IFA President Joe Healy has reiterated his call for a full ban on Brazilian meat imports into the EU, including poultry, saying the move by the EU Commission to halt only those companies implicated in the investigation is not enough.
Joe Healy said it is not credible for the EU’s policy on equivalence of standards if the Commission doesn’t impose a full ban. “The latest shocking revelations on the failure of the authorities in Brazil to meet EU standards and controls in the meat sector raises very serious concerns around imports. The EU Commission relies on these authorities to ensure EU standards are met.”
Joe Healy said the IFA has written to the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis demanding a full ban.
The IFA President said the 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.”
Joe Healy said the latest developments also highlight the need for a strong policy on standards in the context of Brexit. He said, “In the IFA policy document on Brexit we have set out very clearly the need for equivalent standards on food safety, animal health, welfare and the environment and the need for the application of the Common External Tariff for imports to both the EU and UK.”
The IFA President said the latest reports from Brazil would indicate that basic requirements around traceability and food safety are still not being met in Brazil. He pointed out that it is nearly ten years since 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.
Joe Healy said the reality is that Brazil fails to meet EU standards and controls on tagging, traceability, food safety and animal health controls and environmental standards. 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. He said “No credible or proper control system can effectively operate in the absence of traceability, tagging, registration and national data base.”