Monday, December 29, 2008

Mexico suspends U.S. meat imports

Three months ago the U.S. suspended the meat imports from seven Mexican processing plants. According to U.S. authorities, the move was done so that Mexican factories could improve their sanitary conditions.

Last week, Mexican officials suspended imports from thirty U.S. processors. They too cited issues of unsanitary factory conditions and the move led to a sharp drop in U.S. cattle and hog prices on Friday.

Though it may appear that the Mexican’s step was retaliatory, officials on both sides of the border deny it:
The U.S. Agriculture Department has been working with Mexican authorities and U.S. meat shippers to resolve concerns about shipments from certain U.S. meat plants, a spokeswoman said on Friday.

But Mexico's suspension of purchases from 30 U.S. meat plants was not done to retaliate against the U.S. country-of-origin labeling law, known as COOL, said Amanda Eamich of the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Mexico recently joined Canada in filing a World Trade Organization complaint against U.S. meat regulations.

Online Sources- The Latin Americanist, Reuters,

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