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APHIS to Allow the Importation of Fresh Beef from Northern Argentina and 14 States in Brazil

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

(North American Meat Institute)

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) amended its regulations to allow the importation of fresh (chilled or frozen) beef from the Patagonia region in Argentina and 14 states in Brazil under specific conditions that mitigate the risk of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). APHIS risk assessments indicate that beef from those regions can be safely imported, provided certain conditions are met to ensure the beef will not harbor the FMD virus. The risk assessments also concluded that Argentina and Brazil are able to comply with U.S. import certification requirements.

Because APHIS regulations and conditions address potential animal health risks Brazil and Argentina also need to meet food safety standards prior to being able to export this beef to the United States. USDA will assess those countries' meat inspection systems to determine equivalence with U.S. standards through a review of their regulatory programs, as well as an in-country audit of their food safety systems.

In response to the decision, Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter said, "NAMI welcomes USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) decision to amend its regulations to allow for import of beef from certain regions of Brazil and Argentina. The decision reaffirms the U.S. position that human and animal health regulation of international trade must be based on sound scientific risk assessments - an approach that ultimately benefits the U.S. industry."

These rules take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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