Wednesday, December 26th 2012 - 07:25 UTC

Brazil warns countries that have banned imports of beef because of atypical BSE

The world’s top beef exporter, Brazil, will give countries that curbed imports of its beef after a case of mad cow disease until March to drop the measures or it will file a complaint at the World Trade Organization, farm ministry officials said.

Enio Marques Pereira: ‘March is the deadline’, or Brazil will file a complaint at WTO

Five countries have implemented full or partial bans on Brazilian beef imports since confirmation this month of a case of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, in a cow that died in 2010.

Atypical BSE cases can occur spontaneously in elderly cattle and the 13-year-old animal in the Brazilian case never developed full-blown BSE, testing instead positive for a protein that is the causal agent of mad cow disease.

Brazil had previously launched a diplomatic offensive to fend off restrictions over the death of the cow in the southern state of Parana which was confirmed only this month by Brazilian authorities.

But now Brazil has promised to take retaliatory action against countries rejecting its beef, saying there are no grounds for such action.

“March is the deadline,” said Enio Marques Pereira, Secretary for Animal and Plant Health at Brazil’s farm ministry, after a meeting at the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) headquarters Friday.

Officials stressed Brazil has kept its status as a country presenting negligible BSE risk under an OIE classification, and that OIE norms consider safe for consumption products like red meat and gelatine, even when BSE has been declared in a country.

The Brazilian cow in question never entered the food chain.

Countries that suspended Brazilian beef imports include Egypt and Saudi Arabia which rank among Brazil’s top 10 beef buyers, but Marques said the economic impact so far was “very low”, noting that Egypt was only banning meat from the region where the BSE case occurred.

The other countries which have imposed temporary bans are South Africa, Japan and China.

The OIE welcomed the fact that Brazil had managed to detect the atypical case in a national herd of more than 200 million, though logistical problems at a laboratory delayed the analysis of the animal’s tissue since its death in 2010.
“We’re rather reassured by the fact that Brazil reported this case,” Bernard Vallat, director general of the OIE, said.

He stressed that an end to the use of cattle feed containing matter from ruminant animals had succeeded in nearly eradicating BSE after tens of thousands of cases in the 1980s and 1990s, mostly in Britain.

Brazilian beef exports declined 14% in 2011, to 820.239 tons, establishing it as the world’s third largest beef exporter behind Australia and the US, according to Global Trade Atlas.

Middle East countries have become the main client for Brazil’s beef.
The Middle East was the largest region for Brazilian beef shipments in 2011, with Iran (130.649 tons), Egypt (96.937 tons), Saudi Arabia (27.951 tons) and Israel (15.937 tons) all taking substantial volumes.

15 comments Feed

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1 Anglotino (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 09:15 am Report abuse
First paragraph:
“The world’s top beef exporter, Brazil”

Second last paragraph:
“world’s third largest beef exporter behind Australia and the US”

Either way, it gives you great faith that even though it was one cow, it was still reported.
2 ChrisR (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 11:11 am Report abuse

I agree, but you have to remember the hysteria that accompanied the original outbreaks and how we would ALL be contaminated with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), even if we did not die of it.

Politically, people are frightened of their electorate thinking they are not taking adequate precautions about their health.

I think Brasil acted completely correctly in this matter and it is a pity it has turned out like this. I wonder if they will be as open should another case be found.
3 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 11:37 am Report abuse
The politics of trade is an ugly business and uglier when the times are tough. I agree Brazil acted correctly. But it they decide to conceal another case and it turns out the be wider, they will spend forever trying to sell their beef again. I would rather deal with the politics of trade than reputation mending.
4 jkw (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 12:25 pm Report abuse
#3 Captain Poppy.....this is Monsanto's revenge....(although it did beat up on a bunch of organic farmers in the US this past march when its pollen polluted their crops....but it ended up not pursuing them in a higher court...and the following explains why)

a synopsis of news stories GMO pollen polluting lawsuits from

Earlier this year, Riceland Foods, the largest rice cooperative in the U.S. won its lawsuit against the Bayer Corporation after its natural long-grain rice was contaminated with Bayer's unapproved genetically engineered rice. Thousands of similar lawsuits have been filed.
Canadian canola farmer, Percy Schmeiser, was sued by Monsanto for patent infringement in 1998, after his fields were found to contain Monsanto’s patented GM canola. But rather than accepting Monsanto’s bullying ways, he decided to fight back—and won. In March 2008, Monsanto agreed to pay for cleanup costs. Since then, Schmeiser’s fight for farmer’s rights has been featured in a documentary film, “David versus Monsanto.”
Other recent cases of contamination of conventional and organic crops with GM varieties include maize in Ireland and Spain, and corn in Germany.

And I would add, Brazil.....
5 yasu (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 02:23 pm Report abuse
BSE is a serious disease with no cure at all, which is caused by prion, a protein with mis-arranged DNA sequence, as often happened with genetically modified food. I am greatly disapointed with Brazil with a relatively good president, is trying to take this kind of stupid approach. The WTO will not side with this stupid Brazilains. Unfortunately, Rgentina and Brazil are 2 major Latin American countries have many crops which are genetically modified thanks to Menen and corrupt politicians of the past, and these 2 countries are pushing dangerous food to other countries instead of trying to ban those dangerous food. You can not cause all types of dangerous diseases for the sake of big farmers' interets. It is not the real interests for Argentina and Brazil. Many countries where GM foods and BSE infected beef, such as the EU countries, Russia and Japan will prohibit any GM food and BSE beef.
6 Conqueror (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 04:35 pm Report abuse
I tend to agree with the thrust of yasu's comment. People are not interested in the “politics” of trade. They are interested in whether Brazilian beef poses a risk to human life. It is totally wrong for Brazil to take high-handed actions such as setting deadlines and threatening WTO action. Brazil should be putting all the results of its investigations and actions before the authorities of potential importers and welcoming independent investigations by those countries. The current approach simply makes Brazil look and sound like argieland.
7 redpoll (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 05:07 pm Report abuse
Yes I think Brazil has over reacted. This is one isolated case and it isnt the full BSE prion anyway but something which may be closely related. It is fairly natural for countries to take measures to protect thier consumers until the case can be fully investigated but other importers are satisfied with Brazilian animal health standards and have taken no action. Brazilian , Paraguayan and Uruguayan are universally accepted as it is in thier interest to declare any outbreak of animal disease to the OIE. As Poppy says a sullied reputation in this field is much more difficult to repair than an export market. Argentina in this respect does not have a good reputation after concealing an outbreak of FMD some years ago
As for the ban on beef exports introduced arbitarily at short notice some time ago, what importer is going to have any confidence in the performance of contracts?
We in Uruguay were delighted with this decision as most of the contracts were switched to us And we do things properly over here
8 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 06:40 pm Report abuse
Just to clarify, when I stated Brazil acted correctly, I specifically meant that Brazil acted correctly in reporting the case of BSE. I in no way agree that Brazil acted correctly in threats of retalitory actions whatsoever.
Brazil, if it is truly an international nation should continue to take the high road knowing that it took the proper action in reporting the case. It should also respect every nation's responsibility to it's citizens to protect them from desease ridden products. Most remember the UK's outbreak in the early 90s, millions of animals were destroyed, yet the UK seems to recover because they openingly dealtyh with their problem and it did not tarnish their reputation.
Which all that being said........the politics of trade is an ungly business and always will be. It naive to think otherwise.
9 Ayayay (#) Dec 26th, 2012 - 09:23 pm Report abuse
Treat other living beings with respect and care, and you get it return. 80% of Argentina's cows are now factory-farmed, not living on beautiful grasslands with views.
I don't think Brazil is any different.
In my U.S. state, all the cows living here live on grass ranches, and it never gets too hot or cold :))
10 mark it (#) Dec 27th, 2012 - 12:24 am Report abuse
In my U.S. state, all the cows living here live on grass ranches, and it never gets too hot or cold

really ?!!!!Would u b kind enough to tell me Your U.S state?!!
'cause what I sow till today was totally different!!!!
11 yasu (#) Dec 27th, 2012 - 12:28 am Report abuse
I talked to Argintinian farm owner in Buenos Aires. H esaid that it is too expensive to raise cattle for meat on grass ranches only. NNow it is generally practise to raise the cattle in the field and feed them with corn to fatten them. He said about 75% is of this type.
In Urguay, it seems that the cettle is raised mostly on grass ranches without using corns.
12 redpoll (#) Dec 27th, 2012 - 06:13 pm Report abuse
Yes both ayayay and yasu make some interesting points
Consumers are insisting quite rightly on high standards of animal welfare and I think quite rightly so. Apart from which its good business for the beef farmer. An animal under stress will fatten or reproduce much more slowly than one under stress. They are herbivores and thats thier natural environment and alimentation. Uruguay has fairly strict controls on this but of course we could do better but we are getting there and this is reflected in our international beef export prices.
Yasu Yes unfortunately cattle ranching cannot compete with the inexorable rise in grain and soya prices and is being pushed onto marginal lands and even these are being invaded by the grain and soya people who are just speculative miners of soil fertility and balanced natural ecosystems. Governments think all farmers are making the returns of the grain barons and treat beef ranchers as if they receive the same returns and tax them accordingly forcing them into considering them to plough up thier land to contribute to a future post soya eroded desert to make a living
Havent us humans learnt anything from the results of the Oklahoma dust bowls of the 30s or the wrong Australian adage that rain follows the plough?
I am not a tree hugger and as a farmer have to make a living from my land. I may be the “owner” of my land but really I am just a custodian of it for future generations who will farm after me , I hope with the same philosophy and respect for the land
13 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 31st, 2012 - 01:45 pm Report abuse
Bad joke alert: Saudi must be worried about Mad Cow Disease, they might start driving!
14 redpoll (#) Dec 31st, 2012 - 03:29 pm Report abuse
Yes it is a bad joke made by a false Belted Galloway jerk
15 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 31st, 2012 - 07:00 pm Report abuse
#14 Well I'm not George Galloway, but I do respect his hostility to the vile Saudi dictatorship =)

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