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Meat may difficult negotiations of the U.E. – Mercosur trade agreement

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The European Union (E.U.) will probably use Brazil’s meat crisis to try to get extra advantages in the current E.U.- Mercosur negotiations of a trade agreement.

The chairman of the European Parliament’s agriculture committee Czeslaw Siekierski  is expected to raise the issue ‘Brazilian meat’ at the plenary session on Monday (April 3). He is also expected to open the debate on a report of EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis, who recently met in Brasilia with Brazil’s agriculture minister Blairo Maggi.

A E.U. document that has been sent to its 28 member states for the debate on “meat fraud in Brazil” in the committee of European Ministers of Agriculture, establishes a  link between the two issues (meat and agreement).

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA)  and other European farm lobby groups which for a long time have been campaigning for a full EU ban on Brazilian meat, are pushing now to have meat removed from the proposed trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur in the wake of Brazil’s meat scandal.

Such a move would scupper the entire trade deal, considering the importance of beef industry to Mercosur’s countries (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay). The EU has so far suspended imports from the 21 meat-packing Brazilian plants that are currently under investigation by the Federal Police.