Brazilian beef still does not meet EU standards, claim farm leaders

BRAZILIAN beef is still not meeting the same standards as those in the European Union, it was claimed yesterday.

Irish farm leaders noted that the latest European Commission Food and Veterinary Office investigation in Brazil showed that 50% of the holdings inspected failed to meet EU requirements.

However, the FVO report said significant improvements had been made since the previous missions in relation to holding, registration, animal identification and movement controls.

Irish Farmers Association president Padraig Walshe said the report shows beef production in Brazil flies in the face of EU standards.

Half of the holdings inspected failed to meet EU requirements on the important issues of registration, traceability and movement controls.

He said the FVO confirmation shows that the new system in Brazil of verifying farms for export to Europe is a failure.

Mr Walshe said the EU health and consumer affairs commissioner Androulla Vassiliou must bring an immediate halt to the process that has cleared over 1,200 Brazilian farms to date.

“This latest report had once again vindicated the findings of the IFA/Farmers Journal investigation in Brazil in 2007.

“That investigation found non-existent cattle traceability, widespread illegal removal and cutting out of tags, totally inadequate movement and foot and mouth disease controls and the use of hormone growth promoters,” he said.

Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association Beef and Cattle Committee chairman Martin McMahon said six of the 12 farms inspected by the EU were found to have deficiencies.

Mr McMahon said Irish beef farmers are seeing their prices over 10% back on year earlier levels and are expected to compete against imports that have much lower standards which means costs are also substantially lower.

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