Iowa Congressman Tom Latham says the discovery of a case of “Mad Cow” disease in Canada should be inspiration for federal officials to move ahead with the modernization of the National Animal Disease Lab in Ames. He says the case has brought to light the importance of having a facility to handle such an outbreak. Latham says the disease is not on another continent, it’s now on our continent. Latham, a republican, represents the district that includes the lab. He says federal officials are the ones dragging their feet on the lab.He says 281-million dollars has already been appropriated for the 430-million dollar project, so it’s not an issue of money. He says it’s a matter of the U-S-D-A taking on a project that’s larger than any other they’ve ever attempted. Latham says the U-S has to be able to keep its food system safe. He says it’s outrageous that the Canadian case was found in January and we’re just now finding out about it. Latham says this one case in Canada shows the importance of a lab that can do research to wipe out such diseases.He says trade with Canada has been cut off, those businesses that process beef have been financially impacted on the stock market, and he says it will have an impact on the price of cattle. Latham has sent a letter to the U-S Ag Secretary asking her to move the modernization of the N-A-D-C forward as quickly as possible.
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