US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue implemented the Brazilian beef ban in June on recurring concerns over the safety of Brazilian beef products. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the US Dept. of Agriculture has been inspecting 100 percent of all Brazilian beef products arriving in the US since March. FSIS reported 11 percent of the fresh beef products imported 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 refused entry to approximately 1.9 million lbs. of Brazilian beef products due to public health concerns, sanitary conditions and animal health issues.
Brazilian officials attributed the problems to vaccinations against foot-and-mouth disease. The vaccinations have been linked to abscesses on beef carcasses. Following the ban, the Brazilian government announced a requirement that all beef cuts will be sliced before shipment to avoid meat quality and safety problems.