Food & Water Watch (FWW) filed a regulatory petition with USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) calling on the agency to revoke the equivalency status making Brazil eligible to export meat products to the United States, the activist group said in a news release.
The group said the petition cites “countless shortcomings and deficiencies in the health and safety standards of Brazilian meat imports over 15 years.”
FWW said the most recent audit showed that problems first identified in 2004 still had not been addressed by Brazil, such as potential conflict of interest issues involving Brazilian inspectors.
The 2017 audit came on the heels of Brazilian investigations into bribes paid to Brazilian meat inspectors to let contaminated meat and poultry enter into commerce. In June, USDA halted fresh beef imports from Brazil. However, FSIS has continued to permit Brazil to export pork products and thermally processed beef to the United States with a mandate for 100 percent re-inspection at the ports of entry.
“Food & Water Watch believes that 100 percent re-inspection means that USDA does not trust the Brazilian inspection system even for those products, thus undercutting the purpose of equivalency,” the release said.