Trust in the ability of the EU to protect the interests of EU Consumers had been shattered by the current inspection failures revealed in relation to Brazilian beef.
This charge was mounted in the European Parliament in Strasbourg by Marian when she questioned European Commissioner for Health & Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis on who was responsible for ensuring the safety of meat imported into the EU.
She pointed out that inadequacies in relation to the trustworthiness of inspections in Brazil had been revealed almost ten years ago. “In a detailed research project by the Irish Farmers Association the absence of traceability in the Brazilian beef herd was revealed, and debated in the European Parliament, and now we are discussing an even bigger scandal of rotten meat”, she stated.
This revealed systemic failures in controls, including evidence of official bribery, constituting questionable actions at many levels in Brazil, Marian Harkin said. “European consumers rely on the Commission to ensure that only safe food is imported into the EU and farmers rely on the Commission to ensure verifiable equivalence in the food products we import”.
She pointed out to the Commission that, while some countries moved swiftly to ban Brazilian beef, the EU sat on its hands and this posed questions for how effectively the interests of EU consumers and farmers would be protected in ongoing Mercusor negotiations. “It cannot be business as usual in the Mercusor negotiations the mutual trust that should be there has been shattered.”