Sonny Perdue
Concerns regarding the safety of Brazilian beef have caused USDA to suspend shipments.
WASHINGTON – Recurring concerns about the safety of fresh Brazilian beef products planned to enter the American market have driven US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, to announce USDA’s suspension of imports of fresh beef from Brazil. The suspensions will remain until the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture takes action deemed satisfactory by USDA.

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has been inspecting 100 percent of all meat products arriving in the United States from Brazil since March. Eleven percent of the fresh beef products from Brazil have been refused entry, a figure significantly higher than the rejection rate of 1 percent of shipments from the rest of the world. During the increased inspection period, FSIS has refused entry to 106 lots (approximately 1.9 million lbs.) of Brazilian beef products due to public health concerns, sanitary conditions, and animal health issues. None of the rejected product has made it into the US market.

To address the US concerns, the Brazilian government has enforced a self-suspension on five facilities. Those facilities will not ship beef to the US. However, the US suspension of all fresh Brazilian beef supersedes Brazil’s self-suspension.

Secretary Perdue issued the following statement:

“Ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply is one of our critical missions, and it’s one we undertake with great seriousness.  Although international trade is an important part of what we do at USDA, and Brazil has long been one of our partners, my first priority is to protect American consumers. That’s what we’ve done by halting the import of Brazilian fresh beef.  I commend the work of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service for painstakingly safeguarding the food we serve our families.”