Parliamentary question - O-000029/2017Parliamentary question

Major interpellation - Follow-up to the Brazilian meat imports scandal


Major interpellation for written answer with debate O-000029/2017
to the Commission
Rule 130b
Monika Smolková, Olga Sehnalová, Pavel Poc, Eric Andrieu, Hilde Vautmans, Brian Hayes, Lynn Boylan, Petras Auštrevičius, Karoline Graswander-Hainz, Alfred Sant, Petri Sarvamaa, Momchil Nekov, Bogusław Liberadzki, Marian Harkin, Stanislav Polčák, Boris Zala, Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner, Matt Carthy, Martina Anderson, Liadh Ní Riada, Branislav Škripek, Bronis Ropė, Anna Záborská, Miroslav Mikolášik, Nessa Childers, Biljana Borzan, Jiří Pospíšil, Luke Ming Flanagan, Dubravka Šuica, Maria Arena, Vladimír Maňka, Ulrike Müller, Kateřina Konečná, Bart Staes, Pál Csáky, József Nagy, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Norica Nicolai, Davor Škrlec, Martin Häusling, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Ivan Štefanec

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O-000029/2017 (B8-0317/2017)
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Over the last few weeks, reports have been emerging about illicit trading practices employed by Brazilian meat processing businesses. It appears that the biggest meat processing plants have, for years, been exporting substandard meat and poultry to the rest of the world. The rotten meat is said to have been processed using chemicals, bulked out using cardboard and, in some cases, even contained traces of salmonella. All these illicit practices are said to have passed by the Brazilian monitoring agencies unnoticed as a result of corruption.

The European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, told the European Parliament on 3 April 2017 that the EU has the highest food safety standards in the world, and yet Member States’ national monitoring agencies have discovered numerous cases of rotten or sub-standard meat products that had reached the single market.

Given that Commissioner Andriukaitis was unable to give comprehensive answers to the questions put forward by the AGRI Committee, doubts remain about the safety of food products imported onto the European market.

1. How can the Commission guarantee to European citizens that these dishonest trading practices in the food supply chain will not be allowed to happen again?

2. Given that the investigation into Brazilian companies was carried out over the course of two years, how is it that the European monitoring agencies did not pick up on the illicit practices?

3. Given that European producers are held to ever higher sanitary standards, what demands will be made of Brazilian producers in the ongoing trade agreement negotiations between the EU and Mercosur?