Beef imports between US and Brazil OK again, markets reopen

Beef imports between US and Brazil OK again, markets reopen

USDA and Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply reach deal to allow access for U.S. beef and beef products to the Brazilian market for the first time since 2003.

USDA has reached agreement with Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply to allow access for U.S. beef and beef products to the Brazilian market for the first time since 2003.

Brazil's action reflects the United States' negligible risk classification for bovine spongiform encephalopathy by the World Organization for Animal Health and aligns Brazil's regulations to the OIE's scientific international animal health guidelines.

"After many years of diligently working to regain access to the Brazilian market, the United States welcomes the news that Brazil has removed all barriers to U.S. beef and beef product exports," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "We are pleased that Brazil, a major agricultural producing and trading country, has aligned with science-based international standards, and we encourage other nations to do the same. Since last year alone, USDA has eliminated BSE-related restrictions in 16 countries, regaining market access for U.S. beef and pumping hundreds-of-millions of dollars into the American economy.

"The Brazilian market offers excellent long-term potential for U.S. beef exporters. The United States looks forward to providing Brazil's 200-million-plus consumers, and growing middle class, with high-quality American beef and beef products," Vilsack said.

Both countries will immediately begin updating their administrative procedures in order to allow trade to resume. U.S. companies will need to complete Brazil's regular facilities registration process.

In a separate decision, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service recently determined that Brazil's food safety system governing meat products remains equivalent to that of the United States and that fresh (chilled or frozen) beef can be safely imported from Brazil.

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