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Beware Of Brazilian Beef Standards, Warns IFA

28 June 2010

IRELAND - The president of the Irish Farmers' Association Union (IFA) says the latest recall of Brazilian beef highlights ongoing failures in standards.

On Friday (25 June), IFA President, John Bryan, said the decision by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to recall another major consignment of contaminated Brazilian beef raises serious food safety issues and further justifies the case for an immediate cessation of the EU Commission-Mercosur trade negotiations.

Mr Bryan said the EU Commission must outline the checks they have carried out on Brazilian beef imports into Europe since this US recall began last month.

He said: "The EU climate change debate cannot be progressed when trade deals such as Mercosur facilitate the destruction of rain-forests in Brazil and South America."

The IFA President said DG Sanco must also instigate a thorough review of the practices surrounding cattle production in Brazil to safeguard the European producer and consumer, both of whom are being exposed to an unacceptable and unnecessary risk.

Mr Bryan said the EU Commission has a litany of reports from the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) outlining the continued failure of Brazil to meet European standards on the key issues of traceability, tagging, movement controls, food safety, animal health and environmental controls.

Mr Bryan added: "Against this background, it is incredible that the EU Commission is proceeding with the Mercosur trade talks, set to resume in Argentina next week. I put this to the Trade Commissioner, Karel de Gucht, this week at a meeting in Brussels this week."

He said the Commission cannot promote a trade deal that would damage the global climate and bring about the destruction of the Amazon rain-forest on a grand scale. He pointed out that the Brazilian beef sector is responsible for deforestation amounting to an area half the size of Ireland on an annual basis.

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