The National Defense Authorization Act approved last week includes language to require an analysis on Foot and Mouth Disease or FMD.
Language included in the bill by Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst includes a provision “recognizing the risk of FMD, or other foreign animal diseases, to U.S. food production, the economy, and national security,” according to the Senator. The provision directs the Department of Defense and Department of Agriculture to analyze the nation’s ability to respond to an outbreak.
The National Pork Producers Council supports the provision and noted that without better preparation, Iowa State University economists estimate that an FMD outbreak would cost the beef, pork, corn and soybean industries alone $200 billion over ten years.
The Senate passed the $700 billion package last week, and the House of Representatives passed its version of the bill in July. The two versions must be reconciled before Congress can consider a final version.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.
Images courtesy of USDA and Texas A & M College of Veterinary Medicine.