Jordan has become the latest countries to ban the import of Brazilian beef since a case of atypical mad cow disease was confirmed last month, Brazil's foreign trade secretary Tatiana Prazeres said on Wednesday. That brings the number of countries that have banned Brazilian beef to five, reports Reuters. Chile has banned imports of Brazilian meat-and-bone meal, despite earlier reports that it too was banning beef imports.
Brazil, the world's No. 1 beef exporter, is considering retaliation at the World Trade Organization (WTO) if the countries do not lift the bans, Prazeres told reporters in Brasilia, insisting that Brazilian beef is safe to eat.
"There is no basis for these decisions on health parameters and the government is analyzing what measures will be taken," she said. "Taking action at the WTO is on our radar."
Prazeres estimated that 4.4 percent of the country's total beef exports have been affected by the bans. Chile became the largest importer of Brazilian beef to ban the product, having imported 62,600 tons of beef between January and November 2012.
The 13-year-old grass-fed cow, which had been kept for breeding in the state of Parana, never developed BSE, commonly known as mad cow disease, but it tested positive for the protein that causes the disease.