The Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska (ICON) organization has been closely watching the investigations being conducted in Brazil which have uncovered corruption in the ranks of JBS and BRF.
Brazilian authorities suspect bribery involving health inspectors in packing plants operated by the two meat-packing giants. Practices which include adding cardboard and potatoes to products and the use of acids to mask products which may be rotten so they can receive the Brazilian stamp of approval.
Several countries from around the world have banned Brazilian products and as a result, there has been a drop in exports from the South American country.
The U.S. has not proposed a ban although several consumer groups and farmers and ranchers are favoring this type of action. Newly appointed Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue has commented he would not support a ban because of the backlash from the Brazilians.
ICON supports a ban prohibiting the import of products from JBS and BRF citing public health issues as being more important than trade agreements. ICON joins Nebraska Farmers Union who has the same concerns.
The questionable practices in the Brazilian packing plants also call an alarm to the possible risk of reintroducing Hoof and Mouth Disease in the U.S., which has been nonexistent in the U.S. since the 1920s.
ICON is concerned a recent decision to relax regulations on imports of fresh and frozen meat from neighboring countries south of the border close to Brazil, which claim to be free of HMD, may allow the disease into the U.S. market and cause destruction to the U.S. cattle industry.
ICON joins Nebraska Farmers Union in urging Congress to reinstate Country of Origin Labeling for the best interests of the consumer world-wide and also impose a moratorium on Brazilian imports.