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Brazil Admits Some Beef Exports Did not Meet EU Standards

14 February 2008

BRAZIL - Some Brazilian meat processing plants exported beef to Europe that did not meet European Union import requirements, Brazil's agriculture minister told lawmakers probing an EU ban on Brazilian beef imports Wednesday.

"Today, I am sure of this: they exported to the European Union beef that did and did not meet traceability standards," Agriculture Minister Reinhold Stephens told the Senate Agriculture Committee, according to the Senate news agency.

Brazilian meat processing plants, he said, should take a "leadership role in support of producers who sell traceable beef."

Stephanes was called to testify on the EU's February 1 decision to suspend all Brazilian beef imports for health reasons, which Brasilia has branded as "unjustifiable and arbitrary."

EU officials said their decision followed a failed agreement with Brazil on which Brazilian cattle farms could be considered safe under EU rules.

Those rules require beef importers to have animal health and traceability systems that meet EU requirements on farm registration, animal identification and movement controls to prevent the propagation of bovine diseases such as foot-and-mouth.

A November inspection by EU officials determined that many Brazilian farms did not meet those standards.

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Source: EUbusiness


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