Brazilian meat scandal 'disturbing' - Fianna Fáil
Developments in the Brazilian meat scandal continue to unfold, with the European Commission announcing on Tuesday that companies involved in the meat fraud investigation will be suspended from shipping to the EU.
It emerged at the weekend that police in Brazil had raided 30 meat processing companies, accusing them of selling unfit meat.
Fianna Fáil spokesperson for agriculture Charlie McConalogue said the reports were disturbing and that Brazilian beef exports should remain off the table in Mercosur negotiations.
“Considering the EU is one of the main markets for Brazilian beef and poultry exports, contingency actions need to be put in place to safeguard European consumers from substandard meat product.
“It is paramount that meat imports into Europe meet premier EU safety standards and that animal traceability conditions are maintained.”
Threat to Irish beef farmers
Mercosur trade talks between the EU and South American countries are due to recommence next week.
“My party has been consistent in the view that Mercosur represents a dangerous threat to European and Irish beef farmers,” McConalogue said.
“Given the dark cloud hanging over Brazilian meat exports from these latest revelations, it is vital that any discussions on beef entering the EU market from this region remain off the negotiation table.
“It is vital that Ireland and other like-minded EU member state countries make it clear to the Commission that European consumers cannot be exposed to substandard controls covering food safety, animal health controls, tractability and environmental standards.”
Concerns of the farming industry
China, which is the largest market for Brazilian beef, also put in place a suspension on imports following the allegations.
Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) president, Barclay Bell, said the allegations went against everything farmers here work to achieve, in terms of producing meat to the highest quality standards.
“It is of critical importance that politicians in Belfast, London and Brussels raise with trade officials the concerns of the farming industry has about these reports from Brazil.
"We cannot accept that our industry, or consumers, are put at risk by imports from countries where serious allegations have been made of fraud and corruption in their food industry," he added.