Tue | Aug 22, 2017

No need to ban beef imports from Brazil - Samuda

Published:Sunday | June 25, 2017 | 6:49 AM
Agriculture Minister Karl Samuda

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – Minister of Agriculture Karl Samuda says Jamaica does not import fresh beef from Brazil and therefore does not need to consider imposing a ban.

Samuda made the statement following reports that the United States has implemented a ban on the importation of fresh beef from the South American nation due to safety concerns.

“We have done our tests; we have carried out surveys extensively and we are satisfied that our surveys carry the level of integrity that would cause us to continue to import corned beef,” said Samuda during a press conference on Friday.

The agriculture minister pointed out that because Jamaica does not import fresh beef from Brazil, concerns about the safety of fresh beef would not affect the island.

“So, we are not affected. This is a matter affecting fresh beef. I just want to put everybody’s mind at rest. I know that there are many people who are distributors that would be concerned. It is not a matter to detain them at this time,” he said.

Last Thursday, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) ceased imports of fresh beef from Brazil, after a high percentage of shipments failed to pass safety checks.

Earlier this year, Jamaica and several countries in the region imposed a ban on the importation of corned beef from Brazil following reports that several major Brazilian meat processors  were “selling rotten beef and poultry”.

The ban was eventually lifted following investigations.