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CONTACT: Food & Water Watch
Anna Ghosh, aghosh(at)fwwatch(dot)org, 415-293-9905
Brazilian Meat Slips into U.S. Food Supply, Putting Consumers at Risk Yet Again
Statement from Wenonah Hauter on Most Recent Recall of Brazilian Meat Products
WASHINGTON - September 15 - "The September 13, 2010 announcement by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service of yet another recall of Brazilian meat products points to the holes in our import inspection system and the inability of USDA to hold our trading partners accountable to our food safety standards. Somehow, 258,000 pounds of imported beef products from a plant that was not eligible to ship to the United States fell between the cracks and were allowed to enter the U.S. food supply.
"Based on USDA's own assessment, excessive animal drug residues in imported meat products from Brazil may be more widespread than just one meat plant. The meat products in question came from the same Brazilian meat plant that was delisted to export to the U.S. on May 14, 2010 because excessive animal drug residues were found in the meat products it shipped to the United States. This is the third recall involving the same plant. As a result of USDA's own investigation of the Brazilian food safety system, the remaining 23 Brazilian meat plants were made ineligible to export to the United States in May because the agency discovered that the animal drug residue problem in Brazil was "systemic."
"We have repeatedly asked USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack over the past four months what is being done to remove all Brazilian beef products from commerce in light of USDA's findings of systemic drug residue problems in that country's meat plants. We are still waiting for a response. It's time for USDA to protect U.S. consumers by making sure product from all of these plants is taken off the market, not just from one."