U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, joined a bipartisan group of Senate colleagues in signing a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue expressing concerns over the agency’s recent decision to lift the U.S. ban on Brazilian raw beef imports.
“Given that the United States halted Brazilian raw beef imports less than one year after Brazil was granted access in 2016, we have serious concerns about Brazil’s ability to maintain adequate food safety standards over the long run,” the letter reads.
The U.S. cited concerns over public health, poor sanitary conditions, and animal health when it last halted Brazilian raw beef imports in 2017.
The letter was led by Senator Thune (R-S.D.), and also signed by Senators Tester (D-Mont.), Daines (R-Mont.), Moran (R-Kan.), Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Rounds (R-S.D.), Cramer (R-N.D.), Hoeven (R-N.D.), Enzi (R-Wyo.), Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Booker (D-N.J.), Stabenow (D-Mich.), and Peters (D-Mich).
The United Kingdom shouldn’t allow imports of food that fall short of the country’s own standards when it draws up trade agreements. That thought comes directly from the head of the UK’s National Farmers Union.
NFU President Minette Batters says domestic production standards should be used as a benchmark in trade talks. Business Times Dot Com says her comments signal that British farmers would face a setback if the government allows imports of products that are treated with certain chemicals or made using lesser animal-welfare rules.
After leaving the European Union last month, the UK is working on getting trade talks going with multiple nations that cover everything from food trade to data protection. “It’s not just about chlorinated chicken,” Batters says in a statement. “This is about a wider principle. We must not tie the hands of British farmers to the highest rung of the standards ladder while waving through food imports which may not even reach the bottom rung.”
As it has in America, trade uncertainty is weighing down UK farm sentiment, with one-year confidence falling to its third-lowest point since 2010.