Brazil is considering retaliation against trade partners that are refusing to import Brazilian beef suspected of carrying atypical mad cow disease.
Senior Brazilian officials say fears that Brazilian beef is unsafe for human consumption are unfounded and the international import restrictions are unjustified.
China and Japan are on a growing list of countries that have banned Brazilian beef imports. Chile became the first Latin American nation to halt imports from Brazil, despite Brazilian protestations the meat is safe to eat.
Six countries have banned imports of Brazilian beef, including No. 6 importer Chile, since a case of atypical mad cow disease was confirmed last month, Brazil’s foreign trade secretary Tatiana Prazeres said on Wednesday.
Brazil, the world’s No. 1 beef exporter, is considering retaliation at the World Trade Organization (WTO) if the countries do not lift the bans, Prazeres told reporters in Brasilia, insisting that Brazilian beef is safe to eat.
“There is no basis for these decisions on health parameters and the government is analyzing what measures will be taken,” she said. “Taking action at the WTO is on our radar.”
Samantha Pearson – Financial Times, 09/06/2011
Iran has eclipsed Russia to become the biggest buyer of beef from Brazil, the world’s top exporter of the meat, strengthening the countries’ controversial ties and deepening Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s foreign policy dilemma.
Brazil sold $61.7m of beef to Iran in August, making the Middle Eastern country the biggest market for Brazil’s key beef exports for the first time on record, the Association of Brazilian Beef Exporters (Abiec) told the Financial Times.
“Iran has become a very important commercial partner for Brazil; we’ve become much closer over the last few years,” said Fernando Sampaio, Abiec’s executive director.