‘Commission’s response to Brazilian scandal is not enough’

The move by the EU Commission to only block Brazilian meat imports from companies implicated in the investigation is not enough, the IFA President Joe Healy said.

He reiterated his call for a full ban on Brazilian meat imports, including poultry, into the EU.

The EU’s policy on the equivalence of standards is not credible if the Commission doesn’t impose a full ban, he added.

“The latest shocking revelations, on the failure of the authorities in Brazil to meet EU standards and controls in the meat sector, raise very serious concerns around imports.

The EU Commission relies on these authorities to ensure EU standards are met.

The IFA has written to the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, demanding a full ban, he said.

Trade Talks

Healy also believes that that EU Commission must withdraw from trade talks with Mercosur while this investigation in Brazil is ongoing.

“Standards and controls have to be at the centre of any trade discussions.

The EU Commission cannot stand over negotiations with the Mercosur group, against the backdrop of the very serious issues raised in Brazil.

This latest scandal highlights the need for a strong policy on standards in the context of Brexit, he added.

In the IFA’s policy paper on Brexit, we clearly set out the need for equivalent standards on food safety, animal health, welfare and the environment, Healy said.

The need for the application of the Common External Tariff for imports to both the EU and UK was also set out in the policy paper, the IFA President said.

Healy believes the latest reports from Brazil indicate that basic requirements around traceability and food safety are still not being met in Brazil.

It is nearly 10 years since the IFA uncovered serious failures in the way the authorities monitor and oversee the implementation of standards in Brazil, that are the norm for European farmers and the food industry, he added.

The reality is that Brazil fails to meet EU standards and controls on tagging, traceability, food safety, animal health controls and environmental standards, according to Healy.

He said it is not credible for either the EU or the Brazilian authorities to try and claim that meat exported outside of Brazil is up to standard, and domestic meat is not.

“No credible or proper control system can effectively operate in the absence of traceability, tagging, registration and a national data-base,” he added.