More fallout from Brazil’s meat scandal

Employees work on a production line at the JBS-Friboi chicken processing plant in Lapa, Brazil (Photo credit: AFP-JIJI)

Japan and Mexico have joined the growing list of countries limiting imports of meat products from Brazil in the wake of the Brazilian meatpacking scandal.

The Japanese government has halted the import of Brazilian poultry as well as all other products from the meatpacking companies under investigation.  Mexico’s Food Health Board says it is suspending imports of Brazilian chicken and turkey meat. It says Mexico doesn’t buy beef or pork from Brazil.

China, Chile, the European Union and Hong Kong have also taken steps to avoid importing Brazilian meat. The U.S. has not suspended imports of Brazilian meat products, but the USDA has stepped up its inspections of those products.

In a statement provided to Brownfield, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) says it expects USDA “to stringently enforce its oversight authority for all products imported from overseas…to ensure the safety of the beef supply”.  NCBA says all imported beef must meet the same inspection and quality requirements as products produced in the U.S.  (See full statement below.)

Several Brazilian meatpackers have been accused of bribing inspectors to waive food safety requirements and allowing contaminated meat to be shipped. Reports indicate Brazil’s government has shut down three plants and suspended the export licenses for 21 meat packing plants.

Statement from NCBA president Craig Uden:

“America’s cattle producers expect USDA to stringently enforce its oversight authority for all products imported from overseas. America’s consumers and beef producers expect nothing less when it comes to safeguarding the safety and health of our nation. American consumers expect and deserve the safest, most wholesome food products available, and cattle producers believe this is especially true when it comes to beef. All beef imported into the United States must meet the same inspection and quality requirements as the products we produce here. USDA already possesses the necessary authority to prevent products which do not meet the high standards of American consumers from reaching our markets, and we expect USDA to rigorously enforce their existing authority to ensure the safety of the beef supply.


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