The United States Cattlemen’s Association issued the following statement on the announcement by the United States Department of Agriculture that all Brazilian beef imports to the U.S. will be halted until further notice. The statement may be attributed to USCA Trade Committee Chair Leo McDonnell:
“USCA applauds the announcement by Secretary Perdue that all imports of Brazilian beef products to the U.S. will be halted until the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture takes corrective action which the USDA finds acceptable. Since March, USDA FSIS has routinely inspected Brazil beef shipments to the U.S., with 11 percent being refused entry. USCA has remained adamantly opposed to imports of Brazilian beef products for this exact reason and the actions taken today confirm the concerns held by producers regarding the many ‘bad acts’ by Brazil in the global trade arena.
“The potential harm to U.S. cattle producers and the U.S. food supply, caused by any food safety violations as reported, warrant a critical review by USDA into the Brazil system and standards. The absence of origin labeling only serves to increase the concerns by U.S. cattle producers and consumers when such safety violations are reported.
“USCA commends the actions by Sen. Jon Tester, D-MT, on this matter. Sen. Tester has raised this issue several times in the past year and has been adamant about the U.S. cattle industry’s concerns with Brazil. USCA appreciates Secretary Perdue and the leadership within USDA that evaluated the situation with Brazil and responded to the concerns from Congress and cattle country. USCA will work with Congress and USDA to ensure that this matter is acted upon and continuously reviewed.”