MEP votes in favour of Brazilian beef

Neil Parish MEP, chairman of the European Parliament's Agriculture Committee, and currently leading an EU delegation to Brazil to look at beef production, has praised the quality of Brazilian beef and plans to assist its return to European markets. Parish, formerly a fierce opponent of Brazilian beef exports, who has called for an outright ban, was in conciliatory mood at the Brazilian Agriculture and Farming Confederation last week, at one of the first official meetings of the tour. "We are not here to question Brazilian beef's quality, which is truly very high, or your competitiveness," he said. "We are here to learn more about Brazilian agriculture and farming." Speaking from the event, Brazilian Beef Exporters' Association (ABIEC) representative Leslie Sasson Cohen added: "He seemed very co-operative and said he was not here to audit Brazil, but to work together with us in order to resume exports. "It was pointed out to the delegation that, in over 50 years of Brazilian beef exports to Europe, not one sanitary outbreak was caused and that beef from Brazil does not carry the foot-and-mouth disease virus or any other because it is deboned and matured. "The delegates said they are all very pleased to visit Brazil and that this is their first official visit to a country outside Europe, which should demonstrate their willingness to learn more about our agriculture. They are not here on a veterinary mission or to audit the system, just to learn more about it and try to resume regular trade." Eleven MEPs plus Commission staff are taking part in the six-day visit and are due to return to Europe at the weekend.

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