USDA Halts Brazilian Beef Imports
Beef imports from producers and processors in Brazil have halted as of June 16, 2017. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue made this announcement after USDA-Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) revealed safety concerns.
The Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture self-suspended the shipment of beef from five different packing plants after U.S. officials notified irregularities regarding processed carcasses. The USDA has been inspecting 100 percent of all Brazilian meat product since March. According to the USDA, 11 percent of Brazilian meat product has been rejected following this increased inspection rate which is much higher than the rejection rate of 1 percent for shipments from all other importers.
While none of the rejected meat has made it to U.S. markets, approximately 1.9 million pounds (106 lots) of meat product has been refused entry due to public health concerns, sanitary conditions, and animal health issues. The Brazilian Association of Beef Industry Exports says the suspension happened after a vaccine for foot-and-mouth disease were provoking internal and not external abscesses in some bovines.
“Ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply is one of our critical missions, and it’s one we undertake with great seriousness. Although international trade is an important part of what we do at USDA, and Brazil has long been one of our partners, my first priority is to protect American consumers. That’s what we’ve done by halting the import of Brazilian fresh beef. I commend the work of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service for painstakingly safeguarding the food we serve our families,” says Perdue.
No timeline has been made as to when Brazilian beef imports may continue.