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Ferris Challenges Minister Over Brazilian Beef

19 July, 2007

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture, Martin Ferris TD, has challenged Minister for Agriculture Mary Coughlan to justify her claim that Brazilian beef imported into this country is safe to eat. Deputy Ferris was responding to the Minister's reaction to an IFA investigation which shows that Brazilian beef is produced under conditions that would be unacceptable in any EU state.

Deputy Ferris said: "I believe that the IFA report does substantiate the claims that Brazilian producers are operating in ways that would not be permitted here. This applies to many aspects of their production system including the use of hormones that are banned within the EU. The EU Commission has dismissed the claims but has not said how it is able to stand over its contention that the beef is safe. What measures are in place to monitor this?

"Furthermore, if Minister Coughlan is confident that Brazilian beef is safe in the absence of the stringent regulations governing beef production here, then why bother enforcing them within the EU? Both health and safety measures are justified - which I believe they are - or they are not. If they are, then they ought to be applied across the board. Otherwise countries like Brazil who do not enforce them will continue to enjoy an unfari trading advantage over EU producers." ENDS

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