Calls for ban of imports from Brazil after 'rotten meat' claims
Fianna Fáil is calling for an "immediate ban" on Brazilian meat imports as shocking allegations that some of Brazil's top meat processors have been exporting rotten beef and poultry for years grip the farming sector.
Authorities in Brazil have suspended 33 government officials and closed three meat plants amid the scandal. A further 21 meat plants are also being investigated.
Although Brazil's President Michel Temer yesterday sought to reassure foreign trade partners that its food products were safe, farm lobby groups were demanding an urgent halt to imports.
Charlie McConalogue, Fianna Fáil agriculture spokesman, said the allegations raised "very real concerns" for consumers and urged Agriculture Minister Michael Creed to take action.
"As an immediate step we need to suspend Brazilian imports into the country.
"That is necessary now to provide reassurance to consumers that there is no question mark at all over beef available in the EU and to ensure we protect and maintain the very strong standards we have in Europe," he said.
He also raised concerns over the proposed trade deal between Europe and Mercosur, the trading bloc which includes Brazil and Argentina.
"There should be a halt to any beef part of the Mercosur trade talks until investigations are complete," he said.