June 23, 2017
The United States has halted imports of fresh Brazilian beef after a high percentage of shipments failed to pass safety checks.
In a statement, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it had “recurring concerns about the safety of the products intended for the American market,” after increasing tests on Brazilian beef in March.
The agency raised scrutiny on Brazilian beef and ready-to-eat products as a precaution following an investigation into corruption involving Brazil’s health inspectors.
The USDA’s action threatens the reputation of meat from Brazil, the world’s top exporter of beef and poultry, even though the United States is not a top customer. It also could boost domestic sales in the United States.
Since March, the USDA has rejected 11% of Brazilian fresh beef products, compared to the rejection rate of 1% for shipments from the rest of the world, the agency said.
The shipments raised concerns about public health, animal health and sanitation, according to the USDA.
The agency said none of the rejected lots made it into the U.S. market.
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