July 18, 2008

 

US Senate approves US$20.4 billion for FY 2009 agriculture spending bill

  
  

The US Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday approved a $20.4 billion spending bill for the USDA and Food and Drug Administration in fiscal year 2009.

 

The bill, which boosts spending for government nutrition programmes and agriculture research, has about US$200 million less than a similar bill being considered in the House of Representatives. The House version of the fiscal year 2009 spending bill still has not gotten approval from the House Appropriations Committee.

 

An amendment in the senate-approved spending bill also stops the USDA from allowing Argentina to export unprocessed meat to the US.

 

The US has banned meat exports from Argentina since 2001 due to FMD outbreaks. Argentina has appealed for the US to allow exports from South Patagonia since the region has not had any outbreaks since 1976.

 

The USDA is currently considering lifting its ban on the region.

 

FMD is extremely contagious in ruminant animals but has never been found to be a danger to human health.
   

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