Senator Jon Tester introduces bill to suspend imports of Brazilian beef due to safety concerns
Following repeated problems with the late reporting of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, in Brazilian beef, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today introduced legislation to suspend beef imports Brazilian in the United States until experts can conduct a systematic product safety review. .
On September 3, 2021, Brazil announced two cases of atypical BSE detected in June of the same year. Most countries immediately report similar cases to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) – with the UK and Germany this year reporting cases to the OIE within days of their occurrence earlier this year – but Brazil reported its cases more than 2 months after the fact, breaking trust with the OIE and global trading partners. This has happened regularly, with Brazil also waiting months, if not years, to report similar cases in 2019, 2014 and 2012.
Brazil enjoys preferential market access on the world stage due to its designation as a “negligible risk” exporter by the OIE. While rare and one-off cases of atypical BSE do not necessarily indicate systemic problems with the health of Brazilian cattle herds, repeated delays in reporting suggest an overly lax food safety regime and raise concerns over reporting. additional dangerous diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease. -Mouth disease, African swine fever and bird flu.
The Tester’s Bill would ensure Brazilian beef is safe to eat before it is brought back to US markets by imposing a moratorium on Brazilian beef until a panel of food safety experts and commerce has made a recommendation regarding its import status. The legislation is supported by the US Cattlemen’s Association, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and R-CALF USA.
Source: Montana Senator Jon Tester