NCBA: Vigilance with Brazil key for USDA after BSE identification


NCBA: Vigilance with Brazil key for USDA after BSE identification

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says USDA must continue to enforce safeguards and hold Brazil accountable after identification of two cases of atypical BSE.

Ethan Lane, vice president of governmental affairs, says any beef exported to the U.S. needs to meet rigorous health standards. “When we see something like this from a country like Brazil that has a history of failing to consistently meet FSIS standards, timely report these kinds of issues,” Lane says. “That’s always something we want to make sure we highlight and remind USDA to be vigilant about.”

Brazil’s ag ministry says it confirmed two cases of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in two separate domestic meat plants on Sunday in the states of Mato Grosso and Minas Gerais.

Lane says atypical BSE cases occur spontaneously, don’t risk animal or human health and shouldn’t significantly affect exports.

But, he tells Brownfield, “We don’t want to see this kind of thing used as a non-science-based barrier that’s the kind of thing we see countries like China do in some instances and we’ve certainly been the victim of that kind of thing in the past so we want to lead with the science.”

He says NCBA has “full faith and confidence” in USDA and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to enforce U.S. safety standards and trade rules to protect America’s cattle producers and consumers.