Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that the first shipment in 13 years of fresh U.S. beef has arrived in Brazil. The hiatus which last more than a decade was caused over concern of U.S. beef possibly containing bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease.
The disease is dangerous to both humans and cows and cannot be killed even after cooking infected meat. In 2003, concerns were raised about cows in the U.S. being diseased with BSE after the first case in the U.S. was reported. It was also noted that year the FDA was not enforcing correct security measures to keep BSE out of the food supply in the country.
Since then, the problem has been addressed through new regulations and the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has provided documentation and information on the U.S. food safety requirements and standards for beef.
The USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have been working continuously with Brazilian officials to regain market access.
Perdue believes that thanks to their efforts, the trade industry will continue to grow.
“With Brazil’s large market reopened to the United States, U.S. beef exports are poised for new growth. I look forward to Brazilians getting the opportunity to eat delicious American beef, because once they taste it, they’ll want more of it.” said Secretary Perdue.