Beef campaign boosted

The opinion of a number of key decision makers in Brussels in relation to the safety of Brazilian beef appears to be undergoing a slight change, a fact welcomed this week by IFA National Livestock Committee Chairman John Bryan. Readers will remember that Mr. Bryan undertook a number of fact finding missions to Brazil and recently presented his findings to the EU. Prior to going to Brussels, he addressed Roscommon farmers at a meeting in the Abbey Hotel and outlined the prevalent use of growth promoters illegal in Ireland, the prevalence of FMD and the lack of border controls in the south American country.  Since then, IFA has been attempting to persuade key European decision makers of the dangers posed by Brazilian beef, particularly in light of recent outbreaks in Surrey. This week Professor Patrick Wall, the Chairman of the European Food Safety Authority, expressed the view that ‘concerns raised by the IFA about imports of Brazilian beef into the EU are reasonable, as similar standards must apply for EU and non-EU producers if consumers’ health is to be adequately protected.’ John Bryan said EU Consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou cannot continue to ignore the risks and concerns being raised on Brazilian beef, particularly by eminent food safety experts such as Professor Wall.  ‘Commissioner Kyprianou can no longer continue the denial regarding the failure of Brazilian beef imports to meet EU standards. He is placing Europe at an unnecessary risk by his failure to act on this issue, a risk that the US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries are simply not prepared to take.’ John Bryan also welcomed the move in Brussels from five high-profile European MEPs to submit a written declaration in the European Parliament calling for a ban on Brazilian beef. The IFA livestock leader said this action by Mairead McGuinness from Ireland, Neil Parish from the UK and Chairman of the EP Agricultural Committee, James Nicholson from Northern Ireland, Alyn Smith from Scotland and Jill Evans from Wales was very significant. ‘This is the democratic voice of Europe saying, ban Brazilian beef which fails to meet EU standards.’