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China and South Africa ban Brazilian beef

Madison E. RoweMadison E. Rowe
China and South Africa ban Brazilian beef

David Morimoto

The world’s second largest beef exporter is working to contain fears over a spread of mad cow disease.

In the latest development, Brazil has announced that China and South Africa have temporarily banned the country’s beef imports.

The Associated Press (AP) reports that earlier this week Brazil said the carcass of a cow that died two years ago in southern Brazil contained disease-carrying proteins – but the animal did not “manifest the disease nor die of it”.

Japan has also suspended beef imports from Brazil. But apparently none of the three countries are major importers of Brazilian beef.

AP reports that during the first 10 months of the year, Brazil exported 11,700 tons of beef to the three countries, compared with total exports of 1 million tons during the same period.

In recent days, Brazil has been fending off accusations that its government had kept its case of mad cow disease a secret for two years.

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease, is a fatal neurodegenerative disease found in cattle. It causes a spongy degeneration in the brain and spinal cord. BSE has a long incubation period that lasts for about 30 months to 8 years.

Madison is a journalist/media consultant currently working in Toronto.