Brazilian beef scandal highlights danger of rushing EU-Mercosur deal

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Brazilian beef scandal highlights danger of rushing EU-Mercosur deal

23 March 2017
Eurogroup for Animals
News
A police operation has discovered that Brazilian companies have been exporting rotten and unsanitary beef. Meanwhile, the European Commission is speeding up negotiations to reach a free trade deal with the MERCOSUR bloc (which includes Brazil) and a round of negotiations are ongoing this week in Argentina.

The EU must not accelerate trade talks resulting in ‘liberalisation at all costs’. The EU must include sufficient checks and balances are included in our trade deals to ensure the safety of the meat we import, as well as the health and welfare of those farmed animals.

A Commission spokesperson has stated in a press briefing that it will “ensure that any of the establishments implicated in the fraud are suspended from exporting to the EU”. Iyan Offor, Project Officer for International Trade at Eurogroup for Animals says: “this solution ignores the wider risks implicated in further liberalising trade with Brazil and, indeed, with any country, without including proper requirements and enforcement relating to food safety, animal welfare and animal health”.

Reineke Hameleers, Director of Eurogroup for Animals praised the European Commission for reacting so quickly to this scandal and noted that: “European imports of Brazilian beef amounted to 450 million EUR in 2016. Further removing tariffs on these imports and other barriers to trade will likely result in a further increase in such imports of Brazilian beef to the EU. It is vital that our negotiations with the MERCOSUR bloc work to protect European values and the health of animals and humans”.

For more information please contact:
Iyan Offor, International Trade Project Officer
T: + 32 (0) 2 740 08 20 | E: i.offor@eurogroupforanimals.org