Update: Mexico ends ban on some US meat imports

31-12-2008 | |

Mexico has agreed to end it’s ban of US meat imports from about 20 of the 30 US plants it suspended on the 23 December, according to a USDA spokeswoman.

According to reports Mexico had taken steps to resume imports of meat from 19 or 20 US plants, after receiving the corrective action plans submitted.

The USDA has also received action plans from five more plants, which it will submit to Mexico. “We expect them to be as well received as the previous ones were,” said Laura Reiser, a spokeswoman for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

USDA is working with the remaining five to six delisted plants to facilitate their responses to Mexico’s concerns, Reiser said.

Mexico suspended shipments from 30 US beef, pork, lamb and poultry plants last week over sanitary conditions involving packaging, labelling and transportation.

©Mexico’s ban on so many large US meat processors at the same time gave rise to speculation that the action was in retaliation for US country-of-origin labelling (COOL) rules that went into effect in September and have slowed exports of live cattle from Mexico to the United States. On December 18, Mexico joined Canada in filing a complaint to the World Trade Organization opposing COOL.©

Both U S and Mexican government officials have denied any connection.