SD Stockgrowers Call for Ban on Brazil Beef and Reinstatement of COOL
The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association called on Senators Thune and Rounds, and Congresswoman Kristi Noem to implement an immediate ban on Brazilian beef imports and work to reinstate labeling for beef in the United States. The request came in response to news reports that Brazilian meat companies JBS and BRF bribed government officials to allow rotten, chemically treated, and unsafe beef products to enter their food supply.
“Given these allegations from Brazil, the members of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association are seriously concerned about consumer confidence given the lack country of origin labeling on beef products,” said SDSGA President Bill Kluck in a letter to delegates. He urged Thune, Rounds, and Noem to support legislation by Senator Jon Tester to ban Brazilian beef imports until USDA can investigate the allegations and assure that no tainted beef entered the U.S.
Additionally, SD Stockgrowers Association called for reinstatement of labels on beef products in the United States. Kluck said, “We believe that the recent developments in Brazil clearly prove the need for Country of Origin labeling to reassure consumers that their beef is born, raised, and harvested in countries that have not violated critical standards.”
“We don’t believe that any of this tainted meat made it to the United States, so we encourage folks to continue eating beef. But, we invite our customers to join us in contacting our delegation to ask for their support of Country of Origin Labels on beef.”
Twenty-one Brazilian beef plants have been implicated in the scandal that revealed bribery and corruption at high levels of the companies and government authorities. The investigation exposed direct bribes, donations to political parties, and hand-picking investigators who allowed tainted beef to pass their inspections.
United States Department of Agriculture officials have said that no beef from those 21 plants was imported to the U.S. and USDA has implemented additional testing protocols of beef coming from Brazil.
However, SD Stockgrowers doesn’t believe that is enough. “Stockgrowers supports Senator Tester’s legislation to implement an immediate 120-day ban on all beef imported from Brazil. A temporary ban on Brazilian beef imports will allow USDA to determine if it is safe to continue beef imports in the future or if changes need to be made to regulatory standards.”
SD Stockgrowers Association has supported federal Country of Origin Labeling since its inception in the 2001 Farm Bill, and supported SD Legislative efforts to require labeling in South Dakota’s grocery stores.