Brazilian hopes for lifting of temporary Chinese beef ban following BSE scare

Brazilian authorities have expressed hopes that China will evaluate documentation sent on meat exports “in the next few days”, following the temporary suspension of health certs due to the discovery of BSE in Brazil.

According to the Brazilian Minister for Agriculture, Tereza Cristina, the detection of the occurrence shows the efficiency of the Brazilian inspection service.

“This is a common thing and it shows that the Brazilian inspection service is working,” Minister Cristina said in a statement.

“Last year, more than 20 countries had an occurrence like this, atypical, it is not contagious, it does not endanger anyone, it is a normal thing. This shows transparency and governance of the inspection service,” she said.

On Monday, June 3, the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture temporarily suspended issuing health certificates for China until the Chinese authority has concluded its assessment of information sent by the South American country on an atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) discovered recently.

The case was detected in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso.

BSE Case

Last Friday, the Secretary of Defense confirmed the discovery of an atypical case of BSE.

This disease occurs spontaneously and sporadically, and is not related to the ingestion of contaminated food, the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture said.

The disease was observed in a beef cow, aged 17 years. All BSE-specific risk material was removed from the animal during emergency slaughter and incinerated at the slaughterhouse itself.

Other products derived from the animal were identified, located and seized preventatively, with no product entering the human food chain or ruminants. There is therefore no risk to the population, the authority stressed.

After confirmation, Brazil officially notified the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and importing countries.

The OIE opened a case on the incident last Friday, May 31, and concluded on Monday without further requests.

‘No health risk’

The global health organisation closed the case without changing the Brazilian health status, which is considered an insignificant risk for the disease, according to the Brazilian ministry.

Minister Cristina added that “there is no health risk and that beef exports can continue usually for other countries”.

It’s an absolutely normal thing; we’re waiting for China in the next few days to ask us to take the suspension. It was a suspension made by Brazil.

Minister Cristina claimed that this does not detract from trade with the Asian country, and said that China is the only country that requires temporary suspension when an atypical case of BSE is detected.