USDA lifts ban on Brazilian pork put in place in June 2010 over concern that country lacked enough federal inspectors to monitor, ensure safety of meatpacking plants

LOS ANGELES , January 11, 2012 () – After approximately a year-and-a-half of negotiations following the U.S. government’s decision to allow the import of Brazilian pork in June 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has ruled that Brazilian pork may be imported into the U.S., Agriculture.com, reported Jan. 11.

Following the U.S. government’s decision to allow the import of Brazilian pork as part of a larger agreement to end a dispute stemming from cotton subsidies in the U.S., the USDA certified that meatpacking plants in the Brazilian state of Santa Catalina were free of foot-and-mouth disease.

The USDA expressed reservations over the number of federal inspectors in Brazil, as it felt that there were not enough inspectors to sufficiently monitor and ensure the safety of Brazilian meatpacking plants.

Pedro de Camargo Neto, the president of pork-industry association Abipecs in Brazil, hailed the decision, saying that it represented an "indisputable seal of quality," even though he doesn’t expect Brazil to begin exporting large quantities of pork to the U.S.

Mendes Ribeiro Filho, the Brazilian Agriculture Minister, said that Brazil would now attempt to resume sales of pork to South Korea and open the market in Japan, in addition to trying to increase the amount of pork that is exported to China.

Abipecs reported that, in 2011, Brazilian exports of pork decreased by 4.4% in comparison to the previous year to 516,419 tonnes of pork. Despite this, the value of exports in 2011 increased by 7% to US$1.43 billion.

The primary source of this article is Agriculture.com, Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 11, 2012.

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