Wednesday, August 10, 2022

NCBA: Disappointment Following Brazil FSIS Audit

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The following article is from the NAFB News Service:

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is extremely disappointed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service’s final audit report on an onsite audit conducted on Brazil’s meat inspection system was not released in time for a full review before the comment deadline on a proposed rule to allow the importation of fresh and frozen beef from 14 states in Brazil. NCBA President Bob McCan says NCBA formally requested all pertinent documents in early March. McCan says the report was available before the comment deadline – but FSIS failed to provide it – which shows a lack of preparation of the documents the U.S. cattle industry would need to make informed and meaningful comments. The audit discovered Brazil’s meat inspection program didn’t provide a standard guideline for inspection personnel concerning the definition of Specified Risk Materials in cattle in accordance with FSIS requirements. For this and other reasons – the report states until Brazil has satisfactorily addressed these issues – FSIS will not certify any new establishments as eligible to export to the U.S.

The FSIS audit was meant to determine the equivalence of Brazil’s meat inspection system. The audit focused on government oversight, statutory authority and food-safety regulations, sanitation, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points systems, chemical residue control programs and microbiological testing programs. NCBA Chief Veterinarian Dr. Kathy Simmons says the report confirms many compliance concerns NCBA recently expressed in its comments on behalf of its members. Simmons says NCBA members are concerned with Brazil’s ability and willingness to meet established compliance requirements – and most alarming – the inconsistent application and implementation of SRM requirements throughout the system and a history of unresolved drug residue violations. McCan says cattlemen and women support free and open trade based on sound science – but that science relies on the ability of actors to uphold certain standards. He says NCBA is more convinced than ever that Brazil isn’t capable of holding its industry to the same standards of the U.S. cattle industry. Therefore – he says NCBA urges APHIS to withdraw the proposed rule.

 

Source:  NAFB News Service

Posted by Haylie Shipp

 

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