DUP MEP Diane Dodds says she has concerns over the quality of beef imports from Brazil.
She said: “This week the EU Health Commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis, made the announcement at Farm Council that critical deficiencies were present in Brazilian meat plants identified during audits in May. While I welcome these audits I hold concerns, and continue to question, why the Commission have not taken a more stringent approach to Brazilian imports given the allegations in recent months.
“There is also a need to challenge the failure of Brazilian authorities to act on previous recommendations. The Commissioner has also enacted a temporary stop on the pre-listing of establishments, meaning that no more factories will be added to the approved sites for export.
“The Commission has also reinforced checks with 100% physical controls of animal origin presented for import and 20% microbiological checks. It has also been reported that by the end of May some 108 consignments were rejected entering the EU,” she added.
“It is important that the Commission take this matter seriously to protect consumers and ultimately public health. However we must also ensure farmers right across the EU are not competing with sub-standard products.
“With ongoing discussions in Europe around the EU-Mercosur bilateral trade talks it is not only important that agriculture is treated fairly but that systems are in place to ensure farmers are not competing with lower-standard imports.”