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In Brazil, Anger Over European Ban of Beef Imports

06 February 2008

BRAZIL - A decision by the European Union to ban Brazilian beef imports is “unjustifiable and arbitrary” and could result in shortages and higher prices for European consumers, officials and agricultural specialists say.

Concerned that the meat could pose health risks, the Europeans banned all Brazilian beef imports last week. European nations are still alert to fears over mad cow disease and foot-and-mouth disease, and contend that Brazil, the world’s largest beef exporter, does not have adequate health and traceability systems in place.

Brazilian ranchers denied that and proposed that imports be allowed from 2,600 holdings where they said procedures were adequate. The Europeans rejected that compromise and imposed a blanket ban. A delegation is to visit Brazil later this month to further review Brazilian practices.

The restrictions were the latest in a long-running dispute between the European Union and Brazil and evoked predictable anger from Brazilian producers.

The head of the Brazilian Association of Meat Exporters called the measures “abusive sanitary protectionism” and said that herders in Europe simply wanted to eliminate Brazilian competition.

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Source: New York Times

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