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Brazil inspectors say understaffing, budget cuts caused beef problems

Staff Writer |
Brazil's health inspectors union on Monday blamed understaffing and government budget cuts for sanitary problems that triggered a U.S. ban on Brazilian fresh beef imports that struck a new blow to the reputation of the country's massive meat industry.

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The ANFFA union said in an emailed statement there are around 270 meatpacking installations in Brazil operating without inspectors.

That represents around 6 percent of the 4,800 meatpacking installations authorized to sell abroad.

Last week, the United States blocked Brazilian fresh beef shipments, saying it found abscesses in the meat and signs of systemic failure of inspections.

Brazilian Deputy Agriculture Minister Eumar Novacki on Friday said none of the problems found represented health risks for consumers, adding that some cattle had experienced adverse reactions to certain vaccines.

He acknowledged there were flaws in Brazil's inspection system but said there could also be "commercial motivations" for the import ban.


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