By Teddy Cambosa

Following a mad cow outbreak in Brazil, the Department of Agriculture in the Philippines has imposed a temporary ban on beef imports coming from Brazil.

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

In their latest Memorandum Order 54 released last 16 September, the department stated that the order is based from previous reports given out by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) that an outbreak of Atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) have been reported in the states of Mato Grosso and Minais Gerais, Brazil last 3 September.

“BSE is a zoonotic disease and there are studies showing that the atypical type of BSE or Mad Cow Disease may pose a risk to consumers due to BSE’s assumed link with the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans,” according to the memorandum, which was signed by William Dar, secretary of the Department of Agriculture.

Furthermore, the memorandum states that all shipments in transit, loaded or accepted upon port entry  before the official communication of the order to the Brazilian authorities shall be allowed provided the slaughter and production date is on or before August 31, 2021.

“More rigorous and tight inspection on all arrivals of meat and meat by-products derived from

cattle including live cattle by DA Veterinary Quarantine Officers assigned at ports of entry,” the department concluded.

The ban is in line with the country’s existing Republic Act no. 10611, or also known as the ‘Food Safety Act of 2013’, which states that “provided that in specific circumstances when the available relevant information for use in risk assessment is insufficient to show that a certain type of food or food product does not pose a risk to consumer health, precautionary measures shall be adopted.”

Teddy Cambosa is a graduating BS Biology student and a former campus journalist at Batangas State University