- Associated Press - Thursday, June 26, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Chipotle Mexican Grill’s founder has agreed to talk over Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples’ beef with the chain’s decision to import some of its grass-fed beef from Australia.

Steve Ells’ letter says he’d “be more than happy” to provide information about Chipotle’s beef protocols to Staples and Texas ranchers.

In a letter to Ells last week, Staples says it’s “misguided” and “irresponsible” for Ells to believe that Australian meat is raised more responsibly than cattle in Texas, the nation’s leading producer, or other states.

Ells last month defended the company’s move by writing for the Huffington Post that Chipotle was having difficulty getting beef it prefers from U.S. producers because the lingering drought has led to the smallest herd in decades, the lowest total since 1952.

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