Russian ban on Brazilian beef must prompt immediate action

THE decision of the Russian authorities to ban Brazilian beef from 27 plants raises further serious questions about imports from South America.

THE decision of the Russian authorities to ban Brazilian beef from 27 plants raises further serious questions about imports from South America.

That is according to IFA President John Bryan who called for the immediate suspension of trade talks scheduled for next week between the EU and the Mercosur group.

Following a two-week inspection of Brazilian meat-processing plants this month, the Russian authorities have placed further restrictions on 13 plants. This follows a decision to ban 14 meat plants in 2010.

John Bryan stated, “These damning findings confirm the evidence of the lack of standards in Brazil found on the IFA and Farmers Journal missions in 2006 and 2007. There must be a full reappraisal of the EU policy on meat imports and the controls in operation in third countries.The EU sell-out of agriculture in Mercosur must be stopped now.”

He remarked that the inspection ‘demonstrated a number of systemic deficiencies in the work of the National Veterinary Services in Brazil’. It also found that ‘veterinary certificates for products exported to Russia groundlessly confirmed their compliance with the current Russian requirements’.

The report also said the ‘safety of all products produced cannot be ensured’ and ‘the situation gives reasons to doubt the reliability of the results of veterinary and sanitary inspections at the plants’.

The IFA leader said these conclusions by the Russian Veterinary Services are extremely serious and must be taken on board by the EU Commission, the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament.

John Bryan said he would be raising the issues around the failure of Brazilian beef imports to meet the standards required by European consumers at a meeting in the European Parliament next Monday.