WASHINGTON — US Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) reintroduced legislation to suspend Brazilian beef imports until experts can verify the food safety and animal health risk of the commodity.
This legislation would require Brazilian beef to be deemed safe for consumption before it enters US markets. A moratorium would be imposed on the beef until a group of food safety, animal health and trade experts can recommend an import status.
In November 2021, the bill was originally introduced after Brazil delayed reports of animal diseases. Brazil waited until September 2021 to report two cases of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) to the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE). Brazil implemented similar prolonged waiting periods in 2012, 2014 and 2019.
“Producer’s livelihoods are being compromised by Brazilian beef imports that fail to meet our country’s food safety and animal health standards, as Brazil has a history of failing to report, in a timely and accurate manner, diseases found in their herds,” Rounds said. “This poses a significant threat to both American producers and consumers. Consumers should be able to confidently feed their families beef that has met the rigorous standards required in the United States. Our bipartisan legislation would make certain Brazilian beef is safe to transport and eat before it is brought into our markets, neutralizing Brazil’s deceptive trade tactics.”
Members of the beef industry voiced their support of the bill, including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).
“The United States has some of the highest food safety and animal health standards in the world, and any country who wishes to trade with the United States must demonstrate that they can meet those standards,” said Ethan Lane, vice president of government affairs at NCBA. “Brazil’s track record of failing to report atypical BSE cases is unacceptable, and we must hold all trade partners accountable without exception.”