The U.S. Department of Agriculture Thursday evening announced that it would halt imports of fresh Brazilian beef. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in a statement said: “Ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply is one of our critical missions, and it’s one we undertake with great seriousness,” in making the announcement.
The suspension of shipments will remain in place until the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture takes corrective action which USDA finds satisfactory. Since March, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has been inspecting 100 percent of all meat products arriving in the United States from Brazil. FSIS has refused entry to 11 percent of Brazilian fresh beef products.
That figure is substantially higher than the rejection rate of one percent of shipments from the rest of the world. Brazil’s meat industry has been in turmoil this year since the investigation of a corruption scheme that allowed tainted meat to pass in-country inspections.