Sinn Féin's spokesman on agriculture Martin Kenny has said the scandal in Brazil highlights the shoddy standards of produce with which top-quality grass-fed Irish beef is forced to compete.

Some 1,000 police raided 30 companies in Brazil, with accusations of rotten and dangerous meat having been sold and public officials bribed.

Companies involved include JBS, the world's largest beef exporter, and BRF, the world's top poultry producer.

“Brazil is one of Ireland's biggest competitors for the EU beef market, but we see today that the authorities there have exposed a huge scandal in the sector," he said.

Quality of Irish beef

“The Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed must immediately look for a halt to Brazilian beef imports to Europe. The quality of Irish beef produced from grass-fed, free-roaming cattle, bred on family farms, to the highest standards should not be forced to compete with produce from countries where standards are non-existent in comparison."

Kenny added that this situation serves to warn against international trade agreements such as CETA, which sets poor-quality cheaper produce against the unique excellence of Irish beef.

"Even before this scandal the scales were weighed against Irish farmers, but now the situation is intolerable. The Government must act," he said.

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