion," he said.