NCBA to USDA: halt Brazilian fresh beef imports
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says it’s time to keep Brazilian fresh beef out of the US.
Ethan Lane tells Brownfield Brazil’s inability to adhere to rules set by the World Organization for Animal Health for reporting cases of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is concerning. “The Brazilians fail to report cases like that for in these cases 74 days when the standard the rest of the world adheres to including the U.S. is hours or a day or so.”
He says they’ve sent a letter to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack urging the USDA to immediately suspend all imports of fresh beef from Brazil to the United States until the USDA can conduct a thorough risk assessment. “We’ve asked them to initiate a risk assessment and review of the manor in which Brazil’s minister of agriculture and livestock food supply conducts disease detection,” Lane says. “We also want them to review Brazil’s veterinary diagnostics laboratory system.”
Lane says even if those reviews come back without any major violations, it isn’t enough. “We need to see a pattern of compliance here. WE need to see the next couple of atypical cases be reported in a timely manner.”
He says their poor track record and lack of transparency raises doubts about Brazil’s ability to produce cattle and beef at an equivalent level of safety as American cattle producers.
AUDIO: Ethan Lane, NCBA