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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Proposed Legislation on Importation of Beef from Brazil


Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD) and John Tester (D-MT) have reintroduced legislation to suspend imports of beef from Brazil subject to verification of acceptable food safety and animal health risks. Legislation would require beef from Brazil to be deemed safe for consumption before it enters U.S. markets. 


The Bill was first introduced in November 2021 when it was disclosed that Brazil had delayed reporting two cases of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) to the World Organization of Animal Health. Disclosure was also delayed following cases in 2012, 2014 and 2019.


Senator Rounds noted, “Brazil has a history of failing to report in a timely and accurate manner diseases found in their herds.”  He added, “This poses a significant threat to both American producers and consumers who should be able to confidently feed their families beef that has met the rigorous standards required in the United States.”


Ethan Lane, Vice President of Government Affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association stated, “The United States has some of the highest food safety and animal health standards in the world and any country that wishes to trade with the United States must demonstrate that they can meet those standards.”  He added, “Brazil’s track record of failing to report atypical BSE cases is unacceptable and we must hold all trade partners accountable without exception.”


The history of Brazil with respect to atypical BSE raises the question of whether authorities in the nation might withhold reports of HPAI in wild birds, backyard flocks or even commercial farms.  At the present time, all countries surrounding Brazil have reported BSE.  It would indeed be unusual if the infection were not to enter that Nation, given the migratory patterns of free-living birds and the possibilities of introduction across the extensive borders with neighboring states.

Copyright © 2023 Simon M. Shane