MSGA Skeptical of Re-Entry of Brazilian Beef into U.S. Market Due to Previous Food Safety Violations

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HELENA, Mont. (Feb. 24, 2020) – On February 21, 2020, USDA announced access has been restored for Brazilian beef into the United States. This comes after the 2017 suspension of Brazilian beef from the U.S. market after numerous food safety violations at U.S. ports-of-entry.

MSGA strongly supports the enforcement of science-based trade. With that being said, MSGA does have concerns about the re-entry of Brazilian beef to the U.S. market.

“The United States has some of the highest food safety and animal health standards in the world,” said MSGA President, Fred Wacker. “So, we’re skeptical of allowing Brazilian beef, and their history of foot-and-mouth disease along with other health and safety concerns, into our market.”

During Brazil’s first year of access to the U.S. market in 2017, FSIS refused entry to 11 percent of Brazilian fresh beef products, which was substantially higher than the one percent rejection rate from the rest of the world. To put that in pounds, FSIS refused entry to approximately 1.9 million pounds of Brazilian beef products due to public health concerns, sanitary conditions, and animal health issues.

Since then, USDA has subjected Brazil to a thorough, science-based inspection and audit process to make sure Brazil’s food safety inspection processes and procedures are equivalent to those of the U.S. and provide the same level of public health protection achieved by U.S. measures. It is essential to the health of our consumers, livestock and industry to take this matter seriously and share our skepticism of those who have not be able to meet the United States’ rigorous requirements in the past.

During MSGA’s 2019 Annual Convention & Trade Show, members actually revised our “Importation of Fresh and/or Frozen Beef” policy to address issues like this. The policy reads:

“MSGA opposes the importation of fresh and/or frozen beef products into the United States from Brazil and any other beef exporting countries that have reported FMD or BSE cases, until concerns of disease control and eradication can be resolved and foreign officials can be proven capable of meeting and successfully carrying out U.S. food safety standards to prevent the spread of zoonotic and livestock diseases.”

Moving forward, MSGA will work with our congressional delegation to make sure USDA continues with rigorous inspections of Brazilian beef at U.S. ports-of-entry for the foreseeable future.

Keni Reese
Director of Marketing & Communications, MSGA

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