IFA reiterates call for Brazilian meats ban

The IFA President also said the Commission must withdraw from trade talks while this investigation is ongoing

IFA reiterates call for Brazilian meats ban

Beef on display for sale in Dublin | Image: Julien Behal / PA Archive/PA Images

IFA President Joe Healy has reiterated his call for a full ban on Brazilian meat imports into the EU, saying the move by the EU Commission to halt only those companies implicated in the investigation is not enough.

Joe Healy said it is not credible for the EU’s policy on equivalence of standards if the Commission doesn’t impose a full ban. 

“The latest shocking revelations on the failure of the authorities in Brazil to meet EU standards and controls in the meat sector raises very serious concerns around imports. The EU Commission relies on these authorities to ensure EU standards are met.”

Joe Healy said the IFA has written to the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis demanding a full ban.

The IFA President also said the EU Commission must withdraw from trade talks with Mercosur while this investigation in Brazil is ongoing.

“Standards and controls have to be at the centre of any trade discussions," he said. "The EU Commission cannot stand over negotiations with the Mercosur group against the backdrop of the very serious issues raised in Brazil.”

Joe Healy said the latest developments also highlight the need for a strong policy on standards in the context of Brexit. He said, “In the IFA policy document on Brexit we have set out very clearly the need for equivalent standards on food safety, animal health, welfare and the environment and the need for the application of the Common External Tariff for imports to both the EU and UK.”

'Shocked'

Meanwhile, the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmer's Association (ICSA) president Patrick Kent said he was shocked to hear Commission officials admit in the European Parliament that they only found out about the scandal via press reports. 

"It is outrageous that we would continue to deal with Brazil when it is apparent that corruption around meat quality standards is endemic," he said. "Moreover, the Brazilians have shown that they are negotiating in bad faith when it was left to the press to tell the EU Commission what was going on."