Trade : US Senator wants to punish Brazil
Trade

US Senator wants to punish Brazil

Jon Tester
US Senator Jon Tester
US Senator Jon Tester

USA | BRAZIL , Washington | Brasília. Brazil's cattle sector remains under pressure internationally. In the US, calls for an import ban are growing louder.

The US senator representing the state of Montana, Jon Tester of the Democrats, has presented a bill to stop the import of Brazilian beef. The reason is the louder criticism of the Brazilian veterinary system and delays in reporting cases of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle. Earlier, the influential cattlemen's association, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), called on U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to immediately halt all imports of fresh beef from Brazil.

According to the association, Brazil delayed reporting two atypical BSE cases from June to its trading partners and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) for eight weeks, despite the OIE's 24-hour deadline for incidents of international significance. Political pressure for an import ban has also increased in recent days because at the beginning of November two patients in the state of Rio de Janeiro were diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease suspected of being caused by Creutzfeldt-Jakob, which according to the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture (MAPA) is not linked to the consumption of beef.

Brazil's laboratory system also checks

"It's time to keep Brazilian fresh beef out of this country until USDA can confirm that Brazil meets the same consumer and food safety standards we apply to all of our trading partners," NCBA Vice President Ethan Lane said. A thorough risk assessment and review of Brazil's processes must be conducted to identify diseases and other threats to consumers, Lane said. This includes checking Brazil's veterinary diagnostic laboratory system, he said. Flaws and a lack of transparency have raised serious doubts about Brazil's ability to produce beef at an equivalent level of safety to U.S. producers in the past, he said. "If they can't meet that bar, their product has no place here," Lane said. He also pointed out that Brazilian beef exports to China have been suspended since BSE was officially confirmed in September.

China releases first shipments

Meanwhile, however, there has now been some movement in the beef supply relationship between Brazil and China, which has been suspended because of the BSE cases. According to the Ministry of Agriculture in Brasília, the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) has released the batches of Brazilian beef that already had a national health certificate when the cases of atypical BSE were reported on September 3 and were already on their way to China. The agricultural department in Brasília sees the release of these lots by the GACC as a first step towards the resumption of regular exports to the People's Republic. It is hoped that the opening process can be completed next month.

Inspection tours announced

Good news for Brazil's meat exporters came from Russia, which halted imports of beef and pork from the South American country after finding residues of the growth promoter ractopamine in December 2017. The Federal Inspection Service for Animal and Plant Health (Rosselkhoznadzor) has now allowed a total of 12 Brazilian beef and pork production plants to resume shipments to Russia. Rosselkhoznadzor announced inspection trips to Brazil for 2022. The aim is to approve further production facilities for deliveries to Russia in the future.

Source: fleischwirtschaft.de; AgE

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