He made the comments after what he says is mounting evidence piling up against the Brazilian suggesting a serious lack of basic controls within their beef industry. This he says leave the EU with no other alternative but to remove them from Mercosur talks.
He said Brazilian officials have now admitted their mistakes and flaws in their inspection system, which he feels cannot be ignored by the EU, “The Brazilian Deputy Agriculture Minister has admitted there are serious flaws in their inspection system. The EU authorities cannot stand by and ignore what is emerging here. The shortcomings of the inspection system in Brazil make it clear the Brazilian authorities cannot and will not deliver on any agreements to provide beef to an EU standard.”
He continued by adding that the USDA to ban the produce should have alerted the EU, “The decision by the USDA to ban fresh Brazilian beef last Friday should also put the EU authorities on high alert and force them to remove beef from any Mercosur deal”.
Mr. Woods then continued, “Irish and European farmers will be rightly questioning how EU negotiators can continue to engage with the Mercosur countries given this decision by the USDA. The Department of Agriculture in the US has suspended all imports of fresh beef amid ‘recurring concerns’ about the food safety of the product.”
Angus Woods said the EU Commission Food and Veterinary Office have undertaken numerous investigations on standards in Brazil and he then made the call for these reports to be published immediately.
Mr Woods challenged the Commission on the issue of standards saying that Brazil had consistently failed to meet EU standards on the key issues of traceability, animal health and welfare controls, the ban on hormone growth promoters, and environmental controls.
He said that this is further compounded by the inadequate inspection regime and current systems in place at critical areas of the production, processing and certification chain in Brazil.
Angus Woods said he met with Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, in Dublin recently and said he reiterated the IFA’s strong views on the Brazilian meat scandal.
He concluded,“Since the ‘Weak Flesh scandal’ story broke in the Brazilian media last March, the real story regarding the sheer extent and political involvement in the scandal and corruption is only beginning to emerge in Brazil.”