Vilsack Soundbites

Sep 7, 2021

Mad cow disease has spontaneously popped up in two separate locations in Brazil and the “atypical” cases have halted Brazilian beef exports to China.

China and Brazil have an animal health pact that allows Beijing to evaluate the problem, halt imports, and decide when they want to resume imports.

Beef export buster: China and Hong Kong buy more than half of Brazil’s beef. Brazilian beef producers will be hurting until exports resume.

The two cases are not related and appeared in two separate meat plants—one in Mato Grosso and another in Minas Gerais. These are only the fourth and fifth reported cases of “atypical” mad cow disease in Brazil in 23 years.

What makes them “atypical?” They cannot be linked to the bovine eating any contaminated foods and are 100% spontaneous in nature. Brazil reports they have never had a case of “classic” mad cow disease.

These cases were confirmed on September 3, after they were sent to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) lab in Alberta, Canada.

The good news: There is no risk to animal or human health, the agriculture ministry of Brazil said.