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Agri-Pulse reports:

Chipotle's decision to source some grass-fed beef from Australia, announced in a Huffington Post blog last month, has some U.S. beef producers up in arms.

As the fast-food restaurant chain has grown from 800 to more than 1,600 stores in the last five years, Co-CEO Steve Ells wrote that sometimes supplies of the company's "responsibly raised" meat are insufficient and the firm has sometimes turned to conventionally-raised beef.

With recent drought conditions across much of the Southwest, the U.S. cattle herd is at its smallest in 60 years.

But in the search for grass-fed beef, Chipotle has now turned to Australian imports.

That's prompted Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples to send a letter, inviting Ells to Texas - home to the largest cattle herd in the nation.

"Unfortunately, Chipotle says they want to import 'responsibly raised' beef by shipping it more than 8,000 miles from Australia, and in turn, increase their carbon emissions and costs. If the Chipotle CEO truly wants to be responsible, he should get together with me and Texas beef industry leaders so we can have a real discussion about 'meating' their needs," Staples noted in a press release.

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