USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has amended its regulations to allow chilled or frozen beef to be imported from two regions in South America under specific conditions that mitigate the risk of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), the first step in a process for these regions to gain access to the U.S. market for beef. The two regions are:

from Northern Argentina, a region located north of an area previously recognized by APHIS as free of foot and mouth disease (FMD) known as the Patagonia region; and  

from certain States in Brazil: Bahia, Distrito Federal, Espirito Santo, Goias, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Parana, Rio Grande do Sul, Rio de Janeiro, Rondonia, Sao Paulo, Sergipe, and Tocantis.

APHIS says fresh beef from both of these regions will follow the same import conditions imposed on fresh beef and ovine meat from Uruguay that we have been safely importing for many years.

 As the first step in gaining access to the US market, these countries will also need to meet food safety standards prior to being able to export any beef to the US. USDA will assess their equivalence with US standards through a review of their regulatory programs as well as an in-country audit of their food safety systems.