U.S. Department of Agriculture Stops Importing Fresh Brazilian Beef
All shipments are suspended until Brazil makes food safety improvements
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (USDA) Sonny Perdue has announced that all imports of fresh Brazilian beef have been suspended as a result of concerns about the safety of the foods.
The shipments will remain suspended until the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture corrects the issue to the satisfaction of the USDA.
The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has inspected all meat products imported from Brazil since March, refusing entry to 11 percent of those products. This means that roughly 1.9 million pounds of beef products from Brazil have been rejected due to public health concerns, sanitary conditions, and issues related to animal health.
Prior to this announcement, Brazil's government had pledged to address these issues. One of its actions included suspending five facilities from shipping beef to the U.S, an action now superseded by that of the U.S. in suspending all beef imports from Brazil.
"Ensuring the safety of our nation's food supply is one of our critical missions, and it's one we undertake with great seriousness," stated Secretary Perdue. "Although international trade is an important part of what we do at USDA, and Brazil has long been one of our partners, my first priority is to protect American consumers. That's what we've done by halting the import of Brazilian fresh beef. I commend the work of USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service for painstakingly safeguarding the food we serve our families."