Sanitation keeps Brazilian beef from U.S. markets

May 9, 2005, as reported by Brazil has temporarily suspended beef exports to the United States so the government will have time to bring its inspection centers in line with U.S. sanitary requirements.

The announcement made by Brazil's Agriculture Ministry came after a US technical delegation in Brazil found irregularities in the sanitary inspection of local beef processing plants. The USA delegates revoked the export licenses of three exporters and suspended five others.

The Ministry’s suspension, which affects all the country’s processing plants, took effect May 5. Exports to the U.S. will remain halted while sanitation inspections are brought up to code--a process the government estimates should take no more than three weeks. Once the upgrades are complete the processors will once again be free to send beef to the U.S. In the interim beef shipments will be redirected to other foreign markets, such as Russia, or absorbed domestically.