MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- The USDA has halted imports of fresh Brazilian beef to the United States over public health concerns.
The suspension of shipments will remain in place until the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture takes corrective action, the USDA Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced Wednesday.
"Although international trade is an important part of what we do at USDA, and Brazil has long been one of our partners, my first priority is to protect American consumers. That's what we've done by halting the import of Brazilian fresh beef," said Perdue.
Since March, USDA inspectors have inspected 100% of all meat products coming into the U.S. from Brazil. They refused 1.9 million pounds of Brazilian Beef products for concerns ranging from public health to sanitation to animal health issues.
The amount of refusals is substantially higher than the rejection rate of other shipments coming in from around the world.
Brazil's government has pledged to address the concerns and have blocked five facilities from shipping beef to the U.S.
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