Irish Farmers Association president Pádraig Walshe said the admission by Brazil’s Agriculture Minister Reinhold Stephens was shocking.
He said these developments seriously damage any attempts by the Brazilians to re-establish trade with Europe. “The facts are Brazil fails to meet EU standards and the current ban must be maintained by the European Commission,” he said.
The IFA has conducted a sustained campaign for the past two years to have Brazilian beef totally banned from the EU.
Some time ago the European Commission insisted on limiting to 300 the number of farms from which it imported Brazilian beef. But earlier this month it imposed a total ban after the Brazilians presented a list of about 2,500 farms instead. Mr Stephanes told the Brazilian Congress Agriculture Committee that slaughterhouses had exported inspected and uninspected beef before the EU’s importing rules became valid on February 1. He said the first mistake was committed in 1995, when the Brazilian government signed an agreement with the EU, accepting conditions that it was not yet ready to fulfill.
Brazil, the world’s largest beef exporter, maintains that the EU’s ban was exaggerated, unjustified and motivated mainly by commercial reasons.