Use of Brazilian beef in army rations slammed

Use of Brazilian beef in army rations slammed The use of Brazilian beef in ration packs used by Irish soldiers was slammed this week by both James Gleeson, Chairperson of Roscommon IFA Livestock Committee and local Deputy Denis Naughten, Fine Gael spokesperson on agriculture and food.             Last week it was revealed that Brazilian beef was used in ration packs supplied to the Irish Army by a British supplier. Deputy Denis Naughten called on the Minister for Defence to explain why such beef is good enough for the Irish Army when it is not acceptable to the armies of the US, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.             James Gleeson also questioned the arrangements which saw beef from a country known to have a problem with foot-and-mouth disease, given to Irish soldiers. He pointed to the availability of top quality Irish beef, produced to meet stringent EU animal welfare, environmental and animal health controls and said that arrangements must be put in place to ensure that only top quality, fully traceable beef, is used to fill such contracts.             Deputy Denis Naughten said, ‘This disclosure again highlights the woolly attitude of this Government to the issue of Brazilian beef imports. If there was the political will within Government about tackling the issue of Brazilian beef, then contracts would be structured in such a way that only fully traceable beef, such as Irish beef, would be used to fill contracts.             "While the Minister for Agriculture has admitted that ‘there are issues with traceability and tagging’ she, along with her European Colleagues, is still prepared to allow the importation of beef from Brazil, when it is clear that they are failing to meet foot-and-mouth disease standards which would be seen as a basic requirement for Irish farmers.             ‘The foot-and-mouth disease crisis in the UK in recent weeks has shown the importance of both animal and food traceability, whether produced domestically or overseas and the upholding the highest standards within the industry. Ireland can never afford to expose our food industry to anything less that the most exacting standards,’ concluded Deputy Naughten.