US Ban Brazil Beef Imports
Washington-The United States announced Thursday the immediate suspension of all imports of beef products from Brazil because of safety concerns.
The decision by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue came three months after a major scandal into allegations of bribed meat inspectors shook Brazil's meat industry and prompted several countries to temporarily halt imports.
In a statement, Perdue said that since March, U.S. inspectors have refused entry to 11 percent of Brazilian fresh beef products, about 1.9 million pounds.
"That figure is substantially higher than the rejection rate of one percent of shipments from the rest of the world," the statement said.
It said the suspension will remain in place until Brazil's agricultural ministry takes corrective action. The statement did not detail what those actions should be.
The statement noted that Brazil had already addressed concerns of American inspectors by prohibiting five facilities from shipping beef to the U.S., but said that didn't go far enough.
"Today's action to suspend all fresh beef shipments from Brazil supersedes the self-suspension," said the statement.