NCBA renews call for immediate suspension of fresh beef imports from Brazil
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has renewed its call for the suspension of Brazilian beef imports.
Ethan Lane, Vice President of Government Affairs with NCBA, says the USDA needs to take steps to safeguard the integrity of the entire US food supply chain. “We were really frustrated by Secretary Vilsack’s response the last time around,” he says. “He basically blew us off and said that we didn’t know what we were asking for. We vehemently disagree. We know specifically what we’re asking for and we understand the issue.”
He says Brazil has repeatedly failed to adhere to international animal health and food safety standards and hasn’t reported cases of atypical BSE in a timely manner. While atypical BSE is not a threat to the US cattle herd, Lane says demonstrating efficiency in complying with international practices is how the industry ensures animal disease outbreaks don’t happen.
Lane says a thorough audit of Brazil’s animal health and food safety system is needed. “We simply cannot have a global beef importer bringing beef into this country at that scale that is not following the rules the rest of the countries participate with,” he says.
He tells Brownfield in the first three months of 2022, Brazil has already shipped more than 50,000 metric tons of fresh beef into the US, triggering a temporary tariff safeguard of 26.4% that will apply to Brazilian beef imports for the rest of 2022. “There is a good point to that,” he says. “That is it means probably better prices for producers domestically, a better market on cull cows, and 90’s are going to be higher. And those aren’t bad things.”
In 2021, Brazilian beef exports to the US rose 131 percent.
AUDIO: Ethan Lane, NCBA