A friend sent me [the Scene column] "There's the Beef" (Oct. 15), because I was born in Argentina (in 1917) and lived there until 1957.
I challenge two statements. One: Argentine beef is not as marbled as corn-fed. Actually, Argentine beef is marbled due to leisurely grass feeding, where American beef has chunks of fat in it due to rush corn feeding.
Second: Washington wouldn't allow [the import of Argentine beef] for many decades, largely for political reasons. Actually, they would not import it because of foot and mouth disease, fatal in the U.S., whereas in Argentina, cattle get foot and mouth but recover in 30 days.
HEATHER W. BERTI
Perry replies: Nearly all beef is marbled to some degree; nevertheless, the total fat content is definitely higher in grain-fed than in range beef. It's also true that Argentina's cattle industry had a foot and mouth disease problem at one time, but most commentators see a political component in America's 60-year ban on Argentine beef, starting with the open Fascist leanings of Argentina's government in the '30s.