The North American Meat Institute welcomed the announcements from both the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and Brazilian government this week that will improve beef trade with the South American country.
Brazil’s move to lift bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) related restrictions on U.S. beef further confirms the safety of U.S. beef and recognition of our negligible risk status for BSE. This will allow the export to Brazil of high quality U.S. beef, which is already in high demand in other South American countries that have previously removed restrictions.
“The Brazilian market offers great opportunity for U.S. companies and it is a market the industry has been working to regain access to for years,” said Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter. “We are also pleased that Brazil has recognized what the World Organization for Animal Health did: that U.S. beef is as safe as any in the world with negligible risk for BSE.”
While the Brazilian market is now open to U.S. beef, FSIS has officially deemed Brazil’s regulatory system for fresh and frozen beef equivalent to the U.S., allowing for the import of fresh and frozen beef from several regions of Brazil. This is the final step in a process that began with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) approval of the import of beef from certain regions of Brazil last year.
“The Meat Institute has long supported international trade based on sound scientific risk assessments,” Carpenter said “This approach delivers strong opportunity for the industry while ensuring the safety of products for consumers.”
Brazilian plants have already been exporting processed beef to the U.S. for many years and similarly had to meet FSIS equivalence requirements for this trade to occur. However, additional FSIS requirements for fresh and frozen beef meant that a reassessment of the regulatory equivalence determination was needed to allow these products to be exported to the U.S.
While FSIS’ decision opens the U.S. market to additional beef products, Brazilian beef will likely compete with other products from Central America under the U.S. tariff rate quota system, limiting the volume eligible to enter the U.S. without paying a 26.4% tariff. It is anticipated that Brazilian beef will primarily be used in ground and processed beef products.